By Cathy Jones
‘Springfort’ was built in 1894 to a design by architect George Sydney Jones for owner Alexander Reith Troup. The house was illustrated in The Australasian Builder’s and Contractor’s News in its issue of November 10 1894 and an accompanying article describe it thus:
‘The cottage is an illustration of which we publish in the present issue was erected at Strathfield some months ago, and is situated at the heights of the Sydney suburb. The walls are of brick, with white dressings, mouldings etc. of the same material, and the roofs are covered with American redwood shingles, with tiled ridging. The architect was Mr G. Sydney Jones A.R.I.B.A of Hunter Street Sydney and the work was carried out by Mr. J C Horne of Alexandria, the contract amounting to £1414’.
Troup was a senior partner of the firm Troup, Harwood & Co, public accountants. Troup, Harwood & Co were also Strathfield Council’s auditors for many years. Troup was a director of the firm James Sandy & Co.
During Troup’s occupancy (1894-c.1906), the house was known as “Reithurst”. While he lived in Strathfield, Troup was a member of the Strathfield Recreation Club in 1902, one of Sydney’s most prestigious clubs. He was elected President in 1902. Troup’s obituary in 1912 notes that he was a senior partner in a prominent city firm of accountants and ‘held in high esteem by the business community of Sydney’ evidenced by the list of attendees at his funeral.
From 1908 to 1920 Springfort was the home of the manufacturer Arthur Royce Lysaght. Lysaght was the son of John Lysaght, who established Lysaght. Lysaght first called his home Wreath Hurst and from c.1914, Springfort. Lysaght is best remembered by his company Lysaght Brothers & Co. Ltd, a prominent wire, iron and steel manufacturer. Lysaght Brothers later became Australian Wire Industries (AWI), merging with BHP Steel in 1959. Lysaght died in 1920.
In 1925, the property was purchased by Arthur Nelson Littlejohn, a solicitor. In 1929, ‘Springfort’ was purchased by Mrs Katie Coggins for £5600. The Coggins family controlled the company W T Coggins Pty Ltd, metropolitan distributor for Holden cars and Bedford Trucks. Coggins head Office was located at Parramatta Road Camperdown with service centres at Mascot and Auburn. The Coggins family owned ‘Springfort’ from 1929 to 2002.
This site was originally located on 106-108 Redmyre Road but 106 Redmyre containing a tennis court and summer house has been subdivided from 108 Redmyre Road, where the house ‘Springfort’ is located.
The Australasian Builder’s and Contractor’s News, 1894 November 10
Department of Valuer-General, Valuation Lists, Municipality of Strathfield
Fox & Associates, Strathfield Heritage Study, 1986
Sands Sydney and Suburban Directory
Strathfield Council Meeting Minutes
Strathfield Council valuation lists
Wise’s Post Office Directory for Strathfield 1908, 1936