Saturday, 15 November 2008

History and Harpers Garage

The wallpaper in Room 3 was stripped right back to the original wall revealing an interesting piece of history. It says 'Papered by Charles Brown, George Street 16 Oct 1899, paste by James Stewart'. It is identical to what we found when redecorating another room about 18 months ago. The date corresponds with the information I have about the house. In 1899 a feu contract was recorded in favour of Alexander Neilson by the trustees of Allan McPherson of Blairgowrie, Mr Neilson must build and maintain a house of value £400. 1899-1911 Mr Neilson now known to be an inspector of poor at Inveresk Musselburgh remains proprietor but Gilmore is tenanted by James Millar, merchant of Trinidad. In the 1901 census the people recorded in the house were, James Millar(72, widower, retired merchant) Mrs Marion Davidson(32, daughter) Grace Davidson(grand-daughter) Mr Robert Todd(visitor, grain merchant) Annie Leith(Housekeeper) and Maggie Donaldson(Domestic Nurse).
In 1911 the property was sold to John Harper a motor and cycle maker for £515, the house remained in the Harper family until 1973. In 1896 John Harper had a business at 27-29 Perth Street as a blacksmith and cycle agent, as the business grew and cars became more common the cycle part was phased out.

Agricultural machinery, cars and tractors were all sold and repaired from the premises.

An old granite plaque we have inscribed J Harper 1901

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