46-19 - House and stables (formerly Duncraig) - 58 Palmer Place

This house formerly known as “Duncraig” was built for Walter Hughes Duncan, a highly successful South Australian pastoralist and mine owner.

Mr Duncan owned a property near Saddleworth and leased Oulnina Station, a property of some two thousand square kilometres, up until his death. He was chairman of what was then called the Waterloo District Council (now part of the Clare and Gilbert Valleys Council area). Walter Duncan was also a State politician (a member of the House of Assembly). He was a conservative – a member of a party called the 'National Defence League”.

He was also lucky enough to be born into a family that owned a sheep station in the mid-north. On their sheep station copper was discovered in the 1860';s and the family suddenly (and very successfully) went into the copper mining business

Mr Duncan was a major shareholder and director of Wallaroo and Moonta mines. With a fortune to his name from copper, he built this home between 1896 and 1902 while he was a member of Parliament. Five years later he died on his way back to Australia from England, in May 1906. His widow, Alice, lived here until she died in 1928 and the house was bought by William Goodman.

Goodman is a famous Adelaide name. There is a “Goodman building” in the Botanic Gardens. The link with Mr Goodman is trams.

Sir William Goodman was an electrical engineer who designed tramway systems, first in Dunedin, New Zealand, and then here in Adelaide. He was the chief engineer AND general manager of the Municipal Tramways Trust from 1908 until 1950. He was 42 years in that role, and ironically as he retired in his late 70's the tramways were also retired in favour of buses. Mr Goodman was renowned as an energetic efficient and intelligent administrator. He was also the first chairman of another major statutory authority, the South Australian Housing Trust from 1937 to 1945. In those early years of the trust, the Board members, Goodman especially, carried out most of the administrative work themselves. In Mr Goodman’s case this was usually done at night at his home here in Palmer Place.

This house “Duncraig” was completed in 1900. The stables (on Ward Street, behind the house) were built soon after the house and together with the front garden wall they form an integral complex.

This completes the trail through the formal gardens of North Adelaide – Brougham Gardens and Palmer Gardens. Please look on Adelaide City Explorer for trails in other parts of the Adelaide Park Lands.



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