DESCRIPTIVE SKETCH OF VICTORIA
Atlas Page 38
By James Smith
MELBOURNE - PORT PHILLIP.
In the olden time which means in Australia, about thirty years ago when the newcomer had made the voyage from England by a sailing vessel in ninety days, and had never caught a glimpse of land from the hour of his quitting the Channel until he sighted Cape Otway, he was accustomed to approach Port Phillip Heads with glowing anticipations of the pleasure he would experience in bathing his eyes in the verdure of umbrageous woods and dewy pastures. But, having left England in the early autumn, it may be, and reached the shores .of Australia in the middle of the summer, the first glimpse he obtained of the country, in which he was about to make his home, was a disappointing one. Looking to the right, he saw long ridges of sand-hummocks stretching away to the eastward, with here and there a patch of withered herbage, and here and there some brown and ragged scraps of scrub bending inland, and seeming to shrink and cower before the southerly gales. On the other side, were rugged cliffs crowned by a lighthouse, some pilots cottages, and a few gnarled and contorted trees, throwing no shadow whatever upon the yellowish sward which thinly carpeted the great masses of rock which stand like grim sentinels at the entrance of the bay. As the vessel swept through the Rip with a favouring breeze, the stranger, looking northward, perceived that the whole landscape was enveloped in a hot haze, through which the distant mountains were only faintly visible, while those fringing the eastern shores of Port Phillip Arthurs Seat, Mount Martha and Mount Eliza were partially obscured, in all probability, by clouds of smoke issuing from bush fires.
The general features of the scene as thus described remain unchanged. An inland sea, which is forty miles in diameter, is too spacious to be picturesque; it is one of those cases in which distance does not lend enchantment to the view, for it is only nearer to the shore line that its more attractive characteristics disclose themselves, and these have to be sought out with a certain amount of enthusiastic diligence. Queenscliff, however, has undergone a remarkable transformation. Its breezy heights are now surmounted by the mansard roofs and tall turrets of three or four roomy and commodious hotels, and a large town has taken the place of the scattered village which formerly straggled over the surface of Shortlands Bluff-as it was called in the early days. The fortifications, which have been constructed on this side of the heads, as well as on the opposite point and upon certain islands and shoals adjacent, have rendered the place additionally interesting by investing it with a strategic importance in relation to the defences of the Victorian capital. They consist of batteries at Queenscliff, Point Nepean, Swan Island, Point Franklin and the shoals in mid-channel an these form the first line of defence. They have been furnished with ordnance in conformity with a plan suggested by Sir William Jervois, and much of -the work was carried out under the personal direction of the late Sir P. H. Scratchley.
To follow the western shore of Port Phillip from its entrance, would take us past the battery on Swan Island, past St. Leonards on the Bay, at present a little fishing village, and round by Indented Head to Portarlington, which, lying at the entrance to Corio Bay, looks northward, and, sheltered by some rising ground in the real, is already a favourite little township. Two miles distant are some mineral springs, combining, it is authoritatively stated, the curative properties of some of the most popular brunnen or the continent of Europe. Past Point Richards the shore-line rends to the southward, turning northward again at Point Henry, where is the entrance to the Inner Geelong Harbour, which will hereafter be described. The western side of Port Phillip presents merely a long low line of., sandy beach, with a broken ridge of scrub ; the land in the rear is - level, but the background is relieved by the picturesquely irregular outline of Station Peak and the isolated range to which it belongs.
The eastern shore of Port Phillip has in the course of settlement become much more populated than the western. Point Nepean, which forms the eastern head, is a sandy mamelon terminating a narrow tongue of land composed of hilly dunes, bare on their sea-faces, but clothed inland with a compact mass of ti-tree scrub, the roots of which bind the soil together and consolidate its shifting particles. The long dark roofs which emerge from the compact foliage on the north side of this barren promontory belong to the quarantine station. Beyond these the, coast line advances for a while, leaving a broader tract of country behind it, and then recedes, so as to form a succession of miniature bays, with an occasional villa residence gleaming out from the sombre foliage and a fine background of wooded hills. In one of these indentations is situated the watering place upon which some enthusiastic admirer of the spot has bestowed the name of the fair Italian town in which the poet Tasso first beheld the light. Nor, under certain aspects of the heavens, does it appear altogether unworthy to bear the appellation, for sea and sky put on at times a robe of colour almost as intense in its lovely azure as that which constitutes the glory of its beautiful prototype in the Bay of Naples; while Mount Martha and the more distant hills, when the atmospheric conditions favour this phenomenon, are invested with the richest purple chequered in places with shadows of burnt umber and dark grey.
Sorrento stands on the neck of the promontory, which is here not more than a mile in width from sea to sea. A good road climbs over a ridge, from the summit of which both the bay and the ocean are visible. When the visitor gains the outer beach he finds himself in view of two coves, resembling in outline one moiety of the figure eight vertically bisected. Each is environed by tall cliffs, in which limestone laminae thrust themselves out from between layers of sand and gravel. Into these twin recesses the sea comes tumbling and foaming with restless energy, slowly eating into the land, and leaving here and there, in the midst of the gambolling "white horses," isolated masses of rock, grotesque of form and grim of aspect, as trophies of its victorious invasion of the opposing shore. The great transparent breakers pursue each other in endless chase, and there is no pause in the sullen roar of the unslumbering waves, which deepens into thunder when a gale is blowing from the south or south-west. The whole of the land surrounding this romantic bit of sea-beach has been judiciously reserved by the Government, and has received the title of the Ocean Park. It has been laid out in winding paths, and furnished with seats and pavilions for the accommodation of visitors.
Ascending the bay from Sorrento, Arthurs Seat attracts the eye by the peculiarity of its form, sloping down to the water with a graceful curve from its highest point of elevation, and falling inland with a continuous descent until it reaches the level of the plain behind, throwing out three short spurs before it does so. At the foot of Arthurs Seat lies a watering place bearing the euphonious name of Dromana. A firm beach, a far-stretching pier, and the fine views which are obtainable from the neighbouring eminences, combine to endow Dromana with special attractions for health-seekers who do not shrink from vigorous exercise. Mount Martha on the south, and Mount Eliza on the north, of the prettily situated watering place of Mornington, are the only other hills near the shoreline, and neither of these rises to an elevation of five hundred and fifty feet. Mornington is more sequestered, and at the same time more picturesque, than the places just named. The coast line, curving round to, the southward, so as to form the headland known as Schnapper Point, serves both to define and shelter a miniature bay; and the high and undulating land behind it is dotted with several charming residences, partially embowered in the foliage of exotic trees and erected in such positions as to give them a commanding view of the waters of the bay. Soon after passing Mount Eliza the coast recedes to the eastward, and having no, high land behind it, nothing is visible but a thin white riband of sand forming the Nine-mile Beach, with Frankston at one end and Mordialloc at the other, the nascent township of Carrum lying between.
The extension of railway communication southward has led to the formation of new seaside villages, and the rapid growth of those already existent. Mentone, about fourteen miles, and Carrum, twenty-one miles from Melbourne, are both of recent date; while Mordialloc and Frankston have been favourite marine retreats for upwards of a quarter of a century. But they have enlarged their boundaries since they were entered by the iron horse; and at holiday seasons there is a great influx of visitors from the metropolis.
North of Mordialloc, Red Cliff and Picnic Point open out, and the former, smitten by the rays of the westering sun, resembles, at the distance it is seen from the deck of a vessel, an old brick fortress hat has been dismantled in some bygone century and mellowed in colour by the hand of time. Cottages, villa residences, and family mansions begin to diversify the scene and to enliven, by the brightness of their colour, the sombre line of ti-tree scrub which follows the fluctuating contour of the sea beach. Then Brighton comes in view, with the campanile of its town hall rising above the clustering roofs, which appear to be embosomed in a mass of indigenous and exotic foliage. Along the horizon the silhouette of the Dandenong Ranges is sharply defined against the eastern sky, and beyond them, somewhat to the northward, the Plenty Ranges loom above a level stratum of mist which obscures their base.
Brighton has now a population of six thousand inhabitants, covering so large an area as to require three railway stations for their accommodation. One of its streets perpetuates the name of the purchaser of the "special survey" Dendys upon which he depastured his flock in early days, little foreseeing perhaps, that the land for which he paid a pound an acre would be selling at from five pounds to twenty pounds sterling a foot within the lifetime of a single generation.
Of the three Brightons which constitute the borough, the first, North Brighton, is urban; the second, Middle Brighton, is suburban; and the third, Brighton Beach, is purely marine. The shoreline at the latter forms a succession of curves, commencing at Point Ormond to the north and ending at Picnic Point to the southward. The glare of the sea beach is relieved by the sombre colouring of the belt of ti-tree which follows its windings, and, above it, arise the dark crowns of groves of stone pine and other hardy exotics belonging to the same family, encompassing the many villa residences which have been erected within an easy distance of the bay, so as to give their occupants the advantages of sea bathing. Looking towards the city, the view is bounded by the crescent-like sweep of the eastern shore of the harbour, flanked by the populous boroughs of St. Kilda, South Melbourne and Port Melbourne, which form an almost continuous line of habitations; and in the background, midway between the two horns of the crescent, the campanile of Government House, the domes of the Exhibition Building and of the Law Courts, and the spires of Melbourne are dimly visible through the haze and smoke that overhang the city. To the westward, a forest of masts carries the eye across the harbour to Williamstown, with its clustering roofs and its jets of steam from incoming and outgoing trains, the lighthouse at Point Gellibrand, and the sandy land stretching away to the outfall of the Koroit Creek. Southward, the spectator, taking his stand on a rocky knoll, at the foot of which the tiny waves make a susurrent murmur as they rise and fall upon the water-worn and russet blocks of ferruginous stone below, that lend a certain warmth of colour to the bank, sees the land trend round in the form of a tense bow to Picnic Point; and beyond this, Mount Eliza, lying like a blue fog-bank on the verge of the horizon, can only be faintly discriminated from the paler azure of the sky above.
A substantial jetty, running out a hundred and fifty yards into the shallow waters of the bay, offers a pleasant promenade, and the sunsets visible from here are remarkable, at certain seasons of the year, for their splendour and beauty. Brighton is a favourite place of residence with such of the citizens of Melbourne as do not begrudge the half-hour occupied by the railway journey morning and evening, and its reputation for salubrity is such that when it was considered expedient to remove the Protestant Orphanage from South Melbourne where it occupied the crown of what had originally been a green meadow, but had come to be hemmed in by a populous city this suburb was selected as the site of the new structure. The choice was also influenced by the quietude and comparative seclusion attainable in such a spot. North Elwood and Elsternwick intervene between Brighton and St. Kilda. Both, of them are in process of transformation from rural suburbs, sparsely sprinkled with isolated mansions and detached villas surrounded by paddocks or by open spaces of primitive bush, to a compact aggregation of rectangular streets filled with cottages and steadily advancing towards that phase of development in which the local population will feel themselves entitled to a municipal organisation.
As the sun goes down in a blaze of splendour, its horizontal light, smiting the houses that line the esplanade at St. Kilda, kindles a fiery reflection upon every window facing the west, so that the general effect is that of a great conflagration without its attendant volumes of smoke. On the opposite side of the bay, the revolving light flashes out above the indistinct mass of buildings which are already enveloped in shadow, while the tall spars of the great three-masters lying at anchor in the centre of the bay stand out in clear and delicate relief with all their cordage, and rest on a noble back ground of crimson and amber, that shade off into an indescribable demi-tint of bluish green, above which the new moon hangs her silver crescent in the deeper azure overhead.
In the early days of Victoria, St. Kilda which certainly presents no resemblance whatever to the lonely and rock-girdled island in northern seas whence it derives its name was a pretty little straggling village, with an unpretending inn or two and a number of equally unpretending cottages, scattered over a large area of ground, accessible by devious tracks which had been formed through the dense and all-prevailing ti-tree scrub. At this moment, it is a compact borough containing fifteen thousand inhabitants, and a place of residence favoured by the professional and mercantile classes of the city; and although it contains many stately houses encircled with ample pleasure grounds, yet numerous terraces have replaced the detached abodes which formerly stood in the centre of spacious gardens; large hotels have supplanted the simpler hostelries of a more primitive epoch; and the salubrity of the air has also promoted the establishment of private schools of a superior character.
The shore at St. Kilda is so much above the level of the sea, from which it continues to rise as it recedes, as to give a wide and commanding view of the bay from the esplanade, which is thronged on summer evenings by visitors from Melbourne in private carriages and public conveyances, on foot and on horseback; for there is some freshness in the breeze borne inland from the water after the hottest day; and when the moon is at her full, and she traces a broad path of radiance across the almost purple sea, and a thousand points of light glitter along the distant shore from Sandridge and from Williamstown, as well as from the vessels at anchor in the harbour or moored to the piers, and the bulky form of Mount Macedon lifts itself above the horizon in one direction and the jagged outline of the You Yangs is visible in another, the ensemble of the scene thus presented is eminently picturesque, and would justify a certain amount of enthusiasm on the part of the spectator who has been "long in populous city pent." The nomenclature of the streets in St. Kilda serves, in some cases, to fix the dates at which they were first laid out and built upon. Thus the Alma Road, Inkerman Street and Balaclava Road are chronologically related to the famous engagements whose names they perpetuate another portion of the borough might not inaptly be called the Poets Corner, for its streets have borrowed their appellations from Milton, Byron, Scott, Burns, George Herbert, Tennyson, Southey, Dickens, Lady Blessington, and Mary Russell Mitford. The sea frontage of St. Kilda is upwards of three miles in length, and between the esplanade and the foreshore a grassy slope has been formed and planted. At the north end, a broad pier runs far out into the sea, and constitutes a breezy promenade. Five bathing establishments have each an adequately spacious area of the water securely fenced in, so as to afford protection against the sharks on one hand and sufficient scope for swimmers on the other. Half a dozen large hotels, facing the sea, find numerous occupants from town and country during the summer months, and as the place is within a quarter of an hours ride of the metropolis by railway, it is the favourite residence all the year round of many thousands of prosperous citizens.
And now the railway pier is gained, alongside of which, for its full extent of half a mile, vessels from all parts of the world are berthed. In the day time it is a scene of incessant animation and activity. The produce of three continents is being discharged into railway trucks through the agency of those docile slaves, the monkey engines with their muscles of iron and nerves of steel; and the various, languages which may be heard on every side carry the mind of the traveller back to the docks at Bombay,-the levees of New Orleans, the Quai de Bacalan at Bordeaux, the Calata della Chiapella at Genoa, the Nieder Hafen at Hamburg, and the Boomjes at Rotterdam.
Port Melbourne, a designation which has only recently superseded the more expressive name of Sandridge originally Liardets Beach is a thriving suburb of Melbourne, with a distinctly nautical air about it; for most of its retail trade is connected with the shipping arriving at its two piers and departing therefrom; while the extensive biscuit factories of Messrs. Swallow and Ariell furnish employment to some hundreds of hands and contribute to the general prosperity of the borough. A rail way line two miles in length the first constructed in Victoria connects the port with the city, and, from its terminus, another line branches to St. Kilda, skirting the city of South Melbourne on its way.
Facing Port Melbourne, and on the opposite side of Hobsons Bay, is Williamstown, where the largest steamers from Europe receive and discharge passengers and cargo, partly on account of the greater depth of water on the western side of the harbour and partly on account of the sheltered position of its numerous piers, the largest of which is an extension of the somewhat circuitous line of railway which connects this seaport with Melbourne. The stately vessels of the P. and O. and Orient Companies, of the Messageries Maritimes, and the Norddeutscher Lloyd are berthed at this pier. One of the sights of Williamstown is the Alfred Graving Dock, which is four hundred and fifty feet long, and is to be still farther extended in order to meet the requirements of modern shipping. It is faced with freestone, and its caisson, in the construction of which two hundred and thirty tons of ironwork were used, is pointed to with pride as a specimen of local manufacture. The first vessel to enter the dock was the "Nelson." From an obscure "fishing village," as it used to be slightingly designated, Williamstown has grown into a place of considerable importance an arsenal, a sea port and a railway terminus combined. Its business is mainly nautical its hotels have nautical signs, the contents of many of its shop-windows denote that the retail trade of the place is associated, more or less, with the provision of sea stores and objects that are associated with shipbuilding and the necessities of a long voyage; and the atmosphere is redolent of the ocean. Most of the men on the piers and in the streets have the fresh complexions of those who are habituated to feel the sea breeze and the salt spray beating on their bronzed faces, and they turn quick glances of the eye skyward, as is natural to persons who are closely observant of the weather. There is certainly a strong maritime element in the population, which becomes much less obvious, however, at noontide and at the close of the afternoon, for then the dockyard, railway workshops and the factories discharge a stream of artisans homeward bound for the mid-day or the evening meal, as the case may, be, and the streets are; resonant with the confused noise of rapid feet.
The Williamstown railway being connected at its Melbourne terminus with the north-eastern, northern, north-western and western lines, a very large proportion of the wool and wheat exported from the colony finds its way hither for shipment to Europe; so that, at the close of the harvest and of the shearing seasons in the agricultural and pastoral districts, when upwards of a million centals, of wheat and more than fifty million pounds weight of wool, have to be despatched to British or foreign ports, the two principal piers, of which there are five, are full of stir and movement. The business portion of the town fronts the harbour, and along the strand to the northward, numerous pretty private residences, environed with shrubberies, follow the shore line as far as Greenwich, a rising suburb situated at the entrance of the Yarra. On the south side of the peninsula covered by Williamstown, and bisected by the railway-which sends out two branches, the one terminating at the end of the Breakwater Pier and the other at the extremity of the Railway Pier is an esplanade with a public park, a recreation ground and an extensive Champ de Mars, permanently set apart for rifle ranges and military exercises.
Nothing can be more unprepossessing, not to say repulsive, than the approach to Melbourne by the river Yarra. Up to the point at which it receives the waters of the Saltwater River, the estuary gradually contracts; and here the stream is abruptly deflected to the east. It is so narrow that there is barely room for two vessels to pass each other, and the river, polluted by the drainage and sewage of the city and of half a dozen suburbs, is as offensive to the eye as to the sense of smell; while the malodorousness of the atmosphere is aggravated by the fumes from various noxious industries that have been established on its banks. These it is proposed to relegate to, a remote locality, and the great works which are being carried out under the direction of the Melbourne Harbour Trust, created in 1876, will eventually confer approaches upon the port worthy of the magnitude of its commerce. Upwards of one million and a quarter sterling has already been expended in widening and deepening the channel of the Yarra, in cutting a canal across Fishermans Bend, in improving the wharfage accommodation along the river near Flinders Street, and in operations directed to prevent that silting up of Hobsons Bay and of the river, which is asserted, upon good authority, to have been going on uninterruptedly for a number of years, past at a rate variously estimated at between two hundred and twenty-five thousand and five hundred thousand yards per annum. Twelve powerful dredges are at work, and one of these, the "Melbourne," is stated to take rank amongst the largest in the world. Simultaneous with these important undertakings, an extensive marsh, known as Batmans Swamp, is being drained by means of canals, and a large area of land reclaimed, so as to render it available for the expansion of the city westward. But, in any event, the prolongation of Flinders Street for another mile or two along the north bank of the Yarra is perfectly practicable under existing circumstances, and its accomplishment is merely a question of time.
The water-way to Melbourne, in all that regards its sea-borne traffic, terminates at the Falls Bridge, the name of which is derived from a rocky ledge formerly obstructing the navigation at this spot., but since removed. Under the administration of the Harbour Trust, the wharves have been extended in a westerly direction until they present a frontage of nearly two miles on each side of the Yarra, lined with timber, and studded at regular intervals with hawser-posts, so that quite a fleet of merchantmen can lay alongside and discharge cargo. On the north bank of the river, three lines of tramway, laid upon a broad plank road, are connected with the railway terminus in Spencer Street, and facilitate the transport of merchandise thither. Huge piles of dressed and undressed timber, to be employed, in the prolongation of the wharf, are stacked near the end of the embankment. A couple of hundred store cattle are being landed from a Queensland steamer, with much prodding of their broad flanks and great vociferation on the part of the sailors, and of the station hands who have been sent down to receive them; while half a dozen, stock-riders, armed with resonant whips, keep watch over the avenues to the wharf in, order to prevent the liberated and hungry oxen from making a dash at the green sward in the neighbouring marsh. Proceeding eastward, the pedestrian is reminded of the pine forests of Scandinavia, by the resinous odour of the planks, quartering and feather-boards, which have just been brought up from the holds, of vessels with the, names of such far-off ports as Stavanger, Lillesand and Christiania on their sterns. The sailors on board have the blue eyes, light hair, and ruddy complexion of true Norsemen, and any allusion to Ganile Norge causes a richer colour to come to their weather-beaten cheeks and a brighter light to flash from their eyes. To these vessels succeed others from Hamburg and Sunderland, and lighters filled with cargo from ships lying in the bay. The wharf for nearly half a mile is covered with iron rails, rods and bars, with boiler plates and piles of pig-iron, with hillocks of slates, coils of barbed fencing wire, huge packages of machinery, slabs of marble, heaps of gas-piping, crates and casks of glass and earthenware, kegs of nails, cases of drugs, hogsheads of ale in bulk, logs of cedar, cylinders of paint, tubs of white lead, and bales of general merchandise. Then comes a steam collier from Newcastle with a dozen lumpers, almost as black as negroes, handling the baskets which are being hauled from below with a celerity, and emptying them with a promptitude, suggestive of payment by results. Next to it is a steamer unloading oats and potatoes from Tasmania, and hard by another discharging mats of sugar from Queensland. Cranes and derricks keep up a, merry clatter, and an idle spectator of so much activity and laborious effort appears to be as much out of place as a professional jester at a funeral. It now becomes necessary to make a slight detour so as to circumambulate a basin containing fourteen or fifteen coasting vessels and small intercolonial craft closely packed together in this recess, and emptying trusses of the finer descriptions of sea-weed employed for packing purposes, logs of red gum that might, be mistaken for mahogany, and quantities of firewood, to which is still clinging the aromatic fragrance of the Tasmanian forests, from which they have been brought. Adjoining the basin, and in a line with Spencer Street, is the landing-stage of the steam ferry, and beyond it the wharf and spacious goods-shed, of the Australasian United Steam Navigation Company, with one of the fine vessels belonging to its fleet taking in passengers and cargo for the northern and eastern ports. The river begins to widen just at this point and the "Griper" is at work deepening its channel and dredging out material to be used for raising the level of low-lying lands formerly unwholesome and useless swamps, but to be covered at no distant date with warehouses and factories. At the Queens Ferry a steam launch is incessantly rushing to and fro across the river, and beyond the gangway the visitor proceeding eastward perceives a succession of coasting vessels moored to the wharf, and unloading the agricultural produce of the western districts, or receiving the supplies of merchandise which the inhabitants of its seaports obtain from the metropolis. Here, too, is the place of departure for the passenger steamers proceeding to Geelong, Portarlington, Belfast and Warrnambool, as well as of some of those which, at holiday seasons are laid on to make excursions round the bay.
On the opposite bank of the river, the visitor, following it up from the end of the wharf on that side, will observe that a large basin has been excavated, so as to double the width of the waterway at this point. Here timber-laden vessels are discharging their cargoes, and several acres of land in the rear are covered with symmetrical stacks of sawn and grooved pine, representing the spoil of many a devastated forest in Norway, Oregon and British Columbia. Adjoining, is a large area of what was waste swamp land not many years ago, but is now swarming with the foundries and workshops of coppersmiths and ships plumbers, engineers and boilermakers, and iron ship-builders; with wire and nail works, coalyards, sail-lofts and sawmills; and the whole neighbourhood resounds with the clang of hammers, the whirr of machinery, the panting of steam engines, the whiz of belting as it flies round the swiftly- revolving wheels, and with the hissing of the circular saws as their sharp teeth plough their way through logs of red gum and jarrah and scatter a shower of dust, like so much spray, around them. Two dry docks open out of the South Wharf above the basin, and between them lies the platform reserved for vessels unloading lime. Beyond the entrance to the second dock, is the landing stage of the steam ferry. The Adelaide steamers are berthed above it, and during the vintage season hillocks of cases containing grapes cumber the wharf. Then comes a large steamer about to take its departure for New Zealand, with luggage and cargo being rapidly hoisted on board, and passengers and their friends hurrying down in all manner of vehicles, public and private. Farther on lies the huge iron dredger of the Harbour Trust in close proximity to the ponderous steam derrick, armed with such vast yet docile power that a childs hand can call into active exercise latent forces equivalent to the aggregate strength of a herd of elephants. The wharf of the Tasmanian Steam Navigation Company, and that occupied by the Belfast and Koroit steamers, fill up the interval between the derrick and the Falls Bridge. The point of junction between the Queens Wharf and the city is the south-west portion of Flinders Street. This is, in fact, the riverside street, though lying back from it at a varying distance in consequence of the windings of the Yarra. At the Queens Wharf there is an open space fully three chains wide between the river and the street, forming a roomy mercantile piazza and giving superabundant space for any number of vehicles, and occasionally for stacking goods.click here to return to main page