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06 - Hostel Milligan Pearl Villa

Hostel Milligan Pearl Villa


May 21: Joseph Charles Clarkson and his brother Henry James Clarkson are declared bankrupt in the Supreme Court. The Chief Justice accepts the surrender of their Pinjarra estate for the benefit of their creditors.


June 16: An auction takes place on the Pinjarra property, once belonging to the Clarkson brothers. This will see a range of lots being sold off including:

  • Horses

  • Cows

  • Calves

  • Pips

  • Trap and harness

  • Quantity of general stores

  • 15,000-20,000 burnt bricks

  • Tools

  • Mahogany boards

  • A fiddle and bow


Joseph Charles Clarkson in company with Matt Price, travel to King Sound, where Derby is located today and it’s reported they narrowly escape being massacred. They stay in the area for some three weeks on board a schooner with five divers from Cossack, reaping the waters of no less than 28 tons of shell and an unknown quantity of pearls. At the time, a ton of shells could be sold for £90.


March 3: Three Chinese men are charged with “deserting from the service of their employer, Mr Joseph Clarkson”. This occurred in Cossack last year on January 19. Two of the men were sentenced to one months’ imprisonment and the third was “discharged upon his consenting to return to his employment”.


April 24: The land that would become the site of Pearl Villa is auctioned off by Courthope & Co at the Freemason’s Hotel. All four lots are divided into 50 x 99 feet.

December 2021

17 - Hostel Milligan Pearl Villa


Pearl Villa is constructed by Joseph Clarkson, from the profits he’d made from his time in the pearl industry and his builder half-brother Jesse E Hammond. It’s a two-storey brick and iron residence, built in the style of Victorian Regency.



November 15: Joseph Clarkson is declared a lunatic who is unable to manage his life or his affairs, resulting in a committew being given power to sell his property. The decision is made upon completion of a hearing in front of the Acting Chief Justice in the Supreme Court.


November 28: Joseph Clarkson dies aged 41.




Joseph Clarkson’s property is transferred to George Randall and William Pearse, who are executors of his will and both members of the Legislative Assembly.


August 10: The property is transferred to his sister Hanna’s five daughters a few months later.




September 21: Pearl Villa is transferred to Virginia Augusta Marion Levinson, who is married into the family of jewellers and opticians who have a premises at 713 Hay Street.


September 28: Construction of two storey additions onto the original Pearl Villa is completed, converting it into commercial premises. The design is prepared by James Douglas Sanders for owner Virginia Levinson and approval is given by the City of Perth.

          Hostel Milligan opens a modern and well equipped hostel with single and double rooms available at moderate prices.

January 2023

06 - Hostel Milligan Pearl Villa


November 12: An inquest is held today into the death of Clement George Mason, who had suffered from diabetes for the past 20 years and had been noticeably depressed in the time leading to his self-administered death from poison.


October 14: Fifty year old sharebroker Clement George Mason is found dead in his room from poisoning, as evidenced from something in his room. He was found just before eight o’clock by the housemate, who’d entered his room.



February 8: Hostel Milligan is under new management.




August: Hostel Milligan sells for £1,950.


April 4: Alice Jessie Clara Ford and her husband George Stewart Ford are awarded £500 in damages by Judge Dwyer in the Supreme Court, after taking legal action for fraudulent misrepresentation which had stemmed from their purchase of Hostel Milligan from the previous owners, Olive Mena Topliss and William Henry Topliss. The plaintiffs believed they were induced to purchase the hostel after being made to believe that the profits of the hostel was falsely higher and that expenditure were lower than later proven.

February 2023

Permission was given to photograph the inside of Hostel Milligan, as demolition was coming to an end, for all the other buildings on the site. I wished I'd asked how long I could stay in there as I rushed around like a jack rabbit for some 10 minutes, worried I was only allowed in for a short time.


The site was immediately handed back to Fragrance Group and permission was unable to be granted again to photograph it in depth.

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