People Of The Rialto | Real Life Hidden Stories | Melbourne's Heritage

People Of The Rialto

People Of The Rialto


Real life forgotten stories collected from years of previous tenants and businesses who once lived and worked in the Rialto building

People of the Rialto

A book of real life stories

“People of the Rialto”, a collection of real life forgotten stories, secrets and mysteries collected from years of previous tenants and businesses who once lived and worked in the Rialto building.

Be transported back to when the Rialto was first built in 1891 and immerse yourself in the stories of those who had once been apart of Melbourne’s famous Rialto building. Discover how the Rialto played a significant part in Melbourne’s growth and uncover the forgotten stories of those who once resided between these walls.

Beginning with the compelling story of Catherine H Thompson, also known as ‘The Female Vagabond of Melbourne’ then Peter Johns who supported the ‘The Rise of Melbourne’s First Hydraulic Lifts’ to ‘Rialto’s Saddest Tragedy’ of Samuel Meech.  Read about William Thwaites’ as the ‘Metropolitan Board of Works Mastermind’ to ‘The Cheese Factory’ owned by David Lavery. The chilling story of  ‘Rialto Lane’s Mysterious Visitor’ named George W Hudson, to Theodore Fink’s tale as ‘A Man of Many Talents’ and finish with William Pitt, ‘The Architect Behind The Façade’.

Stay tuned for series one, the forgotten stories of the People of The Rialto.

Series One - The Forgotten Stories

  • “The Female Vagabond of Melbourne”

    Miss Catherine Hay Thomson’s tale is impressive yet mysterious. An undercover investigative journalist who at night visited Melbourne brothels dressed as a man and during the day resided on level 4 of the Rialto building.

    Read more about the story of Rialto's “The Female Vagabond of Melbourne."

  • “The Rise of Melbourne’s First Hydraulic Lift”

    In the 1850's, Melbourne engineer Peter Johns gave rise to Melbourne’s first hydraulic lift in the Rialto. He then went on to install over 210 others and helped Melbourne reach architectural heights that were unimaginable in the past.

    Read more about the fascinating story of “The Rise of Melbourne’s First Hydraulic Lift."

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