Thursday, 28 March 2013

Tongarra Museum's 25th Birthday!

Happy birthday to Tongarra Museum! Opened 25 years ago today. It is with thanks to the volunteers and staff who have worked tirelessly to discover, preserve and catalogue artefacts and documents from our area's past. Pictured is our Museum Curator Tamara Hynd with volunteers Kevin and Dorothy Gillis

Photo: Happy birthday to Tongarra Museum! Opened 25 years ago today. It is with thanks to the volunteers and staff who have worked tirelessly to discover, preserve and catalogue artefacts and documents from our area's past. Pictured is our Museum Curator Tamara Hynd with volunteers Kevin and Dorothy Gillis.


Thursday, 21 March 2013

Stockland Shellharbour Heritage Wall

Tongarra Museum assisted artist Iona Walsh and Stockland Shellharbour to develop a heritage interpretation wall for display in the redeveloped Stockland Shellharbour shopping centre.

The heritage wall features many old photographs of the area, maps, and oral histories.

Check it out next time you are up at Stockland Shellharbour. You may see some of your relatives on the wall!



Thursday, 14 March 2013

Stoney Creek, Croome

Croome was originally a grant of 1200 acres to Isabella Croker (nee Reddall) on 21 March 1839. 


Ebenezer Russell, a Scotsman, purchased the property for five shillings (50c) an acre in 1840. Ebenezer cleared the land and planted wheat and potatoes. He later turned to dairying when the wheat failed due to rust disease.

Eventually, the land was converted into tenant farms and leased out to farmers and the little community became known as Stoney Creek.

Ebenezer kept lot 10 as the family farm, which was eventually inherited by his son John, who became one of the most prosperous men in the district.

The original home, wheat mill and farm buildings still remain to this day.

Many pioneering families lived in the Stoney Creek community including the Russell’s, Hamilton’s, Roarty’s, Badans’, Condon’s and McGill’s.



Ebenezer Russell's original home at Croome

The stables on Russell's original farm, Croome

The dairy on Russell's original farm, Croome



Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Oak Flats Tornado

Kiama and Jamberoo were recently hit by several tornados that destroyed many homes and terrified residents. This event has not been the first for the region. In 1972 at the same time of year,  a tornado ripped through Oak Flats flattening three homes and damaging 30 more.

Tornado rips through town
Syndey Morning Herald 18 February 1972

Monday, 4 March 2013

The McDonald's of Marshall Mount

Samuel McDonald came to the Shellharbour district in 1860. He married Mary Hobson and purchased a lot of land on the newly divided Terry Hughes Estate on the eastern side of Terry Street at Albion Park. Samuel and Mary had 12 children. Their eldest child, George, was 13 years old when the family moved to Albion Park.

Eleven years later George married Elizabeth Russell, daughter of pioneer, Ebenezer Russell of Croom. George and Elizabeth lived on a farm along the Illawarra Highway for a time before moving to Marshall Mount in 1896.  In 1890, Henry Osborne’s Marshall Mount Estate was subdivided and put up for sale at public auction. George and Elizabeth McDonald, along with Elizabeth’s brother John, purchased the lot including 146 acres, Marshall Mount House and cottage.

The McDonalds moved into their new home in 1896 and members of the family still live on the property today. Elizabeth and George McDonald’s grandson George McDonald was the third generation of McDonalds to live at Marshall Mount House. His grandchildren are the fifth generation to live on the property. George did much to ensure the preservation of the history of Shellharbour.

In the words of author Jim Derbyshire, ‘We are all fortunate to know George McDonald. He is a household name. He is synonymous with Marshall Mount House, Old Time Dancing and community involvement. George always wears a smile and had a heart bigger than Phar Lap’.

Marshall Mount House c.1990
Shellharbour Images Shellharbour City Libraries

George and Elizabeth McDonald c.1880
Shellharbour Images Shellharbour City Libraries