Thursday, 28 August 2014

Restoration of 'Yovelton'.

Shellharbour Council recently completed more than $100,000 in upgrades to the heritage listed home 'Yovelton' in Albion Park Rail.

George Bonsor married Kezia Gillard in 1861 and farmed for many years at Peterborough (Shellharbour) and Croome.

In 1921, their son Edwin, and daughter, Ida Ann (Annie), purchased 189 acres on Lot 6 of the Oak Flats subdivision estate and built ' Yovelton', a lovely weatherboard farmhouse. ‘Yovelton’ was named after their mother's village, Yeovilton, in Somerset, England The silo on the property was built c.1930 to store silage for feeding cattle.

Edwin died in 1947 and Ida ran the farm until 1950, and then leased it until her death in 1968 aged 81 years.
Restoration works at 'Yovelton' August 2014.

Council staff inspecting restoration works at 'Yovelton' in August 2014.
The Bonser Family home
Yovelton c.1890
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries.

 
 
 


Tuesday, 5 August 2014

The Albion Park Rifles - Remembering our Anzacs

This week marks 100 years since the start of World War One. In this post we remember our local Anzacs.
 
In 1870, Captain Edward H Weston of Weston’s Meadows at Albion Park, together with a band of men from the Macquarie River joined the volunteer movement with forty men enrolling at a meeting at the Albion Park Hotel. A further twenty-three men from Shellharbour Village later joined the movement.
 
The Illawarra Light Horse Corps was supplemented by the formation of a reserve rifle corps and civilian rifle club. In 1892 Captain Weston and the Illawarra Cavalry resigned,  however the Corps was soon reformed and carried on through the years until the outbreak of World War One in 1914.
 
During this time, the Light Horse Company camped at Sydney Showground only 24 days after the war had been declared. The Corps at this time was led by local Dunmore resident Captain Colin Fuller.
 
In 1917, a further 250 Albion Park men went into camp with the Light Horse Company.
 
The first soldier to arrive home from war was Trooper Robert Parkinson who was wounded at Gallipolli in 1916, and on his arrival he received a soldier’s welcome when he stepped off the train. The station yard was full of horse drawn vehicles and there were even two motor cars, one in which he led a procession from the station to the Agricultural Hall at Albion Park.  A dinner was held in his honour and speeches were given by the Mayor, Headmaster, Station Manager, Post Master and Bank Manager.
 
During the Second World War the Light Horse carried out patrols, rifle drills and trained new horses from their camp at Oak Flats.

Albion Park Rifles in the early 1900s
Albion Park Rifles in the early 1900s
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

'Rosemont' farm

Rosemont farm on the old Princes Highway at Dunmore was the home of the James family.
 
Thomas James married Rachel Welbury Arnold in 1890. They lived for a time at 'Bravella', the home of Thomas' parents William and Elizabeth James. William, a stonemason, arrived in Australia in the 1850s. He settled in Shellharbour at Dunmore and built his home “Bravella”. He purchased breeding stock from local farmer Andrew McGill and established the James Family dairy herd. The James family was known for their kindness and generosity to others.
 
In 1909 Thomas built 'Rosemont' on 210 acres, just north of his parents’ farm.
 
Thomas' brother John built another neighbouring farm 'Kurrawong' just across the road.
 
Thomas and Rachel raised their family at 'Rosemont'. Three of their daughters Eva, Miriam and Beatrice James were Red Cross nurses during World War One. Thomas was an Alderman on Shellharbour Municipal Council for 12 years and Mayor for 5 years. He was secretary of the Illawarra Dairy Cattle Association for many years.
 
Upon his Aunt Ellen Arnol'd death in 1965, John Thomas James (son of Thomas and Rachel) inherited her property at Shellharbour Village including her hom 'Aronda' still in Mary Street today.

Rosemont farm on the old Princes Highway at Dunmore

Kurrawong Farm, Dunmore.
Tongarra Museum collection.

Bravella Farm, Dunmore.
Tongarra Museum Collection.


Monday, 23 June 2014

The 'Rangoon'

The Rangoon, one of the largest sailing ships to grace Shellharbour waters was wrecked in heavy seas off Rangoon/ Stack Island 22 March 1870.  She was built in 1853, 114 feet long.
 
Stormy seas and poor visibility confused the ships Captain who thought the entrance to Minnamurra River was the entrance to Kiama Harbour. Tragically the Rangoon sailed straight into Stack (Rangoon) Island and became stuck fast between two large rocks.

Captain Samuel Charles, the owner of a nearby Minnamurra property raised the alarm and all crew were rescued safety along with all their personal belongings. 
 
‘On Tuesday morning last, about ten o’clock….authentic intelligence confirming the report of a wreck at the mount of the Minnamurra was speedily brought to town by Captain Charles.  Early in the morning, that gentleman was preparing to ascertain the casualties of the storm on his estate, bounded by the coast for several miles when a message was brought to him to the effect that a vessel was wrecked on the rock island which divides the entrance to the Minnamurra River. He at once proceeded to the north-easter extremity of his estate, and   beheld at some four or five hundred yards distance the said spectacle of a fine barque, apparently of 300 or 400 tons burden, stranded on the rocks off the centre of the island, to seaward, and seven men ashore, some engaged repairing a boat, the remaining on other occupations.  A signal of distress was hoisted on the summit of the island, about one hundred feet above the level of the sea, but in such a manner that he, an old sailor, feared some life had been lost.  This fear happily proved groundless, for all hands, ten in number, were safe’.  (Kiama Independent  24 March 1870).
 
Captain Charles secured the service of the Illawarra Steam Navigation Company’s boat for the purpose of rescuing the men.  The boat arrived on Captain Charles' bullock-dray, and was launched into the river about three o’clock in the afternoon.  Captain William Wilson of Shellharbour was involved in the rescue of the crew. The Rangoon anchor now lies near the Ocean Beach Hotel at Shellharbour Village on land once owned by Captain Wilson.
 
The McCabe family home in Shellharbour Village was partly built of the wreckage recovered from the Rangoon shipwreck.




Stack Island, Minnamurra.
Shellharbour Images Shellharbour City Libraries.



Anchor of the Rangoon outside the Ocean Beach Hotel at Shellharbour Village.
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries.



The McCabe House at Shellharbour Village.
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries.
 



The McCabe House at Shellharbour Village.
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries.

 
 
 

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Ollie Wilson's House

This home was first owned by John Russell; a very wealthy man who gave a lot to the township of Albion Park. He was born in Scotland in 1834 and came to Australia with his parents and then five sisters in 1840.

When he was 26 he bought farms at Terry’s Meadows and Johnston’s Meadows (Albion Park) and when his father died he inherited the family estate at Croom. John donated land and money for the showground at Albion Park, churches, the Presbyterian Manse, Albion Park Courthouse and Presbyterian Cemetery. When his sister married George McDonald, he bought her Marshall Mount House, formerly the home of Henry and Sarah Osborne.

Before an official courthouse was established at Albion Park, John allowed a room in this house to be used as a Court of Petty Sessions.

This home as well as a blacksmiths shop that once stood next door to the Harris’ Garage on Tongarra Road at Albion Park was leased in the early 1900’s by Oliver Wilson, a local smithy.

Ollie Wilson operated the blacksmiths business for many years at Albion Park and members of the Wilson family who continued to live in the home told of digging up bits of metal in the backyard every time they dig a whole to put a plant in the garden.


Ollie Wilson's home at Albion Park c.1910
Tongarra Museum collection.


The house in 1985.
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries.


The house at it looks today.
Tongarra Museum collection.



Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Killalea - Now and Then

Had to share some great photos posted to the Killalea State Park Facebook Page by Killalea decendant Terry Killalea-Hore.

Terry used historic photographs provided to the Park by John Fraser whose family farmed the area for many years.

If you have a spare afternoon head down to Killalea State Park, it's a beautiful spot with some great history.


The site of the Fraser family farmhouse 'Seaview'. John Fraser planted a Moreton Bay fig tree to mark the spot in 2013.
Photographs - John Fraser & Terry Killalea-Hore.

The feeding shed at 'Seaview' Killalea an the foundations that remain today.
Photographs - John Fraser & Terry Killalea-Hore.
 
Dairy buildings at 'Seaview' Killalea and the view today.
Photographs - John Fraser & Terry Killalea-Hore.
  
 
 
Shellharbour Ccouncil Chambers with c.1870 Alderman standing out the front.
Edward Killalea is 3rd from right.
Photographs - Terry Killalea-Hore and Tongarra Museum, Albion Park.
 
The Farm, now and then.
Photographs -  John Fraser & Terry Killalea-Hore.





Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Tongarra Mine Memories

In 1893 William Brownlee of Tongarra started mining a coal seam on hisproperty.The Albion Park Butter Factory had opened inCalderwood Road and in 1894 William sold his coal to the factory for their machinery operations. William built a cottage of local sandstone for his family which still stands today.
 
The coal at Tongarra was regarded as being of the best quality and was put on par with Newcastle. William Brownlee was able to sell the coal to operate the machinery at the creamery.
 
After years of traveling to the mine atop the coal trucks, the miners demanded a bus. WJ Harris who ran a car hire service in town, put ona bus for them in 1945. Claude Harris (WJ Harris’ son) drove the 52 miners every morning from 1945-1960. It was a wild road up to the mine and there wasn’t any room to pass coal trucks coming down. Claude would often have to back the bus all the way down to the bottom of the bank to let the trucks pass. Claude would leave the bus up at the mine and ride a Norton motorbike back down again. He would ride back up to the mine on the bike to pick up the miners again. He would leave his motorbike in one of the mine tunnels overnight. He has fond recollections of the mine -
 
The Miners
Contract miners were paid by the amount of coal they produced. Miners worked in pairs with a small lamp on their cap to see what they were doing. Coal was dug out with picks and shovelled into wooden skips. A small pony would pull the skip along the rails to ‘The Flat’ where it was attached to a steel cable and pulled to the surface by a winch.
 
Billy Break
The miners would open the boiler and stick in the Billy to boil the water. When it was boiled they would add tea leaves and then put in back in the boiler to brew.
 
Blasting the Coal
The coal seam was only 4’6’’ high and the miners could not stand upright. The men would come out of the mine at the end of the day holding their backs. At times, coal was blasted out. Shots were fired into hard sections of the wall by drilling holes, ramming in the powder, hiding around the corner and then firing the shots with the detonator.
 
Smoko
Smoking was a little bit common in the mines in those days but it was very illegal. Then there’d be a scare! The management would be waiting for the miners to walk out of the pit and there would be a smoke and matches search.
 
Snakes
Snakes were up there everywhere. Bill Thomas used to travel on the bus to the mine and used to feed a pet diamond python in the bathroom every morning. Jack Brownlee used to catch snakes up there - black ones, brown ones and diamond snakes. The men would bring these home on the bus.
 
‘Tongarra Mine since 1945’ Claude Harris in ‘A Short History of Tongarra Mine’ The Tongarra Heritage Society, 1996

 
Tongarra Mine Site 1958.
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries.

Tongarra Mine Storeroom after a landslide c.1955.
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries.

Tongarra Mine Workers in the 1950s.
J Noon, O Timbs, C Dawes.
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries.
 


 

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Louis Mood - Blacksmith

Louis Mood arrived in Australia in 1855 with his seven year old brother Henry, his mother Margaret and his step-father Phillip Deitz. The family left Germany for a new life in Australia when Louis was just five years old.

When he was 24 he married Martha Tomlins at Broughton Village and they went on to have seven children; Margaret, Elizabeth, Louisa, Alice, William, Charles and Ethel.

Louis formed a partnership with his brother Henry and they opened a coach building business at Shellharbour Village which was reported as a ‘flourishing business employing twelve hands’. The brothers built all types of carriages, coaches, wagons, buggies and drays.

With the coming of the railway to Albion Park Rail in 1887, Louis moved his blacksmithing business over to Albion Park Rail where he operated from 1895 until his death in 1920. Moods complex in Tongarra Road was the largest of its type in Albion Park. Workers made slides, sulkies, carts, drays, wagon, and every other manner of vehicle. They also shod draught horses and ponies. All of the upholstering for the vehicles was done on the premises. Seats were made of leather and horse hair was used for the filling. All steel components for the coaches were forged in the anvil.

The factory mployed ten to twelve men who were kept busy repairing ploughs, making new horse shoes, pins for posts and gate hinges. Moods also made branding irons for livestock.

Louis served as an Alderman on Shellharbour Municipal Council and was Mayor from 1898 to 1901.

Louis died in 1920 and his wife Martha shortly after in 1922. Mood Park at Albion Park lies opposite the original site of Moods Blacksmiths Shop and was named in Louis’ honour in 1969.

‘150 Years of Shellharbour’, Dorothy Gillis, The Tongarra Heritage Society Inc, 2009.
 
LR Mood and Sons Coachbuilding and Wheelwright business at Albion Park, c.1900
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries

Thomas Timbs' coach made by LR Mood and Sons c.1914
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries
 

Darcy Fraser in a buggy built by LR Mood and Sons, c.1917
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries

Albion Park Show Committee 1903
Henry Fryer, Louis Mood and Mr Darrell
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries
 

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Tullimbar School

Tullimbar Public School and headmasters residence was built of local Yellow Rock sandstone by Mr. Schadel in 1881 at the top of Tullimbar Lane. 

The school officially opened 31st October 1881 and James Cawdell was the teacher until he retired in 1894. 


In the 1970s a bushfire swept through the Macquarie Valley and the schoolhouse was badly damaged. The headmasters residence is today a private home and the ruins of the schoolhouse next door still stand in the garden.



Tullimbar Headmasters Residence c.1980
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries
Tullimbar School, date unknown.
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries.
Tullimbar School children 1946.
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries.

Ruins of Tullimbar School c.1980
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries

Friday, 2 May 2014

Swansea

The Norris family who farmed at ‘Mount Wentworth’ on Croome Road at Albion Park from about the 1870’s originally owned the land that ‘Swansea’ was built on.

In the 1920’s David Timbs built ‘Swansea’ and in 1923 the Youll family purchased the home and continued to live there until 1965 when the farm and land was sold to developers. The Youll family were well known farmers in the area for generations and made large contributions to the Junior Farmers Club in Albion Park.

Shellharbour City Council later purchased the land for a sporting oval, and ‘Swansea’ remains in their ownership today. The silos on the opposite side of Croome Road mark the site of the dairy that was once part of the ‘Swansea’ farm.

Swansea, Croome Road, Albion Park 1921.
Shellharbour Images Shellharbour City Libraries

 
 Swansea, Croome Road, Albion Park 2003.
Tongarra Museum collection.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Remembering our Anzacs

In this post we remember some of our local Anzacs. Please join Warilla RSL Sub Branch tomorrow for the Dawn Service at Caroline Chisholm Park, Shellharbour Village.


Keith Wickham Allen
Keith Wickham Allen was the grandson of Walter Allen and Charlotte Dunster of Shellharbour.

Walter Allen established a general store and residence in Shellharbour Village in 1868. He operated the post office adjacent to the store until his death in 1876. Mrs. Charlotte Allen and members of the family continued the business for many years as Allen Bros. Clothing and other goods were often ordered by catalogue through the Post Office, and arrived by boat, train or mail.

The following article details Keith’s time at war. it is taken from the Goulburn Evening Penny Post 21 January 1919. Tongarra Museum has in its collection a wonderful photo album from the Allen family of Shellharbour. The following photos of Keith are from that album.


Augustus Milton East
Augustus (Gus) Milton East was born in 1893, the son of Alfred and Katie East of Shellharbour. During WWI he joined the 18th Battalion AIF to serve overseas. He was killed in action in France on the 19th May 1918 aged 25yrs.

Tongarra Museum holds a collection of significant items relating to Gus; the legacy he left behind includes war diaries, letters, mementos from overseas and a souvenir ‘wartime’ scarf bought for his sister Marjorie. These precious objects describe Augustus’ experience at war and the way in which his family dealt with his death.

What is particularly of note is the concern from Augustus for his family in Australia while he was fighting at war. His thoughts were always with his family and home, even as he was enduring the horrors of war. One of the letters Gus wrote was to the James girls of Dunmore.

These items were treasured by his family after his death and are now treasured by the museum and local community. They were donated to the museum by Gus’ niece.



The James Girls
Eva, Miriam and Beatrice James were Red Cross nurses during World War One. They were the daughters of Thomas and Rachel James who lived at Rosemont farm, Dunmore. Their grandfather, William James, was one of Shellharbour’s first European settlers, and the James family was known for their kindness and generosity to others.

William, a stonemason, arrived in Australia in the 1850s. He settled in Shellharbour at Dunmore and built his home “Bravella”. He purchased breeding stock from local farmer Andrew McGill and established the James Family dairy herd. William was an Alderman on the first Shellharbour Municipal Council in 1859 and served as Mayor 1870-1871.


Charles Vivian Ziems
Charles Vivian Ziems was a storekeeper at Albion Park and later Kiama. The Ziems family are well known in the Illawarra and have contributed greatly to the local community over many generations.

During his early life Mr Charles Vivian Ziems was a member of the Illawarra Lancers and held rank of Lieutenant. As a private he embarked from Sydney on board the RMS Morea in 1917 as part of the Camel Corps Reinforcements. He was 25 years old. He was fortunate to survive the war and returned to Australia July 1919 as sergeant.

His obituary in the Kiama Independent 22 August 1972 said of Mr Ziems -

Mr Ziems was born at Albion Park and was the son of the late Mr and Mrs Henry Charles and Sophia Ziems (nee Fryer). His father conducted a general store at Albion Park for many years and was later assisted by his son.

During his early life Mr Ziems was a member of the Illawarra Lancers and held rank of Lieutenant. In about 1910 he rode with the lancers then based in Kiama, to Canberra for the dedication of the site of one of the Houses of Parliament. The journey took about five days on horseback and the Lancers paraded before the then Prince of Wales, later King George V.

At the outbreak of WWI Mr Ziems was seconded by the Army to train recruits at Menangle. He wanted to fight overseas but Authorities ordered him to train recruits. Mr Ziems then resigned his commission with the Lancers and joined the AIF as a private. He served for three years in the Middle East and returned at the end of the war as a sergeant.

About two years after the war he opened a boot shop at Kiama in premises now included in the Grand Hotel. Later the store developed into a boot and clothing store which still traded under that name in 1975.

Mr Ziems was associated with many organisations in Kiama. He was treasurer of the School of Arts and also treasurer of Kiama RSL. He was a excellent cricketer and in his youth was member fo the Kiama Cricket Club. He was also a good golfer and member of the Kiama Golf Club when it re-established at Minnamurra. Mr Ziems sold tickets at local balls when they were a weekly event in Kiama.

Mr Ziems married late in life but his wife Edith died less than two years after they were married, about 20 years ago. He is survived by brothers Selwyn of Leura and Alan of Kiama. Ziems store was closed on the day of the funeral as a mark of respect.


Colonel Colin Dunmore Fuller
Colin Dunmore Fuller was born at Dunmore House in 1882, the eleventh child of George Laurence and Sarah Fuller. He attended school in Sydney at Shore College and Sydney Grammar School, eventually returning to Dunmore to help run his father’s estate.

Colin enlisted 21 July 1905 as Second Lieutenant 1st Australian Light Horse Royal NSW Lancers and was promoted to Captain in 1908. At the outbreak of World War One Captain Fuller was promoted to Major and was second in command of the 6th Light Horse 1st A.I.F. going ashore at Gallipoli in 1915. Colin was promoted to Lt. Col. and given full command of the regiment to 1918; he was wounded and spent some time in Cairo hospital before rejoining them.

Colonel Fuller was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (D.S.O) and at the end of the war he returned to Dunmore House and the family home. Through his suggestion, a memorial arch was erected in Kiama and officially dedicated 25 August 1925 by his eldest brother, George Warburton Fuller, then Premier of NSW.

Colin became, as his father before him, one of the leading figures in the Shellharbour community and was known throughout the district (especially in later years) as the ‘Old Colonel’. Like his father, Colin was very generous with money and anxious to help those around him. After a long battle with lung cancer, he died on 19 of September 1953.



Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Mrs Hurry

Sarah Denniss was a local Albion Park midwife. She married Lionel Hurry and they had one daughter Albertina. The Hurry family lived in a small home Vine Cottage at Albion Park

According to local identity Bert Weston, Mrs. Hurry was in looks and dress a replica of Queen Victoria and spent most of her time in her small cottage preparing and plaiting strands of cabbage tree palms into long flat lengths, which she then fashioned and stitched into cabbage tree hats. Many of the old timers in Albion Park wore nothing else.

Mrs. Hurry was a midwife and ‘ready to saddle forth and any time of day or night for an impending birth’. Bert Weston and his family of six brothers and sisters were all ‘introduced squalling to the light of day by Mrs. Hurry and for which dubious service she charged $2 per head.

According to Bert, ‘A family of seven for seven quid was cheap nation building.’

At the age of three, Albertina Hurry was present at the dedication of All Saints Church of England, Albion Park. She worshipped there all her life, and for many years was a Sunday school teacher. On her death, Albertina left her estate to the church. The Hurry Memorial Christian Centre, adjacent to All Saints Church, was built in honour of her generous bequest.
‘Albion Park Saga’, Bert Weston, The Tongarra Heritage Society, 1996

‘Albion Park Saga’, Bert Weston, The Tongarra Heritage Society, 1996.

Lionel, Sarah and Albertina Hurry
Lionel, Sarah and Albertine Hurry c.1920.
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries.


Lionel, Sarah & Albertina Hurry 1922

Lionel, Sarah and Albertina Hurry 1922.
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries.

'Vine Cottage', Albion Park
Vine Cottage, home of the Hurry family.
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries.





Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Illawarra Cooperative Central Dairy Factory

The Illawarra Cooperative Central Dairy Factory was built near the railway line at Albion Park Rail to assist local farmers in the butter trade. The factory had refrigeration that helped stop the milk from souring, and was built close to the railway line for the fast transportation of milk and butter to the Sydney markets. A railway siding was built on the eastern side of the factory providing easy access for loading trains with milk cans.

The ICCD opened for business 1 September 1899 with CW Wood as Manager, and was officially opened by Mrs Fraser who broke a bottle of milk in celebration on the 27 September 1899. Provisional Directors of the ICCD included John Fraser, MJ Hindmarsh, L Raison, CED Meares, J James, CW Craig, G Couch, and H Graham. The secretary was F Fredericks.

At its height, the factory manufactured 20 tons of butter and pasteurised 140,000 galleons of milk per week. The ICCD was one of the first industries to use electricity by installing the dairy’s own steam driven electricity generator in 1903.

In September 1925 alterations were made to the Butter Department, and other alterations made to the interior to comply with new laws at that time. The Illawarra Cooperative Central Dairy Factory building was further upgraded over the years with the addition of an underwater water tank with water pumped from Macquarie rivulet.

The ICCD The factory produced butter continuously for 86 years, firstly under the ICCD brand name of ‘Allowrie’ until 1955, when it was changed to ‘Warrilla’ a derivative of Illawarra.

The factory employed hundreds of locals families through many generations until its closure in 1985 almost 100 years after it first opened. Only eight dairy farms remain in Shellharbour City today and a far cry from the 120 farms that once supplied milk to the factory.

Information – The Tongarra Heritage Society Inc resources.


Milk Carts at the ICCD, 1920s
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries


Alan Dawes and Audrey Jones at the ICCD, 1950
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries


ICCD Factory, c.1950
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries


Tuesday, 1 April 2014

'Yovelton', The Bonsor family home

George Bonsor married Kezia Gillard in 1861 and farmed for many years at Peterborough (Shellharbour) and Croome.

In 1921, their son Edwin, and daughter, Ida Ann (Annie), purchased 189 acres on Lot 6 of the Oak Flats subdivision estate and built ' Yovelton', a lovely weatherboard farmhouse. ‘Yovelton’ was named after their mother's village, Yeovilton, in Somerset, England The silo on the property was built c.1930 to store silage for feeding cattle.

Edwin died in 1947 and Ida ran the farm until 1950, and then leased it until her death in 1968 aged 81 years.

The property was acquired by Shellharbour Council and renovated in 1984. The old home is now surrounded by a housing estate in Wilga Close, Albion Park Rail.

The Bonser Family home
Yovelton c.1890
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries.

'Yovelton', Albion Park Rail
 Yovelton 1981.
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries.
'Yovelton', Albion Park Rail
Yovelton 1980.
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Crestview, Albion Park.

John Hubert Plunkett Hobbs leased this residence in Terry Street, Albion Park, ‘Crestview’, from James Walker, when he moved to Albion Park about 1890. John was a chemist and druggist and he opened his shop in the northern front room of the building, set apart from the residence.

John’s wife, Emily Susan Hobbs purchased the property from James Walker in 1920.

Local identity Bert Weston wrote in his book 'Albion Park Saga' that Hobbs was the unofficial medicine man, often attending the sick in times of emergency, setting broken bones and extracting teeth.

Mr Hobbs died in 1926 and his wife Emily in 1938.

‘Crestview’ later became the home of Thelma and Ray O’Gorman.

Chemist shop and home of John Hobbs at Albion Park
'Crestview' in the 1920's. Hobbs' Chemist Shop was entered by the steps at the front.
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries.

Former home of Ray & Thelma O'Gorman, Albion Park
'Crestview' in the 1980's.
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries.

Thelma and Ray O'Gorman
Thelma and Ray O'Gorman at 'Crestview' in the 1950's.
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

The Martin Family

Robert Martin arrived in Australia from Ireland in 1838 when he was about eight years old and by the 1850s he was a digger at the Victorian goldfields. In 1853 he married Lily Ann Cochrane. Robert Martin built the ‘Settlers Arms’ hotel at Shellharbour in 1856.

The Martin’s faced several tragedies during the mid-19th Century. Robert Martin’s eldest daughter Isabella aged 14 years was drowned in 1868 when she attempted to get water from the well for washing. Mrs. Lily Martin noticed her daughter was missing about 9am. Mrs. Martin and Mr. Coughrane used a grappling hook to check the well and discovered her body.

Local school teacher Richard Hall also came to assist after being told by a student that Isabella had drowned. Once her body was secured, the party which by this time included Mr. Martin, drew her to the top. Isabella was carried to the house.

Her mouth was cleansed and her head raised. Friction was applied to various parts of her body and she was wrapped in blankets. Attempts to resuscitate Isabella for over 30 minutes failed.

Lily Martin died the following year in 1869, leaving six surviving children of their family of eleven.

The Martin’s Settlers Arms Inn was destroyed by fire at around three o’clock in the morning of 8 April 1872. The townsfolk evacuated all the family and an enquiry into the fire was held at the ‘Steam Packet Inn’ four days later. The district Coroner, Mr. H Connell could find not evidence how the fire started.
 
Settler's Arms Hotel, Shellharbour
 
Settlers Arms Hotel at Shellharbour c.1860
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries.
 
 
Article on the death of Isabella Martin
Illawarra Mercury 4 August 1868.