Unearth Wyong Newsletter – Nov 2014

Published by Wyong District Museum & Historical Society
1 Cape Road, Wyong • PO Box 241, Wyong, 2259
Email: Info@alisonhomestead.com.au • Tel: 02 43521886

President: Greg Denning
Vice President: Liz Hogston
Secretary: Anita McCarthy
Committee Members: Alma Thompson, Pauline House, Chris Hodges

 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

We extend a warm welcome to all our new members and volunteers both at the Museum and the Men’s Shed.

As you can see above, new Executive Committee and Committee members have been elected. The President’s Report, Treasurer’s Report and Treasurer’s Report for the Men’s Shed were all presented at the AGM on 11th August. A copy of each report is available on request.


Late September Wyong Council accepted a tender for the reconstruction of the Homestead. The construction contract for the rebuild includes demolition, salvage, restoration works to the Alison Wing, a new building within the original footprint, civil works and site services including a new driveway, car parking, landscaping and lighting. We have been assured the design will maintain the Homestead’s cultural integrity. On Wednesday 19th November, the fences are going up and demolition will begin. It is anticipated that all demolition and excavation work will be completed before Christmas. During the next week or so we will have to move all the electrical equipment, i.e. phones, computers etc, over to the Slab Hut where we will be working during the construction process. We should therefore have a lot more information on the progress of the works by the time of our next Newsletter.

Alison Homestead Buildings_2015-02_0523

The Museum’s slab hut school house will be our centre of operations during the rebuild.


As advised in our last Newsletter, the Rotary Club of The Entrance Raffle Tickets are once again available for members to either buy or sell. As the Museum will receive from the Rotary Club the full value of all tickets, we hope to do well selling tickets, especially as this is one of our major fundraisers of the year and we need as many people as possible selling and buying tickets. Please contact Liz if you would like to purchase or sell tickets on our behalf. Could all sold tickets be return to us by the 20th January 2015. The Rotary Club is supplying all prizes which are as follows:

  • First Prize: An Open Order for $3,000 donated by Mingara (to be redeemed for travel at Flight Centre Bateau Bay)
  • Second Prize: Bed & Breakfast for two at Pullman Magenta Shores Resort
  • Third Prize: $150 Voucher from Gem Design Jewellers, The Entrance
  • Fourth Prize: $50 Voucher from Coles Supermarket, The Entrance

Don’t forget that we also still have plants available for sale, including Agapanthus, Hippiastrums, Bromeliads, Succulents, Canna Lillies, Frangipani (from original homestead stock) plus many other plant varieties as part of our ongoing fundraising efforts. Prices start at $2.50 and for multiple purchases prices are negotiable. If you are interested in purchasing any plants, do not hesitate to either visit us here at the Museum, or ring us for information.

Hippeastrum bulbs in full bloom. Commonly known as Amarylis.

Hippeastrum bulbs in full bloom. Commonly known as Amarylis.

We will also be running a Bunnings BBQ on the 7th February 2015. If anyone would like to donate their time for a couple of hours please contact Anita. Any assistance will be appreciated. The BBQ will run from 7.00am to 4.00pm.


Since demolition begins on the 19th November, we obviously cannot conduct any tours of the grounds. We hope to be back on track by the middle of next year. 


A big thank you to Susan Davis who donated several Conveyancing Papers dated 1914 and Agreement dated 1912, which were signed by various members of the Stinson family.

Donations of any old sheets, blankets or the like would be appreciated, as we need these to use as covers for large items currently being restored.

Men’s Shed


We all hope Roger is well and is recovering from his serious injury. He is being missed and everyone is looking forward to his return.
Wally has just finished a handmade, no nail, coffee table with dovetail joints. It is made of Jarrah and is French polished. It looks absolutely beautiful, a real work of art. He has also made a wooden tea light holder which he will show the men how to make.

Re-cycle Bikes

Don’t forget, if you have, or know someone who has, an old bicycle they would like to donate, it can be left at the gate at the Homestead for Kerry to restore and donate to various charities.

Historical Note

The following are extracts from the History Notes of Max Farley which he contributed to Valley Ventures (September 2014).

“Most Valley residents have angle-parked in Alison Road opposite the Post Office. A large photo etched on glass on the shop window shows William John ‘Dah’ Chapman on his horse…”

“Dah settled in Yarramalong Valley shortly after marrying Grace Cavanough at Lower Portland in 1869…”

Chapman & Sons Mercantile inAlison Street, Wyong, circa 1901.

Chapman & Sons General Store in Alison Road, Wyong, circa 1901.

“…Most would associate Dah with the large Chapman and Sons store in Alison Road which has now been mainly vacant for years. Beyond this, however, he founded the Dairy industry in Wyong by opening the Pioneer Dairy at South Tacoma in 1897 from which he sent raw milk each day to Sydney. He was intending to manufacture butter on a commercial basis. This led to his being central to the formation of the Wyong Co-operative Dairy Society (the “Butter Factory”) on 1907…”

“…One of Dah’s sons, Alfred “Fred” Chapman was “married in 1915 but had no children. He devoted much of his time to advancing the cause of local education. His wife, Ella, died in 1955 and Fred lived his later years alone and had few friends. When he died in 1963 he was very wealthy as a result of astute investments. He donated generously to charities, often anonymously. In his will he vested his estate in the “Chapman Trust” dedicated to support community bodies. In 1997 the Trust was valued at $11 million. Those which have benefited include Gosford High School, Gosford Primary School, Gosford Hospital, Red Cross, Salvation Army and Crippled Children.”


  1. If anyone is interested in writing a short reflection of their experiences growing up in Wyong Shire, including perhaps a bit of family and/or local history, I am sure this will interest many members. We can keep the information strictly for our records, or if permitted by you, we could publish some in our Newsletter (with or without your identity). It does not have to be long, just a paragraph or two will do. We have had no takers as yet, so come on and get those thinking caps on.
  2. I understand that I may have misnamed a couple of members of the “Rogue Gallery” in the last Newsletter. I apologise, if I have offended anyone, but I was only going on information available at the time. I will try to republish the photograph and names in the next Newsletter.
  3. Could any members who have not paid their current members’ fees please arrange for payment as they were due on the 1st July 2014.

We were recently saddened to hear of the passing of Dorothy, sister to Leone Frame and Bob and Shirley Trigg. We would all like to extend our condolences and sympathy to Leone, Bob, Shirley and their families during this difficult time

Christmas BBQ

We will be celebrating the end of the year with a lunch time BBQ on Tuesday the 16th December here at the homestead. All members are invited to join us with a $5 donation, payable on the day, to cover costs. Could you please let us know by the 9th/10th December if you wish to attend so that we know how many we will have to cater for.

All our volunteers at the Wyong Museum & Historical Society and The Men’s Shed would like to wish all our members and their families a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year

The world's first Christmas card, commissioned by Henry Cole in 1843 – the year Charles Dickens wrote 'A Christmas Carol'.

The world’s first Christmas card, commissioned by Henry Cole in 1843 – the same year Charles Dickens wrote ‘A Christmas Carol’.

Both the Museum and Men’s Shed will close on Tuesday 16th December and the Men’s Shed will reopen on the 12th January 2015 whilst the Museum will reopen on 13th January 2015.

Catch up with you next edition, cheers for now.

Chris Hodges (Writer & Editor)


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