Wyong Pioneers Monthly Meetings

Wyong District Pioneers Association monthly meetings are held 10 times each year (on the third Saturday of each month) at Wyong Homestead Museum, 1 Cape Road Wyong. Meetings start at 10:00 am, are run on a semi-formal manner over morning tea and everyone present is welcome to share items of interest to the group.

Pioneer Monthly Meeting Dates for 2016 (3rd Saturday of each month):

  • Saturday 20 February + Centenary Photo Launch
  • Saturday 19 March
  • Saturday 16 April
  • Saturday 21 May
  • Saturday 18 June
  • Saturday 16 July
  • Saturday 20 August
  • Saturday 17 September
  • Saturday 15 October
  • Saturday 19 November + Christmas Party

Membership to the Pioneers Association is free, but all are paid members of the Wyong District Museum and Historical Society. The WDPA welcomes all those who are interested in the history of our great district.

The group is focusing on several new projects in 2016 and beyond, including rebuilding our archives and assisting the Wyong District Museum and Historical Society with volunteer work and fundraising. Whether you are a descendant of a pioneer or a new settler to the district, we invite you to join us in celebrating our rich local heritage.

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Unearth Wyong Newsletter – July 2015

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

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

Construction

Construction has moved along quite quickly recently and the builders, Collaborative Construction Solutions, are pretty much on schedule, even with all the recent rain. This still gives us a bit of time to set up our displays and exhibits for our grand re-opening, scheduled for the long weekend in October.

A blend of the old and the new on the Alison Homestead rebuild

A blend of the old and the new on the Alison Homestead rebuild.

Alison Homestead Build_2015-06_004

The breezeway and kitchen will be a terrific space to hold our meetings and events.

Fundraising

We will be holding another fundraising BBQ at Bunnings Tuggerah on Saturday 31 October 2015. Again it will be ‘all hands on deck’, and if our last effort is anything to go by, it will be a very enjoyable and successful day.

Don’t forget we 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 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.

Plants for sale for as little at $2.50 each. Multiple purchases are negotiable.

Plants for sale for as little at $2.50 each. Multiple purchases are negotiable.

Tours

We will be celebrating our Museum grand re-opening on the October long weekend in conjunction with the Wyong District Pioneers Association which is celebrating their centenary. We anticipate that we will be able to conduct tours, bookings etc after 6 October 2015.

Donations

Edward Stinson’s piano has been kindly donated to the Museum and, very fittingly, was delivered by bullock dray. We have also received a beautiful “Duchess” Empire Ware tea set circa 1930 from Elizabeth McDonald who also donated a piano circa 1911, with piano seat and sheet music.

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Requests

We would appreciate a donation of any old materials or sheets to be used as drop covers over the artefacts being prepared for display. Our gardeners would also appreciate donations of black plastic for the plant nursery.

Alison Homestead Men’s Shed

alison_homestead_mens_shed_red

Wally at the  Men’s Shed, a cabinetmaker by trade, is hoping to get permission from Council to build our cabinets for the Alison and Stinson Rooms at the homestead. The men have also restored a beautiful tallboy cabinet, which had been donated by Jenny and Peter Cooper. Jenny and Peter came along to look at the restored cabinet and were very pleased with the results.

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

Re-cycle Bikes

Historical Note

Ezekiel John (Yorkie) Waters

Jack (Yorkie) Waters, was from one of the local Yarramalong pioneer families. He was a timber-getter and an expert in various woods, having vast experience in cutting wood. “Yorkie,” as he was known, won the championship at the Sydney Exhibition in 1908 by cutting a railway sleeper in 4.5 minutes.

Ezekiel John Waters enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in 1916. He served in the 30th Battalion during WW1 and saw action in France. Due to serious injuries during the war, he was later unfit for hard work.

Yorkie Waters working n one of his violins.

Ezekiel John (Yorkie) Waters working on one of his violins.

Yorkie started collecting various pieces of wood and began making violins, his first was made of swampy oak. He made other violins out of woods such as silky oak, white beech, sassafras and honey suckle. Jack also made his own polishing varnish which he mixed from four different species of gum. Many of the violins made by Yorkie were named Coo-ee, except for one that his daughter Jillian Eugenia Peterson [nee Waters] owned, which is called Sadie.

Yorkie often played free for the patrons of Peter’s Cafe at Wyong and also played at many of the local bush dances. After his death Yorkie’s own violin was kept by friends for many years and then generously donated to our museum.

Miraculously the violin is a rare surviver of the fire which destroyed much of museum collection in December 2011. “Yorkie’s Coo-ee violin” will soon be on display in the re-built Alison Homestead Museum to be appreciated by everyone.

Cooee Violin_20111207

Former WDM&HS President Phil Morley holding Yorkie Waters’ Coo-ee violin in front of the burnt-out homestead in December 2011.

If anyone has any questions about the local area or the Museum specifically, please email us and we will endeavour to answer your questions in our next newsletter.

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Notice of Annual General Meeting

NOTICE is hereby given to all members of Wyong District Museum & Historical Society that the next Annual General Meeting will be held at Alison Homestead,1 Cape Road, Wyong, on Saturday 8 August, 2015 at 11:00 am.

Nominations are invited for election of Committee Members. Completed nomination Forms should be received by the Secretary no later than seven (7) days before the meeting. The positions vacant will be:

  • President
  • Vice-President
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Three General Members

Nomination forms are available by contacting Wyong District Museum & Historical Society office • Email: Info@alisonhomestead.com.au • Tel: 02 43521886. Please note only fully paid-up members are eligible to nominate, or be nominated for a position and be eligible to vote at the meeting.

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Catch up with you next edition, cheers for now.

Chris Hodges (Writer & Editor)

Unearth Wyong Newsletter – Feb 2015

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

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

We would also like to advise that Pauline House is resigning as Treasurer and will be handing over to Michelle.

We also hope all our members and volunteers had a very happy Christmas and New Year. The Christmas BBQ was also a great success, with many volunteers and members attending. It was a lovely warm day and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. For the volunteers, catching up with the members was wonderful. Also Darren Webber presented Greg with a cheque for a grant which was approved for a replacement office.

Construction

As you will be able to see from the following photographs, we have finally started with our reconstruction. All demolition was completed prior to Christmas and since then we have gone ahead in leaps and bounds. The slab has been laid and the frame work is up. The frame for the roof is currently being constructed. All the necessary trees have been removed and the timber retaining walls have been constructed as well as the bulk excavation for the new car park. Everything is finally on track.

Alison Homestead Demo_2014-12_028

The site is cleared and the historic chimneys are stabilised.

Alison Homestead Build_2015-02_006

The new slab is set and the roof trusses are put up.

Fundraising

As advised in our last Newsletter, the Rotary Club of The Entrance Raffle Tickets were 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 sold, this is one of our major fundraisers of the year. We managed to sell $650 in tickets so we can expect a cheque from them in the near future.
The results of the raffle were as follows:

  • First Prize: An Open Order for $3,000 donated by Mingara (to be redeemed for travel at Flight Centre Bateau Bay) – was won by Erica Gordon Ticket No. 10825
  • Second Prize: Bed & Breakfast for two at Pullman Magenta Shores Resort – was won by Kay Swancott Ticket No. 15040
  • Third Prize: $150 Voucher from Gem Design Jewellers, The Entrance – was won by Liz Howaryluk Ticket No. 18156
  • Fourth Prize: $50 Voucher from Coles Supermarket, The Entrance – was won by Terry Rule Ticket No. 24895

Don’t forget that we also still have plants available for sale, including Agapanthus, Hippeastrums, Bromeliads, Succulents, Canna Lillys, 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.

Alison Homestead Heritage Frangapani cuttings for sale.

Alison Homestead Heritage Frangipani cuttings for sale.

The Bunnings BBQ on Saturday 7th February 2015 was A HUGH SUCCESS. $1,400 profit for the day. Thanks to everyone who made it such a great success with extra thanks to Ellie who started the ball rolling and made all the initial inquiries with Bunnings. We were so successful Liz had to make four runs to the shops to top up on ingredients. We had plenty of volunteers come and go for either part of the day and some even stayed for the whole day. The volunteers said they had a wonderful day, and Bunnings were very happy with the way things were conducted.

WDMHS_Bunnings Sausage Sizzle_21015-02-07

The fundraising BBQ at Bunnings was very successful.

Tours

Since demolition began on the 19th November 2014, we obviously cannot conduct any tours of the grounds. We hope to be back on track after October long weekend.
A few of the ladies had a day trip to Newcastle Museum late last year to see how items were set out, but this museum was much larger than the Homestead and we needed ideas for our museum. Earlier this year the ladies had a day trip to Morpeth Museum which is similar in scale to our museum. The President of the Morpeth Museum showed the ladies through and this was a much more interesting day and the ladies had many questions for the President, who was happy to answer them and make a few suggestions of her own. We may try to do a similar trip to another small Museum later in the year. 

Donations

We would like to give a big thank you to all our donors. We have received a very old child’s cot from M. Cummings, and various items from Judith Palmer which included a bedspread which had been used back in the 1920’s. We also received a wooden wash board approximately 75 years old from Egle in Holland.

Men’s Shed

alison_homestead_mens_shed_gold

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 been busy turning timber eggs on the beaut new variable speed wood lathe the Men’s Shed now has. The Men’s Shed has been requested by Wyong RSL Sub-Branch to make 11 easels to hold brass plaques which the sub-branch will be donating to 11 local public schools on ANZAC Day. The Men’s Shed has also received a $500 donation from the Lake Haven Daylight Lodge to be used for materials and equipment.

The Men’s Shed has also been busy at Jilliby Public School where they constructed a large cement car track for the children to use for their cars, dinkies and other toys. Also included in this project at Jilliby Public School, is construction of 2 model garages for the car track.

Alison Homestead Mens Shed_Jilliby School_2015-02-28_001

Tobi helps the Alison Homestead Men’s Shed team mark out the racetrack at Jilliby Public School.

 

Alison Homestead Mens Shed_Jilliby School_2015-02-28_005

Formwork complete our team lay and level the concrete.

 

Alison Homestead Mens Shed_Jilliby School_2015-02-28_008

The concrete has time to set and with a bit of landscaping the track will be ready for the Kindy kids.

 

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.

Invitation

We have received on behalf of The Australian War Memorial and Maitland Regional Museum, an invitation for our members to attend an exhibition:

A Camera on Gallipoli

to be held in
Brough House, Church Street, Maitland
from Friday 17th April to Friday 8th May,
Thursdays to Sundays 10.00am – 3.00pm
(other days by appointment) (not open ANZAC DAY).

Bookings essential.

This exhibition showcases a unique series of photographs, taken on Gallipoli, and forms an enduring record of the Australian experience of the campaign.

Historical Note

The following extract on the Valley and Wyong Churches has been contributed by Max Farley:

“Before purpose-built churches were erected, it was common in rural areas for religious services to be held by visiting clergymen in private homes or other suitable locations. Frequently in new settlements, an Inn was the first building for community use. This was just as frequently followed by a church. Matthew Woodbury and his wife Eliza O’Neill met both needs when they built a home in 1866 at the corner of Old Maitland and Yarramalong Roads. It became a popular stopover for persons travelling between Gosford, the Yarramalong and Dooralong Valleys and north to the Hunter district. Matthew obtained a licence and their home became an Inn. The Woodbury family had earlier converted to Catholicism and the Inn was used monthly for Roman Catholic services. “As to Wyong itself, there were no purpose-built churches until the first decade of the 1900s. These were the St. James Anglican Church in Byron St (1906); a Methodist Church at Baker Lane/Rankin St (1907); a Presbyterian Church at Margaret St opposite Hargraves St (c1907) and St Cecilias Catholic Church at Byron St (1908).”

St Cecelias Catholic Church, Wyong, circa 1910

St Cecilias Catholic Church, Wyong, circa 1910.

All the volunteers here at the Museum and the Men’s Shed wish all our members and their families a happy and safe Easter.

Vintage Easter Card-2

Vintage card, circa 1920s. Happy Easter!

 

Catch up with you next edition, cheers for now.

Chris Hodges (Writer & Editor)

Do you have a local history story to tell?

Story to Tell.indd

To acknowledge the pioneers and settlers of the Central Coast during our Pioneers Centenary year, our members are gathering snippets and stories of our men, women and children from the Wyong District.

We are looking for stories about local families – pioneers, settlers, local soldiers and those who returned from WW1 and settled locally.

We want to hear your memories of growing up on the Central Coast, as well as copies of letters, postcards, photos and any other related stories.

Wyong District Pioneers Logo_Colour

Wyong District Pioneers Association
Alison Homestead, 1 Cape Road, Wyong 2259
PO Box 241, Wyong NSW 2259

Email: wyong.pioneers@gmail.com

Gold in the Wollombi Hills?

gold_panning_prospecter

This news report of a new goldfield in the Wollomi Hills west of Wyong, was published just six months after gold was first discovered in New South Wales.

1851-08-15_Empire_Gold Wollombi Hills

Gold found in the Wollomi Hills. Source: The Empire, Sydney, 15 August 1851

On February 12, 1851, Edward Hammond Hargraves (1816–1891) discovered gold near Bathurst, at Lewis Ponds Creek. Hargraves had recently returned from the California Gold Rush where he had been unsuccessful in finding the mother load; but he realised that some areas of New South Wales had similar geological features to the goldfields of California. This inspired him to return to Australia to prove gold could be found here.

Edward Hargraves was accompanied on his prospecting expedition by John Hardman Lister and James Tom, he showed them the tricks of the trade and how to pan for gold. When they found five flecks of gold, Hargraves went to Sydney alone and left the others to continue the search. He announced his discovery and received the £10,000 reward for being the first person to find gold and claim it. He was also appointed Commissioner for Crown Land for which the Victorian Government paid him £5,000. He only claimed £2,381 before the funds were frozen after James Tom protested. An enquiry was held in 1853 which upheld that Hargraves was the first to discover a goldfield. Shortly before his death in 1891 a second enquiry found that John Lister and James Tom were responsible for discovering the first goldfield.

Edward Hammond Hargraves (1816-1891)

Edward Hammond Hargraves (1816-1891)

The following news report from the South Australian Register, Wednesday 3 March 1852, gives a progress report on Edward Hargraves’ travels as Commissioner of Crown Lands, and reports his opinion that Wollombi would never prove to be a prospector’s paradise.

We are happy to announce that Mr. Hargraves yesterday reached Maitland on his way to the various auriferous localities disclosed to the northward. As the result of Mr. Hargraves’s prospecting tour southward has been made public by the Government, we need not now advert to it. Mr. Hargraves left Sydney a few days since for his northern tour, overland, provided with two men, pack horses, &c.; and occupying a day or two around Brisbane Water, he ascertained that the Wyong Creek (flowing from the Wollombi Hills to the sea, and on which some time since it was reported gold had been found) was not an auriferous country, and that any gold found there must have been taken there first.

We believe Mr. H. leaves Maitland this morning for the Paterson, from whence he will make his way over towards the Company’s Stations, Port Stephens, and thence will take the ‘Bridle-Path’ to the New England tableland. Then, selecting Tamworth, or some other convenient place as head-quarters, he will visit the various auriferous localities disclosed to the Mate Maitland Gold Reward Committee, and if which the Government was informed by that Committee, and will also visit the Hanging Rock Diggings, or other new auriferous localities in that quarter, of which authentic information is furnished. Then, proceeding further north, he will make his way to the various auriferous localities stated to be found towards Moreton Bay.

The object of this prospecting tour is, we believe, not so much to discover new fields, as to ascertain and verify the character and extent of those disclosed by various individuals with a view to report thereon to the Government, who are desirous as early as possible of verifying and making public the existence of any profitabe gold fields that may be found in this or any other portion of the colony. Bearing this in mind, it will be seen that Mr. Hargraves’s movements must be necessarily somewhat erratic and uncertain, as at any part of this tour disclosures may be made in the northern districts that may modify the arrangements he has now in view.”

Hargraves was never a gold miner and instead made money from writing and lecturing about the Australian goldfields. He wrote a book about his discovery titled Australia and its Goldfields: a historical sketch of the Australian colonies from the earliest times to the present day with a particular account of the recent gold discoveries., published in 1855.

In 1856, Hargraves purchased 640 acres of land at Noraville and Budgewoi on the Central Coast of New South Wales. He built a large homestead and stockyards, and his property produced most of the food required for his family, his servants and his numerous guests. In 1877, Hargraves was granted a pension of £250 per year by the Government of New South Wales, which he received until his death.

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Even if, in Edward Hargraves’ opinion, the Wollomi Hills are not “auriferous country” – I think I may invest in a second-hand metal detector and do a spot of prospecting next time I am in the area. You never know!

SOURCES: Trove Digital Newspaper Archive; Australian Dictionary of Biography; C. Swancott, The Brisbane Water Story, vol 4; A Pictorial History of the Wyong Shire, Volume 1-5, Edward Stinson. Panning for Gold illustration, Susan Buck.

Wyong Wood Chopping

A meeting of local woodchoppers of the Wyong and Yarramalong district, c1900.

A meeting of local wood choppers of the Wyong and Yarramalong district, circa 1900.

It was like “knocking off work to carry bricks”! The timber cutters would come down from the mountains to Wyong in their hundreds on Saturdays to get supplies and to relax. Many (but not all) would go to the hotels and drink pretty heavily; and they would take plenty of liquor back with them to their camps in the hills to last them for the coming week. It was good business for the hotel keepers.

Wood chopping became a popular sport on Saturday afternoons in hotel yards, or in paddocks, and later at the Warner Sports Ground in Wyong after it was opened in 1907.

The Referree, 14 October 1903

Woodchopping contest at Yarramalong. The Referee, 14 October 1914.

Woodchopping contest at Yarramalong. The Referee, 14 October 1914.

Gosford Times, 15 December 1905

The Axeman’s Club looks forward to giving next Saturday one of the best wood chopping contents that have yet been seen in the district, which is saying a lot considering the successful events we have witnessed during the last year or two. The number of entries totals 60 – a record surely in itself. All the champions are coming so the event will be sure to attract a “bumper house”. Now, Mr Charlton, M.P. has promised to be present, and other representative men are also expected. The squaring contest will probably be one of the best that has ever taken place. The conditions are – the best two sleepers, the time limit being twenty minutes. The winner’s sleepers are to be sent by the Australian Timber Export Co. Ltd. to the Indian Exhibition. All competitors are to be admitted to the ground free. The club has now eighty members, and has prospects which must be very gratifying to those who have worked so hard during the few months it has been in existence.

Singleton Argus, 25 August 1906

1906-08-25_Singleton Argus_Woodchip Singleton Show

Notice of the handicaps for the wood chopping at the 1906 Singleton Show. Many of the names listed are Wyong and Yarramalong Valley identities. Singleton Argus, 25 August 1906.

Wood chopping became a popular event at regional shows. There was often good prize money to be had and our “gun” timber cutters were willing to travel as far afield as Newcastle, Maitland, Sydney and Bathurst to compete.

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 SOURCES: A Pictorial History of the Wyong Shire, Volume 1-5, Edward Stinson; Trove Digital Newspaper Archive.

Pioneering Personalities: James “Jimmy” Waters (1834­‐1903)

These history notes are contributed to Valley Ventures by one of our members, Max Farley.

James “Jimmy” Waters, destined to be known as “The King of Yarramalong”, was a 21 year-old when he arrived in the Yarramalong Valley in 1856. He was with his parents, Ezekiel and Jane, together with his five surviving siblings. He had been born in Ireland and was the eldest. Ezekiel, a “stone cutter” had come to the colony from Northern Ireland in 1838 as a free settler. He was to work on building Darlinghurst Gaol. It seems government money temporarily ran out and Ezekiel was given a grant of land at Hexham. The frequency of floods in the Hunter caused him to come to Yarramalong with his family.

James very soon acquired land in the Valley in the vicinity of 304 Ravensdale Road. He called it Ravensdale Farm after a pretty valley of that name near the Waters’ home in Northern Ireland.

He appears to have been an imaginative and innovative person with a lively mind and a wide range of interests. As a farmer, he introduced “Planters Friend”, a sugar cane from which he made molasses. To crush it, he made a small mill with a wooden roller and powered by one horse. Another innovation was growing arrowroot, which he exhibited internationally and won a First Class Medal in 1876 at the Philadelphia Exhibition. In 1880 he expanded significantly by opening the first steam-powered sawmill in the district, the nearest other being at Ourimbah. It was initially at Sandy Flat below the Cemetery. He specialised in cutting “felloes” for which he designed a “Dished Circular Saw”.

James was by no means restricted to rural activities. He took great interest in the political and economic affairs of the day and presided over or actively participated in public meetings at which issues of the day were debated. Such controversial questions as Free Trade, Protectionism, Land Tax and Federating the State colonies were on the agendas. On these and other matters he was a frequent writer of “letters to the Editor”. Religion was a topic on which he had firm opinions. Though his father was a staunch Presbyterian, James himself was always ready to argue in favour of his own atheism.

Community questions received his attention. When the route of the coming railway was being considered he was active in stirring up action to have it travel through Gosford rather than Windsor as was being proposed. At a public meeting in Gosford in 1878 James “in a very able speech, MOVED: That the most direct route, and the one possessing the most general benefits, is from Newcastle, passing through Brisbane Water, and terminating on the north shore of Port Jackson”. Having in mind the bad state of Yarramalong Road, particularly in wet conditions, it was important to the settlers that the Bumble Hill Road be improved. James took part in a deputation to the Government seeking funds for this purpose. On a different topic altogether it was James who seconded a motion at the public meeting where it was resolved to open a subscription list to support the Irish Famine Relief Fund.

James was a Magistrate, a member of the Public School Board of Education for the sub-district Wyong and a Trustee of the Yarramalong General Cemetery.

There were no doctors in the Valley and James provided basic medical aid. Not only did he pull teeth and stitch cuts – he also set broken limbs. It is told that when a daughter, Stella, was badly scalded he took skin from other of his children and grafted it on to her.

He was a genial soul who enjoyed spending time with his contemporaries. An item in the Gosford Times recorded that in later life “After tea the irrepressible ‘Jimmy’ Waters makes his appearance on the scene (and) at once strikes up a controversy. He is never happy unless he is arguing the point, and he will converse with mysterious wisdom on any subject from the affinity of atoms to the immortality of the soul”. The “scene” referred to was the Yarramalong Inn, owned by his younger brother William “Billy” Waters. It was burnt down in 1917 and the publican’s son, Cleve Waters, built Linga Longa Guest House on the site. The building remains today.

James Waters and his wife Pricilla Woodbury. Photo source: Steve Waters.

James Waters and his second wife Pricilla Woodbury. Photo source: Steve Waters.

Though it is painful to record information about a person who in all other ways would be seen as an outstanding individual no matter what the century, it is necessary to do so to present a rounded picture. Social values and the expectations of women, and men too, in the 1800s were vastly different from those of today. And reliable birth control was not available. 21st century eyes would be aghast to know he fathered 17 children from two wives. He married the 16 year-old Barbara Thompson in 1854 and they had 9 children in the following 18 years. She died in 1872 in childbirth bearing the ninth. Her age was 34. He then married 22 year-old Priscilla Woodbury in 1881 and they had eight children in the next 18 years. James died in 1903 and Priscilla outlived him by 53 years.

To conclude on a positive note: at the 1929 Annual Pioneers Dinner, the 97 year old William Pescud said that “he knew all the pioneers of the district and that in his opinion no kindlier man than the late James Waters ever lived.”

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 SOURCES: Max Farley; A Pictorial History of the Wyong Shire, Volume 1-5, Edward Stinson.