Wednesday, 26 March 2014

The First (European) Landholders

The First European Land Holders [1]

 The first Land Grants or Purchases occurred at ‘Karabar’ after the development of both the Great Western Road and Railway, the enactment of the Robertson Land Acts and the subsequent Volunteer Regulation Force Act of 1867.

 This last Act is significant because it is possible that some 50 acre blocks may have been granted under it at Karabar. This reflected an imperialist tradition that went back to the Roman Empire, where loyal, long-serving soldiers were rewarded for their services with land. One of the great advantages possessed by the British Empire was that it had acquired, by whatever means, large tracts of land that could be transferred at the whim of the Crown under the aegis of ‘Terra Nullius’.

 When the time came for ‘the Crown’ (Britain) to disengage from its colonies, new locally drafted troops were required to fill the gap of colonial defence. One of the incentives for colonial volunteers was the promise of land…

New South Wales was granted self-government in 1855 and, while British forces continued to garrison New South Wales for another 15 years, it was decided in London that the Australian colonies would need to take responsibility for their own defence. In 1854, upon the outbreak of the Crimean War, a local voluntary force, the 1st Regiment of New South Wales Rifles, was raised.

A second volunteer regiment was raised in 1860, after the withdrawal of British forces was confirmed. This force consisted of one troop of mounted rifles, three batteries of artillery, and twenty companies of infantry. Two years later more artillery batteries were added. The force was reorganised by the Volunteer Regulation Act of 1867.

The withdrawal of British forces from New South Wales was completed in 1871, and local forces assumed control of the defence of New South Wales. The forces of New South Wales were restructured during the 1890s, with new units formed and others disbanded or merged. With the enactment of Australian federation on 1 January 1901, all Australian colonial forces, including New South Wales, were automatically transferred to Commonwealth control.

 Under the Volunteer Force Regulation Act officers and volunteers were entitled after a period of five years continuous service, to a free grant of 50 acres of Crown Land. 

The insignia of the 'Royal NSW Regiment', the first volunteer defence force struck in the colony. Soldiers who enlisted and served five years could be rewarded with a Crown Land Grant of fifty acres under the Volunteer Regulation Force Act of 1867

Many of the men who received such grants sold their land as soon as they were able in order to make some money.  Others were able to increase their holdings by purchasing adjacent lands.  

 We do know the first Crown land grants in the Karabar (Warrimoo) area were accorded to:

·       Frederick Somers: 31 October 1879 & 1880

·       Alexander Finlayson and William Cope: 1881
                     ·       William Dickson: 2 September 1882

·       William Deane: 14 April 1892[3]

 At this stage it is difficult to ascertain just how these first five Crown Land recipients got  their grants—most likely it would have been from some form of ‘service’ to the Crown, the British or colonial government of New South Wales. There has long been the traditional wisdom that Warrimoo has always held some connection to military service and soldier settlement.

The NSW Regiment marches down Gresham Street Sydney prior to departure to the Sudan in 1885--this was after the initial 'Karabar' grants were made, but such foreign imperialist wars may have stimulated the need to supply incentives to enlist, such as Land Grants

However, the exact connection is difficult to trace. Of the above candidates, one of the most likely to have been a British Serviceman was the first named: Frederick Pane Hawkins Somers…

Frederick Somers 1836-1889

It is estimated that Frederick Somers was born in 1836 somewhere in England. In the Census of 1841 a “John Somers--Yeoman” was registered at Glastonbury with a son, Frederick. In the following, 1851 Census a Frederick Somers was counted as a 15 year-old “Scholar-Pupil” under the tutelage of “Henry Howard”, the “Head” of a school in Acacia Road, Marylebone (London).[4]

 Possibly Frederick had been sent to London for a formal education—as a small country farmer/landholder his father may have felt this was the best chance for his son to build a future.

 From 1851 to 1869 there is a hiatus in the records of Fred’s life, because in 1869 he appeared in Sydney, getting married. In the interim a very important event had occurred: the Crimean War against Tsarist Russia. It is quite feasible that Frederick Somers had joined the British army as a young (educated) officer and fought in that war, after which he may have decided to emigrate to Australia to start a new and prosperous life, though his Land Grant did not occur for some time yet.

The Pub Owner

 Whatever the cause of his migration, it would seem that Fred had settled in Sydney long enough to woo and marry a midwife by the name of “Annie Maria Bluck” (this surname sometimes transforming to “Black” or “Pollack”) in 1869.[5] For a while during this early part of his marriage, he became something of an investment speculator, stumping up funds for shares in the ‘Victoria Reef Gold Mining Company’ of Adelong, but forfeiting those shares in 1873 for “…non payment of calls due…”[6]

 Nonetheless the marriage was an advantageous match for Somers, because the Bluck family owned a pub in Crown Street, Surry Hills, called, of all things, “Bluck’s Hotel”, which Fred’s father-in-law, James Bluck—who may have been ill and dying--, bestowed upon him in 1874.[7] Fred’s management of the hotel proved to be rocky at the outset for he was hauled before the courts in the same year for allowing the “playing of cards” on the premises and fined 10 shillings plus costs.[8]

 Surry Hills in the 1870’s was a pretty rough working class neighbourhood but it did not deter Fred Somers from expansive ambition. In 1876 he applied for a licence to run “billiards and bagatelles” in the hotel.[9]

 Meanwhile his wife, Annie Maria, was not a well woman. She gave birth to a healthy daughter, Caroline Maria Hawkins Somers, in 1872, but then four years later, in 1876 her second child, Daisy Fredericka Hawkins Somers, only survived for a couple of months.[10] The midwife mother may well have been distraught by this family tragedy, or she may have been weakened physically by her labours, for a little over a year later, in November of 1877, she herself died at the age of 28 years.

 Annie Maria’s death did not deter Fred Somers from running in the Sydney City Council elections held in December of the same year. He was soundly trounced by 355 votes to 50, which makes one wonder why he bothered to run at all.[11]

A close-up of one of the earliest maps of 'Karabar', which, you will note, is spelt with an 'R' in this case. Fred Somers' blocks flank that of William Pinhey, with Edward Reading's abutting to the South. Somers also came to hold blocks on the northern side of Warrimoo.

Real Estate Agent

 By now a pattern was emerging, not only of an ambitious and opportunistic capitalist, but one who was unabashedly litigious—he would go to court over the slightest injury, and was a bloodhound in the quest for personal justice, especially relating to money.

 As well, now that his wife was dead, Fred Somers’ interests were extending elsewhere and his connections were becoming more powerful. In an 1878 court case he teamed up with a certain James Augustin Cunneen, a major ‘Land Agent’ as they were termed at this time, and a Member of the NSW Parliament, to prosecute a civil case against one ‘Michael Ward’, a Free Selector who had forfeited his five selections near Deniliquin because he had allegedly failed to abide by the Act.

 Ward sought help from Somers and Cunneen, who had promised to take his case to the Minister for Lands, which they did do, and which resulted in Ward regaining most of his land. However, the dispute centred around the amount owed to Somers and Cunneen: was it the one hundred pounds that Ward had already paid, or the two hundred pounds that the two plaintiffs had charged was the verbal contract? In the event…

 His Honour summed up, greatly deprecating that such a state of things should exist as a member of Parliament being at the same time a land agent, that being a combination which no right-minded person could approve; yet as it was not contrary to law, the plaintiffs were not on that account to fail.  If the jury believed that the defendant had agreed to give 200 pounds for the revocation of the forfeitures, which without doubt had been revoked, the plaintiffs were entitled to succeed.  The only question was contract or no contract, and that altogether depended on the credibility they would give to the evidence of either side.

Without retiring, the jury returned a verdict for the plaintiffs, with 100 pounds damages.[12]

 Now, by 1879, Somers was being listed in ‘Sands Directories’ as a ‘Land Agent’ of ‘Perouse Street, Randwick’, not the Licensee of Bluck’s Hotel, Crown Street Surry Hills. He had acquired a reputation as a ruthless businessman and a determined land purchaser, so that when he targeted an opponent he generally got his way…

The Karabar (Warrimoo) Land Grants

 In 1879 Frederick Somers was in pursuit of a career in Real Estate. In July of that year the Government Gazette announced that Somers had “two petitions presented as to certain claims or demands which he deems himself to have against the government…”[13]

Fred Somers took his case for land acquisition here, the NSW Parliament in Macquarie Street, and the Minister for Lands, the Hon. James Hoskins
What were these “…claims and demands”? Was Frederick Somers asserting some claim to land owing him from military service on behalf of the Empire? Had he performed some other service or land deal, for example on the Lachlan River, for which he was owed? Did he have something over the Secretary for Lands, the Hon. James Hoskins, which was politically embarrassing?

 Whatever the reason, it is a wondrous coincidence that Frederick Pane Hawkins Somers received a 50 acre Crown Land Grant in October of 1879, the first in this particular part of the Parish of Magdala in the County of Cook, right next to the newly completed railway line and a soon-to-be-constructed platform upon it. It was the first Land Grant at Karabar.

 Next year, further ‘…tenders for a run of Crown Lands at Corrabagul Creek, in the District of Lachlan’ were served on the government. He won them all, and received yet another 50 acres at Karabar for his trouble—the future was indeed accumulating for Mr. Fred Somers.[14]

Successful Investor

The 1880’s proved to see an even more rapid rise for the humble English yeoman’s son. After the death of his mother-in-law, Mrs Eliza Jane Bluck, in 1880, he married the sister of James Cunneen’s wife, Elizabeth. His new bride was Mary Ann Hudson and she came from a wealthy family based in Windsor.[15] Henceforward Fred would maintain an abiding interest in areas west of Sydney, and he continued to gather up land whenever or wherever it was available.

Somers had three children by this second marriage; Frederick Hawkins Henry Hudson Somers (1883); Mary Hudson Somers (1885); and Charles Etherdell Hudson Somers (1888).[16]

 In 1887 the Somers family moved to an even bigger mansion, ‘Ferndale’, on the border of Randwick and Coogee.[17] The Somers name appeared again, several times, in various court matters, one even involving a criminal case where horses and buggies were stolen from the family property.

Fred Somers must have toured around his holdings in the 'Mountains and elsewhere to investment properties on the fringes of Sydney. There is evidence of his owning several horses and carriages such as the ones here.

There is some evidence to suggest that by the end of the 1880’s Frederick Somers’ run of success was petering out. Some of his valuable belongings were put up for auction, for example.[18] The boom of previous years was fading and the costs of holding land were outweighing the benefits—the depression of the 1890’s was looming.

 Suddenly, on the 13th September 1889, he was dead. Cause of death was not specified. His body was removed from his home, Ferndale, on Coogee Bay Road, to the Funeral Depot at Redfern and thence by train to Windsor cemetery for burial.[19] He was 53 years of age. His youngest son was only one year old.

 He did not live to profit from the resale of his Karabar properties. Presumably they were disposed in the ensuing years, during a downturn in the market, for the liquidation and division of his estate among his heirs. Most likely the purchaser was Arthur Rickard, another Real Estate Agent of emerging note…

Edward Reading (1838-1922)

 Edward Reading came to possess a 50 acre block to the south of those held by Frederick Somers and William Pinhey. His grant covered what was to become Florabella Street and parts of The Mall. To summarise Edward’s life, it is probably most apt to draw upon his published Obituary…

At the age of 84 years, Mr. Edward Reading of Warwick, Edgecliff Road, Woollahra, passed away yesterday.

The son of the late Edward Grant Reading, Edward Reading was born in Warwickshire in 1838. He came to Australia in 1866 and commenced practice as a Dental Surgeon, being one of the earliest dentists to practice in Sydney. For many years, the rooms were in Phillip Street, but he later moved to Castlereagh Street, near Hunter street, next to the old Tattersall’s Horse Bazaar. For many years the leading dentist of Sydney, Mr. Reading retired a few years ago.

 He displayed a keen interest in golf, and was one of the first members of the Australian Golf Club at Kensington, and in those days, golf used to be played in what is now Centennial Park. Mr. Reading was also a member of the Union Club, but retired some years ago.

 Mr. Reading married Caroline Waddell, daughter of the late Reverend Abraham Waddell. He leaves five sons and one daughter. Mrs. Reading died in April of last year. Four of the sons are in Australia, and another is in the south island of New Zealand. Miss Reading married Doctor Howard Mummery, and is now living in England. [20]

Mr. Reading’s sons became leading figures in Dental Education and the development of Dentistry in Sydney and Australia. His wife’s Obituary (she died a year earlier than Edward) reads as follows…

 The death occurred on Wednesday night of Mrs. Caroline Mary Reading, wife of Mr. Edward Reading, who, prior to his retirement, was one of the earliest dentists practising in Sydney.

Mrs. Reading, who was 79 years of age, was born at Long Buckley Northamptonshire, and came to Australia with her husband in 1867, three years after their marriage. She was naturally of a benevolent nature and possessed a kindly disposition. These induced her to devote as much as she could to assisting the poor and the needy. She was very active some years ago in city mission work, and also took an interest in the Boys Brigade. As a young woman she was interested in various charitable movements, but most of her practical work was performed for the City Mission and the Boys Brigade when these institutions were in their infancy.

 Mrs. Reading was a regular attendant at the Jersey Road Congregational Church. Of late years she had necessarily been prevented from taking an active interest in social and public affairs. About two months ago she became ill, and for a time her condition was regarded as serious. She rallied again, and it appeared she would recover, but on Wednesday she suffered from heart seizure and died at 5.30pm.

Of her six surviving children, Dr. Richard Fairfax Reading, Professor of Dental Surgery at Sydney University, is her eldest. The other sons are: Claude Hill Reading, Managing Director of the British Australasian Tobacco Company and one of the Managing Directors of the British Tobacco Company of Australasia Ltd.; Phillip Burdett Reading, practising as a dental surgeon in Macquarie Street; Arthur Edward Reading, practising as a dental surgeon at Armidale, New South Wales; and Frank Ernest Reading, a merchant in Wellington, New Zealand. The one surviving daughter is Mrs. Minnie Isabel Mummery, wife of Dr. Mummery who, after retiring from the Royal Navy, started a practice in Australia, but afterwards went to England.

 A short service will be held at the Jersey-Road Congregational Church at a quarter to ten this morning, and the funeral will leave the church for the South Head cemetery at about 10 am. [21]

 These Death Notices combined, give us a golden insight into the roles and manners of the Australian ruling class of the latter nineteenth century, and the positions of those who now assumed ownership of the rugged acres around ‘Platform Karabar’.

Edmund Edmonds (Thomas) Smith[22]

 Land holder of two blocks to the North West of Fred Somers' and Edward Reading's, still on the southern side of the line, and covering most of today's bushland between Warrimoo and Valley Heights. This gentleman held an important position in a shipping and coal merchants’ firm called ‘Wm Howard Smith and Sons’. He was one of the sons. This may be relevant because a certain developer of later years, Arthur Rickard, was a director of a shipping company also.

William Hamnett Pinhey (1848-1948)[23]

A Carefully Structured Upbringing

It is highly unlikely that William Hamnett Pinhey ever served in any military force, but it is clear from the outset he was a pillar of the fledgling Sydney community. He was born a ‘currency lad’, which meant he did not migrate from Britain, but was born at Newcastle (NSW), in 1848, although his grandfather, Dr. William Townley Pinhey, had served in the Royal Navy.

'Bidura', in Glebe Point Road, Glebe, was the impressive home of the Fitzstubbs' family--their daughter, Laura, would become William H. Pinhey's wife after he had served his education under the Rev. John Pendrill, just down the road.
He was first publicly mentioned when 14 years of age, in 1862. Being a candidate for a ‘proper’ upbringing, William was placed under the tutelage of the Reverend John Pendrill of Glebe Point, who engaged his students in constructive Christian activities such as charitable works. It would appear that hardships were being suffered by workers in nearby districts—“Manufacturing Districts”-- which led the boys of   Rev. Pendrill’s class to raise funds for their assistance. It was William Pinhey who led the contribution with a donation of ten shillings.[24] Clearly William was being groomed for a lifetime in philanthropy and finance.

In the following year, at the age of fifteen, William appeared as the “Chairman” of a Glebe branch of supporters for the very upright and conservative politician, the Honorable Mr. Thomas Ware Smart, Esq.[25]

William H. Pinhey as a young man.
William H. Pinhey was growing up just as his father intended: everything was mapped out for him, including his investments. He appears next as a co-director of the ‘King of Denmark Gold Mining Company’, along with his father, William Towney Pinhey, and  six others. He was an auditor and investor, already, at the ripe old age of 24.

 At some point in the next few years William accepted a position as Manager of the Commercial Banking Company (C.B.C.) in Tamworth, which he held until 1883. It was during this time that he came across the 50 acre block at Karabar.

Pinhey’s Block at Karabar/Richardson and Wrench

It would appear unlikely that W.H. Pinhey received a simple Crown “grant” at this time—after all, he was a person who clearly had the wherewithal to purchase such a block without too much trouble. More probably he had been tipped off about a possible platform at Karabar, and that a block nearby might be a very canny investment. In short, his motive was more than likely speculation on development.

Laura Fitzstubbs, banker's daughter and future wife of William H. Pinhey, aged four and a half.
At the time of Richardson and Wrench’s release of the ‘Karabar Estate’—April 1882—Pinhey had been married to the very respectable Laura A. Pinhey (nee Fitzstubbs) for six years and had fathered two children, Eustace and Rosina, while living and working at the Commercial Bank in Tamworth.[26]

The bride, soon-to-be Mrs Laura Pinhey in 1876, in her classically Victorian wedding gown, and...

...her husband. The couple moved to Tamworth for William H. to take up the Manager's position at the Commercial Bank, and for Laura to raise a family. They had three children, Eustace, Rosina and Roydon.

At this stage it is unclear whether Pinhey had sold his 50 acres to Richardson and Wrench, or whether they were simply agents operating on his behalf. Whatever the case, it would seem that the deal was something of a watershed in William’s life, because he subsequently resigned his position as Bank Manager, (receiving, as his parting gift, “a purse containing 100 sovereigns” for his service to the Bank and his retirement from it), then opened up a “Land Agent’s” office in King Street Sydney the following year (1883). The advertisement in the Sydney Morning Herald offered loans for purchase of “city or suburban property”.[27] Perhaps now William Hamnett Pinhey was seeking something more than the stifling banking straightjacket prescribed by his father?

Was it possible for a man in Pinhey’s position to operate as both ‘Land Agent’ and Bank employee? One would have to think not, so we must therefore conclude that William’s foray into real estate was less than successful, for in 1887 he was back in the Commercial Bank’s headquarters in Sydney as one of its “Inspectors”.[28]

W. H. Pinhey’s Subsequent Roller-Coaster Life: 1890-1948

 Whatever the success of William Pinhey’s Karabar subdivision, he now confronted the great depression and bank collapses of the 1890’s. The CBC, despite being subsidiary to a larger English home office, must still have suffered extreme pressure as banks all around fell like ninepins. Employees like William might well have had to tighten their belts…

In 1903 an ad. proclaiming a “clean out” sale at the Pinheys home pointed to the family moving out of their residence in Strathfield to go elsewhere. Was it a step up or a step down?[29]

Notwithstanding, the Pinheys must have been lifted by the anticipated success of their only daughter, Rosina, or Rosini, who by 1906 was gaining accolades as a performing artiste:

Miss Rosini Pinhey, the young Sydney singer, who made a successful debut at the Opera House in Ventimialia, Italy, in Verdi's opera, "La Traviata" this week, is the only daughter of Mr. W. H. Pinhey, one of the inspectors of the Commercial Banking Company, Sydney.  She went to Paris about four years ago to study under Madame Marchesi, who predicted a great future for her. Early this year Miss Pinhey proceeded to Italy, and received instruction from Caruso, at Florence. The young lady's professional name (says  the Melbourne "Herald") is Rosine Sydna.[30]

A youthful Rosina Pinhey

The famous 'Madame Marchesi', operatic instructress extraordinaire. She accepted the Pinheys' daughter, Rosina, as a young chanteuse and showed her the glories of Europe.
Interesting that Rosina’s chosen ‘professional’ name was “Sydna”, a pretty clear salute to Melbourne’s rising star, Nellie Melba. The fame of the latter, however, came to shine far more brightly over time than her Sydney contemporary. Could the Pinheys have been dismayed by this?

Sydney's answer to 'Dame Nellie Melba': 'Rosine Sydna' (Pinhey), dressed as a character from the opera 'Carmen'. Rosine toured Europe, returned to Australia, then emigrated to the USA, where her career appears to have petered out.
During the Great War (1914-1918) a truly dreadful tragedy befell the family…

Roydon Hoadley Pinhey, youngest son of the Pinheys, when he left for Rockhampton to build his own career.



Private Roy Pinhey, younger son of W. H. Pinhey, of the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney, has been officially reported as missing since July 29 last, in France.  He served also at Gallipoli, and was in the evacuation. Prior to enlisting he was connected with the Rockhampton branch of Dalgety and Company.[31]

Roydon Hoadley in the uniform of the AIF, prior to embarkation to Gallipoli. Roydon survived the Dardanelles Campaign against the Turks, but was blown to bits in France, at Pozieres, in 1916.

The Pinheys youngest son (the third child of the family), Roydon Hoadley Pinhey, who struck out to Queensland to make his own career at Rockhampton, had enlisted in the enthusiasm of the early months of the war, and who had survived Gallipoli, met his end (“disappeared”) on the battlefield of Pozieres in France. This must have been a staggering blow to William Pinhey: his structured life was not supposed to encompass this.

William H. Pinhey photographed in later life, 'taking tea' in the garden. Does his expression betray the trials and tribulations of his life? In the end he was without all his children, as Eustace died in service in London in 1945. William lived to 100 years of age and died in 1948.
 After the war William appears to have again left the C.B.C. and taken a position as Factory Manager in a modern Dairy Processing works at the head of the Manning River, near Taree.[32] In 1927 he lost his younger brother, John, who had remained loyal to the bank throughout his life, but who had apparently paid the price of a stressful career.[33]

 To culminate a topsy-turvy working life, Pinhey was obliged to auction off investment land at Blacktown after the collapse of the Real Estate market during the Great Depression.[34] It was a fire-sale and probably signaled the end of his financial career. By now (1932), he was 84 years of age, and had earnt his place in the sun. He died in 1948, a life that had spanned 100 years.

'Chatswood', the Pinhey family home in Manly, which they presumably occupied after moving from Strathfield. The massive size of this Victorian gem is proportioned by the boy seen outside the front doorway.  

1882—Release of the ‘Karabar Estate’[35]

As previously mentioned, in 1882 the Real Estate firm of Richardson and Wrench, one of the largest in Sydney at the time, released a brand new sub-division at ‘Karabar’, where a railway platform and waiting-shed had already been constructed. Most likely, the company was operating as agent for Mr. William H. Pinhey, seeking to make a ‘killing’ from the sale of some 127 blocks at a price of about 10-20 pounds each.

At this time, most of the other ‘Mountains ‘stations’ had already been settled. Springwood was a thriving ‘well-to-do’ stopover with a substantial shopping centre,  banks, post-office and hotels, and with some relatively large rural properties about. ‘Blue Mountain’ (Lawson) was an important railway depot and home to ? railway workers. Each of Katoomba, Blackheath and Mount Victoria held their own claims for exotic ‘Mountain-climbing’ weekend tourism. Thus, ‘Karabar’ aimed to be a shorter, newer, more accessible and less expensive Mountains Retreat.

At the time of the 'Karabar Estate' (later 'Warrimoo') subdivision release, Springwood was already a thriving, well-to-do township of the Lower Mountains, with a smattering of primary industries around it, and with a steady stream of visitors passing through--from a sketchbook by Mountains artist, Jo Booker
Whether or not the developers were entirely clear as to the object of their offering is not certain. Maybe that would become its problem. Was it to be predominantly a ‘weekender’ outpost, offering swift train transport to and from, but with ‘roughing it’ little cabins for temporary stays only, or was it rather an affordable chance to settle and build sturdy homesteads for long-term family residence?

Map of the first 'Karabar Estate' subdivision of 1882. Note that the 'Platform' ('station') is to the west of The Avenue, and that two gates allow the Great Western Highway to cross the railway

Examining the subdivision map, you will notice ‘Karabar’ platform is directly at the end of The Avenue. There is a ‘gate’ where the Great Western Highway crosses the railway, presumably opened by a gatekeeper living nearby. There were several such crossings between Warrimoo and Faulconbridge.
You would also note that The Boulevarde is in a straight non-parallel line to The Avenue, and that Victoria and Albert Streets run for two blocks, like Arthur Street does today, not one. All this was to change when Arthur Rickard took over the subdivision.

 In the meantime ‘Karabar Estate’ withered on the vine. It is uncertain how many blocks were sold, but the evidence points to ‘not many’. In many respects the release could not have come at a worse time. For the next five years, NSW would experience terrible drought, which in turn may well have brought on bushfire in the Lower Mountains. Already the ‘Boom Years’ of the post gold-rush era were becoming flakey and uncertain. International markets were faltering. The loss of confidence that was to create the major depression of the 1890’s was beginning to take root and in December of 1898, the Karabar Platform was closed down due to ‘lack of patronage’.
It seemed that this particular speculative township was going to be short-lived. Perhaps it would revert to bushland, although there is evidence to suggest that this very bushland held a valuable resource…


[1] RICHARDSON, E. and MATTHEW, K, Warrimoo History Project, 2010—this whole section was researched and written by Evelyn Richardson and Kate Matthew. Their references will be duplicated below as continuous footnotes.
[3] RICHARDSON, E., and MATTHEW, K., op. cit. Power Point Presentation to John Wycliffe, Slide 3
[5] Ibid.
[6] SMH, Thursday 24 April 1873, p.12 (NLA)
[7] SMH, Saturday 27 June 1874, p.5 (NLA)
[8] SMH Thursday 26 November 1874, p7 (NLA)
[9] SMH, Saturday 27 June 1874, p.5 (NLA)
[10]RICHARDSON, E., and MATTHEW, K., op. cit.
[11] SMH Friday 14 December 1877, p.7 (NLA)
[12] The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser, Tuesday 19 February 1878, p.3 (NLA)
[13] SMH, Saturday 12 July 1879, p.5 (NLA)
[14] SMH, Friday 4 June and Saturday 5 June 1880, p.3 (NLA)
[15] RICHARDSON, E., and MATTHEW, K., op. cit.
[16] Ibid.
[17] Ibid. Sands Directories
[18] SMH Friday 24 June 1887, p.11 (NLA)
[19] SMH, Saturday 14 September 1889, p.1 (NLA)
[20] National Library of Australia,
[21] The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842-1954), Friday 8 April 1921, page 8
[22] RICHARDSON, E., and MATTHEW, K., op. cit. Brisbane Courier Mail, Tuesday July 8th, 1873, page 3
[23] Ibid. All research done in this biography carried out by the authors mentioned earlier, Evelyn Richardson and Kate Matthew.
[24] Ibid. SMH Wednesday 19 November 1862, p.8 (NLA)
[25] Ibid. SMH Saturday 1st June, 1872, p.8 (NLA)
[26] Ibid. National Archives, Births Deaths and Marriages
[27] Ibid. SMH Tuesday 27 March 1883, p.2 (NLA)
[28] Ibid. SMH, Tuesday 21 June 1887, p.12 (NLA)
[29] Ibid. SMH, Monday 9 February 1903, (NLA)
[30] Ibid. The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA), Friday 16 November 1906, p.4 (NLA)
[31] Ibid. The Brisbane Courier, Thursday 12 October 1916, p.7 (NLA)
[32] Ibid. SMH Saturday 13 April 1929, page 15 (NLA)
[33] Ibid. SMH, Friday 21 January 1927, p.16 (NLA)
[34] Ibid. SMH, Saturday 15 October 1932, p. 20 (NLA)
[35] RICHARDSON, E. and MATTHEW, K, Warrimoo History Project, 2010—‘Images’