HOME OF THE LADY DENMAN - Local history isn't always about the big story - the everyday story of life in the early development of the region can be a fascinating, entertaining and educational journey.

29 February 2016


Date: ca. 1935
Residents of Jervis Bay are accustomed to hearing the loud thumping sounds and feeling the vibrations emanating from the big guns when the navy is offshore conducting manoeuvres,  This photograph was taken in 1935 while firing live rounds off the coast of Jervis Bay.



The Barque Carleton on fire off Jervis Bay.

1894 - The barque Clarleton arrived in the port of Newcastle after an eventful voyage from Rio Janiero.

imageThe steel barque 'Carleton' – This image has no known copyright restrictions

August 15th.
During the trip one of the crew member Fredrick Rolston contracted smallpox,  but the captain had him isolated and after two weeks he had recovered.


One of the worst situations a ship at sea can have happen in the outbreak of fire. The Carleton crew found themselves in this situation while passing Jervis Bay at midnight on September the 10th.  Dealing with an out of control fire on board a ship in a confined space, would have been a frightening situation for the captain and crew to find themselves in.


Fire on board.
10 September Midnight
When off Jervis Bay the vessel suddenly caught fire after the steward carrying a naked lamp had fallen into the lazarette hold onto a bale of oakum.

As the flames could not be extinguished a portion of the cabin deck had to be cut away.  Water was then poured into the hold,  and the fire was extinguished.  The fire had been burning fiercly for 4 hours causing extensive damage to the ships stores,  estimated to cost 200 pounds.

After arriving in port the vessel was fumigated and admitted to partique.

- permission granted to a ship to have dealings with a port, given after quarantine or on showing a clean bill of health.

Lazarette Hold - Also called glory hole. "Nautical". a small storeroom within the hull of a ship, especially one at the extreme stern.– a storage place below the quarterdeck.

A barquentine or schooner barque (alternatively "barkentine" or "schooner bark") is a sailing vessel with three or more masts; with a square rigged foremast and fore-and-aft rigged main, mizzen and any other masts.


Oakum is a preparation of tarred fibre used in shipbuilding for caulking or packing the joints of timbers in wooden vessels and the deck planking of iron and steel ships



25 February 2016

Leatherhead pie.

This is part of a longer story about a trip to the south coast by a group of friends in 1918.
I have posted a previous article that contained references to hunting ‘Gill Birds’
That particular post was inspired by an amazig image that I came across in the museum’s collection and can be viewed in the previous post.

This article also points to Leatherheads as good hunting and good eating.  How times have changed.
1280px-Noisy_Friarbird_dec07The noisy friarbird (Philemon corniculatus) is a passerine bird of the honeyeater family and also known as a Leatherhead.
Continue to the previous article about hunting “Gill Birds”.


Shoalhaven snippet 1904




19 February 2016

Jervis Bay items mid 1900’s




Breakers on the Starboard Bow

Capture 1

The Bungaree was built at Jervis Bay by William Storey for George Dent, in 1866.
William Storey was one of the pioneer shipbuilders in Australia.

The cry from the lookout was to late and the ship ran hard onto Sisters Reef 20 miles south of Rottnest Island.

27nd April 1876
The Bungaree left Fremantle for Batavia
loaded with a cargo of horses, cows, and salted fish. Part of a regular voyage, she made the trip without incident.

22rd May.
She left for the return voyage
with a cargo of tea, coconuts and 32 tons of sugar. With a strong storm blowing from the northwest she made fast progress,   the sun was so obscured  the Master (Cornford)  was unable  to take any observations for three days.
He was confident in his estimation of being a little north of Rottnest Island, and a safe distance from the coast,  he thought he had ample sea room and steered a course towards land.

13th June 4 a.m.
Running under every sail, in heavy squalls,  the  first they knew of their impending fate was when the lookout cried "breakers on the starboard bow" but it was to late for the master to take any action to avoid the reef,  the Bungaree drove hard onto the reef and commenced to immediately settle down.

It was so dark the land could not be seen, and the master had no idea of his position, or how far they were from the land,

The captain and his crew remained on the vessel,  now supposed a total wreck until daylight,  then it was ascertained that the vessel had struck about 1/2 south of Sisters Reef, off Warnbro' Sound,  not far from where the "Charlmers" was lost in 1874.

13th June - 9.a.m.
All hands took to the boat,  which was twice swamped in the heavy seas running at the time,  the third attempt was more successful,  the men managing to get into the boat when a sea caught the little craft and swept her over the reef into calmer waters, and thus very narrowly escaping with their lives.

The behaviour of the Minalla men was most exemplary - they obeyed the orders of the master cheerfully and readilly,  never attempting to rush the boat.

All hands landed safely on the beach and the master proceed to Rockingham, Fremantle,  where he arrived around 7 o'clock in the evening.

wreck site 1
wreck site

Battered and broken, the Bungaree became a total loss.
Soon after she was abandoned she began to break up, so it was impossible to save the cargo.
The vessel was not insured and the loss fell heavily upon the owners, believed to be about fifteen hundred pounds.

14th June.
A boat was dispatched immediatly to the scene of the wreck  by the owners,  but the vessel had completely broken up,  leaving the beach strewn with the debris from the wreck,  nothing whatsoever was saved.

A “smart craft”
The Bungaree had previously voyaged to Batavia and was used as a coasting vessel more frequent than those made by the usual coasting vessels,  this earned her the character of being a 'smart craft;"  her master was described as a stirring inoffensive, careful and obliging man,  which earned him the good opinion of his owners,  and those who knew anything of the interest he took in his duties looked upon him as a rising man in his profession.

Marine Enquiry.
The results of the official inquiry which followed has been the suspension of the masters certificate for three months.

But this wasn’t the end of the story!

Salvagers need saving.

21st June.
A small vessel crewed by three men left Fremantle to salvage coconuts and pomelos,  cargo from the Bungaree, that had washed ashore at Becher Point in Rockingham.

23rd June
Leaving Becher Point for the return trip, the little boat ran into bad weather and anchored in the lee of Penguin Island,  During the night the vessel dragged it's anchor and was holed,  marooning them on Penguin Island 2 km from the mainland, The three men had no food and were forced to eat penguins hoping for a passing vessel to secure their rescue.


Penguin Island.

The Zebra.
25th June.
The Zebra now arrived on the scene of the wrecked Bungaree to salvage Bungaree debris that had washed ashore.

After loading the Zebra, she left for Fremantle passing Penguin Island,  two men were seen on the shore making distress signals.

The Zebra decided to sail right by and wait until they reached Fremantle to report the incident to the authorities.

26th June.
A boat was dispatched immediately and the three men were safely bought back to Fremantle.

 Example of a two masted top sail schooner.

The schooner here is shown with a main topmast sail, although others in service also had a fore topmast.
The coastal schooner was a small but mighty rig - known as the workhorse of the coastal trade. This two-masted schooner carried everything from timber and coal to general cargo

Bungaree specification.

Type - Designed around a two masted British topsail schooner.
Built  - Jervis Bay N.S.W. 1866
Tonnage - 89
Dimensions - length 84.6 ft x breadth 19.5 ft x hold 8.2ft.
Owners - Messrs, J.& W. Bateman.
Master - Cornford

The name Bungaree.
After arriving in the colony, King made four voyages between December 1817 and April 1822. The first three were in the Mermaid which had been purchased by the Royal Navy for his surveying expeditions. Among the 19-man crew were the botanist Allan Cunningham and "Bungaree", an Aboriginal man from the Broken Bay area.

Bungaree had come to prominence in 1798, when he accompanied Matthew Flinders on a coastal survey as an interpreter, guide and negotiator with local Indigenous people. He also accompanied Flinders on his circumnavigation of Australia between 1801 and 1803. Flinders noted that Bungaree was ‘a worthy and brave fellow’ who, on more than one occasion, saved the expedition. After his survey and exploration expeditions, the well traveled and respected Bungaree remained a prominent Aboriginal person in Sydney society for many years.



17 February 2016

Jervis Bay

A Long time exposure during the early hours produced a moody scene of Jervis Bay.



11 February 2016

Cape St George Lighthouse

Feb 10 2016
While taking friends on a tour of the old ruins I found another piece of crockery laying in the sand near the ruins.
Considering it has been there for around 94 years or more it’s fantastic to be able to still see some of the original pattern.


click on images to enlarge.


Continue Reading  more information about the history and images of this remarkable light http://www.jervisbaymaritimemuseum.blogspot.com.au/search?q=cape+st+george

HMAS Canberra –Jervis Bay

If you have been to the shores of Jervis Bay recently you could not have missed the dominating spectacle of the HMAS Canberra steaming about the bay.
It’s an unusual and impressive ship, and is following a long history of navy involvement with Jervis Bay.

Roll - air-land-sea amphibious deployment
humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR)
Tonnes - 27,831
Length - 230.8 metres (overall)
Beam - 32 metres
Draft - 7.18 metres (full load)
Flight deck -
202.3 metres (length)
32 metres (width)
4,750 square metres (area)
27.5 metres (height)
Speed – 20 knots
358 (293 RAN, 62 Army, 3 RAAF)

paul newman feb 2016
This fabulous photo was taken and sent to us by local man Paul Newman.

Commercial Hotel Tomerong. 1908

The Shoalhaven News and South Coast Districts Advertiser.

This is the only description of the Commercial Hotel I have found.



Bars, weather, tide, and other circumstances permitting.

Shoalhaven Telegraph 1907.

Today we take our ability to get from place to place safely for granted. We sometime get annoyed when the trains or busses are running a few minutes late or we get stuck in traffic.

In 1907 coastal steamers were still the best and most efficent way to move people, livestock and cargo of all description over long distances.

Setting sail from a port amidst the farewells of those about to be departed, every trip must have been an adventure and reaching your destination by travelling across the sea was never a certainty.

As the old song puts it: “It maybe for days, and it may be forever”


Local Advertisement.

Shoalhaven Telegraph 1907



Commercial Hotel Tomerong notice of closure.

The Shoalhaven Telegraph 1908.

54 years after the hotel opened as the “Travellers Rest”, the now named “Commercial Hotel” licencee was issued with a closure order, to take effect in 1911.



4 February 2016

Hotel for Tomerong

Traveling through Tomerong today and what do you see…a sleepy little village by passed by the new highway and left to it’s own devices. There are some old buildings still standing but most of the past as been overtaken by modern developments,  the parts that are left speak of a different era,  one filled with new adventures, controversy and sometimes tragedy. It’s worth taking the time to look into the rich history of this once thriving centre of development and industry. Decisions were made at Tomerong that effected the area from Falls creek out to Jervis bay and as far south as Milton…It is hard to imagine that Tomerong was once the centre for our local government.

I come across many articles from Tomerong past.  this one took me on another journey to a time when things moved a lot slower but commerce was still as important then as it is now.

1897 an application was made to the Licencing Court of Nowra by Mr Thomas Mooney of Pambula to re open the original hotel at Tomerong formally licenced to Parnell the original Hotel hadn't operated as such for a number of years and was unlicenced and untenanted.

The application had a number of objectors who lodged a petition signed by 78 persons,  mostly residents of Currumbene,  Tomerong  and Wandandian.

The principal objection raised was that there was no necessity for the proposed accommodation at Tomerong,  There being no objection whatever to the applicant personally.

If the licence is granted it will have to be a 30 pound licence,  as it is within ten mile of the Jervis Bay hotel. The original licence was 10 ponds.



The orignal Jervis Bay Hotel 1901

Licencing board inspection report.
It was noted by the licencing inspector there was no furniture other than two or three beds, the back walls were falling down,  and the place was in a run down condition unfit for habitation.

A licence had already been granted for a hotel at Wandandian,  and since then a wine licence had also been granted to B. Loutit by the Milton Bench.

The board considered the house at Tomerong was not required,
now that the other two licences had been granted,  those being sufficent for the road Nowra to Milton.

Other objections raised.
The Tomerong house was a quarter of a mile from a church and public school and directly opposite the post office, where children usually went for the mail.

The district was very quiet at the present time,  and there were no complaints as to drunkeness of obsene language.

The Tomerong people were not drinkers.  Considered 14 miles to close for a licenced house on that road.

Alex Mattews, one of the objectors, residing 21/4 miles from the proposed hotel, stated that he resided at Tomerong for 40 years,  and he opposed the present application because there was already plenty of accommodation on the road.

The board unanimously refused the application.

Traveller Rest Hotel 1857.
The first hotel at Tomerong was named the Travellers Rest. It was located on the north-eastern corner of the Nowra to Ulladulla Road and the South Huskisson Road, now known as Hawken Road and Pine Forest Road.

The Hotel was opened by John Parnell on the first or April 1857 and operated almost continuously for the next 54 years. The hotels position on the road between Nowra and Ulladulla and at the only junction to access Jervis Bay meant
Tomerong became a focal point for travellers heading north and south.
John Parnell was granted a liquor licence in 1858.
John Parnell was also granted a licence to sell liquor at the launch of vessels at Currambene Creek,  until the Jervis Bay Hotel was opened.

In 1907 Tomerong became the centre of local government when the new Shire Council built it's council chambers in the village.

Thomas Mooney became the licencee in 1890, after John Parnell retired at the age of 87 years,  but the building itself was starting to fall into disrepair and despite the assurances from the owner John Parnell and the current licencee Thomas Mooney to rebuild the hotel, after an inspection by the licencing board, and a scathing report on the hotels condition the decison of the board was to not renew the lease.
After 33 years of operation the hotel was closed.

The Commercial Hotel.


Commercial Hotel can be seen on the right.

The hotel was eventually rebuilt and re opened in 1898 as the Commercial Hotel, despite staunch oposition from locals and other hotel owners at Wandandian, there was a majority of the Licencing Board bench in favour of the application which was accordingly granted, it would be a 30 pound licence.

The licence changed hands on a number of occasions - Henry Dent,  Alfred Dawson,  S.P. Cork and Mrs. Taylor, and John Nowland are some of the licencee's names that are mentioned during research into the hotel.

The hotel operated until it's final closure in June 1911.

The original owner John Parnell, landed at Jervis Bay and became a resident of the shoalhaven for 60 years died at the age of 93 in 1896.

Take a fascinating journey back in time by visiting the Tomerong Past face book page Tomerong Past particuarly interesting are the fascinating video slide show transitions depicting overlay images of how Tomerong and verious other landmarks use to look and how they appear today - definitely worth a look.


Continue to some previous posts about the village of Tomerong.

1 February 2016

Moona Moona

A thunderstorm was building from the west, the clouds are starting to move low and slow.
The lights from the bridge illuminated the sky.
Continue reading the interesting story about Moona Moona Creek