Category Archives: KINCHELA



I am trying to put together the jigsaw of the early built environment at Kinchela and I am hoping you will be interested in my observations and can assist with answers to some questions.

The pieces of the jigsaw have come from references including your websites, the MRHS Walk in History Brochure, MRHS Journal No 140, School Centenary Book, Letters from Earle Waterhouse to MRHS, Kempsey Shire Council Bicentennial Oral History Project (Clifford Ball), Flo Seal’s Up and Down the River, NSW Titles Office, and Trove.

The property at what is now 3 Riverside Drive was transferred to Frederick John Sanders in 1908. The previous owner was Paddy Baulman, a baker. The property was leased to Ronald Johnston, another baker, in 1932. Do you know if the Sanders were operating a bakery at this site during their ownership?

This property was transferred to Frederick William Sanders in 1917. F W Sanders was said by Clifford Ball to have operated a one window small grocery store. Do you know where that store was located?

A “Fred W Sanders” is said to have “established a butchery on the Boggy Creek Road in the late 1890s and this was the first business associated with the Macleay River Cooperative Dairy Company.” The Macleay River Coperative Dairy Company was said to have “opened a dairy factory at Kinchela in 1891” and “in 1897 the Macleay Argus reported Frederick John Sanders was running the factory.” Frederick William Sanders was 12 years old in 1891. Do you know what actually happened and where Boggy Creek Road is?

The property at what is now 42 Riverside Drive was leased to Joe Barnett in 1934 and he operated a butchery there. It is said that the butchery closed during the war when Fred Sanders enlisted. Do you know which Fred Sanders enlisted in which war and whether he worked for Joe Barnett?

The memoirs of Earle Waterhouse say that, around 1916, Kinchela had a butcher in addition to two stores. This precedes Joe Barnett’s butchery. Two stores operating at this time were Ball’s and Johnston/Jamieson’s and that leaves no scope for the F W Sanders store reported by Clifford Ball. Do you know if any Sanders operated a butchery in Kinchela itself and, if so, where?

Photographs on Pages 15 and 31 of the school centenary book show buildings on the property at No 3 Riverside Drive that was once owned by F J and later F W Sanders. In both of these photographs, there is a single gable building between the house with the hipped roof and the Good Templars Hall. Versions of these photographs are on the Kempsey Shire Council’s web site at There is a photograph at the Kempsey Museum that shows exactly the same situation except that the single gable building has disappeared from the Sanders property. Do you know what that building was?

The photograph on Page 26 of the school centenary book says that it is Ball’s first store. It looks more like the house with the hipped roof on the Sanders property than either of Ball’s stores. Do you know who the people in the photograph are and whether this gives a clue as to the identity of the building?

Clifford Ball lists certain early Kinchela establishments as hall, butcher, baker, carpenter, and wheelwright. The hall was at the confluence of Kinchela Creek and the river. The wheelwright was on the other side of what is now the main road to Gladstone. There were at least two bakeries operating at different times between the hall and the wheelwright (at Nos 3 and 9). This adds further interest to the possibility of an early butcher preceding Joe Barnett.

Your web site has a photograph of Alf Sanders with Tom Rowe in a cheese factory. A cheese factory at Kinchela was later owned by Arthur Shelton. The Sydney Morning Herald of 22.4.1909 reports T J Rowe and A B Shelton as graduating from the Hawkesbury Agricultural College with certificates in milk processing. T J Rowe was from Kinchela. The Certificate of Title for the property that is now Nos 5 and 7 Riverside Drive shows that this property was acquired by Thomas James Rowe in 1906. The purchase was from Julia Rowe, widow of the previous owner, John Rowe. John and Julia Rowe’s children were George and Alice. Do you know if Tom, T J,, and Thomas James Rowe are all the same person and what is the relationship with John and Julia Rowe? I can see that the Rowe family tree shows many Thomas Rowes.

Kinchela Creek Post Office was established by John Rowe in 1880. Rowe was said to be a “storekeeper” but the Post Office business was said to be conducted “at his residence.” Rowe’s ownership of land at what is now 3-7 and 32-34 Riverside Drive was registered in 1887. Do you know where the residence and store were located?

Dudley Johnston, storekeeper, took over the Post Office in 1907. He purchased the land from Julia Rowe’s estate in 1912. He had the Paragon Store (later the Big Store leased to George Jamieson) on this property. Do you know when the store was constructed and if the previous Post Office building remained in use? Photographs of the store, both as Johnston’s Paragon Store and Jamieson’s Big Store, show an older smaller building immediately to the south.

The family trees show very little information about George Wickham Rowe, son of John and Julia Rowe. There is not even a date of birth or date of death. Flo Seal’s book shows that he ran the Post Office for a short time immediately after his father’s death in 1890 and then again from 1897 to 1907. Do you know what he did in between these dates? Was he running the Rowe family store perhaps?

The available evidence points to the hypothesis that John Rowe’s residence and Post Office were at No 5 Riverside Drive and his store was at No 34. This would allow the recorded move of the Post Office in 1897 to have been from the residence to the store. The Post Office could then have continued with the Rowe family, after the residence was sold in 1906, until 1907 when it was taken over by Johnston. Johnston would have leased from Julia Rowe until he purchased the property at No 32-34 from Julia Rowe’s estate in 1912. He would then have built his new store beside the old one.

According to the Certificate of Title, Charles Ball acquired the land for his second Kinchela store from James Maslin in 1903. Clifford Ball says that it was c1912/1916 when Charles Ball bought from Maslin and built a house and shop. A mud map drawn by Earle Waterhouse shows Ball’s second store with the annotation “replaced abandoned house occupied by Aborigines.” Waterhouse’s family came to Kinchela in 1912 when he was a young lad. Do you know if Charles Ball waited many years after buying the land before building on it?

Could you please let me know if my observations are of interest to you and if you might be able to provide answers to any of my questions?

Jon Henry

Kinchela was gazetted as a village in 1885 or 1886 but the locality was known by the name Kinchela long before, as was the creek which enters the Macleay River close by.


The Richmond River Herald and Northern Districts Advertiser (NSW : 1886 – 1942), Friday 12 February 1904,



The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), Friday 23 December 1910,

The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW 1842 - 1954), Friday 23 December 1910,

Warwick Examiner and Times (Qld. : 1867 – 1919), Wednesday 18 January 1911,

Warwick Examiner and Times (Qld. 1867 - 1919), Wednesday 18 January 1911,

The Land (Sydney, NSW : 1911 – 1954), Friday 1 September 1916

The Land (Sydney, NSW 1911 - 1954), Friday 1 September 1916


Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 – 1931), Wednesday 25 February 1885,

CRAIG Evening News (Sydney, NSW 1869 - 1931), Wednesday 25 February 1885, article126361834-3-001______________________________________________________________________________

Northern Star (Lismore, NSW : 1876 – 1954), Tuesday 4 February 1941,

Northern Star (Lismore, NSW 1876 - 1954), Tuesday 4 February 1941,______________________________________________________________________


trial bay

TRIAL BAY WAS built in a later period than what I’m usually looking at. The connection with South West Rocks was earlier for my direct family. I do however have documents and images from Jan Maurice and Sanders’ were out there as Boatsmen and running a boarding house as well as one lad being remembered in the Memorial Pines. Killed in the war. So we took a drive out there on our recent 2 week Loop and took a look through the Boatsmen’s Houses which are carefully maintained and where,as usual, we encountered enthusiastic and helpful volunteers hanging on to our heritage with Tenacity. Below are some links to TRIAL BAY and some images from our exploration.


Established in 1886, Trial Bay Gaol is the only example of a state prison specifically built to carry out public works. The intention was for prisoners to construct a breakwater in Trial Bay and create a safe harbour between Sydney and Brisbane.


Trial Bay (Gaol) Photos – (New South Wales)

TRIAL BAY GAOL Photo Gallery


Trial Bay Gaol National Parks and Wildlife : COLLECTIONS AUSTRALIA NETWORK








Seems to have been named after JOHN KINCHELA Esq – Appointed as Attorney-General of Colony of NSW in the 1830s. Or Judge Kinchela or another member of the salubrious family.

Almost all mention of the name KINCHELA up till the 1880 is of people with the name. Then in 1882 i came across the death of CHRISTOPHER GEORGE, younger brother of Frederick John.

In December of 1882 , 2 lots of land are listed for sale. In the PARISH of KINCHELA and town of GLADSTONE. Each of 2 acres,near J Verge – founder of AUSTRAL EDEN.