Henry Wilson Alcorn began his life on the Manning as a farmer on the Taree Estate, purchasing Lot 19 in DP 2801 in 1892.1 He later leased this property and, in 1904, advertised his services as a brick merchant and building contractor.2 He subsequently undertook the construction of many brick buildings around Taree, including the Exchange Hotel.
Construction of his own home, ‘Tunbridge Wells’ in High Street also took place in 1904,3 although, curiously, he is not recorded as the owner of the land upon which it stands until 1909.4 ‘Tunbridge Wells’ reflects his family origins in the town of that name in Kent, England.5
He was a man with an eye for innovative business opportunities – one such venture was the Manning Steam Laundry which opened in 1916.6
In 1923, Henry and his wife left Taree to live in Sydney.7 ‘Tunbridge Wells’ was transferred to his son Albert Souter Alcorn, also a brick maker and builder, in 1926, and retained in family ownership until 1950 when it was sold to Winifred Dorhauer of Tinonee.
Henry died in 1934 and is buried with his wife Jane in Bendolba Anglican Cemetery near Dungog,8 while ‘Tunbridge Wells’ is today a locally listed heritage item.
Author: Penny Teerman
1 http://images.maps.nsw.gov.au/pixel.htm Vol: 1078 Fol: 194
2 Manning River Times Friday 1 April 1904 Pg 5
3 Manning River Times Wednesday 30 March 1904 Pg 2 / Manning River Times Saturday 20 August 1904 Pg 4
4 http://images.maps.nsw.gov.au/pixel.htm Vol: 1965 Fol: 154
5 Looking Back by Dallas Mooney – self published 1990
6 Northern Champion Wednesday 16 August 1916 Pg 2
7 Dungog Chronicle Saturday 7 April 1923 Pg 2
9 Manning River Times 1 April 1904 Pg 5