The corner of Victoria and Manning Streets, Taree where the Exchange Hotel now stands (2020) was once known as ‘Whitbread’s Corner’.1 Samuel and Mary Whitbread arrived from England as assisted immigrants on the ship ‘Equestrian’ in 1848.2 They soon after settled in the Manning Valley before purchasing one of the original allotments (Section 2 Lot 9) in the new town of Taree from Henry Flett in 1855.3
The Whitbreads built a family homestead for their nine children along with a wheelwright and blacksmiths shop.4 In January 1870, Samuel died in a very unusual manner. He was paring a horse’s hoof which was supposed to have been stung or poisoned, blood spurted into his face. He wiped it off with his sleeve and took no further notice. The next day however his face had swelled and he died.5
After Samuel’s death Mary continued to live in the home with her son Edward Johnson who took over the blacksmith business and was Taree’s leading blacksmith at that time. Another of Mary’s sons, Stephen, set up a boot making shop attached to the property. Stephen eventually became Taree’s Town Clerk for 40 years.6
Mary died in 1905 and a year later Whitbread’s Corner was sold to Catherine Connell (wife of storekeeper Mark Connell).7 Edward and another brother Samuel continued to work as blacksmiths on the property, but when Edward died in 1914 Whitbread occupancy came to an end. Hannah McMahon bought part of the land from Catherine Connell and built the Exchange Hotel in 1914.8
Author: Janine Roberts
1 Richmond River Herald and Northern Districts Advertiser, 6 December 1921, 2.
2 Ancestry.com, Assisted Immigrant Passenger Lists, 1828-1896.
3 NSW Land Registry Services, Book-No: 42-152.
4 Manning River Times and Advocate for the Northern Coast Districts of NSW, 18 August 1951, 5.
5 Sydney Mail, 5 February 1870, 5.
6 Manning River Times and Advocate for the Northern Coast Districts of NSW, 18 August 1951, 5; Northern Champion, 14 July 1937, 2.
7 NSW Land Registry Services, Book-No: 805-689; NSW BDM death index for Mary Whitbread No. 14475/1905.
8 Taree Rate and Valuation notices online https://midcoaststories.com/taree-rates-books-3/ 1885-1914.