As the township of Taree continued to expand in 1912, the land at Section 82 along Victoria Street was offered for sale. In 1913, Lilly Isabella Brown from Wingham bought Lot 4.1 Lilly’s husband, James Brown, was a wealthy farmer who had served on the Wingham Municipal Council for 13 years.2 By April 1913 Lilly had approval to build a cottage on the property.3
Not long after the cottage was completed, Lilly fell seriously ill and died at the end of 1915.4 The property was transferred to her daughter Camellia Brown.5 Camellia leased the property for several years before selling it to Harold Henry Nielsen, otherwise known as ‘Lal’, in 1928.6 Lal was an engineer who skippered several ferries on the Manning River, including the Purfleet Butter Company’s river boat ‘Express’ and then joined the staff of Taree Steam Ferries.7 He was the first person to be made an honorary life member of the Taree Swimming and Lifesaving Club and was an active member of the Taree Church of Christ.8 Lal did not live in this house as his home was ‘Warringa’ in Florence Street.9 After Lal’s wife died he took up a ferryman’s position at Bateman’s Bay.10
On 24 November 1938, Lal transferred the property to Nicholas Dan, a Lebanese draper in Manning Street who officially bought the property in 1941.11 It was the first time this lovely house had been lived in by the owner. Nicholas and his wife Angele brought their young family up there before selling it to Carapark Motels in 1959. The house was moved to Cundle and a new building took its place – the Caravilla Motel.12
Author: Janine Roberts
1 NSW Land Registry Services, Vol-Fol: 2304-143, 2333-126.
2 Wingham Chronicle and Manning River Observer, 22 June 1917, 4.
3 Manning River Times and Advocate for the Northern Coastal Districts of NSW, 16 April 1913, 2.
4 NSW BDM, Index No. 4943/1916.
5 NSW Land Registry Services, Vol-Fol: 2333-126.
6 NSW Land Registry Vol-Fol: 3784-67; Taree Municipal Council rates 1920-1928, https://midcoaststories.com/taree-rates-books-4-2/.
7 Manning River Times and Advocate for the Northern Coast Districts of NSW, 13 July 1921, 2.
8 MRT, 31 October 1925, 1; 7 October 1933.
9 MRT, 21 September 1927, 2; Taree Municipal Council rates 1929-1938, https://midcoaststories.com/taree-rates-books-4-2-2/
10 MRT, 17 August 1939, 5.
11 NSW Land Registry Vol-Fol: 3784-67, Taree Municipal Council rates 1938, https://midcoaststories.com/taree-rates-books-4-2-2/#1536281404224-f46df797-9590
12 NSW Land Registry Vol-Fol: 3784-67, oral history from the Dan family.