The story of “Invermay” is connected to the story of Catherine Thomson. Catherine was a commercial institution in Taree. Her husband Andrew was a school teacher who gave up teaching to take over a bakery and general store on the corner of Pulteney and Victoria Streets. When he died suddenly in 1882, Catherine not only carried on the business and raised nine children but created a flourishing business and residence in the iconic building “The Bee Hive Store”.1
After her husband’s death, Catherine bought a cheap section of land on the corner of Wynter and Pulteney Streets.2 Initially the land housed stables which were managed by her son John. In 1894 a house was built which was occupied by a number of people over the years including solicitor B Lipscombe, O Valentine who was the mate of the dredge “Pluto”, and baker Frederick Miller.3
In 1910 Catherine subdivided the land and her son Duncan became the owner of the brick home “Invermay” which was likely built around this time.4 Duncan had initially trained as a baker and storekeeper, but gave up that career to work on the land. He lived at Rawdon Vale and Curricabakh before moving to Taree to open a butcher shop on the corner opposite The Bee Hive Store. He went back to farming at Moto with his wife Isabella before moving back to “Invermay” to retire. He died there in 1942 aged 76 years.5
Author: Janine Roberts
1 Northern Champion, 9 June 1917, 4.
2 Manning River Times and Advocate for the Northern Coast Districts of NSW, 5 August 1942, 2.
3 NSW Land Registry Service Vol-Fol: 638-10, 2045-151 and Taree Historic Rate Books 1885-1950: https://midcoaststories.com/taree-rates-books-3/
4 NSW Land Registry Service Vol-Fol: 2045-151.
5 Wingham Chronicle and Manning River Observer, 5 June 1942, 6.