Louis Augustus Waterman was born in Balmain in 1877.1 He came to the Manning with his brother Harry where they became farmers at Tinonee. In 1915 he married Beatrice Grill.2 The couple moved to Old Bar in 1924 where they took over Sauzier’s Sanitarium, a holiday guesthouse, and created their own guesthouse “Farleigh”.3
The Watermans were generous people who freely opened their guesthouse to accommodate public meetings, church services, and even holidays for families of POWs after WWII.4 The couple didn’t have children but had a wide circle of friends who called Waterman “Uncle Lou”.5
In the 1930s and 40s the Watermans bought several large blocks of land at Old Bar.6 During WWII, Old Bar keenly felt the effects of war with many young men joining the forces and several not returning. As Waterman was too old to serve he instead became an active member of the Taree RSL sub-branch. In 1946 the Watermans offered 200 blocks of land for sale with half of the proceeds going to the sub-branch to help returned servicemen. In one and a half hours 53 lots were sold.7 This area was known as the “Farleigh Subdivision” and four of the streets were named after active members of the sub-branch: Richardson, Belford, Sheppard and Bryan.8
When Waterman died in 1954 he was given a guard of honour usually only kept for “comrades in arms”.9 In his will Waterman left the remainder of Farleigh Estate to the RSL.10 Beatrice passed away in 1965.11
Author: Janine Roberts
Sponsored by the Old Bar Manning Point Business & Community Association through a Royal Australian Historical Society NSW Cultural Grant.
1 NSW BDM, Birth Index for Louis Augustus Waterman, No. 3578/1877.
2 NSW BDM, Marriage Index for Louis A Waterman and Beatrice Grill, No. 2359/1915.
3 Manning River Times and Advocate for the Northern Coast Districts of NSW, 28 November 1925, 8.
4 MRT, 17 October 1945, 3.
5 Northern Champion, 1 October 1954, 4.
6 NSW Land Registry Service, Vol-Fol: 4552-150, 5495-25, 5258-147.
7 MRT, 18 December 1946, 3 and MRT, 8 January 1947, 2.
8 MRT, 26 February 1947, 4.
9 Northern Champion, 1 October 1954, 4.
10 Northern Champion, 22 October 1954, 1.
11 NSW BDM, Death Index for Beatrice Irene Waterman, No. 32938/1965.