“Rito” at 25 David Street is known as the oldest surviving house in Old Bar. Built around 1914 by George Baker for Elizabeth Beeton and her husband Horace, it was used as a holiday cottage by the Beetons and their relatives the Mitchells and Bedfords.1 Elizabeth bought the land in 1914 and transferred it in 1931 to her husband Horace, who was hotelkeeper of the Royal Hotel Taree. After Horace’s death in 19332 the property was transferred to their son Horace Manning Beeton, but sadly, Horace Junior died young in 1937.3
Ernest Beeton, son of Horace Junior, recalled wild brumbies roaming freely around Old Bar. “During the night hours many times we were woken by the stampeding horses as they rumbled past the unfenced cottage as we huddled scared stiff in our [hessian] bag hammocks.”4
In 1955, Mildred Raymond (nee Beeton) from Bowraville sold the property to Frederick Daw which saw the property leave the Beeton family.5 There have been several owners since then and the house has been expanded and renovated. The original house however has been retained.
During 2019 restorations, removal of the interior cladding revealed a trademark on the corrugated iron. The Redcliffe Crown Trademark originated from the Redcliffe Crown Galvanizing and Construction Works in Bristol, UK. This particular version of the stamp indicates it was imported to NSW between 1898 and 1918 and consequently is rarely seen in Australia today.6 After more than 100 years by the ocean “Rito” and her iron walls have stood the test of time.
Author: Janine Roberts
1 Aileen M Butt, Golden Sands and Green Grass of Old Bar, 1988, p. 52-53.
2 NSW BDM, Death Index for Horace Beeton, No. 20781/1933.
3 NSW BDM, Death Index for Horace Manning Beeton, No. 24095/1937.
4 Aileen M Butt, Golden Sands and Green Grass of Old Bar, 1988, p. 52-53.
5 NSW Land Registry Services, Vol-Fol: 2543-132 & 4509-13.
6 Dirk HR Spennemann, Redcliffe Crown Corrugated Iron in Australasia: Its history, marketing and distribution 1875-1921, Institute for Land, Water and Society Report, Charles Sturt University: Albury, NSW, 2015, p. 45.