During an era when most women did not have control over their finances, this house represents a diversion from that norm.
In 1897, Hannah Fotheringham bought a block of land in Wingham for ‘her separate use’. She subdivided the land between 1900 and 1920, but kept a corner block just for herself.1 Following the death of her well-known husband, William Fotheringham,2 their son W J Fotheringham built Hannah a ‘5 roomed cottage’ on this block.3 Although approval was given to build the house, no plans were submitted to Council until it neared completion in mid 1919.4
Hannah and her daughter Mona left their grand family home at 42 Canget Street and moved into this more modest dwelling. Hannah was a devoted supporter of St Matthew’s Anglican Church and laid the foundation stone for the new rectory in 1924.5 After Hannah’s death in 1934, the property passed to Mona who continued to live there until her death in 1943.6
Elsie Maud Oakes, a boarding house manager in Isabella Street between 1936 and 1943, bought the property in 1944 with the help of a mortgage from her sister-in-law. The house was in her name even though she lived there with her husband Charles, a factory employee.7 After Elsie’s death in 1973 the property was sold to Eva Maud Worth and her husband Walter Worth of Kippax, farmer as joint tenants where they lived until the 1990s.8
After a century this grand lady still stands strong.
Author: Janine Roberts
1 NSW Land Registry Services, Vol-Fol: 808-93.
2 Wingham Chronicle and Manning River Observer, 30 April 1918.
3 Wingham Chronicle and Manning River Observer, 25 February 1919, 2.
4 Wingham Chronicle and Manning River Observer, 29 April 1919, 2.
5 Northern Champion, 26 January 1924, 6.
6 NSW Land Registry Services, Vol-Fol:4677-25.
7 NSW Land Registry Services, Vol-Fol: 5434-51; MidCoast Stories, Historic Wingham rates books: https://midcoaststories.com/wingham-rate-books-1938-1943/
8 NSW Land Registry Services, Vol-Fol: 5434-51.