Adolph Ohma was born in 1892 in Sydney to an Australian mother and Norwegian father.1 As a young man Dolph left Sydney on a steamer to work at Wright’s shipyard, Tuncurry. His decision to stay was no doubt influenced by Charlotte De Lore who he married in 1914.2
Dolph soon acquired a parcel of land called ‘second point’ (Rest Point Parade, Tuncurry). Access to the land was originally via ‘first point’ (Point Road, Tuncurry) across a shallow section at the opening of Ohma Bay known as ‘the crossing’. A corduroy road was later built through the swamp and named Taree Street with a road base made from cabbage trees laid in rows and covered with sawdust and sand.
Ohma had a keen interest in boat building and engineering and used an emery wheel and ratchet drill mounted to a tree to create early works. In 1926 he leased a building from the Wright family and established “Tuncurry General Engineering and Shipway Works”.3 They made propellers and engine parts and at one time aluminium kettles.
During WWII the Defence Department, with a shortage of large machinery, confiscated Dolph’s lathe and drilling machine. Undeterred Lotte started a milk run and a market garden from which they sold their produce to tourists.4
Dolph was on the original committee in 1920 which undertook to build the Tuncurry Memorial Hall in honour of those who served in the Great War. Lotte was a dressmaker and photographer and Dolph used the camera in 1923 to capture the steamer ‘Otus’ stranded on Pilot Hill beach.5
The Ohmas’ contribution to the region is celebrated through the “Charlotte Ohma Reserve” overlooking Ohma’s Bay. Cabbage trees still grow in abundance along Taree Street. Adolph died in 1959 and Charlotte died in 1989.6
Author: Marilyn Boyd
1 NSW BDM, Birth Index for Adolph Ohma, No. 3136/1892.
2 NSW BDM, Marriage Index No. 3786/1914.
3 Manning River Times and Advocate for the Northern Coast Districts of NSW, 26 July 1930, 5.
4 Elva Carmichael, ‘The History of Tuncurry’, Great Lakes region: 2000; Handwritten information by Vic Bramble held at the Great Lakes Historical Society.
5 Steamer ‘Otus’ (1913-1923) wrecked on Main Beach, Forster, GLMRSNSW.
6 NSW BDM, Adolph No. 31549/1959; Charlotte 110527/1989.