Welcome to the River and the Reach


A fabulous view (taken in 1910) of the Hawkesbury River at Sackville [SHRB.01]

“Undoubtedly, one of the prettiest and most picturesque settlements on the river … “

From this vantage point the view is looking along a part of the river known as the Portland Reach, which disappears in the distance behind the tree line where the river meanders on towards Ebenezer. In the foreground is the Sackville Methodist Church on the left bank of the river, known today as Sackville North. On the opposite bank, the Church of St. Thomas at Sackville can be seen, with the burial ground (mid-right) surrounded by fencing. The stretch of water that comes into view on the right is known as the Sackville Reach. [SHRB.01]



A sketch of Ulinbawn House [SHRB.24]

Cyrus Matthew Doyle, eldest son of Andrew Doyle, arrived in NSW in 1803 and became one of the early landholders at Sackville Reach, acquiring sixty-acres on Kent Reach and the adjoining farm of John Yeomans (on the point). Doyle’s home, built from stone, was known as Ulinbawn and was described in the Sydney Herald in 1837 when both farms were advertised to let on lease –

“All that beautiful estate, known as Ulinbawn, consisting of two Farms, containing (one) hundred and twenty-five acres, divided and subdivided into several paddocks, one hundred of which are clear and fit for tillage. The buildings consist of an excellent two storied stone mansion, unequalled for several miles round, having seven rooms, a hall, pantry, and large kitchen, every way adapted to accommodate a family of the first respectability; the out-offices are a stone building for farm servants, a coach-house, stabling for six horses, barn, maize-house, granary, piggeries, sheds, &c., for carts or drays, as well as a small garden and orchard. It being situated in a delightful prospective, embracing a great part of the healthful and invigorating banks of Sackville Reach, distant about nine miles from the town of Windsor” [SHRB.24]

Iris Esther Chaseling (obit.1912)


Headstone (fallen) of Iris Esther Chaseling
Sackville Methodist Cemetery [SHRB.23]

A very sad bereavement befel Mr. and Mrs. John Chaseling, of North Sackville, on Xmas Day, when their daughter, Iris Esther, aged 14 years, was drowned in the Hawkesbury River. It seems that in the afternoon the child, with a younger sister, went for a walk after dinner. After rambling about for while they went to their father’s wharf, and while sitting there Iris overbalanced and fell into the river. Her sister ran home and told what had happened, and the father, who was taking an after-dinner nap, at once ran down to the river, a distance of about a quarter of a mile, jumped into the water and searched for the body. The alarm was raised and assistance arrived, but it was not until the body had been in the water for an hour that it was found in a deep hole near the wharf. Every effort was made at resuscitation. The sad occurrence cast a gloom over the district, and widespread sympathy is expressed for the parents. The District Coroner, Mr J. B. Johnston, J.P., held an inquiry into the circumstances of the drowning on the 26th ultimo, when a verdict of accidental death was recorded. The funeral took place on Boxing Day, when the remains were laid to rest in the Methodist cemetery, Sackville. Rev. T. F. Rudd carried out the last sad rites, and Mr. J. W. Chandler was the undertaker. [SHRB.23]


1913 : Wanted – Youth used to horses and ploughing. Wage 5 five shillings per day and board, good references. John Chaseling, “Evansdale”, Sackville North.
1914 : At the residence of the bride’s parents, on the 10th June, a quiet wedding was solemnised between Mr. Hilton S. Law, youngest son of the late Mr. Henry Law, “East View”, Lower Portland, and Miss Edith Chaseling, second daughter of Mr. John Chaseling of “Evansdale”, Sackville Reach. The officiating clergyman being the Rev. B. Hobson, Methodist Minister.
1915 : Golden Wedding – Turnbull & Manning. October 3rd 1865, at the Methodist Church, Sackville Reach, John Warr, fifth son of the late George and Louisa Turnbull, of “Evansdale”; to Ann, second eldest daughter of the late George and Elizabeth Manning of Sackville Reach.
1922 : Mr. C. M. Hayes reports having sold the following property, “Evansdale”, Sackville North, on account Mr. B. F. Herps, 150 acres river frontage, together with 30 head of live stock, poultry, all agricultural implements, etc. to Messrs. Beveridge and Ellis.
1924 : This Saturday, 31st May, Messrs. J.B. Johnston and Co. will submit to auction at the Royal Hotel, Windsor, an orchard property of over 147 acres, known as “Evansdale”, at Sackville North, on the banks of the Hawkesbury River, now in the occupation of Mr. Keith G. Beveridge. There is a large orchard of citrus and stone fruit on the property, also a comfortable residence and outbuildings. [SHRB.22]

Post Office Directory, 1878-79

44 miles north-west of Sydney, in the district of Windsor

ASPERRY, John – Farmer
BOOKS, John – Farmer, Ulinbawn
BRADLEY, Gabriel – Farmer
COPPS, George – Carpenter
DUNSTAN, L. – Farmer, Rosehill Cot.
EVERINGHAM, M. – Farmer, Knight’s Retreat
GOTTS, John – Farmer, Sawyer’s Reach
HALL, George – Farmer, Lilburndale
HALL, John – Farmer, Lilburndale
HALL, Matthew – Farmer, Lilburndale
HALL, Thomas – Farmer, Lilburndale
JOHNSTON, G. – Farmer, Lilburndale
JOHNSTON, William – Farmer
KIRWAN, Colclough – Farmer
LEET, Robert – Storekeeper
MANNING, George – Farmer, Sawyer’s Reach
MORLEY, George – Farmer
MUSGROVE, T. – Farmer, Sawyer’s Reach
STEPHENS, James – Mason
STEPHENS, John – Mason
SOMMERVILLE, James Rev. (Wes)
STUBBS, J. – Farmer, Portland House
TUCKERMAN, Adolphus – Farmer
TUCKERMAN, P. – Farmer, Forest Hill
TURNBULL, Geo. Snr. – Farmer, Evansdale
TURNBULL, J. – Farmer, Mud Island
TURNBULL, John – Farmer, Mud Island
TURNBULL, Thos. – Farmer, Mud Island
WALL, Richard – Farmer
WATKINS, Francis – Farmer
WATKINS, James – Farmer
WHITE, Richard – Farmer

Henry Law (obit. 1905)


Headstone (fallen) of Henry Law, his wife Mary, and son James, Sackville Methodist Cemetery [SHRB.20]

From our Lower Portland correspondent —
The grim reaper, death, has again applied his sickle, with the result that another old identity in the person of Mr. Henry Law is removed from our midst. Our departed friend breathed his last at his residence, Lower Portland, on Monday 27th June, at midnight. The deceased gentleman never knew what sickness was until a year or so back, when his health began to decline. A fortnight prior to his death, he had a bad turn, from which, although receiving every attention (medical and otherwise) he never rallied.  The late Mr. Law, who had reached three score years and ten, was one of the most esteemed residents on the river, and profound regret was expressed on all sides when the news of his decease was circulated on Tuesday morning. Of genial temperament and charitable disposition, our old friend passed away to the land of shades and shadows, at enmity with no one, but regretted by all classes and creeds on the river.  The late Mr. Law was an Englishman by birth, emigrating to New South Wales in the year 1857, so that he lived for practically a half century in the district. A schooner, the Alfred by name, was the boat he travelled in, and the voyage out occupied three months to the day. The Alfred carried 570 passengers all told, no doubt many of them being attracted to the country in the hope of making a ‘pile’ at the diggings. Mr. Law was a married man when he came to the colony, and, besides his wife, was accompanied by the latter’s sister (now Mrs. John Mitchell, of Sackville). Shortly after his arrival in Sydney, Mr. Law met the late Thomas Christie, Senr., of Lower Portland, and the result was that he was engaged by the latter to come up the river and work on his well known property at Portland. The ‘Traveller’ (Manning and Mitchell owners) conveyed Mr. Law, his wife, and sister-in-law up the river, and for several years the family resided on Christie’s farm. After leaving Christie’s, he resided on two or three farms in the district, until he settled on his present property some time prior to the big flood of ’67. Not long after he came to this country, Mr. Law had the misfortune to lose his wife. He subsequently married again, this time chosing an Australian bride in the person of Miss Mary Brown, daughter of the late William Brown, of Lower Portland.  By his first marriage he had four children, while the second resulted in an issue of nine (eight sons and two daughters), all of whom, together with his wife, survive him.  To his family we extend our warmest sympathy. The funeral took place on Wednesday afternoon, the remains being interred in the Methodist Cemetery at Sackville. No steamer being available for the occasion, rowing boats and vehicles were, perforce, called into requisition. The pullers of the boat containing the coffin were Messrs. Eb. Mitchell, Nathan Mitchell, Frank Christie and Wesley Mitchell. The rain in the early part of the morning interfered greatly with the attendance. Nevertheless, a goodly concourse of friends turned up to pay their last tribute of respect to one who was so honored in life. The pall-bearers were six sons of the deceased, viz, Will, Harry, Charles, Edward, Les, and George. The coffin was a handsome one of polished cedar, heavily mounted, and was covered with beautiful floral tributes. The Rev A. Cooper officiated at the grave, and spoke feelingly of the exemplary life of the deceased. The duties of undertaker were satisfactorily carried out by Mr. Thomas Collison. James Law died in February 1916 and Mrs. Mary Law died in July 1922 (aged 77). [SHRB.20]

Land & Stock Returns, 1885

Alphabetical Return of the Several Holdings in the Colony, together with the acreage and the number of Horses, Cattle and Sheep thereon 1st January 1885.

Sackville Reach
Occupier | Holding | Post Town | Acreage | Horses | Cattle | Sheep | Pigs |
ASPERRY, Jno; Home Paddocks, Sackville Reach, 59 acres, 6, 14, .., 10
BOOKS, John; Sackville Reach, Sackville Reach, 125 acres, 10, 5, .., 9
BRADLEY, James W., Sackville Reach, Sackville Reach, 210 acres, 7, 22, .., ..,
BRADLEY, Jas. W., Bradley’s Head, Sackville Reach, 210 acres, 7, 22, .., 10
BROWN, James; Sackville Reach, Sackville Reach, 28 acres, 3, 1, .., 2
CHAPMAN, Thomas; Sackville Reach, Sackville Reach, 198 acres, 7, 4, .., 4
COPPS, George; Homesteads, Sackville Reach, 10 acres, 2, .., .., ..,
DAVIS, Joseph; Sackville Reach, Sackville Reach, 85 acres, 5, 10, .., 8
DUNSTAN, T., Rose Hill, Sackville Reach, 256 acres, 4, .., .., 6
FIASCHI, Thos. M.D., Lizzard Estate, Sackville Reach, 268 acres, 6, 2, .., 8
GOTTS, John; Doyle’s Swamp, Sackville Reach, .., 7, 37, .., ..,
HALL, M.S., Lilburndale, Sackville Reach, 260 acres, 27, 36, .., 4
HALL, Mary A., Robert’s Farm, Sackville Reach, 30 acres, 3, 5, .., 4
HOWARD, David R., Sackville Reach, Sackville Reach, 40 acres, .., 1, .., ..,
JACKLIN, Joseph, Sackville Reach, Sackville Reach, 25 acres, 1, 2, .., 2
JOHNSTON, G. T., Johnston’s Swamp, Sackville Reach, 140 acres, 14, 42, .., 12
JOHNSTON, W. H., Sackville Reach, Sackville Reach, 320 acres, 8, 25, .., 2
JONES, Joshua; Sackville Reach, Sackville Reach, 120 acres, 4, .., .., 7
KEMP, Thomas; Sackville Reach, Sackville Reach, 40 acres, 2, .., .., ..,
LAW, Henry; Sackville Reach, Sackville Reach, 85 acres, 4, 5, .., 6
LEET, Robert; Sackville Reach, Sackville Reach, 36 acres, 2, 5, .., 2
MITCHELL, George; Sackville Reach, Sackville Reach, 145 acres, 6, 8, .., 16
MITCHELL, Thos. S., Dayle, Sackville Reach, 50 acres, 10, 18, .., 8
MOULDS, James; Sackville Reach, Sackville Reach, 50 acres, 1, 3 .., 2
MUSGROVE, Thomas; Knight’s Retreat, Sackville Reach, 33 acres, 5, 6, .., 5
MUSGROVE, Thos., Sackville Reach, Sackville Reach, 33 acres, 5, 6, .., 5
PEARCE, Mathew; Sackville Reach, Sackville Reach, 600 acres, 20, 20, .., ..,
RAYNOR, William J., Sackville Reach, Sackville Reach, 6 acres, 2, 1, .., 13
SCOTT, John; Rose Hill, Sackville Reach, 100 acres, 8, 6, .., ..,
SHERWOOD, James; Sackville Reach, Sackville Reach, 12 acres, 1, .., .., 2
SHERWOOD, John; Sackville Reach, Sackville Reach, 24 acres, 2, .., .., 5
SHERWOOD, Samuel; Sackville Reach, Sackville Reach, 12 acres, 2, .., .., ..,
SHERWOOD, William, Sackville Reach, Sackville Reach, 13 acres, 1, 1, .., ..,
SMALL, E. H., Sackville Reach, Sackville Reach, 42 acres, 1, 1, .., ..,
SMITH, William, Sackville Reach, Sackville Reach, 40 acres, .., 1, .., ..,
STEPHENS, James; Sackville Reach, Sackville Reach, 100 acres, 2, .., .., ..,
STEVENS, Andrew; Sackville Reach, Sackville Reach, 40 acres, 1, .., .., ..,
STRATTON, James; Sackville Reach, Sackville Reach, 40 acres, 1, .., .., ..,
STUBBS, Joseph; Sackville Reach, Sackville Reach, 116 acres, 9, 13, .., 7
TUCKERMAN, A., Sackville Reach, Sackville Reach, 450 acres, 10, 25, .., 11
TUCKERMAN, C. J., Sackville Reach, Sackville Reach, 40 acres, 5, .., .., ..,
TUCKERMAN, P., Wattle Flat, Sackville Reach, 100 acres, 5, 34, .., 7
TUCKERMANN, P., Sackville Reach, Sackville Reach, 256 acres, 5, 32, .., 7
TURNBULL, George; Evansdale, Sackville Reach, 130 acres, 2, 12, .., 2
TURNBULL, James; Sackville Reach, Sackville Reach, 120 acres, 6, 12, .., 8
TURNBULL, Thomas; Sackville Reach, Sackville Reach, 5 acres, 4, 4, .., 4
WALKER & WALKER; Sackville Reach, Sackville Reach, 25 acres, 1, .., .., ..,
WEBB, Robert; Sackville Reach, Sackville Reach, 60 acres, 2, 3, .., ..,
WHITE, Rd., Sackville Reach, Sackville Reach, 17 acres, 6, 9, .., 8
WOODS, M., Sackville Reach, Sackville Reach, 10 acres, 2, 4, .., ..,

Ursula Mitchell (obit.1919)


Headstone of Ursula Mitchell, wife of Thomas Mitchell, and their daughter, Jane Emma Mitchell [SHRB.18]

DIED 12th JULY 1919
DIED 26th APRIL 1944

A beautiful and most loveable character, in the person of Mrs. Ursula Mitchell, relict of the late Thomas Mitchell, has gone to her reward, having passed away at her late home ‘Devonshire Cottage’ Sackville North.  The late Mrs. Mitchell had passed the 92nd milestone of life, and up till quite recently was a hale and hearty woman in full possession of all her faculties. She was a Devonshire woman, and came to this country 69 years ago, and married one of the good old Hawkesbury natives, Thomas Mitchell, at the age of 28 years, the wedding being solemnised in Windsor. She was a daughter of Uriah Shapton, her mother’s maiden name being Jane Allen. The family of the late Thomas and Ursula Mitchell are : Jane Emma, George, Lydia Grace, Thomas Shapton (the well-known Sydney commission agent, who resides at Burwood), and Nathan. The family are prominent and staunch adherents of the Methodist Church. No family is more esteemed in the Hawkesbury district, and the children were deeply attached to their dear old mother. She was a woman of many fine traits, a kindly disposition and a motherly nature, and a large circle of relatives and friends mourn for her. She obtained much solace from her Christian acts, and many heavy hearts were lightened by her practical charity, good counsel, and sympathetic interest. Her mortal remains were laid to rest in the Methodist Cemetery at Sackville Reach, in the presence of a large concourse of people, who were present as a tribute to the memory of a good woman. The Rev. John Scharkie conducted a touching burial service, and the duties of undertaker were carried out by Mr. Chandler. [SHRB.18]