Lovely and cool again today. Rained again last night and there's a decent breeze. Lovely Autumn weather on the 7th day of Autumn. Grey skies again however, so here's some more from last week's blue sky:
This is Davis & Settree. It's a former shop, built around 1920. It gazes out across the foreshore park and across the water to Davistown. It's perhaps 50 yards from the war memorial and the ferry wharf.
It was bought by Arthur Davis in 1921 and the shop half was run by his daughter Olive and her husband from 1928 to around 1979. Arthur lived in the other half and built the boatshed opposite. Looks like it's still standing. It's the one at the marina where the Renown is moored.
The Davises were Benjamin, Thomas, Rock and Edward, the ship-builders after whom Davistown (just across the water) and Bensville (just up the road a bit from Empire Bay) are named.
Rock Davis is the most well-known locally. Between them, the Davis brothers built 217 vessels at Davistown, Bensville and Blackwall in the second half of the 19th century. Rock Davis is buried at St. Paul's, that wee stone church at the Avoca Drive roundabout in Kincumber.
The Settrees were also local ship-builders. Alfred W.R.M. Settree built the Day Dawn in 1869 and 6 other boats. The Day Dawn is among the photos around the atrium food court called The Hub or The Hive or The Something at Bloody Erina (Erina Fair Shopping Centre). The Sttrees are also mentioned on the Empire Bay War Memorial and the memorial in the Woy Woy War Memorial Park.
From the Gosford Library's History of Davistown:
"“Scotchie”: William (“Scotchie”) Settree, carried mail between Woy Woy and Davistown using a rowing boat for 26 years. He died in 1916, at the age of 47. “Scotchie” Settree was reputed to have never missed a mail train at Woy Woy, nor a delivery run to Davistown in all of the 26 years he operated the service.
His sons continued the mail run until 1921, when Ferries were contracted for the service."
Love that image of the post being rowed across the water in fair weather and foul. Though it may well be that rowing in foul weather is what sent Scotchie to an early grave.
The back of Davis & Settree.
DEVELOPMENT APPROVED FOR 2
468 sqm (approx), zoned 3A
1x3 bedroom, double garage
1x2 bedroom, single garage
Majestic water views from the decks of both townhouses
Completion expected June
[estate agent's contact details]"
So this lovely old place is for the chop. Bugger.
And this one too. Could they not replace it with something a bit less generic and boring?
BUY & BUILD OR
BUY OFF THE PLAN
DA & CC APPROVED
Good opportunity to purchase commercial space or brand new
executive style townhouses
Comercial ideal for professional [something]
3 stylish townhouses with fantastic water views from the entertaining deck
[estate agent's contact details]"
"Houses (2): former boarding house "Sorrento House" 9-11 Sorrento Rd, Empire Bay ... 1906, 1929". This is No 9. No 11 has been replaced with a large noughties house. Not ugly but not 1929 either.
This was Harry Davis's place. It's just across the road and down a few yards from Davis & Settree. Harry was Olive's brother.
My hist list has 2 Strom listings for "Sorrento House". One is the listing above for 9-11 Sorrento Road. The other is "House: former post office "Sorrento House" 7 Sorrento Rd, Empire Bay ... 1908". No 7 Sorrento Road is now occupied by a seventies building that may or may not have been a Post Office at one time but now houses a fish and chip shop. The fish and chips are good but you know how I hate the seventies architecture.
Houses on the Sorrento Road foreshore at Empire Bay. The boatshed and marina are just out of frame on the right.
Left to right: 'Empire House' AKA Hagan's 1908 (also for sale); 'Davis & Settree', 12 Sorrento Road, circa 1922, former shop, 14 Sorrento Road, date unknown, 16 Sorrento Road, circa 1920.
It'll wreck this part of the foreshore if Davis & Settree and Empire House get bulldozed.