(Davistown walkies #8)
"Race Meeting "Davistown
View of betting ring & saddling paddock taken from grandstand"
"Horse races were held on a six furlong track built by Bill and George Davis and the straight of the track is still marked today by Davis Ave."
(From Illoura Res. sign, full text below)
The grandstand is long gone and I didn't spot any of those houses still in existence but the red-roofed house below is of a similar period to the race track.
Illoura Reserve Walk sign, full text:
"Illoura Reserve Walk
Restella Guest House
Davistown had its beginnings as a shipbuilding town, but by the 1920's it had become a popular tourist resort.
Davistown had much to offer, with regular ferry transport to Woy Woy railway,
well appointed boarding houses, furnished cottages, boating, fishing and bathing facilities.
Horse races were held on a six furlong track built by Bill and George Davis and the straight of the track is still marked today by Davis Ave.
Restella Guest House stood in this area, run by local identity Mrs Sarah Ellen Jenkins.
Restella was noted for its hospitality with a 1928 tourist guide saying:
"There is every provision for all holiday makers' needs; no one need make burden of their vacation by
dragging up boxes and hampers of provender. Prices locally are very reasonable."
Many pretty weekender properties were also built in this area.
Made of fibro and timber, many of these buildings were sold as inexpensive kits from local sawmills or larger suppliers such as George Hudson.
You can still be transported back to the glory days of Davistown every time you see a Putt-putt boat take to the water!
Beautifully maintained these small wooden vintage boats can often be seen chugguing along Cockle Channel.
Bill and George Davis held very popular horse races
on a six-furlong track in today's Davis Avenue.
(Dundon Collection, Gosford City Library)
[Gosford City Council logo]
Saratoga/Davistown peninsula. (Readable size)
The bright green line is Davis Avenue, the straight of the old Davistown six-furlong race track.
Across bottom, left to right:
Pelican Island off Woy Woy, Rileys Island & Empire Bay.
Top left corner: Kincumber South.
The pencil lines are the path of the Saratoga ferry.
This lovely old place has a decent chunk of land around it. Hope it stays that way. (Front view)
It's not on my hist list but is a well-maintained or restored example of Victorian Georgian (circa 1840-c.1890) or a very plain Federation Queen Anne (circa 1890 - circa 1915). Probably late Victorian. A lot of the houses along the Davistown foreshore would've been similar.
Back to race track photo
I suspect this place is not half as old as it appears but is in fact a small 1940s house with extensions here and there and with that nice wooden valance on the veranda lending a pleasant suggestion of Queen Anne (circa 1890 - c. 1915).
I like it.