Davistown: a brief history
Compiled by the Local Studies Librarian,
Gosford City Library May 2006
View of Davistown, circa 1910s.
Davistown: Davistown was named for the concentration of Davis family members living in this part of Cockle Creek. In 1851 the shipwright Benjamin Davis purchased the former James Marks property Burramun. Ben (for whom Bensville was later named) subsequently sold portions of his land to his shipwright brothers Thomas, Rock and Edward. The area came to be populated with the Davis’s and their families, hence the name Davistown.
Cutting the keel for the Patricia Cam, Davistown waterfront 1940
Shipbuilding by the Davis family: Between 1869 and 1879, Ben Davis built an estimated 34 vessels at Davistown, and a further 15 at Bensville. Rock Davis built 8 vessels here between 1854 and 1862, and later moved to Blackwall (near Woy Woy), where he built at least 160 vessels between 1863 and 1904.
Other Davistown shipbuilders: Another local shipbuilder Alfred W.R.M. Settree built 7 vessels at Davistown, including Day Dawn, Edith Keep and Dewdrop, between 1869 and 1879. Giles Jenkins built 10 vessels, mostly ketches, at Davistown between 1876 and 1889.
Bedlam: The part of Davistown in the vicinity of Lintern Street wharf was once known as Bedlam. It was reputed to have been the location of the largest aboriginal camp in the district during the days of early white settlement.
Yow Yow Estate, Davistown
Guringai people: The Davistown district was home to the Guringai tribe, whose country stretched from the north side of Sydney Harbour, north through Pittwater and Brisbane Water, to the southern end of Lake Macquarie. Signs of habitation in the Davistown area include a rock shelter and shellfish middens. The coastal Guringai people lived primarily on fish and shellfish, and occasionally caught possums, birds, reptiles and other small animals. Vegetable foods from fern roots and wild figs were used. Hunting implements included single-tipped spears, and multi-pronged fish spears tipped with fish teeth or fish bones. Spear throwers, boomerang, club, stone hatchets and net bags were found in tool kits.
Why Bedlam?: The word Bedlam is a contraction of Christ’s birthplace Bethlehem, and came to be associated with madness or confusion after the founding of the hospital of Saint Mary of Bethlehem in London in the middle ages, which later became a lunatic asylum. The exact reason why this area was known as Bedlam is lost to history.
Exploration by Governor Arthur Phillip
First journey: In early March 1788, Governor Arthur Phillip led a small party of officers and marines on an exploratory voyage along the coast to the north of Sydney Harbour. Only five weeks after the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove, it became clear that reliable supplies of water and food must be found if the settlement was to survive. During the eight-day voyage, Phillip and his party made a brief exploration of both sides of Broken Bay. This included a tributary initially known as the 'north arm'.
Governor Arthur Phillip 1738-1814
Explored this district by water in 1788 and 1789
Later this area was to be called the 'north-east arm', and eventually 'Brisbane Water'. On this first voyage Phillip passed the site of Davistown, rowing in a north-easterly direction towards modern Bensville.
Second journey: In June 1789, a more thorough investigation of the 'north-west arm' was conducted. During this voyage, Phillip and his companions explored what we know of today as Brisbane Water, reaching as far as Green Point An opportunity was taken to investigate the Kincumber Broadwater, and once again Davistown was passed on outward and inward journeys. On the first voyage, Phillip had found little of immediate use to the Sydney Cove settlement. During this second voyage, the 'north-west arm' was discounted for agricultural use, owing to the rugged nature of the area. After visiting Brisbane Water, the explorers discovered the Hawkesbury River, an area deemed much more suitable for farming. The first white settler of Brisbane Water was James Webb, who took up land at The Rip (the entrance to Brisbane Water) in 1823.
Burramun: Burramun is believed to be the aboriginal name for the Davistown area. In 1831, George Meadows took possession of 60 acres at what was later to become Davistown. Meadows supervised the running of cattle on large local properties, and would not have had much time or energy to develop his property. It is believed that Meadows and his family lived there.
Brisbane Water Case: In 1837-38 Meadows was caught up in a war of words between local residents. This complicated saga is best told elsewhere, but the legal case involved George Meadows, Henry Donnison and Willoughby Bean of Erina, John Moore of Avoca and a badly behaved cow named Blindberry. Ownership of the cow was at issue, and charges of cattle stealing were brought against Bean, Donnison and Moore. The gentlemen were clapped in irons, kept in the Gosford watch-house, and despatched to Sydney. Donnison, Bean and Moore were acquitted, and paid compensation for being poorly treated.
James Marks: In 1834, Meadows disposed of the property, known as Burramun, to James Marks, an Illawarra settler. The majority of Marks’ farming interests were located in the Illawarra, and he is unlikely to have ever visited Burramun. In 1851 Marks sold the property to Ben Davis.
An early form of employment for families along Cockle Creek was the collection of shells for lime
Shell-banks and middens: An early means of burning. The expansion of Sydney’s suburbs required a source of lime for use in mortar, and Brisbane Water was blessed with large amounts of shell in natural shell banks and in aboriginal middens. Middens are the shellfish and other remains piled up over countless years of meals. The shells found locally are mainly from the tapestry cockle and Sydney cockle.
Hard work: Shell digging for lime burning was incredibly hard work. In 1935, George Fletcher wrote in the Gosford Times: “Shell digging had to be done at low tide, and up to the waist in mud and water for a mere pittance”.
Lime burning: Shells were reduced to lime in a large conical pile, made up of alternating layers of brush timber and shells. Down the centre of the pile was left an open flue, with other airways leading to the centre from the outside. The top of the pile was covered in seaweed or sods, with more earth being piled over it. Fires were started inside the airways with kindling, and once this was burning well, the airways would be closed to moderate the heat. The process took three days to complete.
End of an era: By the 1870s, demand for the local lime product dwindled. Limestone was now being quarried elsewhere. Two Davistown vessels were still involved in taking shells to Sydney as late as the 1880s. A.W.M. Settree launched Day Dawn in 1869 at Davistown, The ketch Maggie Riley was built on Riley’s Island, and launched in 1878. In 1885, a mixed cargo of 900 baskets of shells, 16,000 laths (long and slender timber strips used in constructing wattle-and-daub walls and ceilings), two bags of oysters and one coop of fowls.
The ketch "Day Dawn", built by A.W.M. Settree at Davistown in 1869
Shell Island: In 1855, John Riley bought what was then known as Shell Island for 140 pounds, 17 shillings and sixpence. The Riley family farmed and ran a few cattle at Shell Island. Riley established a banana plantation, using seaweed for fertiliser. In the 1860s at least two ships, and possibly a third were built on Riley’s Island. Riley descendants still live in the area.
1854 map of Shell (Later known as Riley's) Island
Environment: Riley’s Island is one of three large islands in Brisbane Water. It is a low-lying island with a large expanse of mangrove swamp around its edges, and dry sclerophyll forest in its’ interior.
Mangroves provide valuable habitat for a wide range of marine and terrestrial creatures. Riley’s Island contains two species of mangroves, Avicennia marina (Grey Mangrove) and Aegiceras corniculatum (River Mangrove).
Recognition and preservation: A comparatively recent development is the recognition of the environmental value of mangrove habitats. During the 1960s efforts were made by Hooker-Rex Estates to develop canal subdivisions on both Riley’s Island and the adjoining St. Hubert’s Island. The latter island was eventually developed for residential use in the early 1970s, but a major environmental battle was waged to preserve Riley’s Island. This was ultimately successful, and Riley’s Island is now a sanctuary supporting a wide variety of fish and bird life.
Yow Yow Estate subdivision map, 1908
Yow Yow Estate…“The Favorite of Woy Woy”
Land subdivision: Yow Yow wharf once stood at the end of Mireen Avenue. The Yow Yow Estate land subdivision was advertised in April 1908 by Henry F. Halloran & Co., and described as the “Favorite of Woy Woy”. The prospectus for the estate waxed lyrically…
Every Lot is a Prize
Surrounded by Wooded Hills
The best Bathing Facilities-
Yow Yow lots will always improve in value.
Beautiful and varied Scenery.
The biggest catches of fish.
Refreshing Healthful breezes.
Yow Yow General Store, circa 1910s
Robert Henderson: Robert Henderson originally owned the 100 acres that later became Halloran’s Yow Yow Estate. Robert Henderson, the son of convicts, was born in 1796 at Parramatta. In 1817 Robert married Catherine Geary, daughter of a Pittwater settler, and later Brisbane Water landholder.
The Hendersons came to Brisbane Water in 1824, when Robert was appointed District Constable. Henderson was by all accounts a shrewd and enterprising man, who was also implicated in rum smuggling around Broken Bay and the Lower Hawkesbury. Robert Henderson is best remembered locally for his connections to his adjoining property Veteran Hall, where a private cemetery contains the remains of Robert Henderson, who died in 1869, and several family members.
Henderson family cemetery, Veteran Hall, Saratoga
Brisbane Water Ferries
Part of everyday life: Before the opening of the Rip Bridge in 1974, the many small communities around Brisbane Water relied heavily on small ferries to get them to Woy Woy and Gosford. Ferries were used for many purposes before reliable road transport. Crews and passengers relayed social news around Brisbane Water. Bodies of deceased persons were taken to Gosford for burial. Daily newspapers, mail deliveries and produce were regular cargoes. The ferries of the district would take shoppers to “Market day” at Gosford every Thursday.
Locally, ferries would stop at picturesque locations such as Veteran Hall, Lintern Street, Yow Yow, Myler’s Davidson’s Moore’s, Pine Tree, Empire Bay, Sunnyside, Eulalie, Kincumber South and Kincumber Creek.
Lintern Street Wharf is believed to takes its name from Andrew Douglas (Doug) Lintern. From the early 1920s, Doug was active in the Local Progress Association, and wrote to Erina Shire Council regarding the need to dredge the channel at Davistown.
Mr A. Gillett, writing in 2007, described Doug's work: "Doug Lintern was a well known brick layer in the district who lived on the waterfront with his family in what is now Malinya Road, the 8th house south of Lintern Street (now demolished and redeveloped). Most of the houses of this period, in the area, had their foundations and piers built by him as well as much of the brick work at the Kincumber Orphanage. Work [on the dredging of the channel] commenced in the late 1920's and with the shortage of funds in the depression years work came to a halt, still unfinished. Doug undertook to continue the dredging of what is now known as Lintern Channel. In recognition of his efforts in completing the work the channel and the street were named in his honour."
The Lintern family were well represented in Davistown.
Pioneer Ferry Service: In 1905 the Pioneer Ferry Service, operated by the Sisters of Saint Joseph, commenced operations for Kincumber Orphanage patrons and visitors. This was the beginning of regular ferry services on Brisbane Water. Ferries such as the San Jose (pronounced San Joase), Southern Cross, and Stella Maris were well known and loved by holidaymakers and locals.
"Kin-Gro" ferry pictured at Woy Woy, circa 1930s.
Kincumber Growers’ Ferries: Kincumber Growers’ Co-operative Company Ltd was formed as the result of a public meeting held in July 1921. Local farmers required a simple and rapid means of getting produce to market and rail transport.
The first ferry, the Kincumber, was built at Gordon Beattie’s Palermo shipyard on Cockle Creek and was launched in October 1921. The second ferry, Avoca , operated for a short period. Grower, another product of Gordon Beattie’s Cockle Creek yard, was launched on 29th September 1924 to carry produce and passengers.
In 1924 the company shortened its’ name to Kincumber Growers Ltd. The ferry Kin-Gro joined the service in 1927. The Growers’ Ferry serviced Davistown, Empire Bay, Woy Woy, Sunnyside (Bensville), Kincumber South and Kincumber Creek. On 30th June, 1944, the service was terminated.
Sunny holidays at Davistown
Holiday resort: While Davistown had its beginnings in the serious business of shipbuilding, by the 1920s it had become a very popular holiday resort. Davistown had much to offer, with regular ferry transport to and from Woy Woy railway station, several well-appointed boarding houses, furnished cottages, boating, fishing and bathing facilities.
A 1928 Tourist guide announced “there is every provision for all holiday makers’ needs; no one need make a burden of their vacation by dragging up boxes and hampers of provender. Prices locally are very reasonable.”
Foreshore view, Davistown, circa 1920s
Restella: Restella Guest House, run by local identity Mrs Sarah Ellen Jenkins, once stood between Restella Avenue and Davistown Road. This local attraction was noted for its hospitality, with a feeling of home, and a complete lack of formality.
Race meeting, Davistown circa 1920s
Horse Racing: Horse races were held on a six-furlong racetrack built by Bill and George Davis. The straight of the track is marked by today’s Davis Avenue. In 1898 a race meeting attracted 200 people. “Counterfeit”, owned by George Frost, had two wins and a place.
Davistown, looking East, circa 1920s
Weekenders: The pressures of modern living have taken a toll on the picturesque weekender cottages that were once so plentiful in the area. Of fibro and timber, many of these buildings were sold as inexpensive kits from local sawmills, or larger suppliers such as George Hudson. These standard designs utilised weatherboards to window height. The reason given for this was that stray cows leaned against them, breaking the asbestos sheets.
Davistown in 1928
The Erina Shire Tourist Guide of 1928 describes Davistown:
Davistown occupies a position in the heart of Brisbane Water, on a peninsula round which Cockle Creek runs. Two ferry companies ply with frequent launch services along this waterway, and for visitors the access by this route from Woy woy station is very convenient. Davistown is fortunate in that it also has a land connection, by a road joining with the main Gosford to Kincumber Road, about 7 ½ miles.
At Davistown there are well-appointed boarding houses, with boating and sports facilities. Many furnished cottages are available for renting at reasonable rates; most of them have boats. There are stores, post and telephone office, and school. There is a fine public bathing enclosure, built by residents and supervised by a local committee authorised by the Shire Council. A Progress Association assists materially in the advancement of the locality. Among the sports horse racing has held a prominent place, and tennis and cricket enthusiasts are provided for. Besides bathing and boating, there is the all-the year-round attraction of splendid fishing, for the grounds round Davistown are famous, and provide unfailing sport. Boats and launches may be hired.
To the west of Davistown is Yow Yow, a contiguous village, where also furnished cottages are available, and supplies may be purchased. Its location and attractions are similar to those of Davistown.
At these resorts, as elsewhere in the Brisbane water area, there is every provision for all holiday makers' needs; no one need make a burden of their vacation by dragging up boxes and hampers of provender. Prices locally are very reasonable.
1937 Advertisement for Chapman Pup marine engines
Messing about in boats: Small vintage wooden boats, typically driven by 2 ½ to 10 horsepower engines, can often be seen chugging along Cockle Channel. Beautifully maintained, the Putt-putts come together every year in the Putt-putt regatta, with activities held on the water and Davistown foreshores. Here, enthusiasts mutter about Chapman Pup’s, Blaxlands and Vincos, and admire boats with names like Cockle Queen and Bal-e-nah. More than anything else, the Putt-putts are guaranteed to transport you back to the glory days of Davistown. Many were built in and around Davistown, and at other locations such as Woy Woy, Orange Grove and Empire Bay. The Putt Putt regatta encourages the building of new Putt Putt boats, the restoration of original boats and nostalgia for old boats through a range of novelty events.
Glenorie Boarding House, Davistown, circa 1920s
Yesterday’s supermarket: The forerunner of the supermarket, General Stores kept communities supplied with a wide range of everyday commodities, including soap, biscuits (dispensed from large glass jars into brown paper bags), tea, nails, wire, brooms, sweets and ice cream. The humble General Store was often a place for exchanging news and gossip, for booking theatre tickets and buying household insurance. The General Store was often located strategically, being near ferry wharves, main roads or village centres.
Fienberg’s: The surviving heritage listed store at No.1 McCauley Street has had many owners. In 1928 you could “make your holiday cheaper by getting your goods at “Fienberg’s”. They had “everything you want at city prices”. Like many General Stores in this area, the owners rented out furnished cottages for the holiday trade.
The General Store at No. 1 McCauley Street Davistown has had many owners. Photo circa 1927
Business Centre, Davistown, circa 1920s
Beginnings: In the 1885-87 period A.S. Jaques operated the Gosford-Cockle Creek-Kincumber mail service, using horseback.
“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.
Roads: The importance of roads to early Davistown was perhaps minimal, as most transport in and around Brisbane Water was water-based.
A 1840s area survey by William Wells shows a rough bridle track, following the path of the current Davistown Road, but heading west from the ridge top and leading to Robert Henderson's property Veteran Hall, between Davistown and Saratoga. In 1901, a map of Brisbane Water shows a road following the route of Davistown Road, right into Davistown.
Some slight improvements to Davistown Road are believed to have occurred in the late 1920s.
Tragedy: On Sunday, 29th March 1936, two cars drove down Davistown Road, and plunged off the wharf into Cockle Channel. Six of the eight occupants were drowned. Apparently the driver of the first car mistook the wharf for a bridge. Locals rescued survivors in rowing boats, and they were cared for at Glenorie boarding house.
Road conditions: The condition of the roads is perhaps best indicated by the total lack of cars in early photos of Davistown. A military survey in 1942 showed the main road as being metalled or gravelled, but all of the other roads locally were dirt.
A report to Gosford Shire Council at a Special Meeting on 25th October 1951 described in detail the history of works. Council prepared a plan for works in 1949. Tenders were called for in December 1950, but the tender received was too high. Council road gangs undertook the work, but problems with road levels, and the unexpected need to replace a timber culvert blew the costs out considerably.
To add insult to injury, Council at this time had to hire road construction plant from contractors. This was a very troubled project indeed, and it cost £5865.10.0 in Contractor's plant hire fees, and £ 5507.0.0 in Council day labour. The report said that "it was necessary to hire plant from private contractors at rates in the vicinity of two or three times that at which the council could supply and operate its own equipment".
In August 1952, the Davistown Progress Association complained to Gosford Shire Council about the state of roads in Davistown. £11,000 (roughly $22,000) had been spent on gravelling the Davistown Road, but this had been wasted because the road was unsealed, and heavy rain was eroding it badly. Tar sealing of Davistown road may have progressed after this, but it was probably not completed into the 1960s. Aerial photographs from 1964 reveal that many backstreets of Davistown were still gravel or dirt.
By 1952, Grevillia Avenue was "in such a condition, after wet weather, that doctors and the ambulance could not use it". A January 1954 Gosford Times report said that a truck carrying 3000 bottles of milk to Davistown overturned on Bourke's Hill. The driver, local resident Jack Curtis, was badly shaken but unhurt. Wyong Dairy worked overtime to pasteurise and bottle an emergency supply for the village!
Bus services: the exact date of commencement of bus services to Davistown is yet to be found, but an old timetable of A. Marrin's has survived from the mid-late 1930s.
The old timetable reveals that bus services would start off at Saratoga, taking 15 minutes to get to Davistown, then on to Gosford taking ½ an hour to get there.
On Sundays there was one morning service to Gosford and back, and 4 return afternoon services. Of a week day 7 return services were available (4 morning and 3 afternoon services). The earliest service left for Gosford at 5.45 am, and the last service departed Davistown at 5.45 pm. On Fridays only an extra service left Davistown at 6.50pm, presumably to take youngsters to the pictures at Gosford.
Many Davistown children crossed Cockle Channel to go to school at Empire Bay prior to the establishment of Brisbania School in 1941.
Education: Cockle Creek School, at today’s Empire Bay, was established on 2nd May 1881, with an enrolment of 42. Mr. Jeffreys was the first teacher. Being just across the water from Davistown, this was the local school.
In 1902 there was a proposal to change the school name to Davis Town, to match the local Post Office, but in 1910, the name Davis Town was dropped, and Empire Bay was used thereafter.
Brisbania Public School: Difficulties had been experienced in getting children across Cockle Creek to Empire Bay. As the numbers of children grew, the need arose for a school to serve both Davistown and Saratoga.
Pat Bourke, of the orchard family, donated land for a school to the Department of Education. On 16th September, 1941, the school opened with 11 boys and 11 girls in a one room portable classroom. Ages ranged from 6-13 years. Lack of rain after opening meant that the children had to carry bottled water with them until the first rain.
A shelter shed was added in 1947, and this was extended in 1948. The school had one teacher until 1950. When two teachers started, classes for Infants were held in the shelter shed until other buildings were completed.
By 1969 the school had five classrooms and teachers. Increased demand for classes lead to staged extensions. The first stage opened in 1973, but Stage 2 had not materialised by the late 1980s. Today the school has an enrolment of around 440 children.
Davistown Public Hall
Davistown Public Hall: On 12th December 1921, Erina Shire Council approved plans for Davistown Public Hall. In January 1922 Gosford Police reported that the "hall is in the course of erection, the walls are completed and good progress has been made, but it will be another two months before the hall is finished".
Picture Show men: By April 1922, the hall was in use. A travelling picture show brought "The last of the Mohicans" to Davistown, before moving on to Terrigal. The hall was licensed for Picture Show use in May of 1922. The hall was used for a variety of community shows, balls, galas and fundraisers.
In February 1923 a Hospital ball was held. Councillor C.J. Staples said in his address to those gathered that "the size and appointments of the Davistown Hall were an agreeable surprise to people who visited it for the first time; it was a credit to the district and the men whose enterprising spirit it represented".
Charles Hickling was an automotive engineer by trade, who ran various local picture shows in halls locally. He built a projection box so that he could use the hall regularly as a cinema. The projection box was a fibro box mounted on four 4" x 2" hardwood supports!
Community ownership: As a picture venue, the hall must have been substandard, with numerous complaints about the sanitary arrangements. In the early 1950s it was also noted that the hall was in poor condition.
In 1953, moves were made by the Davistown Progress Association to bring the hall, which had been in private ownership, under the Progress Association's control. By 1962, the hall had ceased to be used as a cinema, and the Trustees of the Davistown Progress Association were noted as proprietors.
Hall upgrades: In the late 1980s a major refurbishment of the hall took place, with new doors, windows, roofing. This was followed in the 1990s with construction of a new toilet block. In the late 1990s further enhancements were added to the kitchen. A new plywood floor was installed in 2004.
Electricity and telephone: Electricity appears to have been connected to Davistown in 1936-1937. In August 1915 the first telephone subscriber in Davistown was F. Freeman, of “The Nook”, with “Davis Town #1” of the Gosford Network.
By October 1916, the number of telephones had doubled, with the installation of a public telephone. In April 1928, 5 private subscribers had phones in the Davistown area. These were: #1; Kincumber Orphanage; #2; Beattie, W. Agent; #3; Restella Boarding house; #4; Glenorie boarding house, and #5; Trotman, G.M. Storekeeper.
Post WW2 development
Davistown grows: Following World War 2 there was a small but steady influx of new residents to Davistown. By the late 1950s, the areas along the foreshore from Gosford Road to the west around to Davis Street in the east were almost completely built out. New subdivisions had been surveyed on the northern end of Davistown, and east of Magnolia Street but very few houses had been built.
The first church: In May 1953 it was announced that Davistown's first church, a Methodist Church, would be built on land in Lilli Pilli Street, opposite the sportsground. Reverend L.A.R. Taylor, Gosford Methodist minister, said "Davistown people were enthusiastic about the prospect of having a symbol of the Christian faith erected in their community".
Davistown R.S.L.: Davistown R.S.L. appears to have been formed in 1950. On Sunday April 23rd, 1961, a cenotaph built by the club was unveiled. A new clubhouse opened on 18th February, 1967.
In 1972, Davistown R.S.L. announced plans to spend $2 million on a new club complex. The project was to include a new clubhouse, sports oval, three bowling greens, tennis courts, a swimming pool and 50 units for the aged.
Changes in the 1980s: An October 1984 article in the Central Coast Express, titled "Davistown is no longer a sleepy little fishing village, local agent", gave a good description of the area. Irene Kirwan, a local Real estate agent is quoted as saying "Davistown is no longer a sleepy little fishing village consisting mainly of holiday and retirement homes Davistown provides a variety of housing for people of all ages and incomes". Prices at that time ranged from $30,000 for a holiday home, an investment property or an affordable first home for young couples to $170,000 for the person who wants an executive home on the waterfront", said Irene.
Benefits of living in Davistown were listed as including close proximity to main centres (only 15 minutes by car to Gosford and other regional shopping centres), as well as regular Bus services, churches, shops and a primary school. The Davistown R.S.L. also provided a variety of entertainment on a weekly basis.
Davistown/Saratoga Bush Fire Brigade: The local bush fire brigade in 1983-84 was under the command of Captain Ernie Guilbert and Senior Deputy Captain Doug Litchfield.
At that time the brigade, with the radio call sign "YS Davistown", had 12 members, equipped with an Austin 4 x 2 Tanker with a 500 gallon water capacity, 900 feet of hoses, 6 knapsacks, 6 McLeod tools (The McLeod tool is specifically designed for fire fighting and is generally used for construction of fire breaks and dry fire fighting), 2 drip torches, 2 chainsaws, a Grazcos 35E pump, and a small quantity of sundry fire fighting equipment.
Alloura Waters Retirement Village: Alloura Village is currently home to about 300 people, living in 198 dwellings. In 1990 the then owners Alloura Waters Pty. Ltd, were initially granted permission to construct a 327 unit retirement village on the corner of Davistown and Murna Roads.
The original owners went into receivership, and Central Coast Retirement Limited purchased the assets. The proximity of the proposed retirement village to shops, the RSL Club and other services, and its flat surroundings, made this site a popular choice. Community facilities include a library, dining areas, billiard rooms, barbecue area and indoor heated pool and spa.
Davistown today: In the 2001 Census, the population of Davistown was given as 1942 persons. In recent times the Putt Putt regatta, and the reinstatement of ferry services along Cockle Creek, have led to an increased tourist awareness of the attractions of the Davistown area.
The older weatherboard holiday homes that once lined the waterfront reserve are being gradually replaced by larger, modern brick homes. The retirement villages in the area have developed their own active micro-communities. Gosford City Council recently defined the existing character of Davistown, and outlined directions for sustainable development in the future. Davistown is not as sleepy as it once was.
Larger homes have replaced the many small weatherboard holiday cottages of old
Ferries still visit Davistown on a regular basis
A history of Central Coast Schools (Local Studies LS 372.2099442 Hist)
Davistown -- history (Local Studies Vertical File, GCL)
Davistown Progress Association. Heritage nomination of Community Hall, Davistown, 2006. (Local Studies GCL, unpublished typescript, 2006.)
Dundon, Gwen. The shipbuilders of Brisbane Water. East Gosford., The author, 1997. (Local Studies LS 994.42 Dund, GCL)
Erina Shire Tourist Guide, 1928 (Local Studies Microfilm, GCL)
Gosford City Council. Emergency Fire Plan 1983/84 (LS363.378 Gosf, GCL)
Gosford Shire Council Minutes, various dates (Local Studies Microfilm, GCL)
Maps and aerial photographs, various. (Local Studies, GCL)
Tod, Les & Connolly, Brendan. Paddocks, Palaces & Picture shows. (Local Studies LS 791.43099442 Conn, GCL)