Tucka Tucka Dispersal Sale 1899
I have in my possession a leather bound copy of the Private Catalogue of the Tucka Tucka Stud (Sale), Yetman, Macintyre River, NSW; the property of John R Smith; March 1st 1899; Sydney: W E Smith, Bridge Street 1899. It’s ‘pure gold’ for any thoroughbred racing and breeding historical enthusiast. The catalogue was compiled and printed by auctioneers H Chisholm & Company, 60 Castlereagh Street, Sydney. It’s a veritable work of art.
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The catalogue makes fascinating reading. There are listed for sale six (6) stallions and ninety-two (92) mares all in alphabetical order.
The stallions are Bandmaster, Far Niente (imp.), Gaulus, Gozo (imp.), Metal (imp.) and Prodigal. Gozo was actually ‘got’ (conceived) in England but foaled in NSW. Gozo was one of the most highly regarded stallions of his era. He was the sire of two Melbourne Cup winners: “Gaulus” (1897) and “The Grafter” (1898). The latter ran second to ‘Gaulus’ in 1897 completing a stud quinella. There are listed many other successful progeny especially by leading sire Gozo.
‘Gozo’ was Australian Champion Thoroughbred Sire in 1898-1899.
With the sale of ‘Tucka Tucka’ this was a unique and never-to-be-repeated event.
In their most erudite exposition on “How to breed an Australian Racehorse” in ‘Racehorses in Australia’ the editors Dr W H Lang, Ken Austin and Dr Stewart McKay comment on the supposed quality of the hooves of Gozo stock. “They are not Gozo feet” eminent trainer Mr Joe Burton used to tell me; “they are Tucka Tucka feet.” This was a direct reference to the country on Tucka Tucka and its influence on the growth and development of the hooves of young horses reared there.
Two pages of the catalogue are devoted to each mare listed; the tabulated pedigrees to six generations are on the left hand of the catalogue with the breeding, stud record, racing record of progeny and racetrack performance of the mare on the opposite (right hand) page. Space is left for upgrading the progeny performance in succeeding years up to 1905. Most of the mares boast significant all round performance in all the major racing states (excluding WA). At least three of the mares, ‘Adelia’, ‘Dairy Maid’ and ‘Milkmaid’ won the Warialda Sires Produce Stakes. This rated highly and was listed as superior to metropolitan success such as the ‘Sapling Stakes’ (Rosehill) and Kirkham Stakes (AJC Randwick). It may be the local club indeed took precedence; at least in the purview of the local sportsmen.
Warialda Jockey Club
Mr W E Geddes Honorary Secretary
When Mr. Geddes first identified himself with racing at Warialda small Meetings were hold on holidays only. He, however, soon succeeded in forming a club; and great, progress was made. The annual gatherings are now most successful, and attract sporting men from considerable distances. The prize money paid over at each meeting is about £400. In 1882 the club instituted a Sires’ Produce Stakes, the only one in the north. The race is yearly increasing in popularity; and bids fair to assume large dimensions in the near future. Mr. Geddes acts as one of the handicappers for the club; and his services are often secured by neighboring racing bodies. As a horse owner, he has met with fair success on the turf; and a win by any representative of the navy and cardinal colours is always popular.
In 1880 the club presented Mr. Geddes with a handsome silver cup; and after the annual meeting last year a few of his admirers made up a subscription; and handed to him a splendid and costly epergne and address as a tribute to his worth. A few years ago he was appointed a magistrate; but he declined the proffered honor. Besides racing, he takes an active part in all matters for the advancement of the town and district, being a good worker in connection with athletic sports, cricket, hospital, School of Arts etc. as well as being chairman of the Public School Board.
The Warialda racecourse is situated one mile and a half from the town, and is seventy-nine chains round, one chain wide, except the straight, which is three chains. By large expenditure and constant attention the running ground, is in excellent condition, and it is said to be the fastest mile and a half course in the colony. A useful stand, from which a first-class view can be obtained all the way round, has been erected; and, as the funds are in a satisfactory state, and the motto of the committee is “Excelsior” other improvements will follow in due course.
It is clear Mr. John R Smith was one of the pre-eminent thoroughbred breeders of his generation which included such behemoth luminaries as the Honourable James White of ‘Belltrees’ and ‘Kirkham’. It’s also fascinating to explore the origins of the settlement of pastoral property ‘Tucka Tucka’ which appears ‘remote’. It turns out there are many early connections with early settlement of Hunter Valley families including the Macintyres and McDougalls. ‘Tucka Tucka’ is also mentioned in ‘Racehorses in Australia’ by Dr W H Lang, Ken Austin and Dr Stewart McKay.
Yetman is located on the Macintyre River about 30 kilometres (19 miles) south of the Queensland border and 701 kilometres (436 miles) north of Sydney. It is located at the intersection of the roads south to Tamworth, east to Tenterfield and north-west to Boggabilla.
The area was once occupied by the Bigambul, a sub-group of the Murri Aboriginal people who used to fish along the Macintyre River. The Yetman Station was established in 1837 by the Dights who followed Allan Cunningham’s trail to the north.
The first two hotel licences were issued in 1866 at about same time as the first store was built – the Yetman Hotel first and then the Macintyre Hotel. The Macintyre Hotel was built and first operated by William Watson Rainbow. Country hotels were often the social hub of the town and the Macintyre Hotel was no exception. Its verandah served as a stand for the racing stewards at the Easter Races of 1870. New Year and Easter Races saw the “squatters and gentry” mix with the selectors and station labourers – master and man united in their enthusiasm for racing, betting and celebratory dinners. The latter were often hosted by the publican, who often put up a prize or two for the winners. The Macintyre Hotel is no more, while the Yetman Hotel became what is now the Codfish Hotel.
The first public school was established in 1867, following a letter from local people – William Watson Rainbow, Sidonia Hensler, William Playle, Jacob Miller, William Sleuk and George Kobs – to the Council of Education. The Yetman Post Office opened on 1 September 1867. In applying for a post office the applicants claimed that the population was then about 100 but this was considered a considerable exaggeration. The publican of the Yetman Hotel, Richard Holmes, became the first Postmaster. The first police station was built in 1874. St Andrews Church was built in the 1870s for use by both Presbyterian and Anglican congregations.
The town has always been associated with beef cattle and horses, with the sheep, wool and timber industries developing only slightly later. The thick rabbit and prickly-pear-ridden scrub of the brigalow and belah country was reclaimed from expiring leases in the 1920s and the back-breaking work of rendering it fit for agriculture did not bear fruit until the 1950s when wheat-growing became and remains a highly successful enterprise. Some crops are also grown on the fecund black soils of the river flats.
McDougall, Charles Edward (Charlie) (1865–1923)
from Pastoral Review, 16 June 1923
The death of Mr. Charles Edward McDougall took place at Warwick on the 16th May, after a short illness, and that of his mother, on the 26th of the same month.
The passing away of this well-known breeder of stock, cast a gloom not only over the town of Warwick, but all over the country, and his death is a national loss, for good breeders are born, not bred, and his fame as a breeder of blood horses and Shorthorn cattle was known all over Australia and part of Africa. He was a good and dutiful son to his aged mother, and for that reason probably he never married, but remained single in the old home of Lyndhurst to the end.
Mr. Charlie McDougall, the name by which he was so lovingly known, was the third of six sons of his parents, and he had two sisters. His father, Mr. Malcolm Septimus McDougall, was so christened because he was the seventh of eight sons. There was only one sister, who remained single, a noble woman, universally loved and respected for her charitable actions in her native State (New South Wales).
Mrs. Malcolm McDougall, who has just followed her son, was a daughter of Captain Weston, of Horseley; her late mother, who was 98 when she died, was a daughter of Colonel Johnstone; names which are written largely on the history of New South Wales. Lyndhurst has always been proverbial for its hospitality, and it has been the home of many old country friends.
The McDougall family, who were born on the Hunter, were all men of magnificent physique, the eldest being Hon. J. F. McDougall, who originally owned Tucka Tucka, on the McIntyre River, and was a member of the Upper House in Queensland. This station, a grand property, he sold to the Dights, who owned Yetman and Boonal on each side. He then purchased Rosalie Plains and Cooyar, and came to live at Milton about 1858 or 1859. After leaving school his elder son, Mr. Darcy F., managed these properties. Two brothers, Donald and Wallace, took up Texas Station, on the Sovereign River, then a very large property, on both sides of the river, about 1840 or 1841. After a time Mr. Malcolm assumed the management. It was there that Mr. C. E. McDougall was born in 1865. The station brands were IMD and TXS, and the cast of cattle were well known on the Hunter River, where they were sold and fattened to be near the markets. After some years at Texas Mr. Malcolm bought Goonian (not Gunyan, as now spelt), between Texas and Bonshaw, and with his family resided there, giving up the management of Texas.
Later Mr. Malcolm parted with Goonian to Mr. W. H. Hetherington, the owner of Bonshaw, who was the first settler in that part.
Mr. Malcolm McDougall then purchased Clifton, a cattle station on the Maranoa, and desiring to be near a school for younger members of the family, purchased Lyndhurst Estate, on the Condamine, near Warwick, from the executors of the late St. George Ralph Gore, where he lived until he died, regretted by all who knew him, for he was a gentleman in every sense of the word, upright in all his dealings and as straight as a gun barrel, as the old saying hath it.
All the McDougalls were fond of horses, and bred a splendid type of such, animals that could carry a man all day and every day, so it was natural that Mr. Charlie should become a breeder of blood horses, and for that purpose leased the Lyndhurst estate from the family, later purchasing some of the freeholds in the vicinity.
The first job he went at after leaving school, early in 1882, was with his elder brother, Mr. W. N. McDougall, to take a lot of bulls, bred by Charles Baldwin, which their father had purchased from Bracker for Clifton; strange what a conspicuous place the Baldwin-bred cattle and type would later occupy in the success of his own stud. After that job he went to look after a property of his cousin’s (Mr. Darcy T. McDougall), near Cooyar, which latter place and Rosalie Plains, Darcy was managing for his father. Both his cousin and his wife (also a cousin) were exceedingly good judges of Shorthorn cattle, and no doubt he somewhat profited by their tuition.
On the advice of Mr. Bracker he decided to start breeding Durham cattle, so bought 10 heifers from Mrs. Waddell, of Benvenue, which he got at 5 guineas each. These turned out really well, and one of them, by Deronda (by Lord Red Rose 12th), bred by A. A. Dangar at Baroona, became the dam of Lady Beverley, by Beverley Duke 20th (Angus bred). She mated with Baldwin’s Peer and produced the old unbeaten favourite Lyndhurst Royal Peer, a magnificent beast and sire, and winner of many championships.
At the dispersal of the Canning Downs stud by the late J. D. Macansh’s Executors he bought 27 cows descended from the imported cows Saphrina, Double Gloster, Ino, and Jessie. The most successful cow of these was Duchess of York. Lady Baldwin was a big roan bred at Lyndhurst, another champion, ex a Baldwin-bred dam. Princess Imperial 2nd, roan in colour, was also a champion, as was Lyndhurst Royal Rose, a double champion, both home bred. Another successful sire and prizewinner was the 11th, another Peer; many more of the Peers were good.
Of the many sires got for Lyndhurst, Baldwin’s Peer was the most successful, and he gained many champion ribbons. After him came Clipper Duke (imp.), 92178 C.H.B., a very fine red and a good handler of the Kirklevington tribe, tracing back to the famous Nell Gwynne. Clogher Augustus, a roan, bred in Ireland, 114735 C.H.B., was introduced later. He was remarkably good on crops and chine. The stock of these two bulls proved quick fatteners with fine constitutions, and were much appreciated in North Queensland.
In 1916 Mr. McDougall asked me to accompany him to Dulacca West, where I stayed two days riding through about 200 beautiful breeding cows and heifers mated with the sires, and although my friend asked me to be critical and point out any he ought to take out and fatten, there were only five or six, and they were fair. They were certainly a fine lot to breed herd bulls, and to please the most captious critic. As the old-time breeders, such as the Lees, of Bylong, Halls, Baldwins, would say: “They were bred to please the eyes of a judge, not to please paper pedigrees.”
To do this you must cull out and not be guided by sentiment. Of late years Mr. McDougall purchased Murweh, where another large stud is kept.
JOHN DIGHT AND HIS DESCENDANTS
By the President, Norman S. Pixley C.M.G., M.B.E., V.R.D., Kt.O.N., F.R. Hist. S.Q.
Read at the Annual Meeting of the Royal Historical Society of Queensland 22 September 1977
It is 176 years since John Dight came to Australia. From the time this early pioneer first received a grant of land at Richmond on the Hawkesbury River, he and members of his family extended their holdings north to the Mclntyre River on the border of what is now Queensland and as far south as the River Yarra.
John Dight was born in Axminister, Devon on 24 March 1772and arrived in Sydney as a surgeon in the Earl Cornwallis on 10 June 1801. He was accompanied by his wife Hannah and their infant daughter Sarah, who had been born the previous year. He was appointed surgeon to the Governor Philip Gidley King and a document still in the possession of descendants shows he was permitted the right of private practice also, at a charge of 2/6d per patient. There is, however, no record of his practising his profession in this regard, as Dight fairly early obtained a position in the Commissariat Department until he received a grant of land at Richmond. The farm, which was called “Durham Bowes” was situated on the river at Mulgrave.
In James Steele’s “Early Days of Windsor” John Dight’s name appears as one of the signatories in 1807 to an address presented by “Holders of landed estates and principal inhabitants of the Hawkesbury, Portland, Richmond and neighbouring districts” to Governor Bligh, thanking him for his “unbounded attention to the district and the Colony at large in the dreadful crisis in which he found it”. His name is also shown among those who signed an address of welcome to Governor Macquarie in 1810, and the following year he was honorary secretary of the committee formed to build a new Anglican Church and school house at Windsor.
The magistrates in those days had a strong body of the chief settlers, known as the Grand Jury, associated with them and the Sydney Gazette dated 28 October 1826 shows John Dight as foreman of the Windsor Grand Jury. In 1828 Governor Darling appointed him Coroner of the Hawkesbury District, an office he held until 1835. John and Hannah Dight had five sons, George, Samuel, Charles, John and Arthur and eight daughters Sarah, Mary, Elizabeth, Ann, Jane, Frances, Susan and Sophia: all except Sarah, the eldest of the family, were born in New South Wales. Some years before his death on 2 July 1837, John Dight received a Crown grant of a considerable area near Singleton consisting of two properties which he called “Stafford” and “Clifford”. One of his sons, George, went to “Stafford” and another, Samuel, to “Clifford”. Hannah Dight who was born on 8 November 1781, lived for many years after the loss of her husband until her death on 27 May 1862 aged 81.
LINKS WITH HOWE FAMILY
The Dights became closely linked with the family of John and Jane Howe into which three of them had married. George married Elizabeth Howe, Ann married James Howe, and Samuel married Sophia, who died some years later: Samuel then married her sister Emma. John Howe had, in 1820, led a party of explorers from Windsor to examine the Hunter River district: among the group was Benjamin Singleton after whom Singleton was named. It was from Singleton that three of John Dight’s sons George, Samuel and Arthur with their brothers-in-law John and Robert Howe went further afield. Travelling through Breeza near Tamworth, which was the last outpost of civilisation, they reached the Namoi River where they remained for a year on two properties which they named “Carrol” and “Kilbah”: these were held in the names of Robert Howe and Hannah Dight. Then, moving north the party came to country which is now “Yalleroi”, but pressed on as the blacks had told them of a big river ahead. This was the Mclntyre and here they took up country on both sides of the river, calling it “Yetman” and on down the river for 40 miles to an area which they called “Merriwa”.
The extent of their properties was considerable. “Yetman” consisting of 70,000 acres was taken up in the name of George Dight’s mother Hannah, “Tucka-Tucka” 30,000 acres and “Boonal” 55,000 acres both in the names of George and Samuel Dight; “Merriwa” 25,000 acres was in John Howe’s name.
This period was in 1836-1837, as letters written at that time and now in the possession of the Mitchell Library, show. “Tucka-Tucka” or “Tucoi Tucoi”, as the aborigines called it because of the big fishing hole, was not held for long as the blacks were very hostile. While Parmenter, a working man from the “Stafford” property was standing between George and Samuel near the stables, he was speared and killed. “Boonal” was held until well into the 1890’s; John Dight (a grandson of the first John Dight) lived there with his family. Although “Merriwa” was taken up in John Howe’s name, a document in the Mitchell Library, written in 1837, showing the boundaries of this property, is signed by John Howe and Samuel Dight as owners, also Thomas Crampton who had a working share in the property.
Crampton depastured cattle on the Queensland side of the river that year, the first to cross what is now the border, at the junction of the Mclntyre and Dumaresq Rivers. This was before
John Campbell and the Leslies, who came in 1840: Donald Gunn refers to this in his book “Links with the Past”, in which he has had reproduced copy of a letter from “Merriwa” dated 29 September 1837 which confirms this.
HAMILTON HUME AND ELIZABETH
Elizabeth Dight married Hamilton Hume the explorer in St. Philip’s Church, Sydney on 8 November 1825. The Hume and Howe families were closely related, as Andrew Hume, Hamilton’s father, married Elizabeth Moore Kennedy, a sister of James Raworth Kennedy whose daughter Jane married John Howe. Andrew Hume, after floods in his property on the Hawkesbury, obtained land next to John Dight: the families thus being neighbours, Elizabeth and Hamilton grew up together, and from an early age she waited for him to finish his explorations. Born at Parramatta on 18 June 1797 he had commenced these at the age of 17 in May 1814 and finally, after the overland trip with Hovell from Lake George to Port Philip in 1824, Hamilton and Elizabet were married: they had no children.
After his discoveries of Bathurst and the Goulburn plains
Hamilton received a grant of 300 acres from Governor Macquarie at Appin in 1821 where he built a house later: this was the first home until 1827-1828, when he and Elizabeth moved to Yass. His properties were “Cooma”, “Marchmont”, “Euralie” and “Humewood”. “Cooma Cottage”, where Hamilton died in 1873, was their home for 33 years: it is just off the road near the junction of the Hume Highway and the Barton Highway, 35 miles from Canberra. Two miles along the Hume Highway is Yass. In 1969 the cottage was in serious disrepair, but fortunately has now been restored at considerable cost. The graves of Hamilton and Elizabeth are in the Anglican section of Yass cemetery and are cared for by the local Council.
On the advice of his son-in-law Hamilton Hume, John Dight had cast an eye towards the south. He obtained land on the Murrumbidgee, over landing stock to set up one of the first properties in the rich upper Murray district: the property was named “Bungowannah Park”, “Bungowannah” being an aboriginal word meaning “parting of the storms”. About 18 miles to the north is an area still known as “Dight’s Forest”, the local township being “Jinderah”. In addition John Dight Jnr. and his brother Charles went on to Albury in 1836 and took up land there. They pressed on in 1839 to the River Yarra, where they purchased land in the name of John Dight (John Dight Jnr.) and established a flour mill at Yarra Bend, where Dight’s Falls still perpetuate the name.
A description of the area from the Colonial Secretary’s Registrar records: — “Purchase by John Dight of Campbelltown, 26 acres in the parish of “Jika Jika”, County of Bourke 88. One chain reserved for ford Alexander Parade and Johnson Street”. Some years after the mill had been working, the brothers built a weir across the Yarra to ensure a constant supply of water to drive the mill wheel.
An article in a Melbourne and Metropolitan Works publication, dated February 1970, headed “A Legacy from Messrs Dight”, reproduces and old illustration of the flour mill and says:— “The mill building has now disappeared entirely but the weir remains. In the early 1890’s the Public Works Department took advantage of the back-up of river water to build a pumping station at Dight’s Falls and a small reservoir on high ground at Studley Park. Water pumped up to the reservoir gravitated to Albert Park and the Botanic Gardens to maintain the level of their lakes. Some of it was also piped to the city to power the old fashioned hydraulic lifts. The board took over the Dight’s Falls system from the Public Works Department in 1924: the pumping station was demolished in 1964 and the reservoir two years later. But Dight’s Falls are still there, an unexpectedly picturesque feature linking the rural pleasantness of Yarra Bend National Park with the ugly utilitarianism of the opposite bank. What is more, they will be there in perpetuity, for without them the Yarra would drop and in summer would dwindle to a series of mudholes. As the authority controlling metropolitan rivers and streams, keeping Dight’ Falls in order is one of the board’s many minor responsibilities”.
Dr Alan Mackay of Toorak, Melbourne, a direct descendant of John and Hannah Dight, says his father spoke of going to the “Falls House” when a boarder at Melbourne Grammar School between 1877 and 1879. In his possession is a print of the opening of the first Legislative
Council by Governor Latrobe on 13 November 1857: the key of this shows No. 19 Mr. Dight. This was Charles Dight, a member of the first Legislative Council.
From the records of the Melbourne Dioscesan Grammar School 1849-1857 Dr. Mackay has extracted the following: —
No. 114 Dight, John Thomas (son of John Dight) born 1841 entered 1852, and his brothers
No. 115 Dight, Charles Hilton born 1848
No. 117 Dight, William George born 1846
This school became the Melbourne Church of England Grammar School in 1858 and its roll shows No. 245 Dight, Hamilton Hume son of Charles Hilton Dight, born 1846, left 1863. Meanwhile changes in the ownership of other properties took place in the fulness of time. George and Samuel Dight became the owners of “Stafford” and “Clifford” in the Singleton district, while Arthur the youngest son purchased “Clarendon” from William Cox in 1862 and was left the farm in that year. Arthur was interested in the station properties of “Yendah” and “Windah” in Queensland. In 1869 he entered the New South Wales Parliament as representative of the Hawkesbury district. In 1849 George Dight took his little son George William, aged seven, to “Yetman” returning with a draft of cattle, the little chap riding the whole distance of 500 miles. When they reached Muswellbrook, George went on to “Stafford” at Singleton leaving the small horseman to stay with his Uncle Arthur. That evening they had eggs for the evening meal: after Arthur had eaten his egg he turned it upside down in the egg cup and handed it to his nephew who, when he found it was only the shell, burst into tears. It was the last straw after a long and epic journey.
On the death of George Dight in 1851, “Yetman” was placed under the management of his brother Samuel. When Mrs. John Dight (Hannah) died in 1862, the property was left in her will to her sons Samuel and Arthur. “Boonal” was carried on by Samuel and Mrs. George Dight, but later they bought out Arthur’s interest in “Yetman” and both properties were run under the management of Samuel.
In 1870 George William Dight and his brother John purchased their Uncle Samuel’s interest in the two properties and took up residence, the former at “Yetman” and the latter at “Boonal”. They continued the partnership for some time but subsequently managed the properties separately.
George lived at “Yetman” until 1889. He married Isabella Brodie of “Glenalvin”, Murrurundi in 1869: they had six children all born on “Yetman” homestead: one son, Hilton, died.
George Dight invested 3000 pounds in a partnership in “Terrica” station in 1875. Unfortunately, during the severe drought 1876-1878 all water failed on the property and he decided to get out. Sufficient sheep were sold to pay for his share and Roderick McLeod of “Terrica” arranged for the bank to take over the mortgage. As many horses had died and the remainder were in too poor condition to work, McLeod had to make the journey to Stanthorpe and Inglewood on foot, a journey of 30 miles, spending the nights at various properties en route. The partnership of McLeod and Dight was dissolved in 1877.
As the doctor advised George it was essential for his wife’s health that she live in a cool climate, he left “Yetman” in 1889 and retired to Armidale. Here he bought a large block of land on which he built a gracious, two-storied brick home, “Teringa”, as he named it, situated in Mann Street, with wide verandahs, a splendid curved cedar staircase, seven bedrooms, two bathrooms, two dressing rooms, a study, drawing room, dining room and kitchen: quite a mansion in those days.
George Dight was a well-known and respected member of the community. He left “Teringa”, also part of “Yetman” known as “Yetman West” to his two unmarried daughters Clarice and Alice, who remained in Armidale and did a great deal of war work in World War I including the serving of meals from canteens at the railway station to troops passing through. In addition they were tireless workers in the Red Cross of Armidale District. Clarice received the Distinguished Service Medal for fifty years’ service as treasurer. “Yetman” station was left to his son George, the third George Dight, who married on 16 December 1897 Mabel Charlotte Trickett, daughter of the Hon. W. J. Trickett a member of the N.S.W. Legislative Assembly. They had five children and resided at “Yetman” where he established a famous horse stud and bred many good horses. The most famous was “Sydney Damsel” by “King William” (imp. from England) from “Wild Damson” (imp. from France) which won the Doncaster in Sydney in 1920. With the coming of the depression in 1929, the horse stud was discontinued. Until then the property was run with horses and cattle. With the advent of a later depression, farming took the place of stock to a great extent, the large area successfully producing wheat and barley.
“Yetman” is noted for its shorthorn cattle, their size and breadth being due to the fattening quality of the lush growth, which includes natural clover, on the beautiful river flats. Regarding the family of the third George Dight, Alan the eldest son died in his early twenties; he had not married. Colin married Margaret Alice Menzies, daughter of Dr Andrew Menzies of Brisbane; they had two children, Ian and Jennifer. John married Hazel Jean Gilder of Sydney, Peter being their only child; Lena married George Rich, son of Sir George Rich, a Judge of the High Court and they had a daughter, Joan. Betty the youngest of the family married Henry Ritchie who had three farms in the Bega district of N.S.W.; they lived at “Tathra”. Betty had been well known as a tennis player, winning the under-18 years singles and doubles titles of N.S.W. On the death of George Dight, the property was left to his four surviving children. Colin, living in the old homestead, bought land from his sisters to add to his holdings while John built another house on his area of “Yetman” which was called “Holdfast”.
“Yetman” homestead, situated on the Mclntyre River 11 miles from the town of Yetman which was named after the station in 1863, is built of upright pit-sawn slabs of timber, with handmade nails and a shingle roof now covered with galvanised iron. The posts of the verandah are hand cut. The whole is placed on ironbark logs 1 ft high by 1 ft wide, secured with large handmade screws and nails. The oldest part was built between 1837 – 1840, and another building attached to it about 1850. There are four fireplaces built of hand-hewn sandstone bricks. One bedroom has large blocks of sandstone on its outside wall. The old kitchen, built in 1897, was connected to the main building by a long covered landing. Some years ago this was replaced by a new kitchen, and a rumpus room was added at the same time. To obviate the necessity to cart water, as was the case in the beginning, the home was built closer to the river. In 1890 and again in 1976 the flood waters were 18 inches deep through the house but, being built in the curve of the river opposite the high bank, it escapes the force of the flood waters, being in a backwater.
Since the death of Colin, his son Ian runs “Yetman” station. He married Jean Poole, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. T. C. Poole of “Cooinda”, Roma, and they have three children, Elizabeth, Bruce and Colin. Peter Dight after the death of his father John, has “Holdfast”, part of the original “Yetman” holding. His wife was Rosemary Cox of Armidale, a direct descendant of William Cox who built
the first road across the Blue Mountains. They have four sons, Stephen, Timothy, Jeffrey and Sam.
John and Hannah Dight, the founders of the “Dight Dynasty”, are buried in Richmond cemetery. The children of Ian and Peter Dight are the sixth generation of their descendants to live at historic “Yetman”, which has been occupied by Dights ever since the early pioneers of the family came to settle there 140 years ago.