This land was granted to
Thomas McDougall in 1823.
Thomas arrived in
Australia on the ship
in the autumn of 1798 with his parents Andrew and
Elizabeth, brothers John, Andrew and James and sister
Elizabeth. Thomas was 10 years old.
board the Barwell were the Bowman family who
were to acquire extensive holdings in the Hunter region.
Initially the McDougalls farmed at Baulkam Hills
where in 1799 Andrew senior was given a grant of 150
acres he named Roxburgh Place. Another son,
Waugh McDougall was born to Andrew and Elizabeth in 1800.
Andrew senior died in 1824.
In 1823 nine hundred
acres was granted to each of the brothers.
Thomas named his grant 'Lorn'. In 1826 Thomas passed
away at the age of 35 and his estate passed to his
brother John Kerr McDougall who subsequently subdivided
it and shared
between his brothers and sister.
other land was in the Singleton (Patrick Plains) area
where they farmed sheep. They suffered heavy losses in
the drought of 1842.
Alexander Waugh McDougall married
Mary Jane Fitz on 29 April 1831. They built 'Lorn House'
on their share of Thomas' estate.
Mary Jane had daughters Anne in 1832 and Maria Louisa in
1834, a son Alexander in 1837 and in 1842 and 1847 two
more sons followed. In 1832 Alexander placed a punt on
the river at Lorn to ply between his property and
He was appointed by the Governor to be
a member of the first local council for the district of
Maitland in 1843
McDougall died in 1888 :—
Waugh McDougall at his decease was eighty-seven years of
age, having been born in April, 1800.
here in 1829, and built close to the river a temporary
place of residence. All the present site of Maitland was
then covered by a dense cedar brush.
was 900 acres to Thomas McDougall, eldest brother of A.
W. McDougall, who never lived on the land, and died
without a will, by which his second brother (John Kerr
McDougall), as heir-at-law, took the nine hundred acres.
He very fairly, and in compliance with what he believed
to be his brother's wishes, divided the grant fairly
amongst his brothers and one sister.
start A. W. McDougall had no one to assist him except
Government men. He burnt a kiln of bricks close to the
place where the punt was afterwards established, and cut
the cedar and other timber for his future residence out
of the Brush. After which Mr. and Mrs. McDougall rode
over to the farm here from Windsor, and after some time
he commenced the present building, which has been the
family residence ever since.
Mr. McDougall was
made a magistrate some time in the forties. He was
celebrated in the early days as a good manager of his
men, and contrasted most favourably with others, who had
an unenviable notoriety as flogging masters. He never
had his men flogged, but, if they were not manageable by
fair means, he sent them back to the Barracks.
After the residence was built he began to plant an
orchard and orangery for the use of the family, and as
the years rolled on, finding the utility and probable
income to be derived from it, he gradually enlarged it.
The whole is now about fourteen acres. Mr. McDougall's
share of the grant was 200 acres, out of which very
little has been sold.
He experienced the bad
times in 1840, and endeavoured to sell part of the land
then adjoining the Punt Road, and now occupied by Mr. H.
L. McDougall as town lots ; but only one was sold, which
was afterwards swept into the river.
At the time
of Mr. McDougall's settling down, here, there was a very
large camp of blacks on a high bank of the river,
covered with gum trees at Nilho ; and, although they
were not troublesome to the whites, hostile bands
frequently met and fought on the gravelly beach below
Mrs. Risby's Hotel, where there was then a ford across
the river. The local tribe was evidently attracted to
the spot by the abundance of game in the scrub or brush,
and by the fish in the river. And, as the clearings
became larger and game scarcer, Mr. McDougall was one of
those who was a continual and kindly helper to the
blacks in providing them with food.
farm at Lorn, Mr. McDougall owned a large estate at
Singleton, now occupied by Dr. White, which was
sacrificed to meet his difficulties incurred in the
disastrous droughts and depression in 1840 and the
following years. He also held a share in the celebrated
Piallaway Station on Liverpool Plains, and as the great
value of properties of that character began to be seen,
he sold out his rights, and it is now the property of a
large pastoral company, who value it at three pounds an
acre for the secured land. It was and is one of the
finest grazing estates that this colony can produce.
Mr. McDougall, in his great experience saw the time
when the Hunter at West Maitland was merely a chain of
waterholes, and yet again saw a schooner built above the
falls towed down the river by the old deep channel when
Mr. McDougall though truly one of the
pioneers, and entitled to be heard on all matters from
his keen common sense, and his probity, was a retiring
and unambitious man, but was always ready to when his
counsel or advice was sought.
As one of the
mourners at his grave said "Ah, well, there's another of
the good old sort gone." (Maitland Mercury 31