Lurking there behind the bushes is Dunmore House, about which there is a delightful ghost story recounted on the Kiama History blog, much as my father told it to me 60+ years ago! Shellharbour Council has more, taken from the 1959 book Green Meadows by W A Bayley. I used to have a copy bought in 1959 when I accompanied my parents and Grandfather Roy Christison to the centenary of Shellharbour Public School, of which my grandfather was then the oldest living headmaster.
George Laurence Fuller arrived in Australia aged 7 years. He had sailed from Ireland in 1839 with his father William, mother Ann, and six brothers and sisters. During the voyage typhus fever broke out among the passengers and Mr William Fuller died just thirteen days before reaching Sydney. Ann gave birth to a son who also died on the voyage. Two-year-old Charlotte died in quarantine in Sydney.
Ann Fuller opened a store in Corrimal Street, Wollongong, placing her young children in Liverpool and Parramatta Orphanage until she could afford to bring them home.
On leaving school, George assisted his mother in her shop keeping business. In 1852 he left for the goldfields on a small sailing vessel with a cargo of goods via Port Fairy Victoria, then by bullock team to Ballarat, a venture that established him financially.
In 1859 George Laurence Fuller married Sarah Miller of Gerringong. George purchased the “Victoria Stores” at Kiama that his brother Thomas and brother-in-law George Waldron had established.
In 1865, the southern division of the Peterborough Estate of Shellharbour was advertised for sale – 2,560 acres on the Minnamurra River adjoining the Terry’s Meadows Estate. George Fuller bought the property and named his new estate Dunmore after his old family home in Ireland. He built ‘Dunmore House’ of rubble blue metal, locally obtained.
By 1880 George owned some 9,000 acres of the Peterborough Estate extending from Lake Illawarra to the Minnamurra River and west to Croome Albion Park. By the 1880s he had established a blue metal trade at Bass Point.
George and Sarah had thirteen children, George Warburton, Robert Miller, Frederick William, Ada Annie, Florence Elizabeth, Alfred Ernest, Sarah Emily, Edith Mary, Charles Laurence, Minnie Cunningham, Colin Dunmore, Archie Douglas, and Bryan Cecil.
George Laurence Fuller is noted for his generosity to Shellharbour’s development. He gave 2 acres for a new school in 1883 called Minnamurra School built of local basalt at Swamp Road Dunmore. He contributed largely to the Municipality, providing tenant farmers to work the land, expanded the blue metal trade in 1885 providing cottages and work for the quarrymen. He gave land for the Shellharbour General Cemetery in 1894 to replace the old sand cemetery that was washing away at the foreshore and in 1896 gave land and a cash donation to build the Shellharbour School of Arts in Mary Street Shellharbour. He also established a racecourse on cleared land at Albion Park Rail between the railway line and Macquarie Rivulet.
George Laurence Fuller died in 1917, and is buried in the Presbyterian section of Bombo Cemetery, Kiama, leaving an influential and famous family.
Lieutenant Colonel Colin Dunmore Fuller DSO
Near Oak Flats
Albion Park Rail