Thursday, March 23, 2017

Williams of Little Para and Little Para Freestone Quarry


Williams of Little Para

Thomas James Williams was born at Totenham, England on 22 May  and arrived on the ship Augustus Captain Hart on October 16, 1845.  He built the Old Spot Hotel in 1849 and lived there until a few weeks before his death in June 1899. 
He married Tabitha Bailey and had eleven children, many of them dying young and are buried in the Little Para Wesleyan cemetery.

Richard Thomas            1853 – 1855
Helen Mary (Nellie)       1856 – 1946
Albert                          1854 - 1864        buried Little Para Wesleyan
Richard William            1860 – 1860       7 months buried Little Para Wesleyan
Thomas George            1860 – 1860       2 months            buried Little Para Wesleyan
William James              1861 – 1944
Frank Bailey                 1863 – 1912
Robert Knowles            1865 - 1865        3 years buried Little Para Wesleyan
Ernest Alfred                1869 – 1945
Henry                           1873 – 1873       3 weeks buried Little Para Wesleyan
Amy Blanche Adeline    1874 – 1933
He was an active supporter of the Munno Para East Cricket Club and had a large orangery with over 550 trees which he proudly showed off to visitors.  

The Little Para freestone quarries which had lain dormant for many years was re-opened by Thomas Williams, in 1893.  Mr. David Morney Sayers, of Comstock Chambers, was appointed manager. 
In 1893 Thomas organised a party to visit the place. Among the party were several architects and contractors, who were well able to pass an opinion upon the quality and nature of the stone. They were unanimous in expressing unqualified  satisfaction at what they saw.

There were four quarries, No. 1 quarry, contained dark freestone; No. 2, chocolate freestone; No. 3, white freestone; and No. 4, natural white faces. Orders were being received by Mr. Sayers daily both for white and dark stone for buildings.  The stone was used in the SA Insurance Office and additions to the Children’s Hospital in North Adelaide.   The brown quarry was opened in the 1860 and stone used in the building of the Little Para bridge.  
The quarry stone was made into coinings for graveyard railings and also for basements of tombstones.   The white stone quarry located further up the gully and was of a very high quality.
Thomas’ son Frank Bailey took over as quarryman carrying on the business.

Thomas is believed to be buried at the buried North Road cemetery. 
 

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