Weatherboard Cottage – 11 Monaro Street


Cottage in Monaro Street, Pambula. Image by Allan “Bubby” George, courtesy of the George Family Collection.

In 1897 Harriett Morton Hamilton, wife of Pambula blacksmith John Hamilton bought this land and constructed the cottage which has since been extended and renovated.

Intriguingly, when Harriett died in 1900, she left the cottage to an unrelated eight year old boy – John Leslie Neilson (better known as Jack), son of Andreas and Susan Neilson. The property was held in trust for the lad by Harriet’s husband John. A year later young Jack’s father Andreas also passed away, leaving his mother Susan to raise seven children on her own, Jack the youngest, just nine at the time. Then, in April 1902 Susan Neilson and John Hamilton married. Having no surviving natural children of his own, John doted on Jack, who was later known for his skill as a driver and nicknamed Hell Fire Jack because of the speed he travelled at! Jack’s fascinating story can be read in local historian Pat Raymond’s comprehensive book Remembering Bega Valley Servicemen of World War I – Battlefield and War Related Deaths.

Looking from this point to the top of the hill, you can just glimpse the current Pambula Public School. The school moved to this site in 1908, following two earlier locations. When the school celebrated its 150th anniversary in 1999, it was the fourth oldest public school still in operation in NSW.

Weatherboard cottage 11 Monaro Street, image courtesy of and copyright Pat Raymond