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Friday, June 10, 2011

Early Residents - Madeline Boland

 Madeline Boland, second daughter of Thomas and Mary Boland, was born in the Bathurst district in 1840. The church registration showed her as having been named Johanna. In various records after that her name is variously spelt Madaline, Madoline and Madeline. We favour the Madeline spelling as it has been used most frequently She was probably originally named for her father’s mother, and the name Johanna was used on her mother’s death certificate where the informant was her father Thomas.

She was an early land owner in Springwood, taking up portion 60 in 1875 and also portion 66. As neighbours she had John Davies, who we believe to have been the husband of her older sister Mary, and the Hon. Charles Moore, with whom she was never on good terms. A copy of a hand-written letter by Madeline regarding land boundaries is in existence. Just before she made her selection, some of the land had been zoned as a reserve. She finally agreed to relinquish this section and was allocated 41 acres outside the reserve. She understood this had been satisfactorily settled and went ahead with building a cottage, outhouses and fences, and planting an orchard and flower gardens to the value of about £750. She was also planning to build butcher and bakery shops. She was then told that a gentleman had reported her as building on a government road. She asked if it was Mr Charles Moore, and was told that it was. At one stage in the letter she wrote bitterly of him as a ‘person who has long opposed me’. She tried very hard to avoid any encroachment on what she believed to be her land, visiting Sydney, speaking to men in authority, and writing in great detail and length in this letter, but we do not think she was successful. The letter is incomplete, undated and there is no indication to whom it was addressed. One can guess from various references in it that it was written in the late 1870s and that the reserved land was meant for the school.

Madeline never married and appears to have supported herself by building and letting cottages. She was a devout Roman Catholic, perhaps one of the reasons for the antagonism between her and the Hon. Charles Moore. Prior to the Catholic Church being built, services were held at her home for the small Catholic community. In 1892 she was reported to be building a store and, before it was open for business, two concerts were held in it. The first, in October, was to raise funds for the Church (which was opened in 1892) and the other, in November, was a benefit for Fettler Benmore who was stricken by rheumatism. In December it was reported that the store was stocked with groceries and that there were now two stores in town, the other one being Rayner’s. In August 1899 she started to build another 4-room cottage and was rumoured to be building another store. Madeline also worked at bazaars to raise funds for St Thomas Aquinas.

Fergusons Store foreground, Homeleigh in background c1908
Scene is crowd watching start of bicycle race

She died in November 1909. Her estate was valued at just over £2,209, most of this being the value of her real estate. She owned 3 houses: Homeleigh, Glenview and Innisfail. Each of these was rented at approximately £5 per month. Her nephews Frank, Paul and Rodger Tanner were her executors. Madeline Glen, at the end of Boland Ave was named for her.

Shirley Evans
From The Making Of A Mountain Community; A Biographical Dictionary of the Springwood District

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