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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Early Residents - Edmund Thornton



The Nepean Times announced to its readers in May 1892 that Mr Thornton of Sydney had begun the erection of a commodious weatherboard cottage on the main road, just a little west of Springwood station. The cottage was eventually called Lorna Doone and Edmund ran it as a guesthouse.

George Stratton caused Mr Thornton some grief in January 1893 when he broke pot plants and threw a rail at one of the cottage windows. Edmund and his brother Charles caught up with Stratton - after chasing him for half a mile - and Stratton was later charged with the crime.

In 1893 Edmund took over the position as pound keeper after Mr Stace resigned. He involved himself in the dealings of the growing township and in April 1893 moved that a Progress Association be formed in place of the current Progress Committee. The suggestion met with success and Mr G. Larsen seconded his motion.

A committee was formed in June following a suggestion from Edmund regarding possible sites and cost for a Public Hall. The committee comprised of Messrs C. Lees, J. Tanner, Mr Honeysett.

Controversy arose in July 1893 after a long animated debate about the proposed public hall. The Hon. Charles Moore had offered a suitable site if the money was forthcoming or if the Progress Association could raise money to build it. Edmund was somehow blamed for not supplying more details and the matter had to be adjourned.

Edmund assisted at the benefit concert to aid the Coyle family in 1893, acting as an accompanist.  In August 1893 he had a serious horse and buggy accident.

The Progress Association resolved in November 1893 to send Edmund and Mr A. Ferguson to a meeting at Lawson. This was a meeting of the combined Mountain Delegate Association of which Mr G. Larsen had nothing but praise.

Doing a complete turn about, Larsen wanted the matter adjourned to a later meeting. Larsen said he could not see what benefit the Mountain Delegate Association could be to Springwood and moved that the secretary write back declining their offer of membership.  Edmund said that if Larsen’s motion was supported he would resign. Mr Baxter junior seconded Mr Larsen’s motion, which was passed and so Edmund resigned on the spot.

Edmund became discouraged early in February 1894 because of the poor patronage of his guesthouse and decided to let the cottage to a photographer from Sydney, Mr De Lissa. Lorna Doone was let to the De Lissa family for one year.

Edmund married Margaret Thurston in 1891, and his brother Charles married her sister Roberta.

Cecil Roberts and the Ewington family were associated with Lorna Doone in the 1920s.

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