Honore Marie was born about 1828 at Dinan in the north west province of Brittany in France. He migrated to Noumea, New Caledonia, where he took the position of Chief Warder at the prison. Together with his wife, Camille, he migrated to NSW arriving on the ship Colonial in 1869 at the age of 41. They took up residence at Stanmore.
Over the years the Maries acquired a number of properties in Wilson St, Newtown. They expanded their holdings by acquiring a number of portions in the vicinity of White Cross, North Springwood. A homestead, Bombanoi, of 4 rooms and roofed with iron, was erected on part of these holdings (portion 9) and an extensive orchard and vineyard was developed.
The Marie property portion 121 was sold in the late 1890s to John Walker who built a cottage called White Cross. On portion 9, site of Bombanoi, the first school in North Springwood was established in 1899 but it closed in 1906 due to lack of pupils. The equipment was transferred to Singles Ridge Subsidised School.
Meanwhile, Camille Marie, born in about 1831, was engaged as French teacher at Miss Jane Thetis Hooper’s school for young ladies at Fort Street, Sydney. Camille encouraged Miss Hooper to buy land at North Springwood and establish the school Hartlands there in 1889, and Camille continued to teach French there.
By the turn of the century, Honore Marie, now in his seventies, was suffering ill health and was unable to work. The family moved to one of the cottages in Wilson Street, Newtown. At this stage Camille kept on teaching, fully supporting her husband and paying his debts out of her own income. Honore Marie died in 1910.
Bombanoi was later demolished and by 1915 there was no trace of the improvements made by Honore to the property. The freestone front fence was carted away by Thomas Summerhayes in the 1940s to build a new cottage, now known as Wits End. The Winmalee High School occupies the land (portion 9) on which Honore Marie started his North Springwood orchard and vineyard.
From: The Making of a Mountains Community