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The history of the Tea Gardens - Hawks Nest region on the northern shores of Port Stephens, NSW has been documented in several private publications described below. Interested readers should request further details by email from the authors. (Set your browser font to 10 pt for the best printing results with these web pages).
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Tea Gardens, Hawks Nest and Northern Port Stephens

by Brian A Engel, Jan Winn and John Wark
(Published privately, October 2000; 316 pp. ISBN 0957764111)

Following the naming of Port Stephens in 1770 by Captain Cook, the first substantial European settlement in this region began with the arrival of the Australian Agricultural Company in 1826 at Carrington and Tahlee. Raising sheep so close to the coastline was found to be impractical so the operation was quickly moved to the Stroud-Gloucester region. This area was in turn abandoned in 1856 in exchange for more suitable sheep properties near Tamworth, NSW.

With the Company's departure, parcels of land were sold to a hardy group of pioneers who carved a living for themselves in what was a very isolated part of the NSW coast. Timber cutting, fishing, prawning, oystering, grazing and subsistence farming sustained a small population distributed along the extensive Myall waterways. This 316 page book tells the story of these settlers from the mid-1850s to the 1950s. It includes approximately 840 historic photographs illustrating the history of settlement on the northern shores of Port Stephens, NSW.

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Tea Gardens and the Engel Family
by Brian Engel and Geoffrey Butler
(Published privately, September 1999; 250 pp. ISBN 0957764103)

George Peter Engel immigrated to Australia from Germany in 1849. While living in Sydney in 1851 he married Josephine Louise Diehl from Strasbourg, France. By the mid-1850s George Peter, his wife and their first son moved to Port Stephens and settled on a property on the eastern side of the Myall River at a locality which became known as The Fens. There the couple raised a family of five sons while trying to farm this very poor land. Soon they began raising cattle which they dressed in their own abattoir on the Myall River and from there they delivered meat by rowing a boat to the isolated residents living on the Myall waterways from the Myall Lakes to Port Stephens.

Unable to support themselves and their growing families at The Fens, the sons moved out to work in other locations. One son, George Adolph Engel, opened a business in Tea Gardens which grew to include a butchery, bakery, general store and storeboat service on the Myall waterways. It regularly travelled between Bungwahl and Port Stephens on a twice weekly schedule, mostly operated by his family of eleven children. He also built the S.S. Coweambah which provided a regular sea link between Tea Gardens and Newcastle. The book gives a detailed record of the branches of the Engel family.

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See also the link to "First Families":

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Tea Gardens Walk
by Brian A Engel, Jan Winn and John Wark
(Privately published in March 2001 with initial funding provided by the Great Lakes Shire Council Tourism Committee; 20 pp.)

This booklet was produced with the aim of providing tourists to the region with an introduction to a few of the historical features of the village of Tea Gardens. Designed as a walking guide, it follows a path through the town (28 stops) pointing out some of the older buildings and various features of the adjacent Myall waterway. It is illustrated with a series of historical photographs and constitutes a fine souvenir for the holiday visitor.

The following pages reproduce the contents of the brochure. It is also available as a booklet for a small donation ($2) from the Tourism Office and in many of the retail outlets in Tea Gardens.

If, after using the booklet, you would like more information about the region, it is suggested that you obtain a copy of our book, Tea Gardens, Hawks Nest and Northern Port Stephens, the availability of which is indicated above.

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The Hogan Story: The Irish and Australian Descendants of Roger Hogan (1802-1876)
by Brian A Engel, Helen Hall and Warren Hoole
(Privately published in June 2002; 72 pp. ISBN 0 9577641 2 X)

Roger Hogan was a poor Irish farm labourer, of Roman Catholic faith, who was sentenced to seven years in prison for taking part in a riot in County Tipperary in December 1833. He was duly transported from Cork, Ireland to Australia as a convict in 1834 on the vessel Blenheim. Roger left behind a wife Mary (nee Quinlan) and two surviving daughters Catherine and Mary Jnr.

In 1851, subsequent to the granting of his Certificate of Freedom, Roger was joined by his daughter Catherine and her husband, Michael Boland, who established themselves on a property at Farley, near Maitland. In the following year, Roger's wife and daughter Mary arrived in Australia and also joined Roger in the Maitland area. In 1854 Mary Jnr married John Joseph Ryan at Maitland and they resided at Farley until about 1859-60, after which they moved to the Glen Innes region.

Following the presumed death of his first wife, Roger re-married an Irish widow, Bridget Meara (nee Ryan) in Raymond Terrace in 1859. This marriage saw the birth of two further children, Michael and Johanna Hogan. This booklet recounts the family history of Roger Hogan and his four surviving children.

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Copyright © Brian A Engel, 2001. All rights reserved.
This document was updated on 26 August 2002. It is maintained by the author to whom all email enquiries regarding the availability of these publications should be directed.