New book in Tocal series

RESEARCH: Author Jean Arthur at Tocal with her book.

RESEARCH: Author Jean Arthur at Tocal with her book.

Tocal is one of the premier estates in the Hunter Region and a new book details the life of its second owner.

Jean Archer has written the book on Caleb Wilson who bought the property in 1834.

Tocal remained in the hands of the Wilson family until 1907.

Caleb had arrived in the colony of New South Wales as a free settler in 1804 with his two small children, his wife having died during the long voyage from England.

He was a tailor by trade and was initially was granted 100 acres on the Hawkesbury River at what is now Richmond.

From those beginnings he became one of the wealthiest men in the colony.

He did this through continuing in his trade, working his land, lending money and holding mortgages and by establishing a large import business with a warehouse and shop in George Street, Sydney.

At the height of his wealth he built a large mansion in Potts Point, called Grantham, after the town in England where he was born.

The house was demolished in the 1930’s but Grantham Street in Potts Point remains.

Caleb held a number of interests in the Paterson Valley when he purchased Tocal from James Webber in 1834.

He set about improving the property and many of the buildings on Tocal were constructed or planned during the years he owned the property before it passed to his son, Felix, after his death in 1838.

The book is the 30th in the All about Tocal series.

The series has been created over the last 20 years with writers from the College staff and the community.

“Tocal is probably the best recorded property in Australia but there are always more topics to be researched and recorded,” College Principal, Darren Bayley said.

“We are delighted to see the story of Caleb Wilson told – something we have been looking forward to and I thank Jean for her thorough and painstaking research.”

The book “Caleb Wilson Owner of Tocal 1834-1838” is available from Tocal for $20 or by mail order for  $25 which includes  postage.

Phone: 4939 8901.