John Weymouth, Coromandel Valley, South Australia

John and John Weymouth,

Builders of Coromandel Valley.

Among some of the early settlers at Coromandel Valley were John Weymouth and his family. John was born in Molborough on 23 August 1802. A month before John turned 18 he married 16 year old Mary Ann Pitts on 23 July 1820 at Molborough. Their first child, Mary Ann was born on 22 January 1821. Their last child, before leaving England was Thomas William Pitts, born on 3 November 1837.

It was during this time that the family considered, and successfully applied for, emigration to South Australia. On 3 March 1838 John was given his embarkation number, 1160, for himself, his wife and 6 children. His 17 year old daughter Mary Ann was given number 1219 on 9 May 1838. They boarded the 1834 built, 595 ton Pestonjee-Bomanjee, which sailed from London on 11 June, as had Governor Gawler and his family, and arrived in South Australia on 12 October 1838. Some years later this ship was used as a convict transport.

After settling at Coromandel Valley their next child John was born on 27 December 1839 but died in 1841. Their last child Susan was born on 16 February 1842. John's wife Mary Ann died on 22 May 1858 aged 53 years. Four months later John married Irish born 32 years old Jane Shanahan at St Patrick Church Adelaide. Jane had arrived on the Royal Albert on 1 December 1855.

Woods and Forest Office

Their first child was born just eight months later on 22 April 1859. They would have a further 5 children. Their last child was born in 1871 when John was 69 years old. John died 7 June 1887 aged 85 years. Jane died 13 July 1908 age 81.

Their son John, born in 1859, married Lizzie Scutter, born 10 September 1863 at Clarendon, at the Baptist Chapel on 7 December 1881. John became one of the best known builders in the Adelaide Hills. He built the first 27 houses at Eden Hills, several at Clarendon, including a church, and at other places as far away as Victor Harbor. He also built a church at Cherry Gardens and Iron Bank as well as the very imposing Craiglee home at Coromandel Valley.

John too had a large family before his wife Lizzie died on 19 August 1918. John died on 13 March 1934 while fighting a bushfire at Coromandel. John left a widow, one son Jack of Coromandel Valley and six daughters being Mesdames T. Jones, R. Winn and Miss Weymouth, all of Coromandel Valley. The others were E. Light of Blackwood, W.A. Leaney of Hawthorn and Burpee of Clarence Park.

A few days later the Adelaide papers reported that in the worst bush fire that had ever endangered the Upper Sturt locality, Mr John Weymouth, retired builder of Coromandel Valley, was trapped by the flames at Ackland's Hill and burnt to death. His charred body with the arms over the face was found by the dead man's son.
The past two weeks had been very hot with temperatures reaching 151.6 F in the sun. Fires were reported from as far away as Port Lincoln, Second Valley and the South East. The Adelaide Hills though were the worst affected areas with properties lost at Balhannah, Mylor, Bridgewater and Blackwood where Mr Edwin Ashby's home Wittunga went up in flames.
John Weymouth and another 50 men had been trying to safe the property of Mr H. Baust but in the rough and heavily timbered country the fire rushed upon him with no chance to escape. The fire in the Upper Sturt area, fought by 400 men, consumed more than 20 square miles of country.

The fire that killed John Weymouth.

As reported in the Advertiser.

Although John Senior, born 1802, had been busy enlarging his family he had also busy building houses in the valley. A bricklayer/mason/builder by trade he owned a quarry from which the stone was quarried for the Baptist Church.

Hurds Hill

One of the most impressive buildings constructed by John Senior was Hurds Hill, built in 1849 for Thomas Matthews who came with his wife Harriett and five children from England in 1839. There were other buildings including the Woods and Forest Office and the Stone Bakehouse, also known as Weymouth’s Bakehouse for O.S. and W.S. Jones. Weymouth House was built by Mr Light in 1895. Descendants of John Weymouth have lived in the Valley ever since and even today a number of them live at Coromandel Valley.

Both the Reserve and Road have been named for John Weymouth.

Coromandel Valley

If you would like to find out more,
please go to HOME PAGE for more information.
Thank you for visiting Flinders Ranges Research,
We hope you enjoy your stay and find the information useful.
This site has been designed and is maintained by FRR.