On a blustery morning recently, descendants of William and Cecilia Cromarty, their families, council and historical society representatives gathered at Salamander Bay to witness the unveiling of the new white picket fence and plaque dedicated to Cecilia Cromarty, Ann McIntosh and Mary Cromarty.
The Cromartys were the first settlers in Port Stephens arriving during 1822.
William Cromarty was given 300 acres in Booral for services to the government, however as this land was unsuitable for agricultural purposes the government gave him land at Soldiers Point.
William, and his eldest son, passed away on 1st September 1838 whilst trying to recover a lifeboat which had been washed overboard from a steamer.
When Mrs Cromarty passed away in 1862, she was scheduled to be taken to Tahlee to be with her late husband, however, story has it, a huge storm came from nowhere and lasted three days which in turn prevented her from being taken safely across the water.
A family member remembered she wanted to be buried at Soldiers Point, overlooking the harbour, high up so she could have a nice view.
After her burial, legend has it that the winds died down a few hours later.
Interestingly, it was very blustery on the day of the gathering!
Marrion Gilby of Salamander Bay has been thorough in her research and, as a result, is the author of many books dedicated to the Cromarty family.
Janet Henderson of Bobs Farm said, “We don’t know who did the original plaque, but there are two M’s instead of one, so we made sure the new one has the correct spelling.”
“I feel very privileged to be part of Port Stephens history. My great, great grandparents were the first settlers here.”
After the unveiling, the family and friends enjoyed morning tea and, again, sharing their stories and connection to the original settlers to the area.
If you wish to visit this historic site, it can be found at Seaview Crescent, Salamander Bay.
By Mandy ELLIS