The Waddell Family
The Waddell Family has been a vital part of the history of our district for over 170 years, and has connections to many of the old families, such as Fagans, Roughleys, Hunts, Cusberts, Geelands, Allens, Knights and Johnsons.
Two brothers, William (b.1826) and James 11 (b.1840) came to this country with their parents, James and Nancy and 3 sisters from County Monaghan in Ireland , arriving in October 1841. They first settled in the Hawkesbury district, and they earned their living as shingle cutters. Shingles were in much demand as a roofing material before iron became available. Eventually, by 1853 James saved enough to buy 100 acres for 100 pounds at Galston, where he established a productive citrus orchard. The first home was built in Lailors Lane (now Belbowrie Close, near Greenshades )
Over the years and several generations the Waddell family has increased in number, but many of them have stayed in the orcharding business. In the 1890’s the Dural-Galston area was the biggest citrus growing district in Australia. When the piped water supply became available after the water tower in Galston Road was built in the late 1930’s, it was possible to produce stone fruit, maturing in the summer. Now Persimmons (both the soft and hard varieties) are in big demand .
Many people will remember Ron and Vera Waddell, who lived next door to the Waddell packing shed and shop, which was the best place to buy fresh fruit, particularly oranges all year round. They died only 13 days apart in 2009, and, unfortunately, most of the original Waddell property has now been sold.
“Norquay Farm”, a 10 acre property on Galston Rd, is still in Waddell family hands. It is planted out with Persimmon trees. The name, Norquay, comes from one of the many ancestors connected to the family.
Waddell Cottage, now within the grounds of Galston High School, was built in about 1866 by James III out of stone quarried from the site. The house has bedrooms up a staircase (hence the dormer window) and the kitchen is a separate building