from Somerset, Devon and Dorset
© Andrew Templer 2020
John Arthur Templer was the older brother to Edward Merson Templer. Both brothers emigrated to Australia, John Arthur arriving in New South Wales in February 1840 in the barque Hope.
In 1828, the land between Orange and Suma Park was granted to emancipist Simeon Lord as part compensation for land he had surrendered to Governor Macquarie in 1811 in Sydney. It was probably Lord's son, Thomas, who built and supervised the district's first flour mill on the property, which retained the Aboriginal name -
It is possible that the grinding stone was first operated by convicts but, in 1840, when the mill was acquired by John Arthur Templer, these were replaced by horseworks. In 1848, Templer installed a 12 horsepower steam engine and boiler, and the mill's chimney probably dated from this time.
Farmers brought grain for grinding at one shilling a bushel.
Templer's Mill operated until about 1870. The boiler was later used for many years at Heap's Brewery in Moulder Street, Orange.
The remains of the mill, considered dangerous and beyond repair, were demolished in 1971.
It was in Templer's homestead among the trees by the creek that his great nephew, Andrew Barton Paterson, was born on 17 February 1864. Banjo Paterson as he became known, is one of Australia's best known and most popular poets.
Times were hard in Australia and it seems that Arthur went bankrupt and with his brother Edward, he sold up in the 1870’s and moved to Avonside, New Zealand. His house at Avonside, Christchurch still stands, but is badly damaged and within the red zone following the two big earthquakes of more recent time. The house is thought to be the oldest in Avonside, something of a mystery as the locals think Templer built it using materials brought from Australia.
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