John Pomeroy

'Pomeroy House' Homebush
‘Pomeroy House’ Homebush. Demolished late 1970s for M4 motorway.

John Pomeroy (d.1906) was a partner in retailer David Jones & Co from 1875 to 1892 and a prominent resident of Homebush .

The Pomeroy family lived at ‘Laira’ [later known as ‘Pomeroy House’] in Wentworth Rd, Homebush from c.1887 to 1912.  It is not generally known that the management of David Jones & Co, from 1838 until 1906 when the company was publicly listed, was established as a partnership between members of the Jones family and non-family partners such as Pomeroy.  Most of the management of David Jones & Co resided in Strathfield including Jones family members [particularly sons and daughters of David Jones but not David Jones himself] and company partners such as John Pomeroy, shoe manufacturer William Newman [‘Chepstowe’ Albert Rd Strathfield], James Emanuel Woodward, Frederick Percy Ford [‘Goomerabong’ cnr Florence St and Albyn Rd] and Thomas James Thompson [‘Malvern’ The Boulevarde].  Both Ford and Thompson were sons-in-law of David Jones.

Pomeroy’s death was reported in the Sydney Morning Herald on 16 August 1906, page 6:

The funeral of the late Mr. John Pomeroy took place yesterday afternoon at Rookwood, and was largely attended. A service was held at Laira, Homebush, and the ceremony at the gravesite was conducted by the Rev. W. Cuncliffe Jones, assisted by the Revs. W. Mathison, , B.A., and R. A. Thompson, B A. (chairman of the Congregational Union of New South Wales). Tho chief mourners wore Messrs, John L. Pomeroy and Arthur S. Pomeroy (sons). Amongst others present were Messrs, James Robortson, T. W. Harris, B. L. Sutton, G. F. Todman, and Dr. Quaife, Messrs. E. Lloyd Jones, J. G. Thompson, P. E. Thompson, and F. P. Ford (members ot the firm of David Jones and Co.), Messrs. John Vernon (Auditor- General), G. R. Short (Commercial Bank, Newcastle), G. M. Buchanan (Melbourne), S. H.  Harris, John Wheeler, A. W. Sutton, A. W. S. Gregg, James Gregg, S. H. Lewis, W. H. Shortland , Henry Pratt, A. Wilcox, C. Rees, W. M, Savage, J. Hughes, J. Gamble, John Caswell, Dr. Newman, and employees of the firm of David Jones and Co. Mr. E. K. Satchell (vice- president) represented tho Y.M.C.A., and many, other members of the association were present.  The wreaths and floral emblems laid upon the grave were numerous and beautiful.

His home ‘Laira’ was advertised for sale in the Sydney Morning Herald 24 October 1908, p25:

LAIRA. HOMEBUSH.

An ATTRACTIVE modern faithfully-built COMMODIOUS RESIDENCE, in spacious grounds of 2 1/4 ACRES, on a hill commanding wide views.

By order of the Executrix in the Estate of JOHN POMEROY, Esq.

LAIRA is of solid brickwork, cemented, slate roof, tiled verandah on 3 sides, balconies, wide tiled entrance hall and vestibule, drawing and dining rooms   (each 20 x 16), breakfast-room, six bedrooms (two each 20 x 30), dressing and bath rooms, servants and box rooms, panto, store .and larder, kitchen, laundry. Brick stabling (two stalls), coachhouse, loft, and man’s room over, tool and man’s room. No expense was spared by late owner to render the property a high-class well-finished residence, cedar and choice fittings. Lofty and richly-corniced rooms.

GROUNDS are variedly and strikingly laid out into Shrubberies, Garden, Lawns (1. tennis), small Orchard and Garden, and Fowlyard for home use.

LAIRA ranks amongst the Superior Properties of theFix this text Western Suburban Railway Line, with its, frequent through and slow train service. The district enjoys a splendid crisp atmosphere; and this freehold 1s commended to the notice of seekers of a Delightful House and Grounds.

AUCTION SALE FRIDAY, 13th NOVEMBER,

at our Rooms, 98 Pitt-Street, at 11.30.

RICHARDSON and WRENCH, Ltd.

Demolition

The National Trust classified Pomeroy House in the early 1970’s but it was demolished amid much controversy to make way for the M4 motorway (though the eventual motorway was located on a different site).

The demolition of this house highlighted the absence of legislative protection for historic properties in NSW and the case of ‘Pomeroy House’ was considered an impetus for the establishment of the first Heritage Act in NSW.

Pomeroy St and Pomeroy Reserve [now Bill Boyce Reserve] in Homebush were named after John Pomeroy and his home.

18 comments on “John Pomeroy

  1. Tessa Sackin, England

    I was thrilled to come across this post about John Pomeroy as he was my great-grandfather, his daughter Alice being my grandmother. I have been researching my family history but had not known a lot about John’s life in Australia so this has been quite a revelation. Tragic, however, that the family home was demolished to make way for a motorway that was then built elsewhere, but nice that John’s memory has been kept alive by having a street named after him.

  2. Dennis Mitchell

    I boarded at Pomeroy House in 1964 ,the house at the intersection of Pomeroy St and Wenworth Rd was the residence during first year for Technician in Training PMG employees.
    The House was I believe owned by a Cyril Horton who lived on the premises and ran it as a boarding house for only PMG employees.

  3. Kevin Deitz

    Kevin Deitz 10/11/13
    I as well boarded in Pomeroy House in 1962 and the house was owned by Cyril Horton and Alan Lane.
    I have photos of the building if anyone is interested including Tessa Sackin.

  4. Tessa Sackin

    Hi Kevin,

    Yes, I would be very interested to see your photos of Pomeroy House, as the only one I’ve seen to date was very old and not very clear. Would you be able to email them to me?

  5. David Patrick

    Hi Kevin,
    I lived diagonally opposite Pomeroy House in Wentworth Road and it was a landmark. I was saddened to actually witness it’s demolition as well as the church next door that John Pomeroy was a patron of. The church was dark brick and directly next door where Park Road intersected Wentworth Road on a triangular block. This is before the M4 messed up the road alignments and streets re-named. Lower Park Road (now) was originally Wentworth Road. Yes indeed it was then a boarding house for PMG trainees. I remember a huge shady tree and a red phone box outside the old mansion. Harry Bacon’s butcher shop was opposite where Bill Boyce Reserve is now. I should have taken photos at the time as I really did feel a sense of loss seeing the old place being demolished. I would be delighted to see photos of the old mansion if you can provide.
    Dave, Homebush

    • Hi Dave, how are you? The only photo I can find of Pomeroy House has been added. Not a great photo, but best I could find. If anyone has anything better, please send it on.

      Cathy

  6. chris simpson

    I remember when they where about to demolish this boarding house and they had a garage sale to buy any and everything. My dad bought a gate for our house which was just down the road. The gate was still there when I moved in 2001.
    I also remember them building a large boat made of concrete i think.
    And the m4 goes exactly under where the boarding house was.
    They could not of built the m4 with the house still in place.
    Also hello to Dave Patrick andxI hope you are well mate.

  7. David Patrick

    Hi Chris Simpson, nice to hear from you. Was the old Pomeroy House gate on your house in the side street ? I’ll go have a look. Dave Patrick

  8. chris simpson

    Hi Dave, yeah 1 Verley Drive.
    Dont think its there now.
    It was half way down the side of the house.
    Nothing special just a big chain wire gate.
    I can still remember carrying it down Wentworth Road with my dad.
    Are you still in the same house?

  9. chris simpson

    Can’t believe that no one has started a page on facebook, like a “I grew up in Homebush or something.
    Would love to see some photos of my street Verley Drive before it had all the houses bulldozed for the m4.
    Vaguely remember some of the houses but most where gone before my memory was working.
    Lived there from 1966 to 2001.

    • There aren’t many photos of old Strathfield and Homebush in existence. If I find something or someone sends a photo in, I usually try to publish.

      Cathy

  10. David Patrick

    Hi Chris, I’m not in Wentworth Rd anymore yet just around the corner. I wonder if your old place is still there as Westconnex has recently taken over large areas to demolish houses and set up work camps for the re-building of the M4 and stuff. There actually IS a Facebook page called “Memories of Strathfield and Homebush” of which I am an active member. Look it up. Gee I used to use Verley Drive to ride motorbike from my place across what is now the M4 directly into the back of the Wentworth Hotel when it was all sheep paddocks. Best Wishes old mate, Dave

  11. David Patrick

    Hi Cathy, I have a photo of our old barn (Wentworth Rd diagonally opposite Pomeroy House) with sheep, taken in the early 1970’s yet the barn dates way earlier into the 1800’s. How do I send it to you ? Cheers, Dave P

    • Kevin Deitz

      Hi David & Cathy,

      I am attempting to send a couple of photos and not sure how to attach them to the Strathfield Heritage messages we have been sharing so trying to attach them. These two photos were taken by me in 1962, not the best of photos but my shooting skills and camera equipment have both improved since then.

      I have a couple more but will wait and see what happens with these.

      Regards,

      Kevin

      >

  12. chris simpson

    Dave my old house is still there but the house next door was knocked down and a two storey was just put up in its place.
    They would be up for some money to buy those 5 houses in that street valued from 1.2million up to 1.6million believe it or not

  13. chris simpson

    Thanks Cathy that would be great

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