Logo People  In the early 1880s Charles and Marian Brooks, and their children, moved into their remote north side home. The easiest way to get to Carisbrook was by ferryboat from Circular Quay along the pristine Lane Cove River to the ferry stop at Hunters Hill. A quick row across the river to their own private wharf, and they were home. Visitors are welcome to come instead by road and get to know the Brooks family.

 

Logos People 2When THOMAS BROOKS married RACHAEL DODD, he got a widow and thirty-eight acres of land at Linley Point. RACHAEL CROAKER, a lady’s maid, arrived in Australia in 1838 and joined her family, who were pioneers of Maitland.

On her father’s death, she married John Dodd who owned 122 acres of Riverview and Linley Point. When he died suddenly, he died in debt.

He also died ‘intestate’ and his eldest son became heir to those debts. How Rachael helped her stepson gives a picture of how colonial women in Sydney town were able to face life’s challenges.

THOMAS BROOKS was Keeper of the Keys at Customs House in Circular Quay and he and Rachael, with two of his sons, lived on the Carisbrook land she had brought to the marriage.

When CHARLES BROOKS wed MARIAN SIM, he wrote ‘Mother’ under Rachael Dodd Brooks’ name on the marriage certificate. Rachael, who never had any of her own children, was a caring stepmother. She died in 1883 within a few months of her husband and Charles Brooks became sole heir.

This Brooks family moved between town and country. They lived in the sandstone house called Carisbrook and farmed the lands around Orange in rural NSW. Marian had 13 children, most of whom lived, and she ferried them between homes, faithfully following her husband. Their story reflects the difficult times of the1890s and goes beyond the shores of Australia.