Feature Articles

No. 2 River Street (this year) after extensive renovations.

Port of Yamba Historical Society – Yamba’s oldest cottages

In March 1884, the lease and household effects of the “Ocean View” Boarding House in Pilot Street overlooking Yamba Beach was taken up by James and Hannah Ryall who later purchased the freehold from Kinnear in 1888. Ryall was a baker and established a bakery adjoining the boarding house.

In February 1891, James Ryall, described as a landowner of Yamba, leased the boarding house to Sarah Graham and a corner allotment bounded by Little High, River and Coldstream Streets. He erected a six-room residence on the corner of Little High and River Streets (No. 2) and shifted his bakery business to the backyard. In December 1892, he advertised two newly erected cottages for rent in. One cottage still exists in 2021 as No. 3 River Street, but the other was demolished in 1969 (No. 4 River Street).

In April 1893, Ryall removed his last child from Yamba Public School and the family moved back to Grafton where he purchased Brady’s South Grafton bakery in May. In April 1894, Ryall, described now as a baker of Grafton, sold all of the allotment to Dr James Houison of Grafton, excluding a parcel of land on the south-eastern corner of River and Coldstream Street [No. 4 River Street] which he sold to George Moore in 1902. The Ryalls had a close relationship with the Grahams, employing three of Sarah’s sons in the bakery. George married one of Sarah’s daughters, Isabella Graham.

Houison sold his estate in March 1904. Another baker, Emanuel Perkins, bought all of the baking equipment and removed it to his bakehouse in Yamba Road [where the present-day car park is located west of the Centrelink building]. The house at No. 2 was used as a rental for many years. It had a number of renovations before reverting to a residence and then back to a rental in 2019.

John McNamara

No. 3 River Street – Top in 1927, lower in 1970s and right in 2021. Photos courtesy of Lynette Weir and John McNamara.
The cottage at No 3 was bought and sold several times and was also mainly used as a rental. The original external weatherboards are still in place under the blue fibro cladding.