Deposit 166 - The Bodalla Company Limited deposit 2

Identity area

Reference code

AU NBAC 166

Title

The Bodalla Company Limited deposit 2

Date(s)

  • 1921 - 1973 (Creation)

Level of description

Deposit

Extent and medium

3.6 m

Context area

Name of creator

(1887 - 1994)

Administrative history

The Bodalla Company was formed in 1887 by the Executors and Trustees of the Will of Thomas Sutcliffe Mort, who died in 1878, to run this pastoral estate for the beneficiaries (mainly members of his immediate family) under the terms of his will. It is situated on the South Coast of N.S.W., south of Moruya and originally comprised about 13,000 acres when acquired by T.S. Mort in 1856 from John Hawdon. Mort purchased a further 4,000 acres of the neighbouring property, Comerang, from Philip Jeffrey, which became the home farm and the house Mort’s country home. The estate eventually totalled 56,000 acres. Mort had developed the property as a mixture of dairy cattle and agriculture, draining land, clearing heavy timber and fencing and installing tenant farmers. He increased his herd of dairy Shorthorns and began dairy production in 1861. A three-storey cheese factory was built at Comerang in 1874. Mort originally worked the property on a share-farming system, but in the early 1870s he took back the whole estate and ran it as three farms with hired workers. Mort took interest in several areas, developing methods of getting milk, butter and cheese to market, investing in refrigeration, developing piggeries and promoting the use of maize in bread manufacture leading to the establishment of a corn flour mill at Merimbula.
When the main road crossing of the Tuross River was moved from Widget to Trinketabella, Mort moved the Bodalla village to its present site in 1870.
Mort had 10 children, 8 children from his first marriage to Theresa Shepheard née Laidley and 2 sons from his second marriage to Marianne Elizabeth Macaulay.
In his will Mort appointed as trustees of his estate his wife Marianne Elizabeth Mort, his eldest son James Laidley (Laidley) Mort (who later renounced his trusteeship) and his friends Benjamin Buchanan, Leslie G. Herring and Charles James Manning. The Bodalla Company was incorporated on 23 July 1887, under the ‘Bodalla Estate Act’, to put on a business footing the main asset of the Estate. The capital was £200,000 divided into 2,000 shares of £100 each, although this was later reduced to £85. By the Act, the beneficiaries were given one-tenth shares in the Bodalla Company, the shares for the younger sons being held in trust.

Name of creator

(1925 - 1987)

Administrative history

In 1925, the Bodalla Cheese Co-operative Society Ltd was formed being a combination of the farmers working on the Bodalla Estate and the Bodalla Company. The Co-operative purchased two of the Company’s cheese factories and continued the tradition of cheese-making that had been pioneered in the early days. Bodalla village was sold off in 1926 to most of the occupiers of the buildings. The Bodalla Cheese Factory was built in 1954 and closed in 1987 owing to lack of milk supply and production costs.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The records in this deposit were collected from the Bodalla Office in 1978. They consist of minutes and annual reports from the head office in Sydney, as well as correspondence, financial and general records from Bodalla relating to the running of the Estate and farms, land sales, the Bodalla Co-operative Cheese Society and some records from All Saints Church of England.

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Conditions governing access

Researchers must sign an access agreement

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Item list

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Dates of creation revision deletion

Entered from deposit description in October 2012

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