Gabriel Timbs arrived in Australia as a young boy in 1839. He and his parents travelled on board the Formosa and on their arrival went to work for Henry Osborne at his Marshall Mount Estate.
Another well known family, the Thomas’ were also working for the Osborne’s during this time.
When Gabriel was a young man he married Eliza Fogarty and they had 8 children before Eliza’s death in 1862. Gabriel remarried Ellen O’Gorman and they had another 13 children, making Gabriel the father of 21 children.
In 1860 at the sale of the Terry’s Meadows (Albion Park) Estate land sale, Gabriel bought several lots in the township and set about building shops; a butcher, blacksmith, shoemaker, dressmaker and general store.
The Kiama Independent 9 December 1879 reported ‘the spirited enterprise of our Mr. Timbs must not pass unnoticed and no man has spent more money or energy in advancing the welfare of this neighbourhood’. One reporter said the town should be called Timbs’ Town.
Gabriel also built the famous Albion Park Hotel, a two storied building with 12 large rooms for guests and verandahs. James Condon became the proprietor of Gabriel’s new ’Albion Park Hotel’, though Gabriel always pronounced it ‘Otel. Many years later the O’Gorman family ran the hotel.
Gabriel was generous to the local community and gave land to for a Catholic Church, Convent and Presbytery. He served as an Alderman on Shellharbour Municipal Council from 1876-1883.
Gabriel died at his ‘Rosetta Hill’ home at Mount Terry in 1901, when he was 77 years old. He bequeathed his entire estate to his wife Ellen.
|Crossroads and Albion Park facing west c.1890.|
Shellharbour Images Shellharbour City Library.
|Gabriel Timbs Senior.|
Shellharbour Images Shellharbour City Libraries.