December 18 - 24, 2011: Issue 37

 Collin’s Retreat, Bay View House, Scott’s Sanatorium, Guest and Boarding House: Crystal Bay, Newport

 Scott's Hotel from Broadhurst image 1900-1927 106124h Courtesy State Library of NSW.

Overlooking Crystal Bay, and originally owned by Daniel Farrell, a member of the family who owned so much property in Newport, a lovely house that catered to visitors and sought to entice city dwellers to the ‘country’ was also a once famous meeting place for locals and VIP’s alike.

Named according to who owned it, and sometimes labelled to reflect the prayers of these people, a two storey house with around 25 acres of grounds, orchards, a dairy and even a rumoured still, offered excellent food and ‘superior accommodation’. Pittwater was touted as a ‘romantic spot’ during the 1870-1900s and attracted, amongst the farms and orchards that predominated Newport then, day trips for ‘excursionists’. The estuary allowed visitors to debark in calmer waters and they walked to the beach from there rather then the other way around as we have it nowadays. Steamers disgorged hundreds of visitors, some carrying up to 800 passengers. These weren’t just weekend forays into ‘The Pitt Water’, some came on Mondays, public Holidays, Thursdays or were hired to bring prospective land buyers to special one-off events of selling parcels of land with refreshments and a band as part of the occasion.

This shows it was being built or expanded in the Spring of 1882

The scene is rich with the luxuriant beauty of a New Zealand pass. Coming round the shoulder of the hill, openings in the trees betray glimpses of the deep blue waters of the lake, while the scene stretches away beyond to the high enclosing hills, in all their deep colouring, like one of Conrad Martens' pictures. A few minutes more, and the coach stops at the Newport Hotel, having accomplished the 14 miles in about two hours. At the waterside awaits the steamer Florrie. A little to the right, in a small bay, is another wharf, with a large house close by approaching completion, and destined for a boarding-house. The Sketcher. (1882, September 30). The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), , p. 542. Retrieved from

In 1880 a man known as John Thomas Collins had leased the property from the Farrells and was host when the member for St Leonards visited; 

ELECTORATE OF ST. LEONARDS. WILLIAM THOMAS MUSTON will address the Electors as under - St Leonards-Harding’s Hotel, Tuesday, 8 o'clock, North Willoughby-School of Arts, Wednesday, 8 o'clock. Manly-Bagnall's Hotel, Friday Evening, Pittwater-Newport and Collins', Monday Evening, Roll up and support an energetic Native, who has the time and ability to serac aou_milE ELECTORS OF ST'.LEONARDS. Advertising. (1882, November 27). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from

The Metropolitan Quarter Sessions were resumed at Darlinghurst this morning, before Mr District Court Judge Murray
John T Collins, of Newport near Pittwater, storekeeper, appealed against the decision of the licensing magistrates of the Water Police Court, under which he was fined the sum of £30 fir selling whisky on March 14 last, at which time he was not the holder of a publican's Licence. The grounds of appeal were that the appellant was not guilty of the offence with which he was charged, and that the evidence of the informer was not corroborated. Mr Tarloton, instructed by Mr W Roberts, sen , appeared in support of the appeal, and Mr Backhouse and Sub-Inspector Atwell appeared to show cause why it should not be allowed In a great measure the case was a rehearing, but some additional evidence was given Sub Inspector Attwell gave evidence to the effect that appellant’s premises presented the appearance of an hotel, and that he had found considerable quantities of liquor, together with many glasses, there Evidence was also called to prove that so far as a man named Walter Love was concerned liquor had been sold and paid for at the place. Appellant contended that it was untrue that any such sale had taken place, and called witnesses in support of his contention but it was admitted that he was in the habit of giving people liquor and not charging them for it. The Judge said that he did not intend to upset the decision of the magistrates because he believed, from the evidence now produced, that it was perfectly right. The place was a sly grog shop of a very common character. Those who lived m towns were not aware of the existence of such places, but those who travelled through the country know that they had been carried on for years In fact, there was a strong impression is the minds of some persons that the Act was an unfair one, and that they could sell liquor with impunity but the law was that such persons if they broke it, must be fined. He would uphold the decision of the magistrates, and would also allow £5 of costs for counsel against the appellant
Sarah Ann Collins, wife of the above named appellant, appealed against a similar conviction against her The evidence was of the same character as thatin the preceding case sub inspector Atwill deposed to having found liquor on the premises, and Walter Love proved that ho had purchased a bottle of whisky from appellant the contention of appellant was that the whisky was obtained by Love under false pretences for another person who was a lodger, his conviction also was upheld, and costs were given against the appellant.
METROPOLITAN QUARTER SESSIONS. (1883, June 15). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from

The Farrells daughter Sarah was married to this man and they seemed keen to establish Newport as a holiday destination and ran a coach from Manly wharf to this house; Hawkesbury ' RIVER. Visitors wishing to see the beautiful scenery on the noted Hawkesbury, second to none in the world for scenery and beauty, can start from Sydney pier FRIDAY, 2 15 pm. steamer to Manly. Farrell's coach from Manly 3 15 to Newport, where passengers will find comfortable apartments for the night at Collins' Retreat.  Advertising. (1883, December 19). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved from

The Scott’s bought the property and 25-52 acres from Benjamin James in 1886, who had only recently purchased (1885) the house and 110 acres of land from Daniel Farrell around the time he was being labelled an ‘insolvent’ and disposing of various holdings left, right and center; 

SECOND MEETING. Re Daniel Farrell, adjourned second meeting. One debt was proved. The insolvent was examined by Mr. Stephen, official assignee,' as to his expenditure during the six months prior to the date of the sequestration of his estate. From April to August Farrell lodged with his sister at Moore Park, but he did not pay her anything for board and lodging ; witness, about the end of 1885, leased a Jaree farm at Goulburn of Mr. F. L. Rossi, to whom ho paid £800 a-year; witness then had property worth £5000 ; that property was sold through Hardie and Gorman to Mr. Benjamin James ; witness had spent the proceeds of the stylo; his bank account would show how he expounded the money; the property consisted of 110 acres of land at Pittwater, which witness sold to Benjamin James at £22 per acre ; INSOLVENCY COURT—FRIDAY. (1887, October 22). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from

David Scott had previously worked as a portrait photographer in the city but may have moved his wife and family out here in order to help an ill Dorcas Scott (nee Dickson) recover from an ongoing illness. He continued taking photographs, including local events such as cricket matches at Mona Vale into the 1900's.

Mr. FREEMAN begs to announce the completion of some important alterations in his Studio, more especially in the distribution of light, thereby avoiding the glare so frequently a subject of complaint ; and at the same time producing a more artistic and pleasing portrait.

Mr. FREEMAN invites particular attention to his INSTANTANEOUS process, for Children and Nervous Sitters.

Photographs enlarged and finished, in Oils, Water Colours, or Crayons.

B. WILLIAM BRADLEY having sold his business to his old and valued friend Mr. DAVID SCOTT, has great pleasure in recommending that gentleman to his numerous patrons, and respectfully begs to assure them that Mr. David Scott will be certain to produce portraits in all reflects equal to those taken by himself, as, in addition to his natural taste and long experience as an artistic photographer, Mr. Scott is in possession of the entire formula and processes used by Mr. Bradley with such great success. And, in addition to this, Mr. Scott has been thoroughly initialed into the exact method of operating practised by Mr. Bradley, and having now taken all the portraits at the above establishment for the last nine months. Many of these portraits being finer than anything that has hitherto been produced in Sydney, Mr. Bradley trusts that this may be taken as a guarantee of Mr. D. Scott's great ability. In conclusion, Mr. Bradley begs to thank his patrons for their favours, to kindly bestowed upon him for so many years past. 

P.S.:The business will be carried on as usual under the same name of William Bradley, in order to avoid mistake. 

London, November 12, 1869

Advertising (1870, January 29). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved from


Sir,-In a report of the Fine Arts at the Exhibition, viz, photography, contained in this morning's Herald, terms of praise are attached to photographic portraits exhibited by a Mr. Montague Scott. I beg to state that it is an error, for if you will kindly refer to the Catalogue you will see that no photographs are exhibited by the above, The commendation was no doubt intended for me. As you will see by Catalogue, Class 495, No. 2536, that I exhibited both plain and coloured photographs, which have been highly commended by the judges, and as I have already suffered in my business through the mistake in the names, I will feel obliged if you will correct the mistake in your report to save me from suffering still further through it.

Your attention to the above will oblige yours, respectfully,


140, Pitt-street, September 27th.

TO THE EDITOR, OF THE HERALD. (1870, September 28). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from

BUIST and SON.-Pianofortes, harmoniums, concertinas, &c, tuned and repaired. 235, George-st. EBTABLISHED 30 years. 

PHOTOGRAPHY.-DAVID SCOTT (successor to William Bradley), Artist Photographer, 140, Pitt street, Sydney. Awarded Prize Medal. Advertising (1872, July 22). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from 

(1878, October 26). Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907), p. 8. Retrieved from

Louisa Ewer, ca. 1871-1879 by photographer David Scott. Image no a4215042h, courtesy State Library of NSW.

During the first two years of his proprietorship he kept the name ‘Bay View House’ in all advertisements but advertised the property, and its ‘curative’ aspects as ‘Scott’s Sanatorium’ in the years 1891-1892. This may have been an appeal to the advert readers but also may denote his wish that his wife be cured. He also seemed to be in charge of renting another, smaller cottage.

TO CAMPING PARTIES.-To LET, at Newport, Pittwater, a two-roomed COTTAGE, plainly furnished, rent £1 per week. Apply D. SCOTT, Newport, Pittwater. Advertising. (1888, January 14). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 21. Retrieved from

NEWPORT, Pittwater, a Lovely Place, the Saratoga of Australia.-Superior Accommodation. D. Scott, Newport  Advertising. (1888, January 30). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from

Above:  Scott's' guest house at Newport (NSW) 31/12/1908 Pic No 18526_a024_000031, Below: Tables at Scotts Guest House, Newport (NSW) Pic No: 18526_a024_000106 Below This: View from Scotts Guest House at Newport PIc No: 18526_a024_000098, Under This; View towards Bayview from Scotts guest house at Newport Pic No: 18526_a024_000053 All dated 31/12/1908 and from the State Records of NSW

Advertising. The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954) Saturday 16 November 1889 p 20 Advertising ... spot.-Superior ACCOMMODATION, Bay View House, salt water swimming bath, boats, &c. D. D. SCOTT
Newport, Pittwater.
Delightful place" ; the place for a day or a month. All Particulars BULLARD and CO., George-street, city
. Advertising. (1891, August 22). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved from

From a Family History: The hotel was a big boarding or guest house, and soon became a show place. A herd of milk cows supplied all dairy products: some red meat, pigs, poultry and pigeons were kept in large numbers. Any game bird could be ordered and local fish was a speciality. The vegetable garden and orchard also supplied the enormous kitchen. Scott's Hotel, Newport, was a culinary delight, well patronized by those who could afford such luxuries. Their motto "the best table and service north of Manly". 

The cellar provided wines and spirits which had no equal on the northside. It was locally said that they brewed some of their own - a common practice in those times. Others claimed that a still existed behind the cow paddock and creek, where a strong palatable spirit was made and approved of by local judges using the "tongue and lip" method.
Horses were bred in the cow paddock, others out on agistments. On maturing they were sold to local coachmen. The horse-drawn coach from Narrabeen terminated at the hotel in Princess Street.

A cactus hedge was planted to the waters edge. Flame and pine trees were scattered about. Level green lawns like billiard tables were everywhere. Croquet court and the grounds were kept spotless, so were the staff. Tremendous parties were organised for well known families, business houses and clubs. Chinese lanterns, fairy lights, bunting and streamers decorated the grounds. An orchestra played in the garden, beautifully gowned women danced with partners in white tie and tails. Honeymooners and holiday makers came from all over New South Wales. Many garden seats faced the water view. As the seats could not be seen from the Hotel, these lovers seats gave privacy. Scott's Boarding House and Crystal Bay, 1925. From;

After Dorcas’ passing from cancer in 1892, David Scott reverts to using both Bay View House and Scott’s Guest House. Interestingly, it was in 1892 that Newport experienced its ‘riots’ when gangs of youths, fuelled by alcohol, would disembark from steamers  at Scott’s and smash windows with stones as well as destroy parts of the orchards. This would not have helped a lady suffering from cancer which is exacerbated by stress. SCOTT.-April 19, at her residence, Newport, Pittwater, Dorcas, the beloved wife of David Scott, aged 52 years. Family Notices. (1892, April 20). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from

David Scott was also one of those wanting to see Newport ‘Go ahead’ as a developing area and spoke at a meeting at Newport Hotel in favour of a railway link to Newport, not only because it would bring more visitors but also encourage more residents; Mr David Scott said he felt convinced that a line of railway from North 'shore to Pittwater would yield as good a return as any line in tho colony, for tho cost of coustrylon and working would be very small, whilst the passenger traffic would be very large from tho crowds of visitors to the district at holiday time he had often heard expressions of wonder at a place so beautiful and attractive being so little known, and so ill provided with means of communication with the metropolis AND; He said four years ago he formed a high opinion of the prospects of tho Pittwater district and despite the lapse years that opinion had been strengthened and confirmed. It was part of his business to discover the beauty spots of the colony but he had not yet come across a place that could compare with Newport in the matter of natural beauties and attractions there were thousands of visitors to tho district, and although this was a matter of congratulation it was residents rather than visitors that were wanted RAILWAY MEETING AT NEWPORT. (1890, June 23). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from

Above: Last: Walking towards Newport Beach Pic No: 18526_a024_000069, dated 31/12/1908 and from the State Records of NSW

Dorcas and David had six children, two daughters who died, one in infancy and the other at nine years of age, and David J Scott 1861 – 1926, Herbert Scott 1869 – 1934, Minnie Scott 1875 – 1956 and Leighton Scott 1879 – 1961. 

Minnie and Leighton were both named as the first children to enroll at Newport Public School when that opened in May of 1888.

After 1892 the business flourished under then 18 year old daughter Minnie Scott.: Minnie Scott, keeper of a boarding-house at Newport, wished to correct evidence she had given. She had not had this place for l8 years, but only since she was l8 years of age. She gave evidence respecting the dates Mr. J. B. Dalley had visited her house and the dates Mrs. Dalley had been there. DIVORCE COURT. (1905, November 23). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from

It’s reputation rose under her stewardship, despite those who used the premises for alleged illicit purposes, and became a place for honeymooners, community celebrations and was famous for its ‘fish dinners’. By 1896 the mortgage on the premises had been discharged and the business thrived as a place for honeymooners or more exclusive parties. Steamers landed people at their own jetty on Crystal Bay and it was one of the places to be on New Year's Eve.

At the Manly Police Court this morning, Minnie Scott (proprietress of a boarding house at Newport) and Harry Wright (a waiter) appeared  on a charge of selling liquor, not being holders of a licence. Senior-constable Rodgers and Constables Thornley and Vindon stated that, in plain clothes, they arrived at Miss Scott's on Saturday, August 2 and in the evening Wright purchased a bottle of stout from the hotel for them. On the following Sunday they asked for and were supplied with two bottles of lager beer. Thornley’s bill, when settling up, came to 13s 6d — 8s for meals and bed, and 5s 6d for beer and wine he had bad. The police and prominent residents said the establishment was conducted in a splendid manner. 

Minnie Scott said she and her mother had carried on the boardinghouse for 27 years. She did not keep beer on the premises for sale. The guests purchased the beer on Saturday night and notices appeared to every room to the effect that orders for Sunday beer must be given by 9 on the previous night. The two bottles which she sold to the policemen had been bought to a guest, and not consumed. Harry Wright testified that beer was not sold at Scott's. He purchased liquor from the hotel when asked to do so by guests. The, magistrate (Mr. Love) thought both charges proved and fined the defendants £30 each, with 6s coils; In default two months. UNLICENSED LIQUOR. (1913, August 15).Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 4. Retrieved from 

Scott's Hotel had it's peak from 1918-1930, during which time it specialized in fish meals. The 1930 depression adversely affected the Hotel. Bert worked for Clifford Love and Company, he and his wife took over from Minnie, stayed a couple of years then left. The Kemp family were the next managers. World War II changed everything. A Mr McClintock lived permanently at Scott's Hotel. Mr Douglas rented a section not in use for residence. Soon after the property was demolished as further development in the area took place. Perhaps the last advertisement;  

SCOTTS HOTEL Newport Xmas and New Year Accommodation Vacant for a limited number of guests Mona Vale 41 for particulars. Advertising. (1932, December 7). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from

Above: Scotts Hotel Sign: Sunday 5th of February 1911, Top of Newport Hill, from Album 56: Photographs of the Allen family, 1 December - 30 April 1911. Image No:  a3288031. Courtesy State Library of NSW.


 Black and white postcard of Scott 1900. Photo Courtesy of Pittwater Image Library, Mona Vale.

Henry King Photographs, courtesy National Library of Australia and Pittwater Image Library Mona Vale, c. 1900-1910. Top: Bay view House, Newport NSW.  Below: Pittwater from Bay View House.

Bayview House from Loftus Point, Newport. 1900 (Later named Green Point and site of present day RPAYC.) Photo Courtesy of Pittwater Image Library, Mona Vale.

Crystal Bay December 2011. Above: Looking towards Green Point. Below: Looking from Green Point across Crystal Bay.

 Further: in File Below 

Scotts Hotel and Boarding House Research.pdf Scotts Hotel and Boarding House Research.pdf
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Collins retreat, Scotts Hotel and Bayview House Threads collected by A J Guesdon, 2011.