HARD YAKKA: The grave of James and Charlotte James in Dunoon cemetery.
HARD YAKKA: The grave of James and Charlotte James in Dunoon cemetery. Samantha Elley

Jimmy Two Times' home catered for all religions

IN THE Dunoon cemetery is the grave stone of Jimmy Two Times or Jimmy Jimmy.

At least they were the names given to James Edgar James, one of the first white residents of Dunoon.

James Edgar James.
James Edgar James. Ancestry.com

There were many stories of the English native when he arrived with his family in the area, some possibly exaggerated as time went on.

It is believed the first house built between Lismore and Tweed was built by Jimmy, and a tottering old barn was all that was left until 1923.

According to legend, when the family arrived in 1880, Jimmy's wife and children had to sit on the grass while he split slabs to provide them a shelter.

Jimmy moved to Australia from Kent and it is believed he tried his luck in the gold fields.

When he came to the Lismore-Casino area he met Charlotte Davis and they were married in 1870.

After living in "The Garden of Eden” (so called for the fruitfulness and gorgeous gardens of their property) at Lismore, the James family moved to their selected property at Dunoon in July 1880.

It took three months for him to fell the dense timber before he erected the slab house and shingled roof that would finally become his family's home.

The large living room was used for services for all the various church denominations as well as for meetings of the progress association.

In 1882 Jimmy secured the mail contract between Lismore and Murwillumbah over the Nightcap Range until 1886.

The road was impassable by car, so Jimmy carried the mail by pack-horse.

Sadly, in 1886, having just given birth, Charlotte died. To add salt into the wound, the child, baby Joseph, was buried next to her 10 months later, although he is not noted on the gravestone.

Thirty years after Jimmy died in 1897, a tribute was published in The Northern Star and described him as loved and a great example of Christian charity.

References: Lost Landmark, The Northern Star, September 8, 1923; Births, Deaths, Marriages, NSW, www.bdm. nsw.gov.au; James Edgar James, www.ancestry.com

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