The history of the Manly Fruit and Preserving Company - The Community Leader and Real Estate New and Views
Local History

Photos: Supplied.


When there is a mention of an early jam-making factory in the Manly district, J Hargreaves and Sons of “The Springs” usually comes to mind. John Hargreaves’ factory first commenced producing jams in 1891.

Very few people would recall the Manly Preserving Company. A Historical Society Facebook follower sent these two pictures to the Society’s Facebook page and asked for details of this company.

A small jam factory was situated in the garden of the first large brick/stone house built on Manly Hill called Wyvernleigh. Wyvernleigh was situated on Portion 78, surveyed in September 1860, and sold to Thomas Jones in November 1862. Here Thomas built his summerhouse, a cool retreat away from the family cattle property at Barambah Homestead, near Goomeri, in the Gympie Region of Queensland.

Wyvrenleigh was sold to Joseph Leuthwaite, then stayed with the Arnold family until 1909, when William Parker purchased the property. Then there were leases to various tenants, including the Anglican Church, the Harman family and the Shepherd family.

A member of the Shepherd family, when reminiscing about earlier days in a church magazine, said the family did make preserves in a shed in the garden.

This shed was mentioned by Archbishop Duhig in his announcement in 1925, printed in the Catholic Press: “His Grace the Archbishop has purchased a property a Manly for future church purposes. The property is situated at the corner of Ernest and Waterloo Streets, in the vicinity of Manly State School, and has a commanding view of the district, the bay and islands. The price of the property, which was owned by Mr. Parker, was in the vicinity of £1,800.00. There is a large brick and stone residence on the property, also the factory of the Manly Preserving Company, which is to be removed”. Sydney Catholic Press (30.04.1925).

According to St John Vianney Church magazine, page 1, 7 May 2000, “Manly Parish was established in 1927, following Duhig’s purchase of the land in 1926. A hall was built when Father Butler was appointed to the Parish, partly from the timber from the old jam factory, which stood on the property. Built by Mr Percy Shepherd and his assistant Mr Vince Grotty, the hall was used for dances and plays, which enabled the debt to be paid off”.

An announcement was made in 1927 that Manly Fruit and Preserving Company had decided to establish a fruit preserving and canning factory at Nambour for which purpose the Olympic Hall had been purchased.

The Queenslander (1.6.1927. page 16) reported, “This building is situated in the centre of town near the railway station. The intention is to install a large new plant. Among the intended projects of the new venture, is the extraction of juice from the small oranges and lemons which hitherto have been unsalable in the markets”.

This new secondary industry was established in Nambour. The Manly Preserving Company transported its whole plant to the Olympic Hall in Howard Street, Nambour. The Nambour Chronicle reported, “Not only does it save the famer a considerable amount of cases, but it also saves a considerable amount of railway freight and handling”.

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