The Prospect Heritage Trust Inc.

Watts Family

© Prospect Heritage Trust Inc.

James and Mary Ann Watts, who worked at Veteran Hall when they first came to the Colony, later established a General Store on this property. In 1867 James became the Postmaster and built this brick building c1890, which housed the Store and Post Office. James, who had trained as a butcher in England, built a butcher’s shop with sawdust insulation in the roof and walls, next to the Post Office. A mincing room and smokehouse were also built. James bought land that extended from here along Blacktown Road, where he operated a slaughterhouse and holding pens.

When James died in 1898, his widowed daughter Harriet Higgin took over the position of Postmistress until 1910, when her brother George purchased the property and his daughters Ethel and Georgina were appointed Postmistress and Assistant Postmistress. When Ethel resigned in 1915, Georgina became Postmistress until she resigned in 1946. This made a total of 79 years that a member of the Watts family had operated the Prospect Post Office.

George Watts was born at Veteran Hall and privately educated at the Fox Under the Hill Inn. George constructed a dance hall on the southern edge of his property for the use of the local community and later donated a block of land opposite the Post Office to the Council for the erection of a School of Arts Hall.

From the time the Watts family left until resumed by the Government in 1976, the property passed through five different ownerships, being used as a poultry farm and a hardware store. Picture: George Watts, courtesy H.Caprari