Among the bark huts at Goulburn Plains two substantial buildings were constructed near the original main street, Wayo Street, part of which is now the Riversdale driveway.
The first was the stone barn this was followed several years later by a large brick 14-roomed house.
Built in the style of early colonial inns, the house contained both a residence and inn.
The widowed Ann Richards, whose husband had purchased the land in 1837 oversaw the building of the coaching inn that became Riversdale.
On June 16, 1842, a publican's licence was issued for the Victoria Inn, old township of Goulburn (as Goulburn Plains was now known) and granted to Lewis Levy.
With the licence granted a sign was needed to indicate the inn's publican, and Levy's name was written above the front door.
This fitted neatly on the nine sandstone blocks which form the archway above the door.
A Berrima man, Levy knew Ann Richards through his wife Ann Taylor.
Both women had grown up at Windsor and Ann Taylor was one of the witnesses at Ann Richard's third marriage in 1840, to Goulburn Plains' blacksmith Benjamin Gould.
Levy came free to the colony and joined his uncle, Joseph Levy, a successful innkeeper at Berrima.
Ann and Lewis stayed for only one year at Goulburn Plains.
On June 23, 1843 Benjamin Gould became the new licensee for the Victoria Inn and with the change of licence Benjamin's name, abbreviated to fit the archway, was written over the door obliterating Lewis Levy's name.
Returning to Berrima, Levy continued as an innkeeper.
WAR ON WEEDS
Purslane that pesky weed is making a nuisance of itself at Riversdale.
The summer growing succulent has appeared in abundance over the last few months, and the gardening team are waging war on the plant.
They have spent many hours digging it out from the front lawn and garden beds singling it out for special treatment.
It might be a highly prized salad vegetable in Europe, where it's from, but in Australia it's a weed that multiplies just like rabbits another introduced pest from Europe!
Now that the temperature has dropped the central heating system has been turned on keeping the house warm and cosy.
Reconnected after the restoration work last year, the heating system is warming the house and keeping condensation at bay.
A gas heater has been installed in the west wing where the worst of the rising damp damage occurred, and the heater, with real flames, resembles an open fire giving the heater an authentic look.
As the cold weather bites the house will be as warm as toast for our visitors and house team volunteers.
Our popular Devonshire teas will be held on Sunday June 16, if you are at a loose end or looking for something a bit different come and have a leisurely tea or coffee and a scrumptious jam and cream scone.
Take a tour of the house with its colonial furnishings and discover the beautiful woodcarving and handicrafts created by Emily Twynam.
The Riversdale gift shop, within the house, may have just the gift for that hard to buy for person.
Come and browse! You never know, our gift shop may have the very thing!
After attending the Volunteer Expo on May 24, we would like to welcome all our new volunteers who have come on board to help at Riversdale.
We are sure that their varied expertise will be of great benefit to the work being done to keep Riversdale safe for the future.
National Trust (NSW)'s Riversdale house and garden is open Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays 10am to 2pm. 2 Twynam Drive, Goulburn, NSW.
For more information on Riversdale visit our webpage at
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