Urara | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

Culture and heritage



Item details

Name of item: Urara
Other name/s: Urara
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Residential buildings (private)
Category: House
Primary address: 110 Cambridge Street, South Grafton, NSW 2460
Local govt. area: Clarence Valley


The property boundary.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
110 Cambridge StreetSouth GraftonClarence Valley  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

This Federation residence is associated with Joseph Reid and his family who established the successful Enterprise Sawmills. These mills provided timber not only locally but all over NSW and the hardwood from these mills was used in the Pyrmont Bridge, Sydney. It provides a link to the history of South Grafton and the timber industry which was so important in the growth of the Grafton District. Joseph Reid was also a prominent public figure and served time as both Mayor of South Grafton and Grafton and was on numerous local committees.

Architecturally the residence is significant as a good representative example of a Federation Bungalow with Anglo-Indian influence and is associated with the local architect Schaeffer and the builders Strauss and son. It can be compared with 97 Victoria Street, Grafton. It is one of South Grafton's heritage assets and should be listed on the Clarence Valley Local Environmental Plan.
Date significance updated: 01 Jun 07
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.


Designer/Maker: W.F.C Schaeffer
Builder/Maker: Strauss Brothers
Physical description: A high quality single storey weatherboard dwelling with now tiled roof which extends over the verandah in the style of an Indian/ Colonial Federation bungalow. A key feature of the house is the balustrade displaying excellent lacework. verandah posts are original with grouped brackets. The design is similar to 97 Victoria Street Grafton. Joinery appears original with the front door surrounded by side lights and fan light. Other windows are casement, with coloured glass panels and there are two sets of French doors. The side verandahs around now partially enclosed. Rendered piers beside the fronts steps contain ashlar work. The interior was not viewed by it is believed to contain marble fireplaces, solid doors, etched glass and Wunderlick ceilings.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Well maintained
Date condition updated:01 Jun 07
Modifications and dates: Replacement of corrugated iron roof with tiles, replacement of front steps with metal.
Further information: Cambridge Street in this section between Bent and the Kelly street intersection is planted with leopard trees (Caesalpinia Ferrea), which make a shady avenue.
Current use: Residence
Former use: Residence/Maternity Hospital


Historical notes: Originally built as the home for Joseph and Mary Reid. Joseph Reid owned Reids Sawmills which provided much of the timber for urban development in both North and South Grafton. Reids Sawmills for example provided the timber for the cathedral ceilings in St Matthew's Anglican Church, South Grafton. In addition Reids Sawmills provided ironbark for the Pyrmont Bridge in Sydney (opened 1902) which is now listed on the NSW State Heritage Register. The booklet "The Beautiful Clarence" (1914) discusses the development of the Enterprise Sawmills and noted that Joseph Reid is now a limited company (formed 1915). It also states the firm not only relies on local trade but that timber is dispatched to every part of the State. In 1914 it said the yards were stacked with all classes of timber - cedar, silky oak, and various kinds of hardwoods, etc. After the war 4 of Josephs sons followed their father into the family business.

Joseph Reid was also prominent in public affairs serving as Mayor of South Grafton in 1906,1913,1914 and Mayor of Grafton 1938. He was an active member of the South Grafton Progress Association, a member of the Chamber of Commerce, President of the Grafton Branch of the Associated Country Sawmillers Association, Vice President of the South Grafton Jockey Club and severed on the Committee of the South Grafton School of Arts. His obituary in the "Australian Timber Journal" May-June 1939 he was also an ardent worker for the establishment of the railway line between the Tablelands and the Coast.

The house was named after the Urara river (now Orara River), the location of Reids first mill and is built with timber from his mills.

It is not known when the house passes out of the Reid family hands but at one stage the house was converted to flats. When it was bought by the McLennan Family in 1964 it was returned to a private residence.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Commerce-Activities relating to buying, selling and exchanging goods and services (none)-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Accommodation-Activities associated with the provision of accommodation, and particular types of accommodation – does not include architectural styles – use the theme of Creative Endeavour for such activities. (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
This residence provides a link to the history of South Grafton and the timber industry which was so important in the growth of the Grafton District.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
It is associated with Joseph Reid and his family who established the sucessful Enterprise Sawmills . These mills provided timber not only locally but all over NSW and the hardword from these mills was used in the Prymont Bridge, Sydney.
In addition it is associated with the local architect Schaeffer and the builders Strauss and son.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
This is an aesthetically pleasing Federation Bungalow with beautiful iron balustrading.
SHR Criteria g)
It is representative of Anglo- Indian Bungalow style with the roof extending over a wide verandah. It is considered a heritage asset and can be compared with 97 Victoria Street, Grafton.
Integrity/Intactness: Largely intact and very well maintained
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Recommended management:

An attractive house with direct links to South Grafton's history, particularly its association with Joseph Reid and his family.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental Plan  10 Jun 11 2011-272 
Heritage study     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Grafton Community Heritage Study2004 J. Gardiner  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenDescendants of J.C.Reid2003The Family Reid

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

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(Click on thumbnail for full size image and image details)

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 1640568

Every effort has been made to ensure that information contained in the State Heritage Inventory is correct. If you find any errors or omissions please send your comments to the Database Manager.

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