Henry and Louis Mood

Born in Germany, Henry and Louis came to Australia as young boys with their mother Margaret and stepfather Phillip Deitz. In 1875, the brothers established a coach building business in Shellharbour Village on the site of the Shellharbour Garage in Addison Street.

Henry started work as a builder and in 1882 went into partnership with fellow builder Charles Bursill, who built the beautiful two-story guesthouse Seaside, where the Ocean Beach Hotel stands today. Charles Bursill was the brother in law of Thomas Daniel Sweeney Whitfield, also a builder. Henry became the proprietor of the New Royal Hotel at Shellharbour.

Louis eventually moved his part of the business to Albion Park where he operated LR Mood and Sons Coachworks. The complex in Tongarra Road Albion Park, opposite the Post Office, was the largest of its type in Albion Park.  Ten to twelve men were employed making slides, sulkies, spring carts, tip drays, four wheeled wagons, buggies and coaches. All upholstery was done on the premises: the coach seats were made from leather with horsehair filling, and metal fittings were made for the coaches and sulkies.

A large shed was used by farriers for shoeing horses, where six or eight at a time could be tethered to the rings on the side walls.  Steel axles, hubs and threaded ends were hand forged on the anvil, and staff were always kept busy repairing plough shares, new steel shoes or runners for the slides, making pins for posts and gate hinges, as well as livestock fire brands to name a few.

Information – Martin, Jack 2005. Tongarra Tales, Tongarra Heritage Society.

Opening hours

Monday to Thursday 9.30am–8pm
Friday 9.30am–5pm
Saturday 9am–3pm
Sunday 12pm–3pm