Sarah and William Thomas arrived at Wollongong Harbour with their three children in 1838, on a steamer nicknamed Puffing Billy, and were immediately engaged by Henry Osborne at Marshall Mount Estate. The Thomas’ occupied the gardener’s cottage.
Many years later, their daughter Clorinda Thomas (Cloe) recalled the time when she and her parents landed at the harbour. She remembered the place where the convicts were housed a little back from the landing spot. As there was no wharf, their possessions had to be carried from the boat to dry land. Clorinda recalled it was very cold and one of the sailors carried her ashore. Dan, the bullock driver met them and drove them up Crown Street, which was at that time just a dirt track. Clorinda’s son, Samuel Charles Atchison lost his life in the Boer War, and a monument to his memory stands in Caroline Chisholm Park at Shellharbour Village.
William Thomas was employed as a carpenter and built the cedar staircase in Marshall Mount House. He planted an English Oak on the farm, which is still there today. Sarah and William later moved to Log Bridge Farm at Yallah, where their other seven children were born.
Hundreds of Thomas descendants, still live in Shellharbour today.