History of Waterloo Station
Waterloo Station was first discovered by Alexander Campbell in 1837 and was settled by the McIntyres of the Hunter Valley. Tradition says the discovery was by no means an uneventful one as Mr Campbell only secured his "prize" after a fist fight with another explorer who also claimed priority of possession hence the name Waterloo.
The original property was estimated to be 118,000 acres (48,000 ha) or twenty and a half miles (36km) long spanning both sides of the Waterloo creek. Founded on naturally fertile land for premium cattle production, the property had with an estimated carrying capacity of 1500 breeding cattle and carried a reputation as a fine cattle grazing property.
The significant feature of Waterloo is the residence of 22 rooms. The homestead was commissioned by the John Sinclair who purchased Waterloo Station in 1896. Designed by Herbert Ross of the Sydney firm Ross & Rowe construction of the was completed in 1908.
The homestead was designed in the Arts and Crafts style of architecture which emerged from Britain in the mid 19th century. The use of this style on a station house in a place far removed from the centres of 19th century fashion, makes a statement about the character and taste of the Sinclair family who sponsored its design and construction. Although the style is foreign in origin, this building's reliance on local natural materials and rural craftsmanship reflects a deep love of the countryside in which Waterloo is located.
Waterloo Station was sold in 1972 to the Mactaggart family from Queensland. Establishing a Simford bull stud (Simmental, Hereford cross) the property held regular bull stud stock sales and producer days. The property was recorded to also be running 1,000 adult cattle and just over 3,000 sheep in May 1997. After 25 years of ownership by the Mactaggart family, Waterloo Station was sold in 1997.
Waterloo Station has been held by just five owners in almost 180 years.
Since their ownership, Don and Deborah Anderson have committed to protecting the history and improving this unique property and its surrounding environment.
Don explains, "Walking into the homestead after we settled on the property was a daunting and unforgettable experience. It had been many years since anyone had lived in the homestead. We just didn't know where to start. Broken windows, leaking roof, no heating, no water and the list goes on."
"I remember sitting in the house on our first night wondering if this property was recoverable. However the love of the historic nature of the homestead provided us with a sense of purpose. Today, looking back at what we have achieved I have an overwhelming sense of satisfaction that this historic house and property will be able to be enjoyed for generations to come." said Don.
The Anderson family have since restored all major buildings on the property in keeping with the history of the property. The latest improvement has been the historic shearers quarters Circa 1910. This newly renovated accommodation will be open to public booking from 2018.
The Sinclair family ownership spanned across 76 years (1896 - 1972). Sir Colin Sinclair, son of John Sinclair, was a State parliamentarian and later the president of the Royal Agricultural Show (RAS) society. He was knighted for his service to the RAS and the pastoral industry.