Ruby Janson nee Reynolds (a descendant of Darug grandmother Mary Thomas from Wilberforce) runs a hotel with her husband Walter Janson at Jones Island Taree. The children go to buy lollies in town and the two darker boys, Neville and Ken are told to wait outside the shop because ”we don’t serve Blackfellas here.” Neville Janson’s brother Noel pulls his younger brother’s shorts down “look he’s white not black, he’s got a white bum”. The children don’t wear shoes until they are 8 years old. 

The family then move to Chatswood. The family of 20 plus, live in one big house with a farmyard of chooks, horses, goats, dogs and garden. They ride horses down the Lane Cove River Park to shoot rabbits for dinner. Neville picks up oysters from the river bank and fishes and catches crabs.

  • Neville Janson, 1928

Families living in or moving to the Gully at Katoomba include Tom Miller and his wife and three sons Cyril, Robert (Roza) and Kevin. They have a cow with a bell around its neck that they have to chase to milk it. Every Saturday the families walk up Bungalow Hill to the shops. Jack’s grocery shop is always open. The Stubbings family also live in the Gully. Many Koories work in the Paragon chocolate factory.

  • Household items found at the Gully, Katoomba. Many Kooris were employed at the Paragon Cafe

Others include the Shears family. Ethel Rose Cooper (Lock). Molly Keenan is born in a tin house in the Gully. Ernest Henry Tucker (Bubby) lives with Nana Eva Agnes Webb, so do Harold and Kenny Webb. Dudley Webb is a cousin. Walter Green lives with Aunty Jean Skeen. Vinny Shaw (Jim Castle) lives in the Gully as does Mrs Robey a white woman lives down the road from Nana Webb. Another non-Aboriginal family are the Millers. Joan Cooper marries Alfred Everingham.

  • Mary Cooper King and David King
  • Gilbert Cooper, Frank Cooper, James Shepherd and Los Cooper, 1910
  • Marie Cooper nee Locke lived in the Gully, Katoomba


Jenny Kennedy recalls that (during the Depression in the 1930s) that the Coopers in the Gully live on, “Stewed rabbit, baked rabbit, fried rabbit, you name it rabbit. It was rabbit, rabbit and more rabbit!” Johnson, oral histories. Video ‘Life at the Gully’

  • Lilly Cooper and Molly Keenan lived in the Gully, Katoomba, 1948

Amy Susanna Webb marries Walter Green and they have children: Daphney Green (Gambrill), Keith Green, Irene Green, Valerie June Green (Aurisch) Josephine Green (Hayton), Walter Green, Beverly Green (Ward) and Patricia Green.

  • Beverly Ward (nee Groom). On right Beverley Ward (nee green) and her mother Amy Susannah Green (nee Webb)


Birth of Valerie Burke, she marries Kevin Tobin.


Birth of Auntie Valerie Aurisch nee Green she marries Edward Aurisch in Katoomba.

  • Auntie Val Aurisch and Colin Lock
  • Auntie Val Aurish