Bad health couldn't stop him advancing the local community

Published: 27/7/2020
Photo: Austcemindex
Photo: Austcemindex

When David Jarman moved to the Brunswick River, little did the burgeoning area realise what a pioneer they had in their midst.


Mr Jarman had already been living in the Woodburn and Evans Head area, where he arrived as a tradesman to help build the new and rising townships.


In Evans Head he joined a venture to help establish a fishing station, putting up the first building there.


When he made his way to the Brunswick River around 1883 he became the local ferryman dealing with the early inconveniences of the pioneering days.


At the first Crown Land sale in the Byron Bay area he bought a number of building sites and erected the Pier Hotel, where today's Beach Hotel is situated, which he ran for a number of years.  



Mr Jarman worked towards the improvement of the Byron Bay area, including enhancing the Bay harbor and the construction of the Tenterfield to coast railway


He was described as 'an able and consistent battler' when it came to improvements in the area.


Mr Jarman was twice elected as Councillor to the newly formed Byron Shire and was the first president up until the time of his death.


His passion for improvements to the area was such that, despite knowing he was unwell from heart disease, he attended a conference in Lismore to advocate for a deep sea port in Byron Bay.


He was described as having a pallid face and weak limbs and suffering visibly while at the Conference.


He died three days later, leaving behind a wife but no family.


He is buried in Byron Bay cemetery, with an acknowledgement on his headstone of his high standing in the community.


Originally published on Tales From The Grave Uncovering family history from down under By Samantha Elley 



  • 'Byron Bay Pioneer', The Richmond River Express and Casino Kyogle Advertiser, Tuesday 19 May 1908, Page 5
  • 'Old Byron Bay/ Cavvanbah', Images of Byron Bay,, accessed on 3rd November, 2019.
  • 'Obituary. Mr David Jarman', The Byron Bay Record, Saturday 16 May, 1908, Page 9.
  • 'Mr David Jarman', The Grafton Argus and Clarence River General Advertiser, Thursday 14 May 1908, Page 5.
  • 'The Beachie - A pub like no other',, accessed 5 November, 2019
  • 'David Jarman',, accessed 30th November, 2019

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