One of the stories from the 2013 project: Who were they? People who shaped Victor Harbor and for whom our parks and reserves are named.
The Davis Reserve is named after the many descendants of William and Sarah Davis. The reserve was once alongside the residence of the late Tom Davis. Victor Harbor TAFE College was built on this land.
William Davis was probably born in London about 1844 and came to Australia as a small boy. In 1864 he married Elizabeth Parsons who died leaving a small daughter. William remarried in 1876 to Sarah Voce. It was reported the tin kettling for this celebration got slightly out of hand! William and Sarah had a large family of at least eleven children.
For many years William Davis was an officer of the District Council. In fact, he was appointed as Sanitary Inspector as well as Pound Keeper. These two occupations were very difficult to maintain without offending friends and acquaintances. Mr Davis played the violin and taught others to do so.
The story is told of an occasion when Mr Davis had to catch the train to Adelaide in the days when it left Victor Harbor in the small hours of the morning. Determined not to sleep in and miss it, he slept the night in one of the carriages. In the morning Mr Davis woke up and there was a chill in the air. Noticing the host of the Crown Hotel sweeping his verandah he went over for a quick drink to warm him up and missed the train!
William Davis died suddenly in 1911, on the railway platform, at the age of 67. Sarah Davis died in 1928 at the age of 72 years. They are both buried in the Victor Harbor Cemetery.