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Reed's Flat 1841
CHARLES SOLOMON is very closely associated with the earliest of Manaro history. In 1841 he came to Bunyan, then known as Reed's Flats, where his brother, Solomon Solomon, had acquired the hotel business previously carried on by David Moses. In addition to the hotel, Solomon Solomon conducted, in conjunction with his brother, Harry Solomon, a store business, and in each of these young Charles Solomon assisted. When race meetings were held at the Flats, he rode many a horse to victory. Later he started cattle dealing, being his own drover, and it is recorded that on Xmas Eve, 1849, he at Galantiba Station found a family of five who had been without tea, flour or sugar for five weeks. With these he shared his supply. When he made his first trip to Gippsland there was no track, the only guide being an occasional blazed tree. When he first came to Cooma he states the blacks were very numerous, but not dangerous, but that after 1850 they began to get troublesome. In his early days Mr. Solomon recalled that the only money of utility were notes of 5/- and 10/- each, issued by Ben Boyd.
In 1861, Mr. Solomon took up his residence in Cooma, and with William Coulter, who had been his droving partner, started business in a stone building at the corner of Sharp and Bombala Streets, owned by Samuel Shannon and known as the "Big Drum." This business was carried on for twelve months only. Mr. Solomon went to Kiandra during the rush. In conjunction with Mr. Moses, he had a store at Jindabyne, which was run by a storekeeper named Davis. The store was run in conjunction with an hotel which belonged to Jindabyne East, and was situated where the Jindabyne Hotel is to-day. In 1870 Jacob Alexander was running the store for him. In addition to the store at Jindabyne, the subject of this sketch for a number of years owned a store at Buckley's Crossing. This was conducted by John and Isaac Davis. Mr. Solomon had built to his order in 1862 the Cooma Hotel, at the corner of Massie and Vale Streets. After carrying this on for three years, he went across the road to premises built by Amos Crisp, for William Ross. There he carried on at first in partnership with David Moses as Moses and Solomon, and following that as C. Solomon, until his death, the business of a general merchant.
Charles Solomon was one of Manaro's most public-spirited and esteemed citizens. He was the first Mayor of the town, a trustee of the Park, as also of the Hospital, on the Committee of which he sat for 45 years. He was a President and Life Member of the School of Arts, to which institution he gave the block of land in Bombala Street upon which the hall was built, subsequently adding to this by a gift of an additional parcel of land. He was President of the Manaro jockey Club, a member of the Local Land Board, and for forty years was a member of the Cooma School Board, as well as being a foundation member of the Masonic Lodge. He took a keen interest in all sports, especially cricket, and for many years was a patron of the local club. He died in Cooma on 15th November, 1915, at the age of 84, leaving a widow and a number of children. Two sons, Lewis Samuel, who carries on the businessfounded by his father, and Harry Hyam, a solicitor who has acted as Clerk to the Monaro Shire since its inception in 1906, still remain in Cooma. The other members of the family, including his widow, have left the district.
Transcribed by Pattrick Mould in 2003, from the book "Back to Coma' Celebrations" page 86