Photo of Palamcotta Manager's bungalow in 1872 kind courtesy of Jack Wehner
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"My wife’s great-grandfather, David Mitchell, owned and managed this estate in the 1860s and 1870s. His eldest son - her grandfather, David Hogarth Peel Mitchell - was born in 1868 at Palamcotta, as were two of his siblings.
One of the stories that has come down in the family is that Great-Grandfather Mitchell was once reaching under the verandah for a shovel when, instead, he pulled out a five-foot long cobra - with the tail in one hand and the neck in the other! He called out to Great-Grandmother, “Quick, bring the Breadknife, Mary!!” - which indeed she did, frantically proceeding to saw the cobra in half, and then fainting straight away onto the verandah floor!
Sometime after the ruinous coffee blight hit the Rakwana District, the estate was sold and the Mitchells relocated to Victoria, Australia, where Mary Ann (nee’ Henderson) had been born.
Jack Wehner - July 2021"
Scotsman James Taylor started Sri Lanka’s first tea estate, 19 acre Loolecondera Estate, marking the birth of the tea industry in Ceylon.
The first Shipment of Ceylon Tea, a consignment of 23lb (10kg) arrived in London for trade
The first public Colombo Tea Auction was held at the premises of Somerville & Co. under the auspice of Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.
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