History of information centre
The Maitland Bay Information Centre building was built in two parts, the downstairs, which was originally the home of John and Dulcie Wall, was built in the 1940s and the upper section was later added in 1950.
The area in Maitland Bay was visited frequently by four generations of the Wall family until John and Dulcie Wall purchased the property in 1945 and began construction of their family home.
Barry Wall, son of John and Dulcie Wall, said: "Along with Dad and Mum, the four youngest children, Donald, Joan, myself and Roger, moved on to the property in early 1946, living in tents.
"My father built a temporary dwelling constructed of round bush poles covered with malthoid on this bush block of five to six acres, while waiting for the arrival of building materials, which were difficult to get just after the war."
Mr Wall said that, at 12 years old, he helped his father with the building as materials became available from Sterland Bros, W.R (Bill) Whites Hardware, and timber yards in Mann St, Gosford.
Mr and Mrs Wall contributed in the retrieval of the bell of the Maitland which stands outside the heritage building today.
Barry Wall said his father was contacted by the divers who found the bell and helped bring the bell to the building for safekeeping.
"A lot of blood, sweat and tears were spilt doing it," he said.
At the time, the house was visited by travellers asking for directions and water and, consequently, the Walls added a small shop at the front.
The building soon became known as the the Maitland Store.
In the late 1950s, John Wall was employed part time by the trustees of Bouddi Natural Park for track work and the trustees used the Maitland Store for their quarterly meetings.
In 1959, the building was sold by the Walls, who stayed in the district, to English couple Ron and Thelma Hall.
Mr and Mrs Hall proceeded to increase business of the Maitland Store.
Mrs Hall became renowned for her Devonshire Teas.
A sandwich trade grew from the employees of companies that were mining the local beaches, and nearby residents bought provisions from the store.
In 1960, Ron Hall became the first full-time ranger to be employed in Bouddi Natural Park, employed by trustees of the Park.
In 1961, the bell of the Maitland was installed by the Brisbane Water Historical Society in a sandstone base next to the Maitland Store and was unveiled by Dulcie Wall.
The Maitland Store was closed within a few years after a succession of new ownerships and, in 1970, was bought by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Under ownership of the National Parks and Wildlife Service, the building became the residence and office of the Bouddi State Park superintendent.
In 1974, the superintendent moved to Kosciusko National Park following the opening of a District Office in Gosford and the Maitland Store became an un-used building.
A few years later, the NPWS allocated $500 to demolish the building, which was strongly resisted by the District's Advisory Committee who believed it was an ideal location for an information center and should be refurbished.
The NPWS agreed to use the allocated $500 to restore the building, as well as contributing more money to the process.
In March 1990, the Maitland Store was officially opened as the Maitland Bay Information Center and is listed as a Heritage Item of Gosford City, still retaining the original facade and shop window.
Presently, the Heritage building is much more than in information centre and is used regularly for meetings of National Parks and Wildlife Service officers as well as other groups.