Argyle Street · Camden · Camden Council · Camden Historical Society · Camden Museum · Camden Red Cross · Camden Show · Churches · Coal mining · Colonial Camden · Country Women's Association · Cultural Heritage · Dairying · Elizabeth Macarthur · Farming · First World War · Floods · Heritage · History · Living History · Local History · Local newspapers · Local Studies · Macarthur · Macarthur Park · Nepean River · Philanthropy · Place making · Placemaking · Railway · Red Cross · Schools · Second World War · Sense of place · Settler colonialism · Settler Society · Silver mining · Storytelling · Sydney's rural-urban fringe · Uncategorized · Urban development · Urban growth · Urban Planning · urban sprawl · Urbanism · Volunteering · Volunteerism · Wartime · World War One

Camden, a Macarthur family venture

The private English-style estate village of James and William Macarthur

The establishment of Camden, New South Wales, the town in 1840, was a private venture of James and William Macarthur, sons of colonial patriarch John Macarthur, at the Nepean River crossing on the northern edge of the family’s pastoral property of Camden Park. The town’s site was enclosed on three sides by a sweeping bend in the Nepean River and has regularly flooded the surrounding farmland and lower parts of the town.

John Macarthur on the cover of Australia’s Heritage 1970. The original oil painting of John Macarthur is held in SLNSW (I Willis, 2022)

The site of Camden was within the 5000 acres granted to John Macarthur by the 2nd Earl Camden [3.2], the Secretary of State for War and the Colonies, in 1805, while Macarthur was in England on charges for duelling. Macarthur was a fractious quarrelsome self-promoter who arrived in NSW with his wife Elizabeth and family in 1790 as paymaster of the New South Wales Corps. The Corps (sometimes called The Rum Corps) was formed in England in 1789 as a permanent regiment of the British Army to relieve the New South Wales Marine Corps, which had accompanied the First Fleet to Australia in 1788 to fortify the colony of NSW.

The town’s site, as part of the Macarthur grants, was located on some of the finest farming country in the colony in the government Cowpastures reserve on the colonial frontier. The grants were part of the dispossession of traditional lands of the Dharawal people by the British settler colonial project and inevitably led to conflict and violence. Macarthur claimed that the town’s establishment threatened the security of his landholdings at Camden Park and opposed it during his lifetime. On his death in 1834, his sons had a different worldview and moved to establish an English-style estate village dominated by a church.

A fine Gothic-style church

The ridge-top location of St John’s Church (1840) on the southern end of the town meant that it towered over the town centre and had a clear line of sight to the Macarthur family’s Georgian mansion at Camden Park 2.6 miles to the southwest. The fine English Gothic-style church was funded mainly by the Macarthur family and has been the basis of the town’s iconic imagery. There were a number of large gentry estates built on convict labour in the surrounding farmland, the largest being the Macarthur family’s Camden Park of over 28,000 acres.

St John’s Anglican Church in its hilltop location at the top of John Street Camden. This image is by Charles Kerry in the 1890s (Camden Images)

Many immigrant families came to the area under Governor Bourke’s 1835 plan and settled on the gentry estates as tenant farmers, some establishing businesses in Camden. The first land sales in the village occurred in 1841, which stifled the growth of the existing European settlements in the area. The population of Camden grew from 242 in 1846 to 458 in 1856, although the gentry’s estates still dominated the village. Camden Park, for example, had a population of 900 in 1850.

English-style gentry

The English-style gentry practised philanthropy in Camden to maintain its moral tone. Elizabeth Macarthur Onslow, John Macarthur’s granddaughter, encouraged the maintenance of the proprieties of life, moral order and good works, as well as memorialising her family by donating a clock and bells to St John’s Church in 1897. She also marked the memory of her late husband, Captain Onslow, by providing a public park in 1882 named after her husband (Onslow Park), which is now the Camden showground.

Transport hub

Camden became the district’s transport hub at the centre of the road network, primarily set by the pattern of land grants from the 1820s. The earliest villages in the district predated Camden and then looked to Camden for cultural and economic leadership as the district’s major centre. The arrival of the Camden tramway in 1882 meant that silver ore west of the district (1871) was shipped through the Camden railhead to the Main Southern Railway from Sydney.  

The Camden Branch Line Locomotive Crossing the Nepean River Bridge 1900 Postcard (Camden Images)

Progress assured

Combined with rail access to markets, the town’s prosperity was assured by a series of technical and institutional innovations that transformed the dairy industry in the 1890s. In the 1920s, the Macarthur family set up the Camden Vale Milk Company and built a milk processing plant at the eastern end of the main street adjacent to the rail line. Whole milk was railed to Sydney and bottled under its label until the mid-1920s. Milk was delivered daily to the factory by horse and cart until the 1940s from local dairy farms.

Camden Milk Depot, trading as Camden Vale Milk Coop Ltd located at the northern end of Argyle Street adjacent to Camden Railway Station. (Camden Images)

Camden’s progress saw the construction of a new bank (1878), the commencement of weekly stock sales (1883), the formation of the Camden Agricultural, Horticultural and Industrial Society and the first Camden Show (1886), a new post and telegraph office (1898), the foundation of two weekly newspapers (Camden Times, 1879, Camden News, 1880), a new cottage hospital (1898), the formation of a fire brigade (1900), the opening of a telephone exchange (1910), the installation of reticulated gas (1912), electricity (1929), town water (1899) and the replacement of gas street lighting with electric lights (1932), and a sewerage scheme (1939). By 1933 the population of the town had grown to 2394.

First local council

The first attempt at local government in 1843 was unsuccessful. A meeting of local notables formed the municipality of Camden at a public meeting in 1883. Still, it was not until 1889 that the municipality was proclaimed, covering 7,000 acres and including Camden and the neighbouring village of Elderslie. Nine townsmen were elected aldermen at the first election that year, and the first meeting was held at the School of Arts. In 1993 the Camden Municipal Council eventually became the Council of Camden.

In 2014 this is the head office of Camden Council in the former Victorian gentleman’s townhouse built by Henry Thompson. (Camden Images)

Street names

Camden’s 1840 street grid is still intact today, with streets named after members of the Macarthur family – John Street, Elizabeth, Edward Street – and NSW colonial notables – Oxley Street, Broughton Street, Mitchell Street. The main highway between Sydney and Melbourne (the Hume Highway) passed along the main street (Argyle Street), until it was re-routed in 1976. The town’s business centre still has several Victorian and Art Deco shopfronts.   

Some charming Federation and Californian bungalows in the church ridge-top precinct were the homes of the Camden elite in the early 20th century. The precinct is the site of Macarthur Park (1905), which was dedicated to the townsfolk by Elizabeth Macarthur Onslow and contained the town’s World War One cenotaph (donated by the Macarthur family).  

John Street heritage precinct

John Street runs north-south downhill to the floodplain from the commanding position of St John’s church. Lower John Street is the location of the Italianate house Macaria (c1842), St Paul’s Catholic church and the government buildings associated with the Camden police barracks (1878) and courthouse (1857), and Camden Public School (1851). This area also contains the oldest surviving Georgian cottage in the town area, Bransby’s Cottage (1842). Lower John Street has the Camden Temperance Hall (1867), which later served as Camden Fire Station (1916–1993), and the School of Arts (1866), which served as the Camden Town Hall, while the rear of the building was occupied for a time by Camden Municipal Council.

Camden School of Arts located in John Street PReeves c1800s (CIPP)

Volunteerism

Community voluntary organisations have been part of Camden’s life from the town’s foundation. In the late 1800s, they were male-dominated, usually led by the landed gentry, and held informal political power through patronage. James Macarthur sponsored the Camden School of Arts (1865) and Agricultural, Horticultural & Industrial Society (1886), later called the Camden Show Society, while the non-conformists sponsored various lodges and the temperance movement. A small clique of well-off local women established several conservative women’s organisations after Federation. Their social position supported their husbands’ political activities, and the influence of the Macarthur family was felt in these organisations, for example, the Camden Red Cross and Country Women’s Association.

The women of the Camden Red Cross at their weekly street stall in Argyle Street Camden in the 1920s. The women ran the stall for decades and raised thousands of pounds for local and national charities. (Camden Images)

Many men and women from Camden and the district saw military service in the Boer War and later World War One and Two when residents set up local branches of national patriotic funds and civil defence organisations. On the outskirts of the town, there were active defence establishments during World War II, including an airbase, army infantry, and training camps.

Coal mining

Economic prosperity from coal mining in the district’s western part challenged old hierarchies in the postwar years, replacing the old colonially-based rural hegemony. New community organisations like Rotary and later the Chamber of Commerce fostered business networks in the town. The Camden Historical Society (1957) promoted the town’s past and later opened a local museum (1970).

Camden Museum Library building in John Street Camden, where the Blue Plaque with being located, recognising the efforts of the Camden Red Cross sewing circles in both World War One and World War Two. (I Willis, 2008)

Urbanisation

The New South Wales state government decreed that the town would become part of a growth area in the form of ‘new cities’ under the Macarthur Growth Centre Plan (1973), modelled on the British Garden City concept. Increasing urbanisation threatened the town’s identity and the number of community members formed by the Camden Residents’ Action Group (1973).

Mount Annan suburban development, which is part of Sydney’s urban sprawl c2005 (Camden Images)

In 2007 Camden was the administrative centre of the Camden Local Government Area, which had a population of over 51,000 (2006) and an area of 201 square kilometres.  The Camden LGA became part of the state government’s Sydney South West Growth Centre, planned to house 500,000 new residents, and is one of Australia’s fastest-growing urban areas.  

Wave of nostalgia

Increasing levels of Sydney’s urbanisation have continued, threatened the loss of rural landscapes around the town, and awakened a wave of nostalgia. The NSW state government created the Camden Town Conservation Area (2008) based on the mid-20th century country town that aimed at preserving the town’s integrity and material fabric.

Macarthur Regional Tourist Promotion by Camden and Campbelltown Councils

Posted 19 September 2022

Aesthetics · Architecture · Art · Artists · Attachment to place · Belonging · Community identity · Cultural icon · Design · Heritage · Living History · Local History · Memorial · Memorialisation · Memorials · Memory · Monuments · Oran Park · Oran Park Library · Oran Park Raceway · Place making · Placemaking · Sense of place · Storytelling · Urban Planning · Urbanism

Public art celebrates the ghost of motor racing at Oran Park

Oran Park Library

The Oran Park library has a number of public artworks that commemorate the former Oran Park motorway that was on the site. These wonderful public art installations celebrate the memories of the  Oran Park Raceway which closed in 2010.

Oran Park Library 2019 at night (I Willis)

The commissioning of the artworks was a collaboration between Guppy Art Management & Camden Council.

The Artworks

Moto Caelifera Eclectica by James Corbett

James Corbett describes himself as a car part sculptor and is based in Brisbane, Queensland.

James Corbett created these works in 2018 and he describes this installation as a ‘challenging commission’ on his blog. He writes

to create two large racing grasshoppers in double quick time for the new Oran Park library near Camden in western Sydney.  This used to be a rural area, but was known to me since I was a child for just one reason.  It had a car racing track.  All the big names raced there, and I used to rabidly read all about their exploits in my eagerly awaited, latest copy of ‘Racing Car News.’ I couldn’t get enough of that stuff when I was twelve years old.

The track is gone and the pastures are disappearing under houses, but there are still just enough paddocks of dry yellow grass about to give a feel for the history of the district. I wanted to pay tribute to both, that soon to be gone rural feel, and the rich racing history.  Those dry grassy areas make me think of grasshoppers, flies, locusts and Hereford cattle.  And Insects seem sort of mechanical, and built for a purpose. Form following function, like racing cars.  Well the ones I like anyway.

Corbett created two works as part of the installation. He calls one ‘The Green Kawasaki Grasshopper’ and it is attached to the wall. In constructing the works he writes

The Formula cars of the era had riveted aluminium sheet chassis, and I wanted to reflect that. Hence the riveted abdomens.  I wanted them to look like they could work like machines. I cut up a yellow Hyundai and found a green I liked on a Daihatsu. When I found a Kawasaki engine for the green one, it had to be given the late Greg Handsford’s race number 2.

‘The Green Kawasaki Grasshopper’ by James Corbett 2018 (I Willis, 2022)

The second hanging artwork Corbett calls ‘Beechy Grasshopper’ and it has a 4.8-metre wingspan with wings made of ‘glass car windows’. More information about the installation can be found on Corbett’s website.

‘Beechy Grasshopper’ by James Corbett 2018 (I Willis, 2022)

Tracks by Danielle Mate Sullivan

Sullivan is a Sydney-based Indigenous artist working in large-scale mural design and public art

Tracks by Danielle Mate Sullivan 2018 (I Willis, 2022)

Mr Rev Head The Local by Freya Jobbins

Freya Jobbins is a Sydney-based contemporary Australian multidisciplinary artist based whose art practice includes assemblage, installation, video, collage and printmaking. 

<image work>

‘Mr Rev Head the local’ by Freya Jobbins 2018 (I Willis 2022)

<information label>

Information Label for ‘Mr Rev Head the local’. (I Willis, 2018)

Speedster by Justin Sayarath

Sydney-based artist Justin Sayarath has a number of installations around the metropolitan area where he ‘combines both his technical skill of visual arts and graphic design to create and collaborate in the public and commercial domains’.

‘Speedster’ by Justin Sayarath 2018 (I Willis 2018)

The official opening in 2018

The mingling crowd at the opening of the Oran Park Library on 30 June 2018 with the grasshopper on the wall above the visitors. (I Willis, 2018)
Aesthetics · Art · Artefacts · Colonial Camden · Cowpastures · Cowpastures Bicentennial · Craft · Crafts · Cultural Heritage · Fashion · Heritage · Leisure · Local History · Local Studies · Memorial · Memorials · Memory · Place making · Placemaking · Public art · Quilting · Sense of place · Settler colonialism · Sewing · Storytelling · Women's history

A Cowpastures memorial quilt

Camden Country Quilters Guild Cowpastures Heritage Quilt

Hanging on the wall in the Camden Library is a quilt, but no ordinary quilt. It is a hand-made quilt that had previously hung in the foyer of the Camden Civic Centre for many years. The quilt celebrated the Cowpastures Bicentenary (1995) and was made by members of the Camden Country Quilters Guild.

A panel in the Camden Cowpastures Bicentennial Quilt showing a map of the Cowpastures using an applique hanging in the Camden Library (I Willis, 2022)

The Cowpastures Quilt is a fascinating historical document and artefact and tells an interesting story of the district.

The Cowpastures Review stated:

The Cowpastures Heritage Quilt, which is featured on the front page, is unique. It is a product of the Camden Country Quilters Guild. It was unveiled by His Excellency, The Governor of New South Wales, Rear Admiral Peter Sinclair on the 19th of February 1995, as part of the opening of the Cowpastures Bicentennial. It was given by the Guild to the Camden Council, which has it displayed in the Camden Civic Centre.

Cover of Cowpastures Review displaying the Camden Cowpastures Bicentennial Quilt Issue Vol 1 1995. (I Willis)

The Cowpastures Bicentennial Committee created postcards and notepaper featuring the quilt that was sold at Gledswood Homestead and the Camden Library.

Postcard of Cowpastures Heritage Quilt 1995 (Camden Museum)

Quilts were practical items with social value

Quilts have sentimental or commemorative value and are examples of needlework skills and techniques, and the use of specific fabrics used in their designs.

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London states on its website:

As a technique, quilting has been used for a diverse range of objects, from clothing to intricate objects such as pincushions. Along with patchwork, quilting is most often associated with its use for bedding.

Quilting first appeared in England in the 13th century, reached a peak in the 17th century and can be traced back to 3000BCE. The word quilt means a ‘bolster or cushion’.

According to the V&A museum, a quilt is usually a bedcover of two layers of fabric with padding or wadding in between held together by lines of stitching based on a pattern or design. Very fine decorative quilts often become family heirlooms and are passed down through generations. In a domestic situation, women made quilts to celebrate ‘life occasions’ like births and weddings.

The V&A states that quilts are often quite large and associated with social events where people share the sewing. In North America quilting was a popular craft amongst Dutch and English settlers and quilts were made as part of marriage dowry for a young woman.

Quilting is often associated with patchwork where the quilt was made of scraps of fabric or ‘extending the life of working clothing’.

Convict women and quilting – The Rajah Quilt

In the National Gallery of Australia is a quilt made in 1841 by convict women transported on the Rajah from Woolwich to Hobart. According to blogger Bernadette, a descendant of one of the women who made the quilt, it is one of the most important textiles in Australia and world history.

The Rajah Quilt (NGA)

The textile is called the Rajah Quilt and was organised as part of the scheme organised by prison reformer Elizabeth Fry’s British Ladies Society for promoting the reformation of female prisoners. The quilt is made up of over 2000 pieces of fabric and it has been described as

 a patchwork and appliquéd bed cover or coverlet. It is in pieced medallion or framed style: a popular design style for quilts in the British Isles in the mid 1800’s. There is a central field of white cotton decorated with appliquéd (in broderie perse) chintz birds and floral motifs. This central field is framed by 12 bands or strips of patchwork printed cotton. The quilt is finished at the outer edge by white cotton decorated with appliquéd daisies on three sides and inscription in cross stitch surrounded by floral chintz attached with broderie perse on the fourth…

On the Rajah’s arrival in Hobart, the quilt was presented to the governor’s wife Lady Jane Franklin by the 29 women who sewed it on the voyage to Van Dieman’s Land. Lady Franklin sent the quilt back to England to Elizabeth Fry and then it was lost. It was rediscovered in a Scottish attic and returned to Australia in 1989 and placed in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia.

The quilt’s story is one of hope at a time of despair and disempowerment from a group of women hidden in the shadows of history. A type of radical history.

Cowpastures Quilt tells a story

Quilts often told a story and in the V&A collection, there are a  number of significant quilts telling Biblical stories, scenes from world events and the 1851 Great Exhibition.

The Cowpasture Quilt tells the story of the Cowpastures on its Bicentenary. The story was represented in the different panels in the quilt created by the Guild members who were part of the project. The quilt’s construction was a community effort and each sewer has their name sewn into the quilt.

  

Camden Cowpastures Bicentennial Quilt hanging in Camden Library in John Street Camden (I Willis, 2022)

The significance of the individual panels in the quilt was explained by the Cowpastures Review and it stated:

The central pane – the discovery of the Hottentot cow. The left pane – The Aboriginal influence, mining, the map of the ‘Cow Pastures’, representing flora and fauna and the Stonequarry Bridge at Picton. The right panel – St John’s Church, John and Elizabeth Macarthur, Camden Park Estates, Belgenny Farm, Gledswood Homestead and merino sheep and vineyards. The bottom panel – John Street, Camden, including ‘Macaria’ and representations of horticulture venture in the area. Not visible in the photograph in the names of the ‘quilters’ and some surprise ‘first family’ names.

Title panel in Camden Cowpastures Bicentennial Quilt hanging in Camden Library (I Willis, 2022)

Fashion quilting

According to the V&A quilting fell into decline in the early 20th century under the influence of modernism. It found a revival in the 1960s as part of the hippie culture and the art community and is firmly part of the art space.

Quiltmaking as art

Artist Isis Davis-Marks writes on the Artsy website that

Quilts’ inherent associations with warmth, nostalgia, and community make them particularly appealing now, in the midst of the pandemic and widespread division and inequity. Perhaps this fraught reality can account for, at least in part, why contemporary artists are drawn to quilting as a means to express themselves. The tactility of quilted fabric inevitability conjures domesticity, and every stitch—every precisely placed patchwork—brings us back to that feeling of the comfort and safety of home

Davis-Marks writes that contemporary American artists are engaging with the craft of quilting and building on the ‘enduring and complex history of quiltmaking’. In the US context quilting was practised by slaves, Indigenous Americans and other marginalised peoples as a form of expression and craftwork for the everyday.

An applique panel of the Cowpastures Quilt shows the Regency mansion on Camden Park still estate built in the 1830s. The panel uses figures to tell a narrative about the foundational story of Australia and the Camden district as part of a settler society. The Cowpasture Quilt is on display at Camden Library (I Willis, 2022)

Davis-Marks writes that the ancient craft of quiltmaking has resonance for contemporary artists in the age of social media and illustrates a broader appeal of working with traditional mediums of textiles, ceramics, knitting and other crafts.

In a January 2020 article for Artsy, writer and curator Glenn Adamson reflected “At a time when our collective attention is dangerously adrift,” Adamson wrote, “trapped in the freefall of our social-media feeds and snared in a pit of fake facts, handwork provides a firm anchor. It cannot be spun. It gives us something to believe in.”

Artists are using quilts as a lens to look into the dark history of the past. Sometimes these are called ‘story quilts’ where they tell a story in a narrative and figures. Artist Faith Ringgold‘s work often explores notions of ‘community and ancestry’ and said that she bonded through the experience of jointly sewing quilts with her mother.

The Cowpastures Quilt is a ‘story quilt’ and tells the story of our past as part of a settler society and the dispossession of Indigenous peoples. The quilt uses figures and narrative to examine the past through the lens of the women who constructed the quilt in 1995. More than this the Cowpasture quilt is a public statement and an affirmation of community through the collective efforts of local women who undertook the sewing project. The collaborative efforts of the Camden Quilters created a significant piece of public art and a narrative statement of who we are through the use of history.

A panel of the Cowpasture Quilt shows the Henry Kitchen cottage from 1819 still standing today as part of the Belgenny Farm complex which is one of the most important colonial farming complexes still intact in Australia on the former Camden Park estate of the Macarthur family. The quilt is on display at the Camden Library. (I Willis, 2022)

Updated 26 August 2022; originally posted 16 August 2022

Attachment to place · Belonging · Biography · Colonial frontier · Colonialism · Community identity · Cultural Heritage · Cultural icon · Family history · Farming · Gothic · Heritage · Historical Research · History · Landscape · Local History · Local Studies · Myths · Placemaking · Sense of place · Settler colonialism · Settler Society · Stereotypes · Storytelling · Uncategorized · Victorian · Women's history · Women's Writing

A great yarn of the bush from colonial New South Wales

Preview

Jeff McGill, Rachel. Allen & Unwin 2022, Sydney. ISBN 9781760879983.

Tonight I had the privilege of attending the book launch for local author and raconteur Jeff McGill’s Rachel at Mary Sheil Centre, St Patrick’s College at Campbelltown.

McGill’s Rachel tells the story of Jeff’s great-great-grandmother from the Coonabarabran area of NSW. Rachel Inglis (Kennedy) was known as Rachel of the Warrumbungles.

Cover Jeff McGill’s Rachel (A&U)

McGill’s Rachel had been brewing for about 40 years and it was only in the 2020 lockdown when Jeff’s freelance work dried up that he got mobile on writing the book.

A friend advised him to send a couple of chapters to two publishers. He sent the work to Allen and Unwin and a small publisher in Melbourne. Allen & Unwin got back to him in two days and wanted to know if he had more material, so he sent off chapters 3 & 4. The rest is history.

Jeff often visited Rachel Kennedy’s farm at Box Ridge and listened to local storytellers at Coonamble and Coonabarabran. He is the sort of writer who walks the ground and soaks up the ghosts of the past. He allowed the landscape to talk to him and embedded himself in the spirit of place.

Remarkable woman

Rachel Kennedy was quite a woman and the Mudgee Guardian and North West Reporter wrote an extensive obituary in 1930 on her death. It stated in part:

The late Mrs. Inglis was one who rarely gave a thought to herself, her one object in life being to help others. She was always to be found at the bedside of almost every sick person in the Warrumbungle district, and has been known to have ridden as far as 20 miles in the middle of the night to reach some sufferer, even when far from well herself. Considering that all her grand efforts were done in an age when motor cars were unknown, it stamps this fine old pioneer as one of the world’s best — a race that is fast vanishing from our midst. The deceased lady had reached the great age of 85 years. (MG&NWR, 11 April 1930)

Rachel’s obituary was also published in the Gilgandra Weekly and Castlereagh (10 April 1930).

At the time of Rachel’s death, it was usual for the country press to publish any sort of obituary of a woman unless she was white and from an influential rural family. The country press was a very white-male institution.

The obituary published in the Mudgee press was an acknowledgement that Rachel was a true local identity and bush character well known in the area. A rare feat indeed. The bush was a male-dominated landscape where women remained in the shadows.

Rachel did not fit the stereotypical 19th-century woman. Yet, she did not seek recognition for her community work and never received it in any public fashion.

The local community understood Rachel’s contribution to their lives and when she was buried in the Presbyterian section of the Gulargambone Cemetery, it was

in the presence of one of the largest gatherings, ever seen at the cemetery. The Rev. G. Innes  Ritter, of Coonamble, performed the last sad rites at the graveside. (MG&NWR, 11 April 1930)

Family History

McGill’s Rachel represents the genealogical genre of family history as it should be written. The book shows how such a story can be approached and can generate an appeal to a wide audience. Others who have achieved this goal include Nick Brodie’s Kin, A Real People’s History of Our Nation, Graeme Davison’s Lost Relations, Fortunes of my Family in Australia’s Golden Age and Peter FitzSimons’s A Simpler Time.

Rachel Inglis’s (Kennedy) family and home at Box Ridge near Coonabarabran in NSW c.1890s (Jeff McGill)

It was very common for women from the rural under-class to disappear into the shadows of history without any acknowledgement of their existence. The lives of some of these women are probably best reflected in stories like Henry Lawson’s The Drover’s Wife (1892), a piece of Australian Gothic fiction. Author Samantha Leersen writes:

‘The Drover’s Wife,’ and the fears felt by its protagonist, presents a fictitious account of the real concerns experienced by settler Australians.

‘The Drovers Wife’ by Russell Drysdale (1945) and the author Henry Lawson 1902 (1867-1922) (UoS)

Rachel’s story has many parallels with Lawson’s The Drover’s Wife.

Female Biography

McGill’s Rachel is another addition to the popular genre of female biography which has seen a number of publications about colonial women in recent times. These include Michelle Scott Tucker’s Elizabeth Macarthur: A Life at the Edge of the World, Elizabeth Rushen and Perry McIntyre’s Fair Game, Australia’s First Immigrant Women, Larissa Behrendt’s Finding Eliza Power and Colonial Storytelling, Kate Forsyth and Belinda Murrell’s Searching for Charlotte, The Fascinating Story of Australia’s First Children’s Author, Anne Philp’s Caroline’s Diary, A Woman’s World in Colonial Australia and others.

The cover notes for McGill’s Rachel state:

Rachel Kennedy stood out on a wild frontier dominated by men… her extraordinary and unputdownable pioneering story is told for the first time

‘Just a girl, but when it came to chasing wild horses nobody questioned Rachel Kennedy’s skill in a saddle. What raised the eyebrows was the type of saddle she used: a man’s.

Rachel Kennedy was a colonial folk hero.

She also built rare friendships with Aboriginal people, including a lifelong relationship with her ‘sister’ Mary Jane Cain.

Meticulously researched and written with compelling energy, this is a vivid and at times heartbreaking story of a pioneering woman who left a legacy that went well beyond her lifetime.

Cover Jeff McGill’s Rachel 2022

Emerging from the shadows of history

The book is a ripping yarn about the colonial frontier and the role of women in early New South Wales. Another woman emerges from the shadows of history and we are allowed to understand their true contribution to the settler story of our nation.

Updated 2 June 2022. Originally posted 1 June 2022.

Adaptive Re-use · Architecture · Built heritag · Business · Churches · Community identity · Cultural Heritage · Eastern Command Training School, Narellan, NSW · Heritage · History · History of a house · House history · Local History · Local Studies · Military history · Narellan · Place making · Placemaking · Schools · Second World War · Sense of place · Storytelling · Village

Narellan’s Built Heritage

The beginning

The name Narellan is used for the village, the district and the parish, and was probably derived from William Hovell’s 1816 grant of 700 acres (283 hectares) called Narralling. Most of the parish of Narellan was granted to settlers by Governor Macquarie between 1810 and 1818. 

In 1827 Robert Hoddle and John Oxley had surveyed the site of the village, which was set out in a rectilinear plan, and marked the site of a church, school and courthouse.

Narellan was one of four villages that pre-date the foundation of Camden in 1840 in the Cowpastures. The others were Cawdor, Cobbitty and Elderslie.

Narellan’s built heritage items

Former St Thomas Church Hall and schoolhouse

1A Wilson Crescent

Built in 1839 as a church by Thomas Hassall and served on weekdays as a schoolroom.

Former St Thomas Church

1A Wilson Crescent

Built in 1884 to a design by colonial architect Edmund Blacket (1879)

Former St Thomas Schoolhouse and Church 2022 K & P Lyons

Former Camden Country Milk Depot

259 Camden Valley Way

Built in the 1920s and owned by Mr Coleman. It was closed in 1931 when stricter health regulations around milk were introduced in NSW.

Former Camden Country Milk Mepot c1920s-(Nrln walk broch)

Former Tildsley butcher shop

269 Camden Valley Way

Built in 1937 and operated until the early 2000. The site has operated as Cake Biz since 2003.

Former Tildsley Butcher Shop and Cottage, 283 Camden Valley Way, Narellan ( 2022 CB)

Narellan Hotel

279-283 Camden Valley Way

The former Queen’s Arms Hotel opened in 1847, modified in 1937 and operated as Byrne’s Hotel. The current building underwent extensive renovations in 2003.

Narellan Hotel, 279-283 Camden Valley Way, Narellan (MacAdvert 2020)

Ben Linden

311 Camden Valley Way

Built in 1919 by George Blackmore as a residence for Anne Stuckey. Later a maternity hospital and in the 1960s a convalescent hospital.

Yamba Cottage 181 Camden Valley Way Narellan (Camden Images, 1980s)

Former Burton Arms Inn

332 Camden Valley Way

Built in c1830, the site has operated as a hotel, general store, auto electrical workshop, and most recently a real estate office.

Former Burton Arms Inn c1830 (I Willis, 2022)

Narellan Public School

Cnr Coghill Street & Camden Valley Way

Built in 1877 as a schoolhouse and resident. The school opened in 1875 after St Thomas Anglican school closed in 1874.

Narellan Public School buildings (Camden Images/John Kooyman 1997)

Narellan Cemetery

Richardson Road

Surveyed as a cemetery in 1827 by Robert Hoddle with the first burials in the 1840s.

Narellan Cemetery Richardson Road Narellan (ACI, 2010s)

Struggletown

Stewart Street, Narellan.

Struggletown cottages (1995 Macarthur Chronicle)

Sharman’s Slab Cottage

Stewart Street

Struggletown cottage (ST)

Yamba

81 Camden Valley Way

Yamba is an Edwardian timber cottage built in the early 20th century.

Yamba Cottage, KIrkham c. 1913 (Camden Images)

Studley Park

52 Lodges Road

Built in 1888-1889 as the last gentleman’s ‘country estate’ in the local area by Sydney businessman William Charles Payne. Designed by Sydney architects AL & G McCredie. Served as Camden Classical and Commercial School (1901-1919), country retreat for Twentieth Century Fox executive AA Gregory (1933-1939), Eastern Command Training School (Army) (1940-1945), Citizen Military Forces (Army Reserve) (1948-1951), Women’s Royal Australian Army Corps (1951), Camden Golf Club (1951-present)

Studley Park House sits on the top of a prominent knoll above the Narellan Creek floodplain with a view of Camden township (I Willis, 2015)

Sources

Heritage walking tour of Narellan  (K & P Lyons, c2010)

Narellan, Dictionary of Sydney (2008)

Posted 17 April 2022

Attachment to place · Belonging · Cultural Heritage · Dress history · Family history · Historical consciousness · Historical Research · Historical thinking · Historiography · History · History of a house · History theory and practice · House history · Living History · Local History · Local Studies · Media History · Medical history · Memory · Military history · Modernism · Music history · NSW History K-10 Syllabus · Place making · Placemaking · Schools · Sense of place · Storytelling · Women's history

We need new ways to tell stories of the past

We need new ways to tell local stories

I have just finished watching online a critical discussion on the practice of history held at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC.

In these times of fake news, misleading information, and conspiracy theories. Whom do you trust? What is the truth? Social media is all-encompassing.

This photograph is of a voluntary aid at the Waley Convalescent Home for Soldiers at Mowbray Park in 1920 sitting at her desk perhaps writing a letter to a loved one in her time off. This is a wonderful story of service and sacrifice and how these women did wonderful service during and after the First World War. (NAA)
This photograph is of a voluntary aid at the Waley Convalescent Home for Soldiers at Mowbray Park in 1920 sitting at her desk perhaps writing a letter to a loved one in her time off. This is a wonderful story of service and sacrifice and how these women did wonderful service during and after the First World War. (NAA)

This discussion on the practice of history is a dose of hope when political interest groups seek to rewrite the past on their terms.

Maybe this discussion was not a complete cure, but it certainly seems like a ray of sunshine into the swamp of the abyss.

So what did I see?

I watched a panel of learned historians and museum directors discussing launching the Reframing History report by the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH). 

The promotional email I received boasted:  

This new initiative provides the field with a set of evidence-backed recommendations to communicate history more convincingly and to build a wider understanding of what inclusive history looks like and why it is important for all of us.

The discussion lived up to the hype.

I highly recommend this lively and challenging discussion to anyone involved in the practice of history. I do not think it matters whether you are from the academy, practise public history, or just like popular history. This discussion should interest you if you are concerned about the long term health of history as a discipline.

Panel Discussion Details

  • John Dichtl, president and CEO of AASLH, started the conversation by providing an overview of the project. 
  • That was followed by a discussion by Anthea Hartig, Elizabeth MacMillan, Director of the National Museum of American History. 

Panellists included:

  • Martha S. Jones, author and professor of history at Johns Hopkins University
  • Clint Smith, staff writer at The Atlantic and author of How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with Slavery Across America
  •  Jorge Zamanillo, director of HistoryMiami and incoming founding director of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Latino

The panellists expand on the Reframing History Report and Toolkit by talking about their personal experiences of communicating about history and sharing their recommendations for how history organizations can create environments for positive and productive conversations.

You can view the discussion on the AASLH YouTube channel. AASLH YouTube channel.

 Watch on YouTube

Further reading

Be a historical detective.

Attachment to place · Bibliography · Camden · Camden Museum · Camden Story · Cultural Heritage · Historiography · History · Local History · Place making · Placemaking · References · Sense of place · Storytelling

Camden Bibliography

A Biography of a Country Town

This is a bibliography of sources for the history of the story of Camden and District and is for all those interested in this historic location. This list of sources makes no claims to be exhaustive and is only a guide.

This list includes sources for the Cowpastures district (1795-1850), the Camden district (1840-1973) and the Macarthur region (1949-2022).

Researchers will locate other resources in places like the Mitchell Library, National Archives of Australia, State Records of NSW and a host of other archives.

The bibliography makes no attempt to cover the vast array of manuscript sources that are located in a diversity of archives, both public and private.

The categories used in this bibliography are (1) newspaper and journals (2) books (3) articles (4) theses (5) audio-visual.

This bibliography is only a beginning. The bibliography was originally compiled in 2010. This list of sources should be read with the post Making Camden History.

The author would appreciate being made aware of any significant omissions to be included in any future revisions of this bibliography.

An aerial view of Camden township in 1940 was taken by a plane that took off at Camden airfield. St John’s Church is at the centre of the image (Camden Images)

Newspapers and Journals

Camden Advertiser, Camden, 1936-1957 

Camden Advertiser, Camden, 2005+

Camden Calling, Journal of the Camden Area Family History Society.

Camden Crier,  Camden.

Camden History, Journal of the Camden Historical Society

Camden News, Camden, 1895-1982

Camden Wollondilly Advertiser, Camden.

Campbelltown News, Campbelltown.

District Reporter, Camden, 1998+

Grist Mills, Journal of the Campbelltown and Airds Historical Society Inc.

In Macarthur, Campbelltown.

Macarthur Advertiser, Campbelltown.

Macarthur Chronicle, Campbelltown.

Newsletter, Camden Historical Society

Camden’s Miss Rose Festival Queen in 1968 (Camden News 30 October 1968)

Books

Alexander, Pacita and Elizabeth Perkins, A Love Affair with Australian Literature, The Story of Tom Inglis Moore, Ginninderra Press, Canberra, 2004.

Ardler, Gloria, The Wander of it All, Burraga Aboriginal History and Writing Group Inc, Darlinghurst, 1991.

Armstrong, Isabel and Geoff, John Armstrong Colonial Schoolmaster, Sydney and Cobbitty, From Original Diaries – 1839 to 1857, Sunbird Publications, Killabakh, NSW, 1997.

Ashley-Riddle, Josie, History of ‘Gledswood’, 2nd Edition, Josie Ashley-Riddle, Narellan, 1987.

Atkinson, Alan, Camden, Farm and Village Life in Early New South Wales, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1988.

Australian Council of National Trusts, Historic Homesteads, Australian Council of National Trusts, Canberra City, 1982.

Australian Dictionary of Biography, Melbourne University Press, South Melbourne. Online. http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/adbonline.htm .[Accessed July 2007]

Australian Garden History Society, From Wilderness to Garden, Early Colonial Gardens – Their Future?  Proceedings of the 16th National Conference, Australian Garden History Society, Melbourne, 1995.

Bayley, William, History of Campbelltown, Campbelltown City Council, Campbelltown, 1974.

Bagley, Cathy and Edwina Stanham, Camden Public School Sesquicentenary 1849-1999, Camden Public School Sesquicentenary Committee, Camden, 1999.

Barca, Margaret, Advice to a Young Lady in the Colonies, Greenhouse, Collingwood, Vic, 1979.

Barrett, Jim, Cox’s River, Discovery, History and Development, Jim Barrett, Glenbrook, 1993.

Barrett, Jim, Place Names of the Blue Mountains and Burragorang Valley from Aboriginal and Convict Origins, Jim Barrett, Glenbrook, 1994.

Barrett, Jim, Yerranderie, Story of a Ghost Town, Jim Barrett, Glenbrook, 1995.

Barrett, Jim, Life in the Burragorang, Jim Barrett, Glenbrook, 1995.

Bates, Harry, Church of St Paul, Cobbitty, Consecrated on 5th April 1842: Moments of 125th Anniversary, St Pauls Church, Cobbitty, 1967.

Beasley, Margo, The Sweat of Their Brows, 100 Years of the Sydney Water Board, 1888-1988, Water Board, Sydney, 1988.

Bell, Gary, Historic Pubs Around Sydney, Ginninderra Press, Charnwood, ACT, 2007.

Bickel, Lennard, Australia’s First Lady, The Story of Elizabeth Macarthur, Allen and Unwin, North Sydney, 1991.

Bicknell, John R, The Dirty Blooody Jizzy, Gordon: John Bicknell, 2003.

Binney, Keith R, Horesmen of the First Frontier (1788-1900) and The Serpents Legacy, Volcanic Publications, Neutral Bay, 2005.

Bodkin, Frances and Lorraine Robertson, Dharawal Seasons and Climatic Cycles, Campbelltown: Bodkin and Robertson, 2006.

Booth, B & T Nunan, Cawdor Uniting Church, Churchyard Headstones Transcriptions and Burial Register, Illawarra Family History Group, Wollongong, 1989.

Booth, Beverly & Ron Clerke, The Churchyard Cemetery of St John’s Camden, Illawarra Family History Group, Wollongong, 1988.

Bridges, Peter, Historic Court Houses of NSW, Hale and Iremonger, Sydney, 1986.  

Broadbent, James, Elizabeth Farm, Parramatta, A History and Guide, Historic Houses Trust, Sydney, 1984.

Brosnan, Graeme, Hard Work Never Killed Anyone, Ern Clinton, The Story of My Life,This is My Story, Strawberry Hills, NSW, 2004.

Brown, Pam & Marion Starr, Narellan Hidden Treasures, Wilson Crescent Richardson Road Area Resident’s Group Inc, Narellan, 2007.

Brunero, Donna, Celebrating 50 Years: The Campbelltown-Camden District Band 1946-1996, Campbelltown and Airds Historical Society, Campbelltown, 1996.

Bullen, Paul & Jenny Onyx, Measuring Social Capital in Five Communities in New South Wales, Centre for Australian Community Organisations and Management, Lindfield, 1997.

Burge, John, A Glimpse of Cawdor, Sesqui-Centenary Committee of Cawdor Uniting Church, Camden, 2000.

Burnett, Brian A, (ed), Camden Pioneer Register, 1800-1900, Camden Area Family History Society, Camden, 1998.

Burnett, Brian and Christine Robinson, (eds), Camden Pioneer Register, 1800-1920,  Camden Area Family History Society, Camden, 2001.

Burnett, Brian, Nixon, Richard and John Wrigley, They Worked At Camden Park, A Listing of The Employees, Leaseholders and Tenant Farmers Known To Have Worked On the Camden Park Estate, Camden Historical Society, Camden, 2005.

Burnett, Brian, Nixon, Richard and John Wrigley, Place Names of the Camden Area, Camden Historical Society and Camden Area Family History Society, Camden, 2005.

Bursill, Les, Jacobs, Mary, Lennis, et al, Dharawal, The story of the Dharawal Speaking People of  Southern Sydney, Sydney: Kurranulla Aboriginal Corp, 2007.

Callaghan, Leo, They Sowed We Reap, Catholic Parish of Camden, Camden, 1983.

Camden Area Family History Society, Camden Catholic Cemetery, Cawdor Road, Camden, NSW, Camden Area Family History Society, Camden, 2004.

Camden Area Family History Society, Camden Municipal Council Municipal List Rates Book 1894-1907, Camden Area History Society, Camden, 2005.

Camden Area Family History Society,  Camden General Cemetery, Cawdor Road, Camden, NSW, Camden Area Family History Society, Camden, 2005.

Camden Area Family History Society, St Thomas Anglican Cemetery, Richardson Road, Narellan, NSW, Camden: Camden Area Family History Society, 2010.

Camden Council & Campbelltown City Council, Macarthur Heritage Directory, Camden: Camden Council & Campbelltown City Council, 2008.

Camden High School, Camden High School for our 50th Anniversary, 1956-2006, Camden High School, Camden, 2006.

Camden Municipal Council,  Municipality of Camden, Information and Statistics, Camden Municipal Council, Camden, 1977.

 Camden Park Preservation Committee,  Camden Park, Menangle, Camden Park Preservation Committee, Menangle, 1974.

Camden Park Estate Ltd, Camden Park Estate Pty Ltd, Menangle, Camden Park Estate, Camden, ud.

Camden Park Estate Ltd, Camden Park Estate, 1765-1965, Camden Park Estate, Camden, 1965.

Camden Park Estate Ltd, Camden Park Estate: Australia’s Oldest Pastoral Property, Camden Park Estate, Camden, 1953.

Camden Park Estate Ltd, Camden Vale: Special Pasteurised Milk, Production and Distribution, Camden Park Estate, Camden, 1953.

Carroll, Brian, The Hume: Australian’s Highway of History, Kangaroo Press, Kenthurst, 1983.

Charlton, Lenore, (ed), Alan D. Baker, Artist, 1914-1987, G & M Baker, Orangeville, 1987.

Clancy, Eric G, A Giant For Jesus, The Story of Silas Gill, Methodist Lay Evangelist, Eric G Clancy, 1972.   

Clerke, Ron & Beverley Booth, (eds), The Churchyard Cemetery of St John’s Camden, Illawarra Family History Group, Wollongong, 1989.

Cobbitty Public School ‘Child Anzacs Committee’, I Remain the Kid, As Ever, Cobbitty Public School, Cobbitty Public School ‘Child Anzac Committee’, Cobbitty, 2002.

Colman, Patricia Margaret, Just a Simple Soul, PM Colman, Deloraine, Tasmania, 1996.

Cowles, Christopher and David Walker, The Art of Apple Branding, Australian Apple Case Labels and the Industry Since 1788, Apple from Oz, Hobart, 2005.

Cox and Tanner Pty Ltd, Camden Park, Menangle, NSW, A Proposal for Restoration and Rationalisation, Cox & Tanner, North Sydney, 1981.

Country Press Association of New South Wales, Annual Report New South Wales Country Press Association, 1947 .

Davis, Sue, Chapters of Cawdor, An Account of People and Events that shaped 150 Years of Education at Cawdor Public School 1858-2008, Cawdor, Cawdor Public School, 2008.

De Falbe, Jane, My Dear Miss Macarthur, The Recollections of Emmeline Macarthur, 1828-1911, Kangaroo Press, 1988.

Den Hertog, Sonja, The History of Burragorang Valley From the Records, The Oaks Historical Society, The Oaks, 1990.

Den Hertog, Sonja, Yerranderie, 1871-1995, The Oaks Historical Society, The Oaks, 1999.

De Vries, Susanna, Strength of Spirit, Pioneering Women of Achievement From First Fleet To Federation, Millennium Books, Alexandria, New South Wales, 1995.

Paths, plots and patches at the Camden Community Garden 2018 (I Willis)

Ditrich, Julie, Realising the Promise: The Story of Harrington Park, Icon Visual Marketing, Camden, 2006.

Duffy, Michael, Man of Honour, John Macarthur, Pan MacMillan, Sydney, 2003.

Dunn, Ian and Robert Merchant, Pansy, The Camden Tram: An Illustrated History of the Campbelltown to Camden Branch Railway, New South Wales Rail Transport Museum, Sydney, 1982.

Ellis, MH, John Macarthur, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1955.

Evans, Gordon, 55 Years, A History of Camden Bowling Club, Camden Bowling Club, Camden, 1994.

The Evangelical Sisters of Mary in Australia, Realities –‘Down Under’, Testimonies of God’s Faithfulness, Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary, Camden, 2006.

Fairfax, Marlane, Glenmore Uniting Church (Formerly Methodist) Graveyard, Transcript, Burial Records and Obituaries, Marlane Fairfax, Thirlmere, New South Wales, 1995.

Feiss, Mary-Ann, 50 Years of Legacy Torch Bearers in Camden, 1949-1999, Camden Branch of Torch Bearers for Legacy, Camden, 1999.  

Festival of the Golden Fleece, Festival of the Golden Fleece, Camden Souvenir Programme 22-30 October, 1960, Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Wool Production in Australia,     Festival of the Golden Fleece Committee, Camden, 1960.

Fletcher, Chrissy, Arthursleigh, A History of the Property 1819 to 1979, Chrissy Fletcher, Bowral, 2002.

The Friends of Wivenhoe, Wivenhoe Historic House, The Friends  of Wivenhoe, Camden, 2008.

Garland, Jill and John Martin, Historic Churches of New South Wales, AH&AW Reed, Sydney, 1978.

Garren, JC & L White, Merinos, Myths and Macarthurs, Australian Graziers and Their Sheep, 1788-1900, Australian National University Press/Pergamon Press, Rushcutters Bay, NSW, 1985.

Gleeson, Damian John, Carlon’s Town, A History of the Carolan/Carlon Sept and related Irish Pioneer Families in New South Wales, Damian John Gleeson, Concord, 1998. 

Hawkey, Vera, A History of St James, Church of England, Menangle, 1876-1976, V Hawkey, Menangle, New South Wales, 1976.

Hawkey, HR, Menangle School 90th Anniversary Souvenir Booklet, Anniversary Committee, Menangle, 1961.

Hewatt, Les and Robert Johnson, Macarthur Growth Centre, Ruse Publishing, Campbellltown, 1980.

Hepher, Jack and John Drummond, Goulburn to Sydney 1902-1992, 90 Years of a Cycling Classic, Jack and Lil Hepher, Bundanoon, 1993.

Herbert, Ray, Golden Jubilee, Studley Park Camden Golf Club Ltd, 1950-2000, Camden Golf Club Ltd, Camden, 2000.

Howard, Donald, The Hub of Camden, FC Whiteman & Sons, 1941-1942, Camden Historical Society, Camden, 2002.

Howard, Donald, Cobbitty’s Finest Hour, Camden: Camden Historical Society, 2010.

Hughes, Joy N, (ed), Local Government, Local History: A Guide to NSW Local Government Minute Books and Rate Records, Royal Australian Historical Society, Sydney, 1990. 

Hulme-Moir, Dorothy, The Silver Cord, ANZEA, Homebush West, 1993.

Jackson, Tony, Shepherd, Cathey, Green, Sharon & Brian Burnett, Camden Pioneer Register, 1800-1920, 3rd Edition, Camden: Camden Area Family History Society,  2008.

Jeans, DN, An Historical Geography of New South Wales to 1901, Reed, Sydney, 1972.

Jervis, James, The Story of Camden, A Modern Farming Community closely allied with the Earliest Australian History: published to Commemorate the Jubilee of the Municipality, Arthur A Gibson, Camden, 1940.

Johnson, Janice, The Cemeteries of the Camden Anglican Parish, Camden: Camden Anglican Parish, 2008.

Johnson, Janice, Private Cecil Herbert Clark, No 2883, Letters Home, Camden: Camden Historical Society, 2009.

Johnson, Janice, If Gravestones Could Talk, Stories from the Churchyard of St John’s Camden,  Camden: Janice Johnson, 2010.

Johnson, Janice, John Wrigley, Brian Burnett & Richard Nixon, They Worked at Camden Park, A Listing of the Employees, Leaseholders and Tenant Farmers Known to have Worked on Camden Park Estate, 3rd Edition, Camden: Camden Historical Society, 2010.

King, Hazel,  Elizabeth Macarthur and Her World, Sydney University Press, University of Sydney, 1980.

King, Hazel,  Colonial Expatriates, Edward and John Macarthur Junior, Kangaroo Press, Kenthurst, 1989.

Kirkpatrick, Rod, Country Conscience, A History of the New South Wales Provincial Press, 1841-1995, Infinite Harvest Publishing, Canberra, 2000.

Koob, Daphne, Pioneers at Rest, The Uniting Church Cemetery Cawdor, Daphne Koob, Camden, 1998.

Knox, Bruce, A History of Local Government in the Wollondilly Shire, 1895 to 1988, Wollondilly Shire Council, Picton, 1988.

Lee, Claude N, A Place to Remember, Burragorang Valley, 1957, New South Wales, 2nd Edition, Claude N Lee, Mittagong, 1971.

Lee, John N, Rotary Club of Camden, Golden Jubilee Anniversary, 50 Years, 1947-1997, Camden Rotary Club, Camden, 1997.

Lhuede, Val, Yerranderie Is My Dreaming, Valued Books, Milsons Point, 2007.

Liston, Carol, Campbelltown, The Bicentennial History, Allen & Unwin, North Sydney, 1988.

Lofthouse, Andrea, Who’s Who of Australian Women, Methuen, North Ryde, New South Wales, 1982.

Lundy, Andrew, Elderslie High School, 25 Years of Achievement, 1976-2001, Elderslie High School, Camden, 2001.

Lyon, Doreen, (ed),  Women’s Voices, The Oaks Historical Society, The Oaks, 1997.

Lyon, Doreen & Liz Vincent, Created by a Community, A Social History of Camden District Hospital, Camden District Hospital, Camden, 1998.

Lyon, Doreen, From Estonia to Thirlmere, Stories from a Unique Community, The Oaks Historical Society, The Oaks, 2005.

Macarthur Onslow, Sibella, Some Early Records of The Macarthurs of Camden , Adelaide, 1973 (1914).

 McGill, Jeff, The Towns, Villages and Suburbs of Macarthur, A Special Magazine to Mark the 200 Years of  the Macarthur Region, Camden Advertiser (Insert April 2006), Camden, 2006.

Mantle, Nanette, Horse and Rider in Australian Legend, Melbourne: The Miegunyah Press, 2004.

Martin, JB & George V Sidman, The Town of Camden Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Municipality of Camden, Facsimile Edition, Camden Uniting Church, Camden, 1983         (1939).

Mason, Ron and Chris O’Brien,  Belgenny Farm, Camden Park Estate, Dept of Planning, Sydney, 1988.

Mathews, RH,  Some Mythology and Folklore of the Gundungurra Tribe, Den Fenella Press, Wentworth Falls, 2003.

Menangle Public School,  Centenary of the Menangle Public School, Centenary Committee, Menangle, 1971.

Meredith, John, The Last Kooradgie, Moyengully, Chief Man of the Gundungurra People, Kangaroo Press, Kenthurst, 1989.

Moloney, JJ, Early Menangle, Australasian Society of Patriots, Newcastle, 1929.  

Moorhead, Arthur, (ed), The Australian Blue Book, Blue Star, Sydney, 1942.

Morris, Sherry and Harold Fife, The Kangaroo March, From Wagga Wagga to the Western Front, Sherry Morris, Wagga Wagga, 2006.

Mount Hunter Public School,  Mount Hunter Public School, 125 Years of Education, 1859-1984, Committee, Mt Hunter, 1984.  

Paramount Movie Theatre, Elizabeth Street, Camden built-in 1933. (Camden Images)

Murray, John, Macarthur Heritage, Macarthur Regional Organisation of Councils, Campbelltown, 2000.

Murray, Robert and Kate White, Dharug and Dungaree, The History of Penrith and St Marys to 1860, Hargreen/Council of the City of Penrith, North Melbourne, 1988

Mylrea, Peter, Belgenny Farm, Camden, Belgenny Farm Trust, Camden, 2000.

Mylrea, Peter, Belgenny Farm, 1805-1835, The Early Years of the Macarthurs at Camden, Belgenny Farm Trust and Camden Historical Society, Camden, 2001.

Mylrea, Peter, Belgenny Farm, 1805-1835, The Early Years of the Macarthurs at Camden, 2nd Edition, Camden Historical Society, Camden, 2007.

Mylrea, PJ, Camden District, A History to the 1840s, Camden Historical Society, 2002.

Mylrea, Peter and Don Blaxell, Mount Annan Botanic Garden, The Native Plant Garden of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, 1998.

 Nepean Family History Society, St Paul’s Church of England, Cobbitty, New South Wales: Cemetery Inscriptions Record      Series No 7, Nepean Family History Society, Emu Plains,      1982.

Nepean Family History Society, St Matthews Church of England,  The Oaks, Glenmore Uniting Church, The Oaks Roman Catholic Cemetery, NSW, Record Series, No 15, Nepean Family History Society, St Marys, 1983.

New South Wales Rail Transport Museum, The Camden Tramway, An Illustrated History of the Campbelltown to Camden Branch Railway, New South Wales Rail Transport Museum, Sydney,1967.

Nichols, Alan, Jill Garland and John Martin, Historic Churches of NSW, Reed, Sydney, 1978.

Nixon, RE,  Interesting Bits and Pieces of the History of Camden, Camden Historical Society, Camden, 1982.

Nixon, RE, (ed), Camden Show Society Centenary,1886-1986: One Hundred Years On Still a Country Show, The Society, Camden,  1986.

Nixon, RE, Carrington, The Centre of Total Care, 1890-1990, The Carrington Trust, Camden, 1990.

Nixon, RE & PC Hayward, (eds), The Anglican Church of St John  the Evangelist Camden, New South Wales, Anglican Parish of Camden, Camden, 1999.

Norrie, Philip, Vineyards of Sydney, Cradle of the Australian Wine Industry From First Settlement to Today, Horwitz Grahame, Sydney, 1990.

Oakes, John,  Sydney’s Forgotten Rural Railways, Camden, Kurrajong, Rogan’s Hill, Australian Railway Historical Society, Redfern, 2000.

Onyx, Jenny & Paul Bullen, Measuring Social Capital in Five Communities in New South Wales, An Analysis, Centre for Australian Community Organisations and Management,    University of Technology, Sydney, 1997. 

Organ, Michael, A Documentary History of the Illawarra and South Coast Aborigines, 1770-1850, Aboriginal Education Unit, Wollongong University, Wollongong, 1990.

Pain, Allan, Records of the Parish of Narellan, 1827-1927, Sydney: np, 1927.

Partl, Sabine, Aboriginal Women’s Heritage: Nepean, South Sydney: Dept of Environment and Conservation  NSW, 2007.

Pearce, Owen, Rabbit Hot, Rabbit Cold, Chronicle of a Vanishing Australian Community, Popinjay Publications, Woden, Australian Capital Territory, 1991.

Phelan, Nancy, Some Came Early, Some Came Late, Melbourne, np, 1970.

 Power, Paul, (ed), A Century of Change, One Hundred Years of Local Government in Camden, Macarthur Independent Promotions, Camden, 1989.

Prior, Marjory Beatrice, Cow Pastures, An Uncomplicated Affair, Mike Prior, Gympie, 1999.

Proudfoot, Helen, Colonial Buildings, Macarthur Growth Centre, Campbelltown, Camden, Appin, Macarthur Development Board, Campbelltown, 1977.

Radi, Heather,(ed), 200 Australian Women: A Redress Anthology, Women’s Redress Press, Broadway, New South Wales, 1988.

Radi, Heather, Spearitt, Peter & Hinton, Elizabeth, (eds), Biographical Register of New South Wales Parliament, 1901-1970, Australian National University Press, Canberra, 1979.

Reeson, Margaret,  Certain Lives, Open Book, Adelaide, 1999.

 Roberts, Jack L, A History of Methodism in the Cowpastures, 1843-1977, Jack L Roberts, Camden, 1976.

Robinson, Stephen and Christine,  1901 Census Camden NSW, Stephen and Christine Robinson, Camden, 2000.

Rosen, Sue, Losing Ground, An Environmental History of the Hawkesbury-Nepean Catchment, Hale & Ironmonger, Sydney, 1995.

Russell, William, My Recollections, The Oaks Historical Society, The Oaks, 1991 (1914).  

Sayers, George, Views of Camden and Surrounding Area, Etchings and Drawings by George Sayers, George Sayers, Camden, 1996.

Sayers, George, Views of Camden and Surrounding Area, Etchings and Drawings by George Sayers, 2nd Edition, George Sayers, Camden, 2001.

Seibright, Les, Werriberri, King of the Burragorang, The Oaks Historical Society, The Oaks, 1987.

Sharpe, Betty, The Messenger, A Book of Verse, Betty  Sharpe, Camden, 1973.

Sharpe, Betty, So We’re Ill! Don’t Lose Heart, Betty Sharpe, Camden, 1987.

A milepost at the southern end of Camden town on the Old Hume Highway – Camden 38 Miles from Mittagong and 1 Mile from Camden (I Willis 2021)

Sharpe, Betty, ‘Half a Year’, Through the Eyes of a Country Woman, Betty Sharpe, Camden, 1984.

Sharpe, Betty, The Year Ambles On, Betty Sharpe, Camden, 1985. 

Sidman, GV, The Town of Camden, A Facsimile with Index Compiled by Liz Vincent, Liz Vincent, Picton, 1995 (1939).

Simpson, Caroline, (ed), William Hardy Wilson, A 20th Century Colonial, 1881-1955, National Trust of Australia (New South Wales), Sydney, 1980.

Smith, Diane, The History of ‘Gledswood’, Diane Smith, Camden, 2004.

Smith, Malvin J, 50th Anniversary: Nattai-Bulli Colliery, MJ Smith, Camden, 1982.

Smith, Jim, Aborigines of the Burragorang Valley, 1830-1960, Jim Smith, Wentworth Falls, 1991.

Smith, Jim, The Last of the Cox’s River Men, Ben Esgate, 1914-2003, Den Fenella Press, Wentworth Falls, 2006.

Sommerlad, E Lloyd, Serving the Country Press, Country Press Association of New South Wales 1900-2000, The Country Press Association of New South Wale,  Sydney, 2000.

Sproule, Colin, Timbermen of the Wollondilly 1821-1991, The Oaks Historical Society, The Oaks, 1993.

Sproule, Colin (ed), Of Mines and Men, The Stories of the Miners of the Wollondilly Mines, The Oaks Historical Society, The Oaks, 1995.

St Aloysius Catholic Church, Church of St Aloysius, The Oaks, Centenary Celebrations, The Oaks Catholic Centenary Committee, The Oaks, 1965.

St Andrews Presbyterian Church, St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Camden, 130th Anniversary, St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Camden, 1979.

St James Church of England, A History of St James Church of England, Menangle, 1876-1976, St James Church of England, Menangle, New South Wales, 1976.

St John’s Church of England, The Church of St John, 135th Anniversary, St John’s Church of England, Camden, 1975.

St Paul’s Catholic Church, Along the Way: St Paul’s Catholic Church, Camden, 1859-1987, St Paul’s Catholic Church, Camden, 1987.

Strecker, Marlene, Wivenhoe, The Friends of Wivenhoe, Camden, 2004.

Stuckey, Frank, Our Daily Bread: The Story of Stuckey Bros Bakers and Pastrycooks of Camden, NSW, 1912-1960, Camden Historical Society, Camden, 1987.

Tench, Watkin, Sydney’s First Four Years: Being a Reprint of A Narrative of the Expedition to Botany Bay and , A Complete Account of the Settlement at Port Jackson; with an Introduction and Annotations by LF Fitzhardinge, Library of Australian History/ Royal Australian Historical Society, Sydney, 1979 (RAHS/A&R, 1961)

Tildesley, EM, A History of the Queen’s Club, Halstead Press, Sydney, 1970.

Thompson, Christopher, Camden Park, Menangle, New South Wales, Camden Park Preservation Committee & State Library of New South Wales, Camden, 1993.

Todd, Jan,  Milk for the Metropolis, A Century of Co-operative Milk Supply in New South Wales, Hale and Iremonger, Sydney, 1994.

Townsend, Helen, Serving the Country, The History of the Country Women’s Association of New South Wales, Doubleday, Sydney, 1988.

Turner, Greg and Denis Gregory,  Camden Park, Birthplace of Australia’s Agriculture, NSW Agriculture, Orange, 1992.

Valentine, James, Then and Now: Historic Roads Around Sydney, Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1937.

Vernon, Stella, The Fitzpatrick and Sedgwick Families of Campbelltown, Campbelltown and Airds Historical Society, Campbelltown, 1992.

Vincent, Liz, Tales of Old Camden, Liz Vincent, Picton, 2001.

Waldersee, James, Catholic Society in New South Wales, 1788-1860, Sydney University Press, Sydney, 1974. 

Walker, George, Memories of Whiteman’s, Christine Davies, Camden, 2007.

Ward, John Manning, James Macarthur, Colonial Conservative, 1798-1867, Sydney University Press, University of Sydney, 1981.

Watson, AL, Camden Aero Club, A History, Camden Aero Club, Camden, 1992.

Watson, Peter,  Life and Times of Walter Neville (Peter) Watson, Peter Watson, Camden, 2005.

Weir, Nell R, From Timberland to Smiling Fields, A History of Orangeville and Werombi, The Oaks Historical Society, The Oaks, 1998.

Welsh, Ian Frederick, Valley of Wealth, A Burragorang Coal Story, Ian Frederick Welsh, Thirlmere, 2005.

West, Janet, Daughters of Freedom, A History of the Women in the Australian Church, Albatross Books, Sutherland, New South Wales, 1997.

West, Janet, Gilbulla, 1899-1999, Anglican Church Diocese of Sydney, Sydney, 2000.

Whitby, Kath & Eric G Clancy, (eds), Great the Heritage, The Story of Methodism in NSW, 1812-1975, Methodist Church of Australia, Sydney, 1975.

White, Sally, A Patchwork Heritage, Thirteen Australian Families, Collins Dove, Melbourne, 1986.

Willis, Ian, The McAleer Story, A History of a Camden Family, Camden: Camden Historical Society, 2009.

Wilson, William Hardy, The Cow Pasture Road, Art in Australia, Sydney, 1920.

Wollinski, Werner, Escape to a Future, From Germany to Camden, Camden Historical Society, Camden, 2000.

Woods, Doris,  A Short History of The Oaks, 3rd Edition, The Oaks Historical Society, The Oaks, 1982.

Wright, Don & Eric Clancy, The Methodists, A History of Methodism in New South Wales, Allen & Unwin, St Leonards, 1993.

Wrigley, JD, A History of Camden, New South Wales, Camden Historical Society, Camden, 1980.

Wrigley, John, A History of Camden, New South Wales, 2nd Edn, Camden Historical Society, Camden, 2001.

Wrigley, John, A History of Camden, New South Wales, 3rd Edition, Camden: Camden Historical Society, 2008.

Wrigley, JD, (ed), Historic Buildings of Camden, Camden Historical Society, Camden, 1983.

Wrigley, JD, (ed), Pioneers of Camden: including Derivations of Street Names, Camden Historical Society, Camden, 1988.

Wrigley, JD, (ed), Camden Characters, Camden Historical Society, Camden, 1990.

Wrigley, JD & Nixon, RE, They Worked At Camden Park, A Listing of the Employees, Leaseholders and Tenant Farmers Known To      Have Worked On Camden Park Estate, Camden Historical Society, Camden, 1993.

Wrigley, John, The Best of Back Then, Camden Historical Society, Camden, 2007.

Al-Natour, Ryan, ‘” The Mouse That Dared to Roar”, Youth and the Camden Controversy’, Youth Studies Australia, Vol 29, No 2, 2010, pp. 42-50.

The Camden-Campbelltown Railway with the locomotive affectionately called Pansy approaching the Camden township from Elderslie 1910s (Camden Images)

Articles

Akers, Jennifer, ‘Cawdor’, Dictionary of Sydney (2008). Online at http://www.dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/cobbitty.

Akers, Jennifer, ‘Mount Hunter’, Dictionary of Sydney (2008). Online at http://www.dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/mount_hunter

Akers, Jennifer, ‘Smeaton Grange’, Dictionary of Sydney (2008). Online at http://www.dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/smeaton_grange

Andrews, Alan E J,  ‘Mount Hunter and beyond: with Hunter, Bass, Tench, Wilson, Barrallier, Caley and Macquarie 1790 to 1815’, Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol 76, pt 1 (June 1990).

Andrews, Alan E J,  ‘Barrallier and Caley: the evidence of their Burragorang maps 1802-1806’, Journal of the Royal Historical Society, Vol 82, pt 1 (June 1996).

Atkinson, Alan,  ‘James Macarthur as author’,  Journal of Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol 67, pt 3 (December 1981).

Broadbent, James, ‘“Where purple flags and oxalis bloom” , The Significance of the Cow Pasture Garden’, in From Wilderness to Garden, Early Colonial Gardens, Their Future, 16th Annual National Conference, 1995,  Australian Garden History Society, Melbourne, 1995, pp. 22-25.

Campbell, JF, ‘Wild Cattle of the Cowpastures, and the Village of Cawdor’,  Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol. 14, pt. 1, (1928).

Campton, Phil, ‘P Fuchs – P Fox and Son, Cordial Manufacturers, Camden’, Newsletter of the Macarthur Historic Bottle and Collectors Club, May 1990 [CHS].

Conigrave, C Price, ‘Mrs Faithfull Anderson – obituary’,  Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol 34, pt 4 (1948).

Curtis, P, ‘The Camden Circuit’, Journal and Proceedings, Australasian Methodist Historical Society, May 1957, Vol. 72, Issue 72, pp. 969-973.

Eldershaw, Rosalind, ‘Gardening with History at Camden Park’, in From Wilderness to Garden, Early Colonial Gardens, Their Future, 16th Annual National Conference, 1995,  Australian Garden History Society, Melbourne, 1995, pp. 33-35.

Hassall, R, ‘Bishop Reginald Heber’, Church of England Historical Society (Diocese of Sydney) Journal, May 1957, Vol. 2, Issue 2, pp. 22-23.

Herbert, Raymond, ‘Studley Park’, Dictionary of Sydney (2008). Online at http://www.dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/studley_park

Hetherington, Les, ‘The Kangaroos march: Wagga Wagga to Sydney,           December 1915-January 1916’, Journal of the Australian War Memorial, 26, April 1995, pp. 19-25.

Jervis, James,  ‘Settlement in the Picton and The Oaks district’,  Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol 27, pt 4 (1941).

Jervis, James, ‘The Discovery and Settlement of Burragorang Valley’,  Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol. 20, pt. 3, (1934).

Jervis, James, ‘Camden and Cowpastures’, Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol.21, pt. 4, (1935).

Jervis, James, ‘Settlement at Narellan – with notes on the pioneers’, Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol.22, pt.5, (1936).

Lehany, Michael, ‘The Conservation Analysis of Camden Park, The Gardens and Grounds’, in From Wilderness to Garden, Early Colonial Gardens, Their Future, 16th Annual National Conference, 1995,  Australian Garden History Society, Melbourne, 1995, pp. 26-32.

Little, V., ‘Centenary of Cawdor Church’, Journal and Proceedings Australasian Methodist Historical Society, July 1950, Vol. 59, Issue 59, pp. 819-820.

Liston, Carol, ‘The Dharawal and Gandangara in Colonial Campbelltown, New South Wales, 1788-1830’, Aboriginal History, Vol. 12, No. 1-2, 1988, pp. 49-62.

This is a sketch of the 1826 Cowpasture Bridge attributed to Thomas Wore of Harrington Grove in 1842. The newly finished St John’s Church is on the hill with Mr Thompson’s woollen mill on the RHS of image. (Camden Images)

Mackaness, G , ‘Kirkham Estate: an account by John Oxley’s grandson, 1922’, Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol 49, pt 4 (December 1963).

Mills, Colin, ‘The Case of the Missing Notebook’, Australian Garden History, Vol. 18, No. 1, July/August 2006, pp4-7. 

Mitchell, R. Else, ‘The Wild Cattle of the Cowpastures’,  Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol. 25, pt. 2. (1939).

Norrie, Harold, ‘John Macarthur’,  Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol. 15, pt. 4, (1929).

Pacchiarotta, Samantha, ‘Currans Hill’, Dictionary of Sydney (2010).  Online at http://www.dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/currans_hill

Perry, TM, ‘The Spread of Rural Settlement in NSW, 1788-1826’, Historical Studies, May 1955, Vol. 6, Issue 24, pp. 377-395.

Pettigrew, J., ‘The Oaks Parish via Camden’, Church of England Historical Society (Diocese of Sydney) Journal, September 1974, Vol. 19, Issue 3, pp. 67-70.

Robbins, SR., ‘On the Trail of the Wild Cattle. Camden Methodism’, Journal and Proceedings of the Australasian Methodist Historical Society, 1923, Vol. 1, Issue 2, pp. 24-32.

Robbins, SR., ‘On the Trail of the Wild Cattle’, Journal and Proceedings Australasian Methodist Historical Society,  June 1933, Vol. 1, Part 2, pp. 25-34.

Robinson, Christine, ‘Cobbitty’, Dictionary of Sydney (2008). Online at http://www.dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/cobbitty.

Robinson, Steve, ‘Bickley Vale’, Dictionary of Sydney (2008). Online at http://www.dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/bickley_vale.

Robinson, Steve, ‘Camden West’, Dictionary of Sydney (2008). Online at http://www.dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/camden_west.

Robinson, Steve, ‘Ellis Lane’, Dictionary of Sydney (2008). Online at  http://www.dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/ellis_lane

Robinson, Steve, ‘Grasmere’, Dictionary of Sydney (2008). Online at http://www.dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/grasmere.

‘St John’s Church, Camden’, Church of England Historical Society (Diocese of Sydney) Journal, June 1962, Vol. 7, Issue 2, pp. 263-264.

‘St Marks Church Elderslie’, Church of England Historical Society (Diocese of Sydney) Journal, March 1967, Vol. 12, Issue 1, p. 28.

‘St Pauls Cobbitty’, Church of England Historical Society (Diocese of Sydney) Journal, April 1956, Vol. 1, Issue 2, p. 27.

Thompson, Jack and John Perkins, ‘The Wild Cowpastures revisited’, Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol 77, pt 4 (April 1992).

Wallace, Ian, ‘Campbelltown to Camden’, in Byways of Steam 9,On the Railways of New South Wales, (eds) Ian Dunn  and Ray Love, Eveleigh Press, Matraville, 1995.

Watson, JH, ‘Heber Chapel, Cobbity’,  Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol. 14, pt.6, (1928).

Weatherburn, A K, ‘The exploration and surveys of James Meehan between the Cowpastures, Wingecarribee River, Goulburn Plains, Shoalhaven River and Jervis Bay 1805, 1818 and 1819’, Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society,   Vol 64, pt 3 (December 1978).

Willis, IC, ‘Active Citizens and Loyal Patriots: The Role of the Two Local Newspapers on the Australian Homefront, 1939-1945’, Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand Bulletin, 24, 1, 2000, pp. 81-92.

Willis, Ian, ‘Camden’s Salvage Campaign, 1939-1945’, Journal of the Australian War Memorial, No. 38, April 2003. Online. http://www.awm.gov.au/journal/j38/index.htm [Accessed 5 August 2004]

Willis, Ian, ‘Wartime Volunteering in Camden’,  History Australia, Journal of the Australian Historical Association, Vol. 2, No. 1, December  2004. DOI: 10:2104/HA40009. Online. http://publications.epress.monash.edu/doi/abs/10.2104/ha040009 [Accessed July 2007]

Willis, Ian, ‘The Member for Camden: Dr Elizabeth Kernohan’, AQ Journal of Contemporary       Analysis, Vol. 77, Issue 1, Jan-Feb 2005, pp.21-25.

Willis, Ian, ‘Camden At War’, AQ Australian Quarterly, Vol. 78, Issue 1, January- February 2006, pp. 23-28.

Willis, Ian, ‘The Gentry and the Village, Camden, NSW, 1800-1939’, AQ Australian Quarterly, Vol. 78, Issue 4, July-August 2006, pp.19-24.

Willis, Ian, ‘Democracy in Action in Local Government: Camden, NSW’, AQ Australian Quarterly, Vol. 79, Issue 2, March-April 2007, pp17-26.

Willis, Ian, ‘Camden, The Best Preserved Country Town on the Cumberland Plain’, HeritageTourism, 2007. Online at http://www.heritagetourism.com.au/camden-the-best-preserved-country-town-on-the-cumberland-plain-nsw/ .

Willis, Ian, ‘Fifty Years of Local History, The Camden Historical Society, 1957-2007’, An Address to the 50th Anniversary Meeting of the Camden Historical Society, 12 July 2007,  AQ Australian Quarterly, November- December  2007, pp. 11-16.

Willis, Ian, ‘Camden’, Sydney Journal, 1(1) March 2008. Online. http://epress.lib.uts.edu.au/ojs/index.php/sydney_journal

Willis, Ian, ‘Camden’, AQ Australian Quarterly, May-June 2008, pp. 15-18.

Willis, Ian, ‘A Night Out – Memories of the Gayline Drive-In Movie Theatre’, Phanfare, No. 229: March-April 2008, pp. 18-19. Online  http://www.phansw.org.au/restrict/PhanfareMarApril2008.pdf

Willis, Ian, ‘Lost Interwar Motoring Heritage’, AQ Australian Quarterly, July-August 2008, pp. 12-15.

Willis, Ian, ‘Democracy in Place: Parochial Politics and the 2008 Local Government Elections’, AQ, Australian Quarterly, Vol 80, Issue 6, November-December 2008, pp. 4-9.

Willis, Ian, ‘Stories and Things: The role of the local historical society, Campbelltown, Camden and The Oaks’, Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol. 95, Pt. 1, June 2009, pp.18-37.

Willis, Ian, ‘Camden: The Interwar Heritage of a Country Town’, Spirit of Progress¸Vol. 10, No. 3, 2009, pp. 13-15.

Willis, Ian, ‘Whither Heritage, The Experience of the Outdoor Movie Theatre’, AQ, Australian Quarterly, Vol. 81, Issue 6, Nov- Dec 2009, pp.35-39.

Willis, Ian ‘Camden’, Dictionary of Sydney (2008). Online at http://www.dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/camden.

Willis, Ian, ‘Elderslie’, Dictionary of Sydney (2008).  Online at http://www.dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/elderslie

Willis, Ian, ‘Mount Annan’, Dictionary of Sydney (2008). Online at http://www.dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/mount_annan

Willis, Ian, ‘Narellan’, Dictionary of Sydney  (2008). Online at http://www.dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/narellan

Willis, Ian, ‘Narellan Vale’, Dictionary of Sydney (2008). Online at http://www.dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/narellan_vale

Willis, Ian, ‘Heritage: a dismal state of affairs’, Sydney Morning Herald Online, 16 April 2010. Online at http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/heritage-a-dismal-state-of-affairs-20100416-sjiy.html .

Willis, Ian, ‘The Glory of steam, Pansy, the Camden tram’,  Heritage Tourism, Online, 9 August 2010.  Online at  http://www.heritagetourism.com.au/the-glory-of-steam-pansy-the-camden-tram/

The Clark Chemist on the LHS of the image located in the Whitemans building in the late 1930s at 90 Argyle Street Camden (Camden Images)

Theses and other studies

Winney, I and R Fookes, ‘Goodbye Camden Tram’, Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, April 1963, Vol. 14, Issue 306, pp. 53-60.

Brown, JW and GJ Bush, ‘The History  and Development of the Burragorang Valley, Referring Particularly to Coal Mining’, Address to Camden Historical Society, Camden, March 1973.

Department of Social Studies, University of Sydney, Camden, A Social Survey, Camden Rotary Club/Camden Community Centre Committee, Camden, 1948.

De Ferranti, LZ, The Legacy of Camden Park. B.Arch. Thesis, University of Sydney, 1979.

Dodds, Sandra, Survey of Camden Sculptures and Monuments, Camden Historical Society, Camden, 1999.

Dodds, Sandra, Representations of History in Museums,  MA(Museum Studies) Thesis, University of Sydney, 2004.

Don Fox Planning, Camden Structure Plan Report (Draft), Camden Council, Camden, 1999.

Environment, Planning and Building Services Division, Draft Camden Rural Lands Study, Council of Camden, Camden, 1998.

Gwyther, Gabrielle, Paradise Planned, Community Formation and the Master Planned Estate, PhD, University of Western Sydney, 2004. Online. http://library.uws.edu.au/adt-NUWS/public/adt-NUWS20051214.111331/index.html.

Jack, LE, History of Education in Camden and District, A Study of the Origins and Development of Primary Education to 1880 and Selected Aspects of Later Growth of Primary, Secondary and Adult Education, M.Ed. Thesis, University of Sydney, 1966.

JRC Planning Services, Environmental Heritage, Macarthur Regional Environmental Study, Working Paper 3, Department of Environment and Planning, Sydney, 1986.

Landarc, Draft Significant Tree and Vegetated Landscape Study, Camden Municipal Council, Camden, 1993.

Mason, Milton Lewis, Carinya, The Social-Class System of an Australian Community. PhD Thesis, University of Missouri-Kansas City, 1960.

Mitchell McCotter Willing, Camden Area Flood Prone Land Study, 2nd Edition, Mine Subsidence Board, Sydney, 1993.

Proudfoot, Helen, Campbelltown, Camden, Appin, Survey and Report on Nineteenth Century Buildings and Sites, Volume IV, Section Four: Hume Highway to Camden, Bringelly, Cobbitty, Section Five: Narellan, Elderslie, Camden, State Planning Authority of New South Wales, Sydney, 1973.

Rosen, Sue, Hawkesbury-Nepean Historic Environmental Changes Study,  Water Resources Program Hawkesbury-Nepean Strategy, Water Board, Sydney, 1992.

Sankey, Robyn, Camden and the Coal Industry: A Study of the Development of the Coal Industry in the Burragorang Valley and its Impact on Camden and the District in the Post-War Period, MA Thesis, University of Sydney, 1984.

State Planning Authority of New South Wales, The New Cities of Campbelltown, Camden, Appin, State Planning Authority of New South Wales, Sydney, 1973.

Stubbs, Judith, Camden New City, A Community Profile, Camden Municipal Council, 1985.

Tropman and Tropman, Draft Heritage Report, Camden Council, Camden, 2004.

Watson, Clare, Conservation of Public Access to and Interpretation of Belgenny Farm, Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute, Camden, New South Wales, Report, New South Wales Minister for Agriculture and Rural Affairs, 1991.

Wrigley, Camden Interim Heritage Study, Camden Historical Society, Camden, 1985.

Willis, Ian, War and Community: The Red Cross in Camden, 1939-1945, MA(Hons) Thesis, University of Wollongong, 1996. 

Willis, Ian, The Women’s Voluntary Services, A Study of War and Volunteering in Camden, 1939-1945, PhD Thesis, University of Wollongong, 2004. Online. www.library.uow.edu.au/adt-NWU/public/adt-NWU20041025.152142/index.html [Accessed July 2007]

A view of John Street Camden from the steeple of St Johns Church on top of the hill in the town centre in 1937 (Camden Images)

Audio-Visual

A Pictorial History of Camden and the Camden District, DVD, Camden Historical Society, Camden, 2006.

A Valley Lost – Leaving the Burragorang, Radio Programme, ABC Radio National, Broadcast 26 November 2006. Podcast  online at http://www.abc.net.au/rn/hindsight/stories/2006/1790948.htm

A Valley Lost – Building Warragamba, Radio Programme, ABC Radio National, Broadcast 3 December 2006. Podcast online at http://www.abc.net.au/rn/hindsight/stories/2006/1792399.htm

Camden Headstone 1800-2006, CD, Camden Area Family History Society, 2007.

Camden Images, Online Photographic Database, Camden Historical Society & Camden Council Library Services, 2010. Online at http://www.library.camden.nsw.gov.au/camdenimages/scripts/home.asp

Camden Line, DVD, Rowlingstock Productions, Parramatta, 1989.

Camden Slide Show, DVD, Camden Photo Centre, Camden. 2007

Camden Slide Show 2nd Edition, DVD, Camden Photo Centre, 2009.

Dangerous Ground, TV programme, Four Corners, ABCTV, Broadcast 10 March 2008. Vodcast online at http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/content/2008/s2181743.htm. Programme transcript online at http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/content/2008/s2185494.htm

Harrington Park, Make It Yours, DVD, Harrington Park Realty, Harrington Park, 2006.

Macarthur, DVD, Editricks/Camden Council/Campbelltown  City Council, Campbelltown, 2007.

Macarthur, DVD, Camden Council/Campbelltown City Council/Overland TV, Camden, 2010.

Make It in Macarthur, DVD, MACROC, Campbelltown, 2006.

Oran Park Raceway, 46 Fabulous Years, DVD, Chevron, Sydney, 2008.

‘Still My Country Home’, Song, Jessie Fairweather, Camden , 2007.  Backing track for Camden Slide Show.

‘The Camden Train’, Song,  Buddy Williams, Camden, 1963.

The Coal Carters, DVD, Garry and Anita Martin, Oakdale, 2005.

The Spirit of Macarthur, DVD, Editricks/Campbelltown City Council/Ron Moore, Campbelltown, 2006.

Valley of Wealth, A Burragorang Coal Pictorial, DVD, Anita Martin, Oakdale, 2005.

Camden Park House and Garden in 1906 is the home of the Macarthur family. It is still occupied by the Macarthur family and is open for inspection in Spring every year. (Camden Images)

Compiled 2010

1920s · Agricultural heritage · Agriculture · Attachment to place · Belonging · Business · Camden · Cultural Heritage · Economy · Family history · Fergusons Australian Nurseries · Heritage · Horticulture · Local History · Local Studies · Nepean River · Placemaking · Plant Nursery · Retailing · Sense of place · Storytelling · Sydney · Sydney's rural-urban fringe · The Great South Road · Uncategorized · Urban growth · urban sprawl

A local nursery on Sydney’s urban fringe

The Ferguson nurseries and the urban fringe

The 20th-century story of Ferguson’s Australian Nurseries is about their location within Sydney’s rural-urban fringe.

Sydney’s urban fringe is a zone of transition that is constantly being shaped and re-shaped by the forces of urbanisation and a host of competing forces. (Willis 2014)

Plant nurseries arrive in the fringe, and competing forces eventually drive them from it after a time.

In this space, the Ferguson Australian Nurseries came and departed Sydney’s urban fringe as it moved with urban growth over the past 170 years. Shrewd business judgements ensured that the nurseries survived and thrived in this dynamic space and place.

Double Bay outlet

Ferguson’s nurseries arrived on Sydney’s fringe at Double Bay in the 1870s when Sydney was still a ‘walking city’. Horse trams, and later steam trams, started to appear in the city and travel out to Double Bay.

Double Bay was sparsely settled, and there was an array of colonial villas and mansions like Alexander Macleay’s colonial regency mansion Elizabeth Bay House (1839).

As Sydney grew in population, there were land sub-divisions from the 1840s. (Sheridan 2021) (SLNSW)

By the early 20th-century, land values had risen with increased residential development   (Sheridan 2021). The land was more valuable for housing than a nursery, so economic forces gathered for its relocation.

By this time, Annie Henrietta Ferguson ran the nursery following the death of her husband FJ Ferguson, aged 48 years, in 1899. Annie had married FJ Ferguson in 1875.

Annie managed the Double Bay outlet until 1902, closed it by 1905 and moved the nursery to Hurstville. (WCL 2021)

F Ferguson’ & Son Australian Nurseries Trade Catalogue for 1930 (SLM)

Developments

Annie’s daughter, Margaret Elizabeth (Lizzie), born at Campbelltown in 1876, had married Alfred Denison (AD) Little at All Saints Woollahra in 1902. (WCL)

By 1903 Lizzie and AD Little had moved back to Camden from Double Bay with the birth of their son Sydney. AD Little was to play a leading role in the nursery’s management and became a partner in the business. (WCL 2021)

In 1902 the Sydney press reported a fire at the Camden Nursery that destroyed a packing shed full of equipment. The same report stated that AD Little was now one of the proprietors, the mayor of Camden (1904-1905) and a presiding magistrate. (Daily Telegraph, 15 August 1905)

The oldest nursery

The Camden News boasted in 1905 that Ferguson’s Australian Nurseries were the ‘oldest fruit nursery and garden in Australia’. (Camden News, 17 August 1905)

Hurstville nursery outlet

By 1904 the Double Bay nursery had been relocated to Hurstville on Stoney Creek Road. (Morris and Britton 2000)

The Hurstville area was a sparsely populated farming area with the first land subdivision in the 1880s. By the early 20th century, the urban fringe of Sydney had reached the site, and there were a series of residential land releases. (SLNSW)

The Camden press reported in 1913 that Ferguson’s nurseries were being run by AD & FB Little, and land had been leased at Elderslie, where 150,000 grafted apple trees had been planted out. (Camden News, 7 August 1913)

In 1915 the business was being managed by Fred Little. (Gosford Times and Wyong District Advocate, Friday 21 May 1915)

F Ferguson and Son Australian Nurseries Trade Catalogue for 1932 (SLM)

Nurseryman Eric Jurd recalls, ‘Fergusons grew open-ground stock at a site in Peakhurst’. Jurd believed that Ferguson’s had extensive land holdings in the Kingsgrove and Peakhurst. (McMaugh 2005: 251-253)

The Hurstville nursery site was purchased by the New South Wales Government to establish Kingsgrove High School on the corner of Kingsgrove Road and Stoney Creek Road in 1958. (SRNSW)

Continued expansion

The nursery continued to expand, and by 1915, a report in the Gosford press indicated that Fergusons were operating from four sites:

  • Hurstville – a 40-acre site which was a general nursery and despatching centre for sales
  • Camden – a 60-acre site mainly producing fruit trees
  • Gosford – a 40-acre site a nursery for grape vines and fruit trees
  • Ronkana (Ourimbah) – a 100-acre site under preparation. (Gosford Times and Wyong District Advocate, Friday 21 May 1915)

In the early 1920s, there were extensive land releases in the Hurstville area, including the King’s Park Model Suburb of 600 lots adjacent to Ferguson’s Nursery on Stoney Creek Road. (St George Call (Kogarah) 22 September 1922) In 1926 the Simmons Estate next door to Ferguson’s Nursery was offered for sale. (St George Call (Kogarah) 5 February 1926)

By the interwar years, the Hurstville nursery site was a well-known landmark and often referred to by correspondents in the press. For example, a press report of Tooth’s Brewery purchase of a site at Bexley (Construction and Local Government Journal, 13 July 1927), and the NRMA used the nursery as a prominent and well-known landmark in their tourism promotion for road trips in and around the Sydney area. (Sun (Sydney) 18 November 1927).

The nursery business continued under the control of AD & FB Little until the 1930s, and they were followed by Arthur Bruce (AB) Ferguson (1889 -1949). (Little 1977)

Fruit trees and vines

Ferguson’s nurseries sold fruit trees and vines to new producers in the emerging horticulture areas throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Large quantities of grapevines had been supplied to the Yanco Irrigation Area in 1915. (Gosford Times and Wyong District Advocate, Friday 21 May 1915)

In 1926 an article in the Leeton press mentioned that Fergusons Nurseries had fruit trees for sale. (Murrumbidgee Irrigator (Leeton, NSW: 1915 – 1954), Tuesday 16 February 1926)

Agents for the nursery were often keen to promote that stock of fruit trees, vines and flowering plants were available for purchase, as indicated by a story in the Tumut press. (Tumut and Adelong Times, 28 May 1929)

Water supply

A reliable water supply is essential for horticulture and the nursery industry.

In 1922 an irrigation licence was issued to Alfred D (AD) Little, a partner for Ferguson & Sons, Australian Nursery, Camden, to pump up to 150 gallons per minute on the right bank [Elderslie]. (NSW Government Gazette, 11 August 1922)

The next generation

In 1927 FB Little died at Hurstville, and in 1933 AD Little died at Camden and is buried in St John’s Cemetery.

In 1932 the Australian Nursery site on the Nepean River, known as The Nursery or the Camden Nursery, part ownership passed to Stanley Nigel (SN) Ferguson. (Sanders 2008b) After World War II, SN Ferguson’s son, Bruce (1916 – 2008), inherited a half-share in The Nursery site. (Sanders 2008a)

In 1935 Ferguson’s nursery purchased land owned by Mr W Moore between the Old South Road and the Hume Highway. (Camden News, 11 April 1935)

Following this period, the Camden nursery moved to Broughton & Little Street  (Nixon 1989) at the rear of the Camden District Hospital until the business was sold in the mid-1960s. (Nixon 1991)

References

Little, S. F. (1977). Correspondence to CHS 17 February 1977. Ferguson File, Camden Museum Archive.

Morris, C. and G. Britton (2000). Colonial landscapes of the Cumberland Plain and Camden, NSW: A survey of selected pre – 1860 cultural landscapes from Wollondilly to Hawkesbury LGAs. Sydney NSW, National Trust of Australia (NSW). 1 & 2.

Nixon, R. E. (1989). File notes for correspondence to CHS from Helen R Dick 18 July 1989, Camden Museum Archives.

Nixon, R. E. (1991). The Rose Festival. Rose Festival File, Camden Museum Archives.

Sanders, G. J. (2008a). Distinguished in war and peace, Bruce Ferguson, Obituary 31 May. Sydney Morning Herald. 31 May 2008.

Sanders, G. J. (2008b). Eulogy for Bruce Ferguson. Ferguson File, Camden Museum Archives.

Sheridan, P. (2021). Sydney Art Deco and Modernist Walks Potts Point and Elizabeth Bay. Sydney, Bakelite and Peter Sheridan.

WCL (2021). “Double Bay as a nineteenth-century centre of gardening and horticulture.” Woollahra Local History/Woollahra’s Historic Landscapes. Retrieved 10 December 2021, 2021, from https://www.woollahra.nsw.gov.au/library/local_history/woollahras-historic-landscapes/horticulture-in-double-bay.

Willis, I. (2014). “Townies Exurbanites and Aesthetics: Issues of identity on Sydney’s rural-urban fringe.” AQ, Australian Quarterly(April-June 2012): 20-25.

Updated 9 January 2022. Originally posted 5 January 2022.

20th century · Agriculture · Argyle Street · Attachment to place · Belonging · Camden Regional Economic Taskforce · Camden Story · Camden Town Centre · Community identity · Cultural Heritage · Economy · Farming · Fergusons Australian Nurseries · Festivals · Gardening · Heritage · History · Jacaranda · Local History · Local Studies · Macarthur · Memory · Newspapers · Nursery · Placemaking · Storytelling · Streetscapes · Tourism · Uncategorized

Jacaranda fever hits Camden

2018 Camden Jacaranda Festival

In 2018 the love of the Jacaranda in the Camden area extended to the launch of a new festival around the purple blossoms.

An example of Jacaranda mimosifolia outside Camden’s historic Victorian Commercial Bank building adds a layer of colour to its colonial facade. The banking chambers are in Argyle Street Camden. (I Willis, 2020)

The idea first germinated in 2017 with the support of Argyle Street Business Collective. (Camden Narellan Advertiser, 8 August 2018)

In 2018 Camden Council threw its support behind Business Collective’s Jacaranda Festival. Council withdrew support for the annual Light Up Camden festival conducted by the Camden Chamber of Commerce, Tourism and Industry.

The town’s Christmas celebrations were incorporated into the new Jacaranda Festival.

The current generation of Jacaranda trees and their flush of purple haze started with street plantings in the 1920s.

Specimens of Jacaranda mimosifolia with their purple display on the central island in Argyle Street, Camden. Jacarandas were first planted in Camden’s town centre in the 1920s and in recent years have suffered from traffic pollution and other problems. (I Willis, 2020)

The first mention of jacarandas in Camden

Going back further, the first mention of Jacarandas was from Camden’s Ferguson’s Australian Nurseries in 1876 in Melbourne’s Australasian newspaper.

Ferguson’s published advice on the ‘rare’ Jacaranda mimosifolia described as ‘a singularly beautiful and rare flowering tree’.

Ferguson’s described the Jacaranda mimosifolia specimen in the Sydney Botanic Gardens as

an erect, though umbrageous and handsome growing tree, 30ft. to 40ft high. Its foliage is, perhaps, the most beautiful of all exogenous trees.

It is soft, feathery, fern or frond like, and exquisitely elegant, while at the same time it is decidedly grand, both in its proportions, graceful arrangements, and symmetry.

It may be said of the species that even out of flower it has no equal amongst moderate-sized ornamental trees, while to give expression to the effect of its appearance when in fall bloom no words would suffice. It must be seen to be appreciated.

The blossoms are large, of a most striking and delightful blue, and produced in such profusion that, viewed from a little distance, the tree appears, as it were, a graceful and living cone of floral grandeur.

Though rare, as we have remarked, enough has been proved to warrant us in stating that the Jacaranda mimosifolia is perfectly hardy in all but the very coldest districts of New South Wales, Queensland, and Victoria. (Australasian, 6 May 1876)

‘Under The Jacaranda’ was painted by Richard Godfrey Rivers in 1903 at the Queensland Art Gallery. The Jacaranda specimen was located in the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens. (Wikimedia)

The first Jacaranda tree in Australia

Ross McKinnon, a former curator of the Brisbane Botanic Gardens, told Jessica Hinchliffe  for ABC News, that

 ‘the first jacaranda tree planted in Australia was in Brisbane’.

“In the 1850s Queensland was sending wheat and grain to South America,” he told ABC Radio Brisbane’s Craig Zonca.

“On returning, they would unload at Kangaroo Point cliffs’ wharfs and the first curator of the gardens, Walter Hill, would row across the river and exchange seeds and plants with visiting sea captains.

“A visiting sea captain from South America gave Walter Hill the first jacaranda, which he planted at the rear of the city botanic gardens in 1864.”

Camden Jacaranda Festival

The 2018 Jacaranda Festival was the inaugural event under founder and Camden Hotel manager Andrew Valciukas. Mayor Symkowiak said the ‘festival cheer will remain a highlight and nothing has changed [from Light Up Camden]’. (Macarthur Chronicle, 21 August 2018)

The festival ran from 23-25 November and opened on Friday night with live music throughout the town centre, including hotels, shopfronts and the Alan Baker Art Gallery.

The Jacaranda Experience opened on Saturday afternoon and into the evening when the Christmas tree was lit followed by fireworks. There was a street market with stalls and outdoor dining along Argyle Street and a stage in John Street for ‘local school children, dance schools and local professional acts’.

Larkin Place featured a motocross demonstration and a display of ‘fabulous street metal’. Fireworks topped out the festivities on Saturday night. (What On Macarthur, leaflet, November 2018) (Camden Narellan Advertiser, 8 August 2018)

Camden Region Economic Taskforce director Debbie Roberts put together several short films with Camden personality and historian Laura Jane Aulsebrook. The Jacarandas are featured along with Camden Cottage, Show Pavilion, Camden Library Museum, Macaria and other historic sites.

CRET’s films appeared on Facebook in the week leading up to the festival. They were popular and prompted a bus group from Sydney’s northern suburbs to visit Camden for a walk led by LJ Aulesbrook.

The Jacaranda Walking Tour Map highlighted the best spots to view Jacarandas in the Camden Town Centre with spots of Instagram selfies. The walking tours pointed out Camden’s historic sites and the view across the town centre from Broughton Street. (CHS, 2018)

Walks of the town’s Jacaranda-lined streets and historical sites were conducted on Sunday by members of the Camden Historical Society, including Laura Jane. The program of historic walking tours started at the Camden Museum. (The Jacaranda Walking Tour Map 2018)  

Camden Flower Festivals

Flower festivals were not new to Camden.

In the late 1960s, the Camden Rose Festival committee organised an annual festival and street parade, topped out with the crowning of Miss Rose Festival Queen. The celebrations were initiated by Camden community worker JW Hill in aid of Camden District Hospital. (Camden Advertiser, 11 February 2009)

Newspaper photographs of The Rose Festival Queen. The caption states: ‘The Rose Festival Queen, Miss Marilyn Fuller (left) receives her crown from last year’s Queen, Miss Michele Chambers. On the right, Miss Fuller thanks those who worked so hard for her success. Seated are Miss Hospital, Beverley Thornton and Miss Apex, Ngaire Davies’. Camden News, 30 October 1968)

The House and Garden website states,

The beauty, resilience and fragrance of roses have made it a favourite of gardeners and flower-lovers, as well as a symbol of love, for centuries. Roses are romantic and voluptuous, with their petals painted in beautiful colours.

Camden’s Ferguson’s Australian Nurseries had an extensive catalogue of roses and sold them all over Australia and beyond.

The 1930 trade catalogue for Ferguson’s Australian Nurseries had its main propagation operations at Camden. Ferguson’s sold an extensive range of roses across Australia and beyond. (SLM/Ferguson’s Nurseries)

Flower shows were not new in Camden, and the annual St John’s Church Flower Show was held each year starting in the 1890s and continuing for many decades.

Neil McMahon writes in the Sydney Morning Herald that

our love of gardening, plants and soil can perhaps be attributed to the combination of the British heritage – reflected in a lot of garden design before modern trends and native practicality infiltrated our yards and apartments – and a climate that lends itself to spending time outdoors planting and pruning.

Oldest Jacaranda Tree living in Australia

The Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney has the current honour of having the largest living jacaranda tree in Australia. It is located near the Victoria Lodge, Mrs Macquarie Road, Sydney.

The story of the jacaranda tree near the Victora Lodge in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney (The Gardens, Spring 2022, Issue 134)

The Victoria Lodge was built in 1865 and attributed to Sydney’s colonial architect James Barnett. It was built as a residence for the garden ranger and to be a landscape feature.

Victoria Lodge is located adjacent to Mrs Macquarie Road in the northeast section of the Royal Botanic Garden. This view shows Farm Cove in the background. The image was probably taken in the mid-late 1800s. (RBG)

Constructed on Sydney sandstone the garden website states:

Its tower was constructed in 1865 with pale-coloured sandstone, and the walls are sparrow-pick finished with a rock-faced finish at the base A new wing made of Sydney yellow block sandstone with a dressed and rubbed finish was added in 1897, providing a sitting room.  The front facade has a projecting bay, with six multi-paned windows and stone mullions. Palisade fencing was constructed in 1900 along Mrs Macquaries Road, and included a gateway. A lean-to bathroom was added between 1913 and 1921, and many internal finishes are from the 1960s. The Lower Garden Precinct in which Victoria Lodge sits demonstrates qualities introduced by Governor Macquarie and developed by Charles Moore, Director of the Garden for 48 years from 1848.

Updated 15 August 2022. Originally posted 8 December 2021.

Agriculture · Art · Attachment to place · Belonging · Camden Story · Colonialism · Cowpastures · Cultural Heritage · Cultural icon · History · Landscape · Local History · Memorial · Memorials · Monuments · Oran Park · Parks · Place making · Placemaking · Public art · Settler colonialism · Settler Society · Storytelling · Tourism

Cowpastures memorial, Oran Park

A celebration of a landscape of cows at Oran Park

As you wander around the administration-library-shopping precinct at Oran Park, there is a sense of anticipation that you are being watched. If you look around, several bronze bovine statues are guarding the site. They are a representation of the Cowpastures Wild Cattle of the 1790s.

The bronze herd of horned cattle consists of six adult beasts and one calf wandering in a line across the manicured parkland landscape. The bovine art connoisseur can engage with the animals and walk among them to immerse themselves in a recreated moment from the past – a form of living history.

The Cowpastures public art installation at Perich Park in Central Avenue at Oran Park (I Willis, 2017)

The bronze cattle dramatically contrasts with the striking contemporary architecture of the council building across the road. Opening in 2016, the cantilevered glass-boxed and concrete Camden Council administration building was designed by Sydney architects GroupGSA.

This bovine-style art installation is the second memorial to the Cowpastures, the fourth location of European settlement in the New South Wales colony. The artwork is found in Perich Park, named after the family that endowed the community with the open space.

The herd of bronze cows in Perich Park in Central Avenue at Oran Park (I Willis, 2017)

The story of the Cowpastures is told on the storyboard located adjacent to the artwork.  It states:

The Wild Cattle of the Cowpastures

There are several versions of this story. There seems to be a consensus that two bulls (one bull calf) and five cows were purchased at the Cape of Good Hope and landed at Sydney Cove with the First Fleet in January 1788. The cattle were black and the mature bull was of the Afikander [sic – Afrikander] breed.

Shortly after the arrival of the First Fleet the two bulls and five cows could not be found and it was not until seven years later in 1795 that a convict reported sighting a herd of cattle in the bush.

Governor Hunter dispatched Henry Hacking to report on the cattle. Hunter resolved to inspect them himself and in November 1795 with a party of mainly Naval officers he found a herd of sixty-one cattle near the Nepean River near what is now known as Menangle.

Governor Hunter named the area The Cowpastures Plains. He wrote ‘They have chosen a beautiful part of the country to graze in…and they may become…a very great advantage resource to this Colony’. They were rather wild and inferior but bred rapidly.

By 1801 the herd had increased naturally to an estimated five or six hundred head. In 1811 they were estimated to be in their thousands.

The bronze cattle here have been kindly donated to the Community by the Perich Family.

Information board for Cowpasture art installation at Perich Park in Central Avenue at Oran Park (I Willis, 2017)

The bronzed-bovines in Perich Park on Central Ave were installed in 2016 to coincide with the opening of the new council building.

The Perich Park art installation is preceded by an earlier artwork that depicted more bovines just up the street. The other animal sculptures were a set of concrete cows that were represented wandering around in a small reserve opposite the Oran Park development sales office in Peter Brock Drive.

The reserve is located between Peter Brock Drive and Moffat Street, and this batch-of-bovines were installed around 2010. The reserve and open space is not designated parkland, and signage indicates that it is destined for housing development.

A concrete cow in the reserve in Moffat Street Oran Park (I Willis, 2010)

A concrete cow in the reserve in Moffat Street at Oran Park (I Willis, 2010)

Placemaking

The use of public art is one approach to placemaking that is employed by urban planners and designers, architects, and others. The authorities responsible for creating the Oran Park community and the new suburbs within it have used public art for placemaking.

What is placemaking?

Placemaking is a multi-faceted approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces. Placemaking capitalizes on a local community’s assets, inspiration, and potential, with the intention of creating public spaces that promote people’s health, happiness, and well-being. 

In the United States, the National Endowment for the Arts states that creative placemaking.

integrates arts, culture, and design activities into efforts that strengthen communities. Creative placemaking requires partnership across sectors, deeply engages the community, involves artists, designers and culture bearers, and helps to advance local economic, physical, and/or social change, ultimately laying the groundwork for systems change.

Storytelling promotes the concept of place and the process of placemaking. One of those stories is the Cowpastures and the Wild Cattle history from the days of colonial New South Wales.

Understanding the past through storytelling contributes to the construction of community identity and builds resilience in new communities. The cultural heritage of an area is the traditions, ceremonies, stories, events and personalities of a place. There are also dark and hidden stories of the Cowpastures that need telling, such as the frontier violence of the Appin Massacre.

The Cowpasture art installation uses a living history approach to tell the story of the European occupation of the local area that is part of the history of colonialism and the settler society project in New South Wales.