The Echo 1890

The Echo Newspaper operated in Sydney from May 1875 until July 1893.  The article on Strathfield and Homebush reproduced below is one of a series of articles on suburbs of Sydney published in 1890. 

This can be read by either opening the attached document (PDF format) The Echo 1890 Strathfield and Homebush or reading below.

“No. XXII – STRATHFIELD AND HOMEBUSH”

 Adjoining the Burwood estate and Faithfull’s farm on the west was the grant made to Mr. James Wilshire by Governor Macquarie in January 1810.  It consisted of 570 acres, and, from the nature of the soil (a stiff reddish clay), was called the Redmire estate[1]. North of this was a grant of 120 acres made to Mr. Thomas Rose by

Lieutenant-Governor Grose in May 1793. North of this, and running across the Parramatta-road, was a small corner of Captain Rowley’s Burwood estate.  Next came a grant of 60 acres to Frederick Meredith, and some smaller lots which were purchased by the late Mr. Simeon Lord, and afterwards passed to Mr. James Underwood. Further west was a grant to Mr. Joseph Hyde Potts (secretary to the old Bank of New South Wales) of 256 acres, dating from 1817. Southward, and adjoining the Redmire Estate, was a grant (one of the last made) to Mr. Joseph Newton by Governor Gipps, and dated September 1, 1841. North of the Parramatta-road and running along that road from Powell’s Creek to Haslem’s Creek and by these creeks to the Parramatta River was

HOMEBUSH ESTATE

of 920 acres, the property of Mr D’Arcy Wentworth. There is a legend extant to the effect that this estate changed hands over a game of cards. But, if this was the case, it happened so long ago that the particulars can scarcely be ascertained, and it is doubtful whether Mr. Wentworth was the winner, or whether he afterwards purchased the estate from the winner.  The report is given for what it is worth; but Mr. Wentworth proceeded to build a house on a knoll, from which a fine view of the Parramatta River and the land on either side is obtained. This house is still standing[2]. The estate gave the name to a considerable portion of land on each side of the Parramatta-road. On the southern side of the Parramatta-road Mr. James Underwood erected a dwelling. Some of the old residents assert that this one-storied place was afterwards converted into

THE HORSE AND JOCKEY HOTEL

while others are of opinion that Mr. Underwood’s house was rather nearer Sydney. However, the Horse and Jockey Hotel, when it was opened by Mr. James Kerwin (otherwise known as “Jimmy the Jockey”) some 58 years ago, consisted of only one story. Mr. Kerwin removed the license to a larger house about where the railway line now crosses the Parramatta-road. In 1846, soon after the departure of that rigid prohibitionist (Sir George Gipps), Mr. Cuffs reopened the Horse and Jockey Hotel and it has not been closed since. Mr. Cutts erected a second storey on top of the first, and also some extensive stabling, there having been at one time no less than 21 single boxes, besides the general stables, all built of brick.  The house built by “Jimmy the Jockey” and afterwards kept by Mr. Burton, was for some years the residence of Captain Macdonald.  It was pulled down when the North Coast railway was constructed in 1886.  The old Horse and Jockey Hotel is now kept by Mr. William C. Cribb[3]. It may be interesting to mention that about five years ago

 A QUOIT MATCH

 was played between Mr. Cribb and Mr. Emanuel Neich, of Burwood, who was then 79 years of age. Mr. Neich won the first and third games played at Homebush; while Mr. Cribb won the second game, played on Mr. Neich’s ground at Burwood. The veteran hotelkeeper thus won by 2 games out of 3, although Mr. Cribb was considered a very strong player. At a short distance on the opposite side of the road was the old

HOMEBUSH RACECOURSE

which ran round a small knoll, whence a fine view of the races was obtained. This course was opened some 62 years ago, and it soon came to be considered the leading racecourse in Australia – a position which it might have retained but for he tact that the ground was private property, and that, therefore, the Sydney Turf Club had neither sufficient control over it, nor the power of spending money in the erection of substantial building, and other improvements.  As a natural course, it was far superior to what was known as the sand track at Randwick, and it had the great advantage of being within easy distance of the railway line when the line was opened in 1855. Mr. John Higgerson (better known as “Johnny Huggerson”) is said to have been

ONE OF THE FIRST JOCKEYS

who rode at Homebush; and among the horses he successfully piloted over the course was Jorrocks, still remembered for his many victories in early times.  He was a large, heavy horse, but managed to get over the ground faster than his lighter and smaller opponents.  Higgerson was also the jockey who rode Veno over the Homebush course, as well as at Parramatta, Camden, Richmond, Mudgee, and elsewhere. Veno was a golden chestnut, bred by Mr W. Clark, of Coolah,
in 1849, and owned by Mr. G. T. Rowe, of Edensor Park, near Liverpool. The match between Veno and Alice Hawthorne over the Melbourne course in October, 1857, is still remembered as one of the great events in the history of Australian sport.  Alice Hawthorne, a light grey mare, was bred by Mr. Andrew Chirnside. Her dam was a half-bred Arab mare of unknown parentage, and her sire was the imported horse Delapre. She was broken in as a stockhorse when she was three years old, and she worked hard on the station for some two years. Mr. Chirnside at that time had Lady Charlotte in training, and, as he wished to give her a trial.  Alice, which was the only horse handy at the time, was brought from the paddock and ran against the favourite. To the surprise of owner, jockey, and trainer,

ALICE HAWTHORNE

just off the grass, beat the trained mare from the start. She was put into training, and soon made such a name for herself that the Victorians backed her to run any one of three horses selected by New South Wales for £1000 a side. Veno was by Waverley out of Peri, by Gratis (imported). Both horses were about three years old; but Veno, ridden by Johnny Higgerson, proved himself the better horse.  Among those associated with the Homebush course may be mentioned.  Mr. Onus, of Richmond (owner of Jerry Sneak), Mr. De Mestre, Miss Dickson, Mr. J. Tait, Mr. Kerwin, Mr. A. Cheeke, Mr. W. Towns, Mr. Spencer, Mr. Ivory, Mr. J. Eales, and many others, all of whom ran horses on this course in the later “fifties” and the “sixties”.  The Duke of Edinburgh was present at the Homebush races on the occasion of his first visit to Sydney.  A story was current that he went out in that direction to see Mr. William Lucas, landlord of the Golden Times Hotel, Burwood, who was said to be

THE BIGGEST MAN IN AUSTRALIA

a second Daniel Lambert, in fact; but is more probable that his Royal Highness went simply to witness the races, as his alleged visit to the roadside inn is denied.  Shortly afterwards the Homebush course was closed up for a time, and when it was reopened the course was shifted a little to the west, and, instead of being round the knoll opposite to where the Horse and Jockey Hotel stands, it was between that knoll and the next.  It was finally closed up about 1875.  About the year 1812 Governor Macquarie set apart a piece of ground containing about 4 acres, more or less, on the outskirts of the town of Sydney, and running from Market-street along the Parramatta-road to the burial ground;

A SITE FOR MARKETS

On the northern half of this ground sheds were built for the sale of vegetables, fruit, corn, and other produce; while the other half was used as a saleyard for cattle and sheep. The horse saleyard was at the corner of King and George streets, where the A. J. S. Bank now stands. About the year 1825 the site of the old police court was taken for a post-office, and the market-house, usually known as “the butter market”, was utilised as a police station until some better place could be provided. The cattle saleyards were abolished, and Druitt-street opened through to George-street. The horse saleyards were removed to Camperdown, and cattle and sheep were sold there occasionally. But the principal sale-yards were opened about the year 1830 by Mr. William Fullager 18 to 20 miles from Sydney on the Great Western-road. About 25 years ago Mr. Thomas Dawson erected

SALEYARDS AT HOMEBUSH

at the rear of the Horse and Jockey Hotel and shortly afterwards Mr Thomas Sullivan built new yards a short distance to the west and nearer the railway line.  Cattle and sheep were sold in these yards until about 1881, when the City Council opened the new yards, which are claimed to be the finest in the Southern Hemisphere.  Shortly after the new yards were opened, Mr. John Sturt erected the Wentworth Hotel, a very large and handsome building, now kept by Mr John F. Byrnes[4].  Very little of the Homebush Estate has been alienated, and the greater part of it still unoccupied.  The largest private residence is that of Mr. John Pomeroy. Nearer to Sydney, along the Parramatta-road, and not far from the Concord lockup, was the Governor Gipps Hotel, opened about 1846.  It is said to have been built by Mr Edward Burton, who had previously kept the London Tavern in George-street, Sydney. The bricks were burned on the estate, which was granted to Mr. Rose, but which had been purchased by Mr. Edward Powell. This house was kept for some years by Mr. Hand. It has been used as a private residence for the past 20 years. The bricks for the Horse and Jockey Hotel, erected by Mt Kerwin were also made on Mr Powell’s land. Mr. Edward Powell, the elder, died in 1816 and was buried on his estate.  The grave may still be seen, fenced in with white palings, and shaded by a couple of trees, on the plain between the present Homebush railway elation and the Horse and Jockey Hotel.   He was succeeded by his son, the late Mr. Edward Powell, who, in his turn, was succeeded by Mr. James R. Powell, who is still residing on the land. The estate has not been kept through three generations without some expense and trouble, as Mr. Powell relates that there have been no less than seven lawsuits in the Supreme Court in connection with the tenure, all of which have resulted in his favour.  A portion of that part of Strathfield known as Homebush, and lying south of the railway line, is below the level of the surrounding country, the fall being to the north.  In April 1860, a heavy flood occurred here, rise water backing up to a depth of 15ft, owing, it is said, to the culverts under the railway embankment of being large enough to carry away the rush of water. Several of the culverts between Homebush, Strathfield, Burwood and Croydon was washed away and a great deal of damage was done to the embankments, the rails and sleepers being left without support for, in some places, as much as 30 ft. The traffic had to be suspended until the damage was repaired. At Homebush the lake formed was about a quarter of a mile long, and from 200ft to 300ft wide. There have been no floods of such magnitude since but the fact that between Meredith and Rochester streets Strathfield, water still backs up after heavy rains appears to indicate that the present culverts in that district are still too small.  Some extensive works are to be undertaken here shortly.  A “sweep,” it is said, is to be put in from the North Coast line to near the Homebush station from the main line, so that cattle and sheep trucks can be run direct to the yards without shunting at the Strathfield station.  Perhaps the authorities will take care that better provision is made for preventing floods than exists at the present time.

THE LIVERPOOL ROAD

was opened through the Redmire Estate shortly after it was granted to Mr. Wilshire. This estate passed to Mrs. Terry Hughes[5], and from her to Mr. Billyard. A portion of this estate is said to have been the first subdivision sold by Messrs. Hardie and Gorman. The adjoining estate of 283 acres, running from the Redmire Estate along the Liverpool-road to where that road crosses the Cook’s River, and thence along the river for some distance, passed from Mr. Joseph Newton to Judge Josephson in 1858. The Judge sold a few allotments along the Liverpool-road, and called the place

DRUITT TOWN

in honour of his friend, Major George Druitt, of the 48th Regiment. But the old name of the Bark Huts was retained by the residents for many years.  Just beyond the boundary of this estate, and close to Cook’s River, was a boiling-down establishment opened by Messrs. John and Hugh Hamilton in 1844, and closed about the year 1855. Opposite this was the Bark Huts, built by Mr. William Taverner, and opened as an hotel.  Mr. Taverner had previously kept the Bay Horse Inn, on Taverner’s Hill, Leichhardt.  The Bark Hots was a long low slab building, with a bark roof. Several bark-roofed stables and sheds stood at the rear, as this was the half-way house and the changing station for the coaches between Sydney and Liverpool for many years. In 1844, the house was kept by Mr. George Davis, and was greatly improved in outward appearance. Mr Reardon altered the name of the newly-built brick place to the Liverpool-road Hotel. It has recently been rebuilt, and is now a two storied place called the Royal Hotel kept by Mr. Michael Sullivan. These places are just outside the present municipality of Strathfield.  Inside the

BOUNDARY OF THE MUNICIPALITY

and on Mr. Newton’s estate, a house, said to have been called the St. Ann’s Hotel, was built by Mr. Michael Wollaghan some 50 years ago. It was subsequently kept by Messrs. Kelly, William Anthony, Conlan, and last by Mrs. Cavanagh. It has been closed tor some 20 years, and is now used as a store. According to Mr Edward Armfield, for many years a coachdrlver on the Liverpool and Parramatta roads, and now gatekeeper on the railway line at Homebush, the first coach proprietor was Mr. Hart (who kept the Willow Tree Inn, Pitt-street). Mr. Hart sold to Mr. James Dargan, who was followed by Messrs. Charles Morris and John Ireland. Mr. Morris kept the Bark Huts and had the mail contract from Sydney to Campbelltown. Afterwards Mr. Titterton joined Mr. Ireland, and these two ran the coaches for many years. Mr. Armfield and Mr. J. H. Jones were the successful tenderers for the mail, from Sydney to Melbourne in 1861. But in that year the colony of Victoria was separated from New South Wales, and Messrs. Soars and Armfield were paid compensation for the loss of their contract. About 30 years ago Mr. Richard Ridge ran a coach from Parramatta to Windsor, and Messrs. Perry and Hogan one to Penrith. Mr. Henry Martineear drove on these roads for some years.  Previously to this Messrs John Booth and George Seymour ran the coach from Sydney to Windsor changing at Neich’s Hotel and Parramatta.  Mr. Holmes of Messrs Hudson and Holmes, coach proprietors, also kept the Bark Huts, and changed the name of the Horse and Jockey.  But, in spite of the various changes in the title of the hotel, the name of

THE BARK HUTS

for the place in question has been adhered to by the residents up to the present time. When the first land sale in the district was pronounced to take place the local people wondered where Druitt Town was, and could scarcely believe that it was in their neighbourhood.  An old resident there is Mrs. Prentice, granddaughter of the late Mr. Obadiah Ikin, master tailor of the 102nd Regiment (New South Wales Corps). Her father, Mr. William Ikin used to keep the Chelsea Pensioner Hotel (afterwards the Rising Sun), on Church-hill, Sydney. Close at bend is the cottage in which Mr. John Smith has resided for some 45 years. Mrs. Smith, it is said, has only been into Sydney once since the railway opened in 1855, and has

NEVER YET SEEN A RAILWAY

train and engine, although her house is only about two miles from the Strathfield railway station. In a series of maps of the various parishes of New South Wales, drawn by Mr. W. Meadows Brownrigg, from about 1830 to 1838, and now in the possession of the Hon. James Norton. M.L.C., a proposed new route is shown for the Parramatta-road. The proposed road is indicated by a straight line from the end of George-street, near Christ Church, to near where the Newtown railway station now stands, and thence by a straight line to a little south of where the Homebush railway station is. At this point the proposed road forks, one line going

STRAIGHT TO PARRAMATTA

and the other straight to Liverpool. This road, known as Sir Thomas Mitchell’s line, was never surveyed, and therefore only appears on paper. In 1845 the railway was opened, and one of the oldest stations is that of Homebush. The first station-master was Mr. George Hanks, who was succeeded by the late Mr. Falconer for many years station-master at Newtown. The present station-master is Mr. George V. Henson.

THE FIRST CHURCH

in the district was the Druitt Town Congregational Church, nearly opposite Bark Huts.  It was erected in 1873.  For some time services were conducted by Mr Simeon Brown and other lay helpers until the arrival of the Rev. William West, son of the late Rev. John West, who was editor of the Sydney Morning Herald from 1855 until his death in December 1873.  Mr West is still the pastor of the church, and there appears to be a good congregation, considering the scattered and somewhat scanty population in the neighbourhood.  Inside the church is a marble tablet to John Boyd, who died in 1878, at the age of 44.  “He was the means of establishing the first Orange Lodge here” appears beneath the name and date.  A second and larger church was erected some five or six years ago in Strathfield nearer the railway line.  The Rev. George Rayner is the minister.

ST ANN’S CHURCH OF ENGLAND

known as the Redmyre Church, was licenced as a branch of the Burwood Heights Church (St. Paul’s) in May, 1885. In December of that year it was erected into a separate parish, and the Rev. Herbert Rose (the Church of England chaplain, who accompanied the New South Wales, contingent to the Soudan), was licensed as incumbent on the 7th December, 1885. There is one church in Homebush – known as the Homebush Mission Church, with the Rev. Thomas Harrison as officiating minister.

THE WESLEYAN CHURCH

a handsome building, was erected in 1885. This present minister is the Rev, B. Bottomley. In September, 1584, a petition signed by 78 persons – prayed that their district might be incorporated under the name of the

MUNICIPAL DISTRICT OF STRATHFIELD 

This is the first time that this name appears officially in connection with this district, which had previously been known as Redmire (altered to “Redmyre” some 25 years ago), Homebush (which, although properly the name of Mr. Wentworth’s estate, was applied to the little settlement on both sides of the road, and came over time to include a considerable portion of what is now included in the municipality of Strathfield), and Druitt Town or Bark Huts.  Bark Huts, strictly speaking, only applied to a portion of land west of Cooks River and south of the Liverpool-road, and was therefore outside the municipality. But, like Homebush, it had in the course of years acquired a much wider significance, and had come to include a goodly portion of Strathfield and Enfield, although outside both municipalities.  The population of the proposed municipal district was estimated at 610, and the area at 1200 acres. On the 11th February, 1885

A COUNTER PETITION

signed by 86 persons was gazetted. In this it was urged that the former petition was issued solely in the interests of the residents of Redmyre, and did not represent 100 souls. The district comprised a large portion of land only sparsely populated, and the residents of Homebush and Enfield proposed to incorporate their districts separately. The boundaries of the municipalities were fixed at the Redmyre-road, from the Liverpool-road to the Parramatta road; thence along the railway lists to the boundary of J. H. Potts’s 256 acres; thence to the Liverpool-road, taking in J. H. Potts’s grant and Judge Josephson’s 283 acres; and thence to the Redmyre-road. This left out a portion of Messrs. Potts and Underwood’s land lying between the railway and the Parramatta road, which is known as Homebush, and is still unincorporated as far as the crossing of the Liverpool-road, over Cook’s River, so that Strathfield is

THE FURTHERST WESTWARD

out of the incorporated districts round Sydney.  The name of “Strathfield” was chosen from Strathfield-house the residence of Mr. John Hardie[6], Redmyre. The municipality was proclaimed on June 2, 1885. The first returning-officer was Mr. James Inglis.  The first election took place in the cottage of Mr. G. Thompson, at the corner of Railway-street and Kingsland-road, on the 10th August, 1885, when Alderman George Hardie (Mayor), William von der Heyde, George Arthur Thompson, Henry Australia Perkins, James Thompson, and Albert Allen were declared duly elected. The area of the municipality is estimated at 1280 acres, with 19 miles of streets. The population, at the date of the incorporation, was estimated at 550, living in 130 houses, and the net revenue was £1210 7s 10d from the general rate, The capital value of rateable property was about £222,600, while for the current year it is £303,000, the increase representing new buildings and improvements, as the value of land has not increased during the past five years.

THE PRESENT POPULATION

is estimated at 1200, living in 276 houses[7]. The revenue for the current year is £1980 7s Pd from the general rate and £660 2s 7d from the lighting rate; total, £2640 10s 4d. The number of business places is not over 30, the municipality being a residential area principally.

THE PRINCIPAL INDUSTRIES

are Mr. John Morrison’s railway carriage factory, and a large brick yard near the Strathfield Railway Station. There are in the municipality one Anglican, two Congregationalists, and one Wesleyan Church[8]; two Public schools, the Eton College for boys, the Newham College for girls, Miss Ellis’s High School and Kindergarten for girls, Miss Cray’s, Miss Slatyer’s, and Mrs. Walter Harmlea’s schools, and several other educational establishments[9].   A very handsome town hall has been erected on the Homebush-road, at a cost of about £2000[10]. There is neither a park nor a public house in the municipality[11]. The present council consists of Alderman J. Hinchcliffe (mayor), W. von der Heyde, H. C. Fraser, Albert Allen, W. G. Coward and F. W. Parsons.  The first council clerk was Mr. F. G. Bennett, and the present one is Mr. J. H. Balmain. 

PLANTING TREES & c.,

than any other council in the metropolitan district, and has invented a new verb to describe the process. The old road which divides the municipality from Burwood has been named the Boulevarde, and it was on this road that tree planting was begun. On this account the word “boulevardeing” came into use, and the ratepayers have since been notified that any person wishing the road in front of his residence “boulevarded” can attain his desire by agreeing to pay one-third of the cost, the council undertaking to defray the balance of the expenses. This invitation has been so

LIBERALLY RESPONDED TO

that there are now some five miles of boulevarding in the municipality, the total cost of this work having been about £5000.  That the money has been welt spent any one who has an eye for beauty will at once admit. But Strathfield has been exceptionally fortunate in comparison with some of the other suburbs of Sydney in having wide, straight streets. This is not due to the law, but to the liberality of the landowners, who have done what others should have been compelled to do years ago. It is usual to speak in a deprecating tone of the crooked and narrow lanes in Sydney and its suburbs, end to add that “in those times they never expected Sydney to grow to its present size”.  Had those who thus admit the mistakes committed in the past attempted to prevent a continuance of them in the future, there would have been little to complain of; but, with the exception of what is known as Reid’s Act, a paltry piece of legislation, utterly inadequate to prevent the evils which called it forth, nothing has been done up to the present time to prove that this generation is any wiser than the preceding one. home day, no doubt, a heavy expense will have to be incurred in opening up necessary streets through Sydney and its suburbs, as has been done in London and other cities in the Northern Hemisphere; and much of this might have been averted had proper precautions been taken only a few years ago. Much expense and trouble might still be obviated if such legislation took place even now. But the people will still go on shaking their heads, and saying, “Ah, yes, if those -‘who have gone before us had only known, things might have been different”. It is, however, very unlikely that any steps will be taken until the people and the Legislature are forced to move in this matter, and then the cost will be enormous, The Boulevarde, the Redmire, and the Albert roads are each

100 FT. WIDE

and the other roads and streets of Strathfield are 66ft. wide.  In the narrower streets about 36ft. is formed into a roadway and metalled. On either side, close to the fence, is a strip of asphalting 7ft. wide. This leaves 8ft. on each side of the street between the footpath and the road; and these strips are fenced in with sawn poets, atop. rail, and three or four wires, In these enclosures pines, various kinds of eucalypts, Moreton Bay figs, oaks, and other trees have been planted at proper intervals, and between these flowering and ornamental shrubs have been placed.

IN THE WIDER STREETS

more space can, of course, be given to the road-way, the footpaths, and the “boulevarding.”  In some of the streets there are trees 30ft high, which afford a welcome shade in the hot weather, while the smaller plants make the make the streets look like a veritable garden. The visitor can scarcely avoid contrasting these streets with the narrow lane, of some parts of Sydney, Macdonaldtown, Balmain, and other suburbs, and thinking how much more pleasant and healthy these places would be if they could be treated as the Strathfield streets have been. It is little wonder that the people of Strathfield should feel

A PRIDE IN THEIR MUNICIPALITY

Among those who live in municipality may be mentioned -—Mr. James R Powell (Terryhiehie)[12], Mr. T. H. Potts (HydeBrae)[13], two representatives of the original landholders of the district; Mr. J B Jones (Hatherlev)[14], Mr. C. J. Muddle (Fairholme)[15], Mr. W. Price (Cotswold)[16], Albert Allen (Druitt Town), Mr. W. H. Quodling (Couranga)[17], Dr. P. Sydney Jones (Llandilo)[18], Mr. T. J. Thompson (Malvern), Mr. M. Toohey (Torrington), Mr. W. S. Buzacott (Lynton), Mr. James Inglis M.L.C, (Craigo), Dr George Sly (Glen Luna)[19], Mr. J. S. Brunton, Mr. W Beaumont, Mr. H. C. Fraser, Mr. T. B. Rolin, Mr. J. A. Read, Mr. Randolph Nott, Mr. W C Kent, Mr. Charles Lawrence, Mr. P. W. Parsons (Wooroonook), Dr. J. D. Sly, Mr. W. von der Heyde (Elwood), Mr. G Todman (Milroy), Mr. William Newman (Chepstowe), Mr. Donald Vernon (Clewer), Mr. John Hinchcliffe (Mount Royal)[20], Mr. Robert Phillips, Mr Joseph Darling, Mr. David Kirkcaldie (Terryawynia)[21], Mr. Samuel Thompson (Rothesay)[22], Mr. . H. Chapman, the Rev. Canon H. S. King, Mr. A, W. S. Gregg, Mr. Herbert Hudson, Mr. H. E. Kater (Wambriana), Mr. John Hardie (Strathfield House), the Rev. Dr. George King (formerly of St. Peters), Mr. W L. Carter (Barangah), Mr. Henry Pain (Comanguara), Mr W. H. Shortland) and Mr. C. W. Goodchap.  The municipality has a

THRIVING APPEARANCE,

especially near the Strathfield railway station.   The northern portion is well served by the railway, as the Strathfield (formerly the Redmyre) station is close to the boundary on one side and Flemington station on the other, while the Homebush station is about in the centre. But the back portions, towards the Liverpool-road, are still open country, although admirably suited for dwelling purposes. The low ridge running through Judge Josephson’s land is said to be the highest ground round Sydney, and from several of the other rises magnificent views are obtainable. The land is said to be less suitable for agriculture than that of Burwood, Ashfield and other portions near. In some places it consists of red clay, while in others, the surface is covered with ironstone gravel. But trees thrive well, as is shown not only by the growth of those planted in the streets, but also by the heavy growth, of timber in some of the paddocks where the trees have not been cleared away. On the Liverpool-road side there is

A LINE OF OMNIBUSES

run from the Burwood station to Druitt Town and Bankstown, three miles past the boundary of Strathfield, But, while this is a great convenience to the present residents, the service is not one likely to induce settlement on a large scale. There has been some talk of a tramway to Druitt Town, but the work has not yet been decided upon[23]. Should this be carried out, it will open up a large scope of magnificent country for settlement. In fact, Strathfield is suffering from the same disease as that which kept back the majority of the suburbs of Sydney until about 1880 – namely, want of adequate transit facilities. These facilities have been supplied to many of the suburbs by means of tramlines and has increased number of omnibuses; and hopes are entertained that a suburban system of railways will shortly be established. Strathfield has not yet benefited by any of these schemes, and there is plenty of room for a large increase in the population of this healthy and high-lying district.


[1] The name Redmire was once attributed to the reddish clay soil of the district.  Further research indicates that Redmire was the birthplace of Samuel Terry, owner of the Redmire Estate.  It is more likely the land and later the suburb was named for this reason. 

[2] D’Arcy Wentworth’s home ‘Homebush’ has been demolished.

[3] The current Horse and Jockey Hotel was built in 1941. 

[4] The current Wentworth Hotel on Parramatta Road was built c.late 1930s.

[5] Records indicate that ownership of the Redmire Estate passed to Samuel Terry’s widow Rosetta.  After her death the estate was sold to William Billyard, who subdivided the estate in 1867.

[6] This is spelt Hardy, not Hardie.

[7] The estimated number of dwellings in Strathfield Municipality in 2008 is 12,000.

[8] The Churches referenced are St Ann’s Anglican Church, Homebush Uniting Church Burlington Road Homebush (originally Wesleyan, then Methodist which become part of the Uniting Church).

[9] Most of the early schools were privately operated in residential homes.

[10] This is reference to the Council Chambers.  The current Town Hall was erected in 1923.

[11] The first park was Strathfield Park dedicated in 1914.  There were no public houses (hotels) in Strathfield Municipality until Council amalgamations with Enfield and Homebush in the 1940s.

[12] “Terryhiehie’ is located at 43-45 Homebush Road Strathfield.

[13] ‘Hydebrae’ is located at 5 Hydebrae Street Strathfield

[14] ‘Hatherley’ was located on Homebush Road.  The house was later known as ‘Birnam Wood’ and demolished in the 1920s.

[15] ‘Fairholm’ is currently the Strathfield Gardens Retirement Village in Cotswold Road Strathfield.

[16] ‘Cotswold’ has been demolished.

[17] ‘Couranga’ was located on The Boulevarde near corner of Wakeford Road and has been demolished

[18] ‘Llandilo’ is now part of Trinity Grammar Preparatory School, The Boulevarde, Strathfield.

[19] ‘Glen Luna’ is located at 2-4 Carrington Avenue Strathfield

[20] ‘Mount Royal’ is now Australian Catholic University, Barker Road Strathfield.

[21] Now the site of Homebush Boys High

[22] Now 72-76 Abbotsford Road Homebush

[23] The Enfield to Ashfield Tramline was established in 1891 with later extensions to Burwood and Mortlake/Cabarita.  This system was owned and operated by NSW Government.  The system was closed in 1948.