Experience the rich history of Shellharbour Village!

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					Experience the rich history of Shellharbour                              2. ‘SEASIDE’ AND THE OCEAN BEACH HOTEL                                    dairy farming. Many of these pioneers were signatories to a petition
                                                                             CNR ADDISON AND WOLLONGONG STREET – PLAQUE 3                          dated 14 January 1859, to form the Municipality of Shellharbour, The
                                                                                                                                                   Shellharbour Rolls of Honour and Memorials to the Great War 1914-
                                                                         On this site, formerly owned by Captain William Wilson, stood             1919 and World War II 1939-1945 were originally erected in Little
See relics from the days of our Pioneers. Tour takes
                                                                         ‘Seaside’, the white, two-storey home of the Bursill family. Charles      Park, Shellharbour. They were later relocated to Caroline Chisholm
approximately one hour. Trail starts at Little Park on the
                                                                         Bursill was the first and last Harbour Master at Shellharbour. The        Park in Addison Street and incorporated with the Samuel Atchison
harbour foreshore. Shellharbour City Council Historic Plaques
                                                                         home was demolished and replaced by the Ocean Beach Hotel,                Boer War Memorial and the Cities Service Boston Memorial.
are located in Addison Street between the Harbour Reserve
                                                                         which was built for Mrs. Henrietta Bush in 1929. The hotel could
and Sophia Street. These plaques were researched and
                                                                         accommodate sixty guests and was built to cater to the tourist            7. THOMAS STORE
designed by the Tongarra Heritage Society Inc. Plaques are
                                                                         trade. The rooms were described as both artistic and modern, while           25 ADDISON STREET – PLAQUE 6
located opposite original sites, and provide a brief account and
                                                                         the tiled and marble bathrooms had hot and cold reticulated water
image of the buildings of our past. The Shellharbour Village                                                                                       In 1855, John Thomas purchased this site from Thomas Alexander
                                                                         with the latest in showers and fittings. The stained glass windows of
Heritage Trail is designed for use in conjunction with these                                                                                       Reddall and by 1857 had established a store and residence.
                                                                         the dining room opened to a tiled verandah complete with afternoon
plaques.                                                                                                                                           John Thomas was a prominent member of the town. His son, John,
                                                                         tea tables decorated in gold and black. Many alterations have since
                                                                         been made to the hotel.                                                   later established a bakery at the rear of the property. The building
                                                                                                                                                   and bakery were demolished in November 2000. The bakery ovens
                                                                         3. STEAM PACKET HOTEL                                                     were restored by the Tongarra Heritage Society, and are retained on
                                                                            11 ADDISON STREET – PLAQUE 4                                           the original site (now Addison’s Seafood Grill and Bar) and located
                                                                                                                                                   in the rear foyer of the restaurant. The ovens are one of the oldest
                                                                         Campbell Mercer built the Steam Packet Hotel in 1855 on land              remaining examples of industry in the village.
                                                                         purchased from T A Reddall. Mercer leased the building to David
                                                                         Moon who obtained a Publican's License and opened the Steam               8. WINDRADENE
                                                 Addison Street 1927
ABORIGINAL HISTORY                                                       Packet Hotel in April 1856. The hotel became known locally as                NO PLAQUE
                                                                         Cosgrove’s Inn when in 1861 Thomas Cosgrove purchased it. The
Thuruwal (or Dharawal) was the name given to the Aboriginal              hotel was a centre for social life and public meetings, as well as a      Windradene was built on part of Walter Allen’s estate c 1871. Allen
people who occupied areas including the Illawarra and Shoalhaven.        base for travellers. The Condon Family owned the hotel from 1868          was and important pioneer of the area, running a store and
The ‘Wodi Wodi’ people occupied the southern part of the Thuruwal        until the 1880s, after which it continued under a succession of           establishing a post office. It was reputedly built as a holiday house,
area, in particular areas around Lake Illawarra. Archaeological          licensees until the early 1900s when it became Beazley's General          and leased out to visitors in the area. Walter Allen died in 1876, and
evidence discovered at Bass Point dates Aboriginal occupation of         Store, followed by the Gethings Store. The building was demolished        the estate of his wife, Charlotte, was sold at Auction in 1891 and
the area to 17,000 years ago. Many suburbs in Shellharbour City          in the late 1970s.                                                        subdivided into four blocks. The Norfolk Pine at the rear of
derive their names from the Thuruwal language. Descendants of                                                                                      Windradene dates to Arbor Day, 1895, when pioneers planted pines
the Wodi Wodi people, as well as Aboriginal people from other            4. OLD CORNER STORE                                                       along the harbour foreshore in celebration.
regions, still live in the area.                                            CNR ADDISON & WENTWORTH ST
                                                                            NO PLAQUE                                                              9. ALLEN BROS. POST OFFICE
EUROPEAN HISTORY                                                                                                                                      AND GENERAL STORE
                                                                         This building is one of the oldest timber buildings remaining in             35 ADDISON STREET – PLAQUE 7
Shellharbour was so named because of the vast quantities of shells       Shellharbour. It is of considerable social and historical significance.
found the area. Many of these shells were part of Aboriginal shell                                                                                 At this site in 1868, Walter Allen established a general store and
                                                                         Robert Wilson, a storekeeper and Alderman on the first
middens, which scattered the coast. The village was originally           Shellharbour Municipal Council, purchased this site from TA               residence. Allen operated Post Office adjacent to the store until his
called Peterborough and was one of the earliest land grants by                                                                                     death in 1876. For many years after, the business operated as Allen
                                                                         Reddall in 1875. Shellharbour City Council restored the building
Governor Macquarie, to D’Arcy Wentworth in 1821. After                                                                                             Bros, and was run by members of the Allen family. Goods were
                                                                         with the financial assistance of the NSW Government.
Wentworth’s death in 1827, the estate was divided between five of                                                                                  often ordered by catalogue through the Post Office, arriving by ship,
his children – Robert, Martha (Reddall), Sophia (Towns), Mary Ann        5. SETTLERS ARMS AND NEW ROYAL HOTELS                                     train or mail. Allen’s Bros Post Office and general store building
(Addison) and Catherine (Darley). The town of Peterborough was                                                                                     remains today, although extensive alterations have been made over
                                                                            CNR ADDISON AND WENTWORTH STREET – PLAQUE 5
officially laid out on 22 September 1851.                                                                                                          the years.
                                                                         Robert Martin built the Settlers Arms in 1856. The hotel became a
1. HARBOUR AND STEAM FLOUR MILL                                                                                                                    10. PETERBOROUGH STORE
                                                                         meeting place during the early days in the village. Some 200
   HARBOUR AND FORESHORE – PLAQUE 2                                                                                                                    CNR ADDISON AND MARY STREET
                                                                         persons signed the petition for the formation of Shellharbour as a
                                                                                                                                                       PLAQUE 11
                                                                         Municipality at this site, in 1858. Misfortune was to strike the Martin
A jetty and a boat store were built at Shellharbour in 1859 to assist
                                                                         family when the hotel and residence of Robert Martin were                 John Graham purchased this site from Thomas Alexander Reddall in
with the loading of cargo and storage of goods bound for the
                                                                         destroyed by fire on 8 April 1872. In 1891 on the same site, Henry        1856 and opened the Peterborough Store in 1857. John leased the
Sydney markets. In 1864 a larger jetty was constructed and the
                                                                         Mood, builder, former coachbuilder, and Alderman of the                   store to his brother Edward Graham in 1858, who continued the
harbour entrance excavated to greater depth to allow access to
                                                                         Municipality of Shellharbour, built the New Royal Hotel, which            business and operated a Post Office on the premises. Edward
larger ships. The concrete breakwater was constructed in 1879.
                                                                         became a popular spot for tourists and locals. The hotel was              provided a room for Council meetings prior to the building of the
Robert Wilson’s Steam Flour Mill was opened in 1857, and powered
                                                                         destroyed by fire in 1931. The site is now an Arcade.                     Council Chambers in 1865. The Post Office was later transferred to
by a 10- horsepower steam engine. The Mill stood on rising ground
south of the boat store and at the foot of Wilson Street. The Mill was                                                                             Allen’s Store in Addison Street in 1871. In 1866, Edward Graham
                                                                         6. CAROLINE CHISHOLM PARK
used for divine services prior to the building of churches in the                                                                                  left Shellharbour, and in 1872, the Peterborough Store became
                                                                            ADDISON STREET – PLAQUE 1
village. The first hustings to form a Municipality of Shellharbour                                                                                 Thomas Coughrane’s Royal Hotel. The Hotel traded until 1890, and
were held at the Mill in 1859. The building was demolished in 1922.      In 1843 Caroline Chisholm, the ‘Emigrants’ Friend’ settled some 23        by 1891 had reverted to a residence. The building was demolished
                                                                         families in the district. By 1857 many of the immigrants had secured      c.1956 to make way for the first Shellharbour Worker’s Club.
                                                                         or leased homes and properties. These settlers turned mainly to

In 1859, due to the need for police presence in the village, approval
was given to erect a temporary watch house on this site. The watch
house was built in 1861. In 1877, the new courthouse and lock up
were built on the same site to replace the temporary watch house.
This building remains today. In 1908 the Court was moved to Albion
Park and in 1938 the building was converted into a private
residence. It was later named ‘Woodbine’.


On 4 June 1859, Shellharbour was declared a Municipality. William          Heritage Trail
Wilson (Chairman), Andrew McGill, Patrick Collins, Robert Wilson,
Ebenezer Russell, Robert Martin, William James, William Moles
and Joseph Dunster were elected as Alderman. Prior to the building
                                                                        Shellharbour Village
of the Council Chambers, meetings were conducted in a room
rented from storekeeper, Edward Graham. Stonemason, Matthew
Dinning, constructed this building in 1865 of basalt rubble, and the
first Council meeting was held in 1866. The Chamber served until
the late 1890’s when Council sold the building and moved to a new
site in Albion Park.

    PLAQUE 10

Hicks Bros, bacon curers of Shellharbour, donated this land for a
hall to the Alowrie Divison Order of Sons and Daughters of
Temperance. James Cawdell, Grand Worthy Patriarch, laid the
foundation stone in September 1882. The stone contained a sealed
bottle, a time capsule, together with a copy of the constitution,
newspapers, and coins of the era. Cawdell officially opened the hall
26 March 1883. The Temperance Hall became the Pictorium,
screening silent moving pictures in the 1920’s. It was later called
the Empire Theatre and ran talking movies until 1960. The hall was
demolished for housing in 1969.

This is the last stop of the Shellharbour Village Heritage
Trail. We hope you have enjoyed your walk. Your
comments would be welcome at the Tongarra Museum
in assisting us to extend the scope of these tours.
Please contact the Tongarra Museum for more
information on the history of Shellharbour City.

                                           Harbour c.1900                Addison Street, Shellharbour 1926.

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