With more than 200 historic photographs and captions, this book is a fascinating portrait of the City of Canada Bay. It commences with the Aboriginal history of the area, identifying the Wangal clan, historic Aboriginal sites and present numbers of people of Aboriginal heritage living in the area.
The early land grants are also described. The suburbs of Drummoyne and Concord followed different paths of development with Drummoyne becoming a place of elite residences for a growing middle class and Five Dock growing out of large rural estates.
Concord’s first subdivision took place near Parramatta Road followed closely by others such as the Walker Estate and the Longbottom Farm. Land along the river was developed for industry and AGLs Mortlake Gasworks, Lysaghts Wiremill at Chiswick and State Timber Mill at Rhodes were established. Other industries occupied Hen and Chicken Bay. The opening of the northern rail line linking Newcastle and Sydney led to industrial development along the wetlands of Homebush Bay. Access roads and bridges to Drummoyne and Ryde, Abbotsford, Mortlake and Cabarita and the arrival of the tram facilitated more subdivisions, and the transport of labour to and from new workplaces intensified suburban development.
There were many fine houses built in Five Dock, Drummoyne and Concord, as well as shops, schools and churches. Welfare, cultural and sporting bodies are some of the elements that allow an area to develop into a community, and these are explored along with features that seem ‘out of the ordinary’. The book has an extensive and current bibliography and a comprehensive index.
Gregory Blaxell. 140 pages