Lake Macquarie History

Argenton

Name Origin:

Stems from the fact that the nearby Sulphide Corporation treated many metals including gold and silver-lead. "Argent" is French for silver and "ton" a shortened form for town. There was already a Silverton near Broken Hill, so this could not be used.

Early Land Grants:

Portion 24 (Kahibah Parish) George Weller, 2560 acres at "Hampton" (Argenton) in 1838.

Early Subdivisions:

On 14th of October 1841 twenty five lots and thirty farms termed the "Hampton Estate" were offered for public auction. However this subdivision aroused little interest at the time and came to nothing.

D.P.8993, surveyed 1901, subdivided 20/9/1915 was related to Portion 24 (George Weller) and bounded by Queen St, Elizabeth St, James St, Margaret St and John St.

Early Settlers:

An early settler was Mr. D. Thomas, who built the first hotel, a wooden two-storey structure on the site of the present hotel.

Early Industries :

The first major industry in the area was the Sulphide Corporation set up in 1896. This industry was originally intended to extract zinc from Broken Hill ore by the electrolytic process, but by 1898 changed into an ordinary lead smelting operation. In 1913 the plant began to produce superphosphate.

Early Transport:

In 1912 the steam tram line to Speers Point was opened. The line ran down the centre of what is now the main street but at that time it was a double avenue, Hampden Avenue on the east of the line and Jersey Avenue on the west. From Argenton it crossed Winding Creek to Frederick Street, Edgeworth. The steam tram gave Argenton transport connections with both Wallsend and West Wallsend.

Railway:

The railway was opened in 1887 but as Argenton had not yet been subdivided, no station was provided.

First Post Office:

Opened I June 1929.

First School:

Argenton Public School was established in March 1897 with 22 pupils. Mr. George James was teacher in charge. In December 1903 the school was closed in favour of one at Boolaroo. A new infants school, which was opened at Argenton in January 1951, became a public school in January 1953.

Organisations:

The Mines Rescue Station began operation in October 1927. The Waratah Golf Club is the oldest golf club in Newcastle, having been founded in 1901. Their first site was on ground part of which is now Dangar Park. In 1910 a site was purchased off Kerr Street, Mayfield but this was sold to the B.H.P. in 1920 and the club moved to the present site.

Sewerage:

1950.

Further Information:

At Argenton a massive electricity supply project was constructed (2008/9) to “future proof” the power system in Lake Macquarie and Newcastle. Electricity shortages and peak-period “brown outs” may become a thing of the past. Energy Australia undertook the largest investment ever made on its Hunter electricity supply network with the $75 million development.

General Manager of major projects, Geoff Lilliss, said the Argenton work, on an industrial site off Lake Road, involved construction of two substations-a supply point and a regional substation. The work will increase security of supply for 34,000 homes and businesses across 40 suburbs in western Newcastle and the western, northern and eastern shores of Lake Macquarie. More than 50km of cable, enough to reach from Argenton to Nelson Bay, is being used in internal electrical fit out. (Source: “The Post” 15 October, 2008).

Further Reading:

Newcastle Mines Rescue Station. Argenton, the Station, 1984.

Seventy-five Years Anniversary. Argenton, Waratah Golf Club, 1974.

Streets in Argenton