Lake Macquarie History

Edgeworth

Name Origin:

Originally known as Cocked Hat Creek (1870's and early 1880's). By 1885 it was referred to as Young Wallsend, a name it retained until December 1960 when it adopted its present name. This is in honour of the geologist William Tannatt Edgeworth David who, arriving in NSW in 1882, pioneered geological surveying of the coal seams in the Hunter Valley.

Early Land Grants:

Portion 89, granted to Gilbert Ridley 1/12/1874 (Teralba Parish). Portion 91, granted to Gilbert Ridley prior to 1870.

Early Subdivisions:

D.P. 1570, Subd. as "Young Wallsend" 4/8/1885. Bounded by Thomas, Turnbull, Croudace, Fletcher and Neilson Streets. This subdivision was of Portion 89. D.P.2614, Subd. plan of township of Young Wallsend on 2/11/1889. Bounded by Main Road, Arnott Street and Government Road. This subdivision was part of Portion 91. Young Wallsend Coal Co. subdivided Ridley's Portion.

Early Settlers:

In the 1870's and 1880's settlers included William Cattell, Joseph Birch, Oswald Nelson, Gilbert Ridley, Henry Daines, William McLean, Joseph and John Rodgers, Isaac Griffiths and Ben Cartwright. Clarence Harris settled in the 1890's.

Early Industries:

The Young Wallsend Coal Co. was formed in 1887. The Chairman of Directors was J.C. Bonarius.

The company held 950 acres freehold between the Newcastle Wallsend Co., Brown's Minmi, West Wallsend and Teralba Collieries. A 530 ft shaft was sunk in 1887-8 and operations commenced.

However, the colliery closed in 1915 due to technical difficulties with gas, flooding and the seam itself.

Early Transport:

Young Wallsend was well provided with transport for the steam trams to Plattsburg, Speers Point and West Wallsend had their junction there.

Railway:

A private railway line ran from Young Wallsend mine to make a junction at the Sydney end of the present Cardiff Workshops. It was worked by Government engines which operated between 1889 and 1917.

First Post Office:

Opened 1 February 1891 as "Young Wallsend" it was renamed 'Edgeworth' 1 October 1960.

First School:

Public School opened in April 1891. In 1892 Mr. R. A. Smith was the headmaster at this newly-established school and there were 44 pupils on the roll. The school was known as 'Young Wallsend' until December 1960. Edgeworth Heights Public School opened in January 1958. This school was called 'Salty Creek' until 1968.

Organisations:

In 1914 a progress committee (the second) existed at Young Wallsend Mr. A. Williamson was chairman; Mr. E. Johnson, secretary and Mr. T. Smith, treasurer.

Town:

Edgeworth had its real beginning in the early 1890's, Young Wallsend Colliery began producing in that year. Until the post war years the town consisted of a line of scattered homes along 2 miles of dusty road. In earlier times large tracts of land were subdivided and bought up by eager buyers, homes were built, but prosperity and confidence faded when the mine worked only intermittently and finally closed. Street names such as Fletcher (the Miner's Union leader), Croudace and Turnbull (mine managers) expressed a strong connection with the coal industry.

The Hawkins Masonic Village was opened by Mr. Albert Hawkins in 1972. It was built at a cost of approximately half a million dollars by the Freemasons Benevolent Institution with assistance from the Department of Social Services on land donated by Mr. Hawkins. It can house nearly 1,000 people and has a 100-bed geriatric hospital, plus a community centre. It was constructed by D.F. McCloy Pty Ltd of Belmont to the design of Lees and Valentine.

Sewerage:

1959.

Population:

1911-58 homes and 268 persons. 1921-81 homes and 384 persons. 1933-111 homes and 461 persons. 1947-153 homes and 557 persons.

Further Reading:

The Hawkins Masonic Village: a history by Joyce Watt. Manuscript copy.

Streets in Edgeworth