Lake Macquarie History

Eleebana

Thomas Adam settled in Newcastle in 1845. His house there was remembered as being made from timber taken from the heavily wooded area of Cockle Creek. He was one of the first aldermen, serving several terms. In 1869 Adam purchased 54 acres of Crown land south of Hamilton, along Glebe Road. He resold this later and when the Waratah Coal Company were developing a coalmine site, a subdivision was held for the incoming miners, the surveyor A.S. Huntley gave the subdivision the name "Adamstown" in honour of the first owner, Thomas Adam. At the same time as this he purchased Portion 42 of 194 acres along side of the portions chosen by Thomas Croudace at Lake Macquarie.

The next owner of Portion 42 was J.B. Winship followed by Edward Christopher Merewether, who retired, in 1875, from his position of Superintendant of the AA Company. He possessed a large amount of property in Newcastle (including the vast estate, which became the suburb bearing his name), through his marriage to Augusta Maria, the daughter of Dr James Mitchell. Mitchell had also acquired the estate of Captain Ranclaud on the west side of Lake Macquarie and on Mitchell's death in 1869, a 914 acre part of this estate was inherited by another daughter, Margaret Scott, who married William Quigley.

After EC Merewether's death, Portion 42 passed to his family and in 1918 ownership of the portion was again transferred. Augusta, William and Edward Merewether sold the 194 acres to Frank Halloran "library proprietor" of Marrickville. As with the land at Valentine, the portion became one of the estates belonging to one of Henry F Halloran's companies. A subdivision plan had been drawn up and the name Eleebana Point Estate was chosen. The name Eleebana is an Aboriginal word meaning "peaceful" or "quiet place" (Source: "Awabakal Word Finder" by John Maynard).

Like Valentine and some other of Halloran's Lake Macquarie estates, the Eleebana Point Estate was an example of what has been described as "premature subdivision" that is, subdivision far in advance of actual demand and/or services and amenities. At the time,the estate was not connected by road to either Warners Bay or Belmont/Valentine.(Source: "Green Point, Valentine, Eleebana and Croudace Bay" by Peter Murray).

Laurie Nilsen recorded that "The land was poor and steep and unsuitable for agriculture and remained unsettled. However as usual in those times, Halloran sold boatshed leases on the waterfront of Croudace Bay. Sheds were built and occupied during the summer. The Council had difficulty in negotiating their removal after WWII. Their sites were eventually added to Thomas H Halton Park, Croudace Bay". (Source: Nilsen, L [Ed] "Lake Macquarie Past and Present", 1985).

The estate's isolation was lessened slightly in 1935 when the first road from Warners Bay through Eleebana to Valentine was constructed by dole labour. The bus service to Speers Point and Warners Bay was extended to give a minimum service to Eleebana after World War II.

The great expansion of Eleebana took place with new subdivisions mainly to the north. In 1976 Hooker-Rex Estates announced its plans to deliver its first stage of 240 acres around Glad Gunson Drive. This estate took in parts of the old Croft Estate, Portion 41 and also Portion 40 originally belonging to GL Yorston. The first three stages of development originally contained 230 allotments, with a further 470 developed in the late 1970s/early 1980s.

In addition another subdivision in the 1980s off Wyndham Way extended the boundaries to the east and south, and fixed the southern boundary of Eleebana at Tingira Drive. When suburb boundaries became official in September 1991, the area around Cherry Road south to Glad Gunson Drive became part of Eleebana, although originally part of the Warner Estate (see also Warners Bay suburb history). These developments contributed to a rapid acceleration in population of the area and creation of a suburb and community vastly different to the original Eleebana Point Estate.

Electricity came in 1947 and sewerage service commenced in 1977 (Source: "Green Point, Valentine, Eleebana and Croudace Bay" by Peter Murray). In 1948 reticulated water was connected to Eleebana (Source: "Pipelines and People" by John W Armstrong, 1967).

Streets in Eleebana