Lake Macquarie History

Early days of hardship

Crown land at Awaba was proclaimed in March 1881as a site for a construction camp for the railway. Living conditions were very primitive in the early days at Awaba. The village grew out of slab huts to house the construction workers building the railway line from Newcastle to Sydney. In August 1887 the railway station was opened. The houses were basically bark huts. These were very wet and damp in the winter and hot and humid in summer. Cracks and holes in the walls of the huts were patched and lined with hessian and paper. The floors were dirt and cooking was done outdoors in back yard ovens made of clay. Such rough living conditions were very detrimental to attracting teachers to the local school.

photo:house of phoebe and frederick field, melbourne st, awaba

Timber houses began to appear in the early 1900's for the families who began to settle in the area. Large families of 8 or more crowded into these tiny (by today's standards) houses with children sleeping on verandahs and cooking facitlities outside at rear. Water and electricity were not connected until 1947, the same year the Awaba State Coal Mine opened.

Acknowledgement of Country

We remember and respect the Ancestors who cared for and nurtured this Country. It is in their footsteps that we travel these lands and waters. Lake Macquarie City Council acknowledges the Awabakal people and Elders past, present and future.

Council acknowledges traditional custodians throughout Australia. We commit to listening deeply to and collaborating with First Peoples in our work.

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