Lake Macquarie History

Charlestown Centenary

April 22nd 1976 saw the beginning of a 10 day celebration to mark the centenary of the Lake Macquarie suburb of Charlestown.

photo: alderman pickering with the centennial capsual

As part of the celebrations a time capsule was made containing objects and information from that era. It was intended that the capsule be open on the year 2000 and that the objects therein would bare testament to how much Charlestown had changed in the intervening years. For various reasons the parcel was not opened until June 7th 2016.

Photographs of Centenary Celebrations

Videorecording of Centenary Street Parade

Charlestown Centenary Brochure

Charlestown Centenary Concert Programme

The first Charlestown subdivision was approved 0n 20th May 1876, making it the third oldest subdivision in Lake Macquarie.

History of Charlestown

Charlestown was a suburb that stood still for many years. Slow in early growth, very little development took place till after the Second World War. The period from the mid 1950s to 1976 saw remarkable growth, making Charlestown the commercial hub of the Lake Macquarie Shire and a well respected and important contributor to regional life. Large businesses like The Store, Coles and Woolworths were already operating alongside the smaller businesses along the highway.

pacific highway charlestown. comparison between 1907 and 2016

Comparison of Pacific Highway Charlestown. The first image was taken by Ralph Snowball in 1907 and the second was taken 109 years later in 2016

Building permits for $2m worth of development had been issued the previous year and development company Lend lease was beginning construction of the Charlestown Square shopping complex - the first major shopping complex for Lake Macquarie.

One of the activities planned for the celebrations was to enhance the streetscape of the area and more than 600 trees were planted in public spaces around the suburb during the year.

The celebrations culminated in a street parade and visit by the then Governor of NSW Sir Roden Cutler.

Date Location Event
Thursday 22nd April Methodist Church Official opening by Milton Morris MLA
Friday 30th April & Saturday 1st May Charlestown Community Centre Art and Handcraft Exhibition
Saturday 1st May Pacific Highway Street Parade
Saturday 1st May Dean Cottage, Pacific Highway Cutting of Centenary Cake by Sir Roden Cutler