Lake Macquarie History


Name Origin:

The suburb took its name from Joseph Holmes an early land-holder and settler of the area.

European History

Early Land Grants:

Portion 49 (Teralba Parish) granted to Joseph Holmes 19 February 1895. This 100 acre grant lay west of Apple Tree Road (formerly known as Minmi Road).

Early Subdivisions:

D.P.3442; 7/3/1898. Subdivision bounded by Elizabeth, William and Margaret Streets and Apple Tree Road. Part of Portion 49. Joseph Holmes divided 10 acres of his grant into 250 allotments, which were sold at 20 pounds each (10 pound deposit, and 8% interest on quarterly balance).

Early European Settlers:

Joseph Holmes and his wife Mary, although not among the very early settlers of the area, were important to the town's development The Holmes' settled with their large family on 10 acres at "Holy Flat", Estelville.

The family kept a dairy and supplied Minmi with milk. Joseph worked in the mines. It is believed that he and his son Samuel introduced a method for top-holing and firing coal to Seaham No. 1 Colliery. The Holmes also derived an income from their land and building dealings.

Early Industries:

Farming and coal mining.


A private railway ran to Holmesville from a junction at Cockle Creek. This line serviced the collieries of Seaham No. 1 and 2, in addition to some at West Wallsend.

First Post Office:

Opened 1 September 1914. This office was known as 'Estelville' until 1 July 1968.


Development began after Holmes' 1898 subdivision. Prior to 1900 the area's growth was dependent upon the coal mining industry. After 1910 many families left the area to seek employment in places such as the newly opened South Maitland coal fields.

On 17 March 1903 the area's first Congregational Church was built.

About 1905 the Browne family opened a general store. In the 1920's "Fisho Jack" Richardson kept a shop there and ran a picture show. His Studebaker was the first car in the town.

Water Supply:



Nilson, Laurie & Leis, Susan & Noble, Rodney & Lake Macquarie (N.S.W.). Council 1985, Lake Macquarie : past and present, Lake Macquarie City Council, [Boolaroo, N.S.W.]

Streets in Holmesville

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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