Lake Macquarie History

How We Grew - the 1830s

photo: deserted warner family homestead circa 1923

The 1830s were wild and disorderly years around the lake, with bushranging, robberies, attacks by aborigines, cattle stealing and illegal timber cutting being regular occurences.Early illegal timber getters known as “Cedar Gangs” roamed the districts near the Watagan Mountains causing havoc for the settlers. These itinerant gangs were unlicensed and very difficult to police. It is one of the reasons that Jonathan Warner was appointed magistrate for Brisbane Waters in 1833. He travelled to Brisbane Water from his property on the lake each fortnight by horse.

Lancelot Threlkeld moved his family across the lake to Punte (Coal Point) in 1831 following disputes with the Missionary Society.

Keith Clouten's book Reid's Mistake lists the following landowners in Lake Macquarie during this time period:

  • Threlkeld at Punte/Ebeneezer (Coal Point)
  • Jonathan Warner at Biddaba (Warners Bay)
  • James Ranclaud at Teralba
  • William Brooks at Milloba (Speers Point and Boolaroo). During the 1830s much of the land was cleared and farmed Lochend Colliery started 1840
  • Joseph Weller at Cockle Creek and Argenton
  • Percy Simpson at Eraring and Kourumbung
  • John Edye Manning at Kourumbung and Dora Creek
  • Thomas Walker at Wyee
  • Edward Gostwick Cory at Wangi Wangi


Clouten, Keith 1967, Reid's mistake : the story of Lake Macquarie from its discovery until 1890, Lake Macquarie Shire Council, [Speers Point, N.S.W.]

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.]