Lake Macquarie History

Main Road

The old Government Road was included in the 1899 subdivision of William Brook's grant by the Sulphide Corporation and was later renamed Main Road. T. C. Frith was the first shopkeeper in 1898, J. W. Findley in 1899 and James Morse in 1901. The first newsagent was Joseph Pickering which was owned later by Eddie Coughlin. The Sulphide Corporation opened in 1897 and the school in 1900. The first ambulance station opened in 1922 with Cyril Hitchens as the Superintendent.

The Lake Cinema opened in 1974 however, there had been earlier theatres. Movies were shown in Central Hall from 1929 until approximately 1938. The Royal (Arthur Bedford's Picture Hall) began in 1915 and lasted until the 1950s. Hawkins office building was built in 1925 and the first Commercial Hotel was built just after the 1898 land sales. E Hamonet's bakehouse was here for many years, later operated by W Lewis. The Westlake's Advertiser newspaper began in 1959, originally delivering to 19 suburbs and operating for 25 years. Located in the old ambulance station, Alan Read was the editor. The Co-op Store was built in 1917, most notably petrol bowsers stood on the footpath. The Post Office began in 1901 with postmaster Mr Holloway. The fire brigade started operation in 1910. The station house (since demolished) was on Main road. There was a police presence from 1909; the first policeman was Constable McMinn. The Anglican, Uniting, and Catholic Churches are here. William Davies built the art-deco service station in the late 1930s. Mr Foster owned the first butchery and Lance Needs Butchery was established in 1934.

Steam trams travelled along the right-hand side of Main Road to Speers Point Park from 1912 until early in the 1930s. The old Boolaroo Wine Bar (Talamini's) was on Main Road. Opposite the school during the 1920s or 30s, Robert Spinks operated a butcher shop with an ice works on the back. Later this was taken over by Mr Frost. Cyril Bunt had a shop nearby during the late 1930s and in the 1940s. Reginald Krauss had a dental surgery during the 1930s; Henry Hamilton Joyce operated a dental surgery in the front room of his house during the 1940s.The first bank in Boolaroo was the Bank of New South Wales, which opened in 1935 in Hawkins Building. In 1955, the Westpac Building was built at the intersection with Fourth Street. After the bank left, it was occupied by various tenants including a doctor's surgery. The Commonwealth Bank was built next to the Fire Station and for a time the Commercial Bank occupied a shop front not far from the old post office. Before the council library was built, there used to be a private lending library in one of the rented shop premises in Hawkins building. Howie Park was the name given to the Sulphide Works lawn and gardens surrounds at the works entrance. Credit is given to genial yard foreman Ronald Kitchener Howie and his gardening crew and its splendid appearance. The old residences on Main Road near the entrance were removed increasing the size of the park. (Source: "Cockle Creek News" No. 228, p.11, March 1971).

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.

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