Lake Macquarie History


Name Origin:

After the many pelicans which used to be seen there. The few pelicans seen today are the survivors of vast flocks which used to inhabit the lake. Originally the name applied to Swansea as well. The aboriginal name was Ky-yee-bah meaning place for games.

First Nations History

Corroborees were held in this area, and canoe races and other games were held by first nations people in and around the Lake Channel. There were still Aboriginal people living in the area in 1929.

European History

Early Land Grants:

Portion 99 and 99 (Kahibah Parish) granted to George Carnley.

Early Subdivision:

D.P.19251, the "Carnley Estate" declared on 15/5/1937 and encompassing Loma Street and Soldiers Road.

Early Industries:

In the 1920's a plant and flower nursery existed called Bull's Garden.

Early Transport:

The area was well served by water transport (see Swansea) and later by the Swansea bus service.

First Post Office:

Officially opened as a non-official post office on 1 January 1927. Prior to this date it operated as a receiving office.

First School:

Three primary schools now serve the educational needs of the children living in the Marks Point, Pelican and Blacksmiths area. Pelican Flat Public School Karog St Pelican; Blacksmiths Public School Amaroo St Blacksmiths; Marks Point Public School Findon St Marks Point. The history of these schools is complex. The following excert from Wal Drain's book A History of Blacksmiths outlines this.

"In the 1930's there were very few children of school age living in the Pelican, Blacksmiths and Marks Point areas, those children that were eligible for school, either went to Swansea or Belmont. But as the three townships slowly expanded it could be seen that in years to come these three towns would one day link up, it was apparent at least that one school was needed to ease the burden of the influx of children to the Belmont and Swansea Schools, and it had to be built in a central position to serve the three townships. So after much discussion and earnest consideration it was decided it would be situated in a picturesque bushland setting at the corner of Pacific Highway and Soldiers Road (Eastern side of Highway). The school was built to cater for the children in the Marks Point, Pelican and Blacksmiths area. Established in 1938 it was first named Marks Point Public School, Mr Austin Hayes being the first Principal. The school would have its name changed from Marks Point Public School to Pelican Flats Public School on the 7/9/1950.

In 1954 saw the opening of yet another school, this time at Marks Point, where the children would enroll from Pelican Flats School as the children did for the Blacksmiths School. This school would serve the needs of the Marks Point and Belmont South area. The school would remain in use on the Highway site until September 1955, when the school children would be transferred to the present day site at Pelican where the new school was built, it would still keep its name of Pelican Flats Public School.

With the development of more housing blocks in the Blacksmiths and Pelican areas resulted in an increase in enrolments at the school. Blacksmiths Community Hall was utilised to cater for the influx of new pupils. These extra classes at the hall would be part of Pelican School, until early 1962 when enrolments would take place for the new school at Blacksmiths.The pupils attending the Blacksmiths Community Hall in 1962 would be part of Blacksmiths Public School until the completion of their new school when they would be transferred on the 11/9/62. Mr L Smith was the first Principal of Blacksmiths School, working from the Community Hall closely followed by Mr L Lovelock who would work from the Hall also and then transferred to the new Blacksmiths School.

The above information was obtained from the History Section of the NSW Department of Education Library at Sydney and a booklet of the Pelican Flats School 1938-1988. "


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 Pelican

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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