Lake Macquarie History


Name Origin:

The first name for Blacksmiths was Kahibah and plans for a village were drawn up by the Surveyor-General's Office in 1865 but nothing further was done. When the first Swansea bridge was commenced in 1877 Blacksmiths was known as The Depot but maps still showed the area as Kahibah until 1881. Local residents tell of a blacksmith's shop that used to be situated on the channel at the point where the original highway turned towards the bridge. They tell of old timers referring to "The Blacksmith" when giving directions to the area of the present Blacksmiths.

European History

Early Land Grants:

It remained Crown Land (Kahibah Parish). As it was sometimes flooded by high tides and a big surf, a large amount of filling had to be carried out by the Council in 1947 before subdivision was practicable.

Early Subdivisions:

Crown Land subdivision in August 1948 after filling was completed for flood mitigation. This encompassed Lakeview Parade, Turea Street, Kuttul Street, Mitti Street and Ninag Street. This section is now known as Blacksmiths West. Another subdivision occurred in November 1961 and created Amaroo, Ungala, Mallawa, Kalinda and Cudgee Streets as well as Awabakal Avenue.

Early Industries:

Blacksmiths was a depot during the building of the Swansea Bridge, begun in 1877. The building of the northern breakwater followed and later coal-loading staithes were installed on the Blacksmiths side of the channel. From 1959 to 1969 Rutile and Zircon Mines (Newcastle) Ltd mined rutile on Nine Mile Beach. When the operation was completed the area was restored using marrum grass and wattles.

Early Transport:

By ship to the ports of Newcastle or Sydney or by road to Newcastle via Belmont and Charlestown, or by the ferry "Helen Taylor" (Captain Peterson) from Swansea to Cockle Creek.

First Post Office:

Opened 9 August 1937.

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. "


Surf Life Saving Club (Swansea-Belmont) founded 1927.

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 Blacksmiths

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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