Lake Macquarie History


The City Council of Lake Macquarie acknowledge the Aboriginal people known today as the Awabakal, as the traditional Custodians of the land, respecting Aboriginal Elders past, present and future. Lake Macquarie City Council recognise the local Aboriginal community today in all of their diversity, who came forward to share their experiences, knowledge, images and memories.

Name Origin:

William and Sarah Martin were the earliest known settlers in the area and in the early 1890's a meeting of local citizens adopted the name in their honour. By the 1st January 1894 the local post office had also adopted the name.

Early Land Grants:

Portion 37, Parish of Coorumbung, Thomas Moore, granted 60 acres, on 8/4/1834. Moore's grant was near the junction of Dora and Deep Creeks. Portion 10, Owen Beardmore, granted 100 acres in May 1854. This portion adjoined that of Thomas Moore. The Martin family purchased a large tract of timbered country from the Crown between 1865 and 1875. In 1877 Sydney Dodds purchased the 60 acres that had originally been a grant to Thomas Moore.

Early Settlers:

William Martin a timber getter and his wife Sarah with their children were the first settlers. They originally came from Ireland, and settled in the area sometime between 1861 and 1866.

Other settlers followed the Martins but no real community emerged until after 1875. About then Sydney Dodds settled and took up farming. Others to settle at the same time were George Hadlow, James Maher and John Edgtton, the latter two being sawyers.

Early Industries:

Martinsville was founded on the timber industry. During the 1880's many men were employed in the industry with bullock teams carrying logs to the large saw mills at Cooranbong. Only small saw mills existed at Martinsville. Bamiers' Mill was at the top of Mount Falk, Mullards' at the foot of the Wattagan Road and Espleys' near the crossing of Blarney Grove Creek. Later fanning became predominant including dairying and citrus growing.

First Post Office:

Opened 1st November 1889, with the name of 'Dora Creek'. This office was renamed 'Brush' on 15 December 1892 and 'Martinsville' on 1st January 1894. It closed on 30 January 1965.

First School:

Opened in December 1878 as Deep Creek Provisional School by Sydney Dodds on part of his land. His position as a teacher was confirmed in December 1878 by the Department of Public Instruction. In May 1881 Dodds transferred to a school in Newcastle and Miss Gleeson replaced him, remaining in the position for 8 years. It became a public school in October 1879. The school closed about 1974 due to insufficient numbers of pupils. The school was called 'Deep Creek' until 1883, and 'Dora Creek' until February 1894.


First Church: The original "Union Church" was erected about the same time as the post office was established. It was a meeting place for many denominations until it was pulled down in 1924.


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 Martinsville