November 27 - December 3, 2016: Issue 291

Waratah Farm: Ingleside

The Narrabeen Plum
VIEWS NEAR NARRABEEN, SYDNEY. (1905, October 11). The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), p. 921. Retrieved from 

Shadowed in grand and sombre majesty
By wood-grown hills and dark and twilit dales,
Fed by the streams from out those' self same vales,
And sheltered by the self-same woodlands free,
We gaze upon this great enrapturing scene :
Clear, placid, limpid lake of Narrabeen,
Dropped round her shores in scattered harmony,
The homes of worthy citizens: wherein the days
Pass by like winged hours, heavenly,
For Spring /reigns ever o'er the palms serene,
That skirt the shores of sunkiss'd Narrabeen.
— 'EDRIE,' Glenorie, N.S.W.
Prize Poem (1929, November 17). Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930), p. 6 (COLOURED COMIC SECTION). Retrieved from 
When the Ingleside Powder Works failed in 1885 due to a shortage of capital and confidence in a once promising idea the property, those who had raised capital or invested were left with some substantial buildings, land and debt, and court appearances from 1886 to 1890 on. The Bank holding the mortgage sold the property to recoup some of its debt and one parcel of what they had sold, of 249 acres and containing the buildings that had been the Powder Works, became the home of a Mr. Watkins.

Two of the gentlemen, John Taylor and Samuel Frankland held on to some land. Unfortunately Samuel Frankland, who was one of the members of the then Zoological Society, and had given many birds to the zoo when it was still at Moore Park, was the gentleman who was 'slapped' by Jumbo the elephant late in 1886, apparently due to Jumbo being in pain , and appears to have never really recovered as he passed away in March 1887. His older brother, George Jackson Frankland, then appears to have taken over his responsibilities and land holdings in the Ingleside escarpment.

There were other attempts to build some kind of industry in the locale - coal mining for instance, around the lagoon.

Meanwhile, Isaac Larkin, a young man of 22 who paid his own way to Australia in September 1887, per the Orizaba, was learning the trade of 'orchardist' at Ryde, by then a fruit growing region of at least a hundred years or more and also the place that lays claim to being where Australia's first oranges were grown. Mr. Larkin did so well he began to look around for his own plot of land, especially after he married in 1893, a beautiful young women named Florence (nee Bailey), at Burwood and the couple welcomed their first daughter, Florence in 1893 and eldest son, Robert, in 1894. These births were registered at Ryde. Their third child, Arthur, was born at Narrabeen, his birth registered at Manly in 1896.

Florence and Isaac Larkin with their children Arthur, Florence and Bob. 1897 - courtesy Olga Johnson and Pittwater History Unit - Mona Vale Library

Leslie (born 1899), Harold (born 1901) James (born 1903) and Eva (born 1907) would have their births recorded at Manly too. 

In 1900 we can read Isaac and his family were caretakers and propagating fruit at the Powder Works and that he, on one occasion at least was helping those giving a 'Cellenite' demonstration at Ingleside, during which the landscape was changed:
The crowd having retired to a safe distance, the battery exploded the sandstone rock. The crack was sharp, dense, and formidable, sending dust and stones in the air alarmingly. The explosion has rent the rock and shattered it broad and deep, to a weight, estimated at two hundred and fifty tons. Had the holes been seven feet deep a greater result would have been seen. Mr. Best, in commenting on the blast, said the explosive power had astonished him. It produced no dangerous fumes in firing, and he pronounced it as the best explosive in the market that day ; rack-a-rock was the only explosive standing next to it. Mr. Fraser was then congratulated upon the success of his invention. A second blast was undertaken with cellenite, with 71/2lbs. rammed into three holes in another ledge of rock. This explosion was again successful, dislodging 335 tons of stone, scattering the stone to a greater distance. Mr. Fraser made another test, this time with 'Champion' black powder, made- that morning. It looked like black sand, was safe to handle, and emitted no fumes before nor after being fired off. This explosion was also a complete success, dislocating and starting the rocky face in all directions. The party were next introduced to the -firing of a shell by another powder, the invention of Mr. Fraser, upon a hill or kopje, 11/2 miles distant from the factory. The place was located by figures of men on the sky line; whose movements were Been much plainer than Boers. The shell was thrice longer than that for a Hotchkiss gun. The fuse having been fixed and ignited, a bolt was made for cover, and the shell exploded with the force, report, and dust of a ' Woolwich infant,' fired by a powder said to contain most of the chemical ingredients of lyddite. The tests were now over, and the party felt that Australia had at last produced a great powder fit alike for peace or war purposes. For mining operations it was proved beyond a doubt, and if Mr. Fraser sends some of it ... Trial of Cellinite at Narrabeen. (1900, October 6). The Maitland Weekly Mercury (NSW : 1894 - 1931), p. 6. Retrieved from 

A year and a bit later a word skirmish and an assault lets us know Mr. Larkin is still looking after the Powder Works, was probably having a cooling ale after delivering produce during a hot Summer when the 'debate' occurred, while later that year, his use of fertilisers either there or at his own property across the road draws the outline of a man determined to make the best out of everything  to achieve better results and open to employing old/new methods.

A man named Isaac Larkins was admitted to the Manly Hospital on Monday, in a somewhat dazed condition. An examination revealed the fact that he was suffering from concussion of the brain. It was stated that he had some altercation with another man in the yard of a hotel in Manly, on Sunday afternoon, and had been struck from behind, on the head, with a stick, and felled. He was removed to his residence soon afterwards, but serious symptoms having developed, he was taken to the hospital. At the Water Court yesterday, a resident of Manly appeared to answer a charge in connection with the matter, and a remand was granted. It is said that the man who struck the blow has not yet been arrested. An inquiry at the Manly Hospital yesterday elicited the information that Larkins has recovered consciousness. The injured man resides at the Narrabeen Powder Works. The dispute which led up to the trouble is said to have arisen out of a discussion as to the relative merits of certain trotting horses. From words, Larkins and the accused man are said to have come to blows, and while the argument was progressing through the latter stage another man is alleged to have joined in with a walking-stick, which he used upon Larkins with much earnestness and the above mentioned result.STRUCK FROM BEHIND. (1902, January 15). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 6. Retrieved from 

Eugene Michel (47), commission agent, was charged at the Water Police Court on Tuesday with having, in company, inflicted grievous bodily harm upon Isaac Larkins. There was a dispute in the yard of the Pier Hotel, Manly, on the date of the alleged assault (January 12 last), and some person struck Larkins on the head with a  stick, the blow knocking him unconscious. After hearing evidence, Mr. Wilshire stated that there was nothing to connect Michel with the man who struck Larkins from behind, nor to show that he was responsible for the injuries to Larkins. He  was, therefore, discharged.BREVITIES. (1902, February 12). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 4. Retrieved from 

Comparison in Fertislising
At the invitation of Mr. Geo. Shirley, of 31 Pitt-street, Sydney, we called to see a few samples of oats, barley, wheat and rye on view at his office, and which were forwarded to him by some of his customers as samples of what can be procured by the aid of artificial manures compared with unfertilised land. The names of these persons are Messrs. Geo. Simpson ; (Temora), A. L.McLachlan (Temora), W. T. Nixon (Thirlmere), Larkin (Narrabeen), and J. Dyer (Gosford); The lands from which the parcels were taken were all highly cultivated, with this difference — that here and there large portions were purposely left unfertilised. Mr. Simpson's little lot consists entirely of wheat— purple straw, Manitoba and Steinwiedel. The purple straw, 'sown on March 17, is a splendid sample of a strong, healthy staple, luxuriantly flagged, and fine promising ears, taken from the fertilised area ; whilst that taken from the unfertilised land of the eatne sowing was, comparatively speaking, scarcely visible. About the same comparison exists between the other two parcels of Steinwiedel and Manitoba. We are informed that Mr. Simpson has fed his stock on these crops right through the drought, and the other day disposed of them as 'fats,' realising good prices. All the stock have been withdrawn, the crop ' is now rapidly maturing, and Mr. Simpson expects to reap an excellent harvest. Mr. A. L. McLachlan sends along a splendid Sample of Steinwiedel  wheat sown on May 1. The sample is about 8ft high and is strong and healthy, whilst the unfertilised parcel is not more than 6 in high. A parcel of barley sown on April 20 also looks really well.' These two farms, we understand, are. the talk of the district up Temora way, and the other day a large party, who bad been visiting the town at show time, were driven out to j inspect them, many of the visitors expressing great surprise at the astounding difference between the fertilised and unfertilised crops. These are object lessons of what can be attained by scientific methods during a period of drought. It is needless for us to comment upon the rainfall in the Temora district for the period between March and August — the fact is known too well to all of us. We have too long neglected this method of production ; therefore a few homely facts like the above should lead one to the conclusion that it is far better to spend a couple of shilling per acre each year in fertilising a small area and reap a good harvest, than to go on year after year exhausting three time? the quantity of land and wasting a similar amount of labor for the same result. Comparison In Fertilising. (1902, October 17). Molong Argus (NSW : 1896 - 1921), p. 12. Retrieved from 

The produce from the farm was taken to Manly and resulted, in this case, in another visit to Manly Hospital:

Isaac Larkin, an orchardist, residing at Narrabeen, met with a serious accident last night. He was driving a horse attached to a spring cart along Sydney-road, Manly. When near Whistler-street one of the wheels struck the curb, and the cart capsized, Larkin was thrown on to his head. He was taken into an adjoining house, but Dr. Thomas ordered his removal to the Manly Cottage Hospital. The exact nature of his injuries could not be ascertained, but at a late hour last night he was still unconscious. SERIOUS DRIVING ACCIDENT. (1907, November 12). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from 

Isaac recovered. Within 10 years his determination began to bear good fruit:


This story is of a man — Mr. Isaac Larkin, of Narrabeen — who, starting with next to nothing, has, after ten years' work, brought an orchard of ten and a half acres to such a pitch of excellence that it returned him last year a clear profit of over £700.

MR. LARKIN'S place, situated along the Gordon-road about 3 miles from Narrabeen, is a little bit of plateau country, about as unpromising in its natural aspect as could be imagined, except in one essential. 

Mr. Larkin in his Orchard. 
Experience has taught this Narrabeen orchardist the wisdom of continuing his attention to citrus fruits, passion vines and figs. “Apples from these parts don’t last.” He says  

The owner wants no water, except for domestic and stock purposes, and prefers a droughty to a rainy season. What a paradox in a land the detractors of which 'declare to be the very place 'where droughts are hatched! 'But then he understands 'intensive culture' as applied to an orchard, and his unpromising ground is remarkably watered with springs. Indeed, it would be sour with the water in a wet season if he did not get rid of it. How he started with just enough money to feed and clothe his family after buying the land cheaply is decidedly interesting. In his youth our orchardist learned to plough. That stood to him. 

As a young man he worked in an orchard at Ryde, where he learnt budding, transplanting, grafting, and other essentials of an orchardist’s work. He was also trusted to market and sell the fruit. His employer owned a neglected property called the Powder Works Block, on the Gordon road, nine miles from Pymble heights, three and a half from Narrabeen, and about 11 from Manly, and he placed his foreman in charge of it. It soon returned a profit from fruit, and then the foreman, having married, began to look about for a field for himself. 

Sixteen Hours a Day. 
“WHEN I saw this bit of cheap land,' he said, 'I knew it to be naturally hungry ; but it had water showing in springs on the land and that decided me. People hereabout said I would soon starve myself out. The bank wouldn't advance me any thing to work such a barren piece of plateau in the Hawkesbury sandstone district.” 

It did not take long to go over the 10 ½ acres. There is nothing showy about the cottage or the fences, they are just typical bush places, without any pretensions, but they have served their purpose admirably. Working 16 hours a day the pioneer cleared the scrub — blackbutt, grey gum, stringies, and flowering plants. There was no really good timber but enough for posts and rails, although saplings were largely used for these purposes. 

A Quick Return 
WHAT to put in to yield a quick return while the ground was being prepared for the more important orchard growths was the first thing; so Mr. Larkin turned his attention to strawberries in the sandy soil. He procured the Creswick variety, paying £2 10s for a thousand, grew them, and planted more, until the orchard trees forced them out. Many orchardists complain that they cannot sell their fruit to profit in the markets. They rely too much upon agents, and when the market is glutted they may lose money or draw so little for a case of fruit that they get disheartened, and let the fruit rot on the ground rather than box it. That was a method that this unconventional Irish-Australian did not follow. He made his own market. When the strawberries were ripe he packed them in quart punnets and hawked them himself at Manly for four years. Then, when he grew so many that his Manly customers could not take them all, he sent them to a reliable agent in the market in 4lb boxes, and they sold like hot cakes, they were of such a fine quality. He had his soil analysed and found that bush fires left something that an orchardist needed. 

The Drainage Problem. 
THERE was much sand and rock, and while the sand was a good basis the rocks were in the way. Accordingly they were broken out, and a large drain 5½  feet wide was dug through the centre of the proposed orchards, banked with stones, and finished with wood and brush on top, so as to leave a perfect drain. No one can do anything without drains in any orchard to take away water and leave the dissolved nutriment for the rootlets to pick up. The photograph shows a drain on top of the main drain. Then he made cross-drains at several places, all leading to the main artery, and altogether he has put 5 ½ miles of subsoil drains in that little patch during his ten years' occupancy of it. Very little of this work appears on the surface, but its effects do. 

No More Summer Fruit Trees. 
“I MADE one big mistake,' said Mr. Larkin, 'when I bothered about certain summer fruit and apples. Apples don't last in this part of the world, although I did well with them until last year. Now they are all to go, and I will work on citrus fruits, passions, and figs, with the wife's poultry and ducks. The poultry and ducks keep an orchard clean. I had to plough between the rows of summer fruit, but one doesn't plough between rows of citrus. If he does he ruins his trees. The oranges, mandarins, and lemons are surface feeders; The big roots merely go down to hold the trees firm — all the feeding roots are stuck out all round near the surface, with their little mouths up to catch food. It you disturb them you hurt your tree.' 

1700 Orange Trees. 
SCOOPING up a handful of sandy soil Mr. Larkin showed the feeding, rootlets through it. Some of the trees were nearly ten years old. They were all planted 20 feet apart in regular rows, and many had been thinned so as to allow the air and light to penetrate. One of the white wax excrescences common to the bush thereabout was visible, but it does not affect the growth of the fruit, and has no deleterious effect, for the fruit from this orchard bears the certificates of the New Zealand and New South Wales Fruit Departments, and Mr. Larkin's name on a case indicates perfectly sound fruit of remarkably fine quality. Last year the peaches were amongst the finest grown anywhere about Sydney, and they were all snapped up at Lyttelton. Thevarieties of oranges include the Parramatta, the White Salatta, and the Valencia late. There are 1000 orange trees bearing or nearly so; and 700 others were put in last Easter between the apple and summer fruit trees. But the latter are not absolutely doomed. Many have been ringbarked, and as dead timber of a suitable shape are forming cheap trellises for passions, which thrive wonderfully in this well-drained orchard.

''The fruit from this orchard bears the certificates of the New Zealand and New South Wales Fruit Departments, and Mr. Larkin's name on a case indicates perfectly sound fruit of remarkably fine quality.'

There are in the little patch of ten and a half acres five and a half miles of sub-soil drains. -

Other Money-makers. 
“YOU must not think,' said Mr. Larkin, 'that the soil does all the work. My bill for artificial manure— blood and bone-dust — for 11 months was £140. I feed the trees, and it pays. Passionfruit is a great winter cropper. Fowls do all the scavenging needed amongst the citrus. Leghorns and Black 'Orpingtons are the best birds. They and the Indian Runner ducks turn in a good profit, especially the Indian Runners. They're money-makers, and, eggs are money row — half-a-crown a dozen wholesale.' The flock of Indian Runners is a very fine one. All they get in addition to what they forage for themselves is corn and bran and plenty of fresh running water. They can bathe when they like to, but they are not unduly fond of it. They get no offal. I grew oats in one paddock, harvested it, and sold it as chaff. That chaff is a bad memory, not because it didn't pay, but because I cut it with a hand chaff-cutter. It's cruel work turning a hand chaff-cutter, but you know people had said, 'Larkin won't be there long,' and I thought I'd show that I would. I knew the trick — hard work — but if there's one thing I've got a down on it's the old chaff-cutter. It's worse than grinding up those oyster shells for the fowls.' 

Natural Springs. 
‘WHAT do you use the windmill pump for?' was a question quickly answered- “I thought it might be useful if we had a long drought, so put it over a well that I dug; but I only got the well down about nine feet when the water came in and nearly drowned me, and the hole's been, full ever since. I’m ready to irrigate if necessary, but the natural springs and drains have done all the watering I've needed so far.' 
'The lemon trees look pretty open.' ' 
“Yes,' returned 'the orchardist. 'My agent said he wanted lemons. He couldn't get them for love or money, and it didn't matter how green they were if they were only lemons, so I pulled a few cases of them last week and cleared 10s a case for them. It didn't hurt the rest of the fruit, and they were as green as grass; but in they went. This let more light and sun on to what are left. Lemons! They're prolific croppers. They're as good as money all the year round.” 

Nothing Wasted. 
MR. LARKIN last season put in maize in his discarded apple patch, and it thrived amazingly, there being no frost. He harvested a profitable lot of corn off a couple of acres and then pulled the stalks and laid them in trenches to make nitrogenous manure for the young citrus. There is nothing wasted in this orchard. Figs are well-known surface feeders which cannot be ploughed round. The problem of keeping the soil clear round them is surely solved by the poultry. Last year's crop of figs was a heavy one, and, like everything else Mr. Larkin touches, they turned him in a profit. The moral of all this is that what one man can do another can do if he has the will, the energy, and the ability. 
BIG CHEQUES FROM A SMALL ORCHARD. (1912, June 12). Sydney Mail (NSW : 1912 - 1938), p. 14. Retrieved from 

A few years on Mr. Larkin is still succeeding.

Mr. Isaac Larkin the owner of probably one of the best-paying orchards for its size in the State, started with practically no capital. On what was fifteen or sixteen years ago a swampy plateau about four miles from the coast at Narrabeen, is now an orchard that demonstrates the profitableness of a small holding cultivated on proper lines, and, incidentally, what can be obtained by perseverance and hard work. When the land was taken up it was to all appearances a useless piece of wilderness, densely covered with marshy undergrowth, and huge box trees, all of which, however, succumbed sooner or later to the hard work and perseverance of one man. Before much could be grown on this soil it was necessary that it should be drained. This work was undertaken from the very commencement in such a systematic manner that after fifteen years it has not been necessary to alter the original plan of drainage at all, although on this ten acres there is no less than five and a quarter miles of underground drains, all 5 feet deep, and all converging to one outlet.
The result is that it is probably the most scientifically and best drained orchard in the State. It means that, although it is naturally swampy land, it can be worked at any time of the year, and almost immediately after heavy rains, notwithstanding that the soil is in most places from five to ten feet In depth. The early struggles of the owner might easily act as an inspiration to others beginning as orchardists or farmers with a limited capital. 
With practically no money at his command at all, the orchardist knew that it was necessary to plant some crop that would bring in an almost immediate return, so he turned his attention to strawberries. On this virgin soil, which many experienced men told him would not grow anything, the strawberry plants thrived, and bore phenomenal crops, from which to-day the owner would have quickly made a fortune at present prices. As it was, he had to be content with 6d and 7d a quart for fruit of a quality which now realises up to 2s 6d a quart. The Sydney markets at that time were not very easily available, and the crop was disposed of by the owner himself to householders and visitors to the seaside village. After a time the fruit trees began to give some return, and the quality of the fruit was so good that shippers began to seek it for export. 

After a few years Mr. Larkin decided to export the bulk of his fruit to New Zealand himself, and has continued to do so up to the present time with the best results. So intense is the cultivation that practically three crops are being taken from the orchard at the present time. Besides ground crops of all sorts, such as beans, peas, tomatoes, etc., passion fruit are grown extensively between the peach trees, while through the whole of the holding of young citrus trees have been planted, which are now coming Into bearing, and promise to do remarkably well. Right through the property underground wells have been sunk, which are always full of water in the driest season.
A movable windmill is utilised for irrigation purposes, being set over the wells in any part of the orchard which it is desired to irrigate. Many of the peaches in the orchard this season return £3 per tree. These are the Edward VII. variety, which along with the Elbertas, are shipped to New Zealand. The average annual returns of the orchard are about £700, in spite of the fact that the bulk of the fruit has to be carted nearly 10 miles before being placed on the steamer for the Sydney market. Many of the oldest trees are still bearing heavy crops of fruit, with every likelihood of continuing to do so for many years. ON THE LAND. (1914, March 17). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 6. Retrieved from 

EB Studios (Sydney, N.S.W.). (1917). Panorama of an orchard, New South Wales Retrieved  from - and sections from to show detail

Hi Pittwater Online News,
My colleague Jim Hutchison and I were looking through the EB studio photos and we are about 99% sure this is the old Waratah Farm Orchard adjacent to the now Bahai Temple (Bungan headland and second version of La Corniche in the background – so after 1913).
which would go with your article here :
Hope this helps! We will contact the National Library and let them know to update the description.
Paul McGrath
Curtin Architects Pty Ltd
Atchison Street
October 3rd, 2019

The Narrabeen Plum

Mr. Larkin is the gentleman to whom is attributed the Narrabeen plum, a hybrid of the Japanese variety Prunus salicina. This item seems to be confusing a long line of Pittwater farmers:

Narrabeen and Lady Jesse. The Narrabeen plum, and another similar to It, known as Lady Jesse, but a distinct' type, have attracted much attention at shows throughout the Cumberland district this season. The Narrabeen seedling is said to have originated with the Oliver family at Narrabeen, who realized that the appearance and quality of the fruit were much superior to most other plums. Mr. R Shinfield, of St. Ives, has kept these plums for over a month in cold store, and they stood handling very well in hot weather afterwards. The plum is coming very much into favour as one of the best money-makers. NEW PLUMS. (1927, March 11). The Farmer and Settler (Sydney, NSW : 1906 - 1955), p. 17. Retrieved from 

The Oliver Family are more strongly associated with Elvina and Lovett Bay and being the family whose patriarch gave the land for the Church Point Cemetery. They are not farming in Pittwater in 1927 having passed away a while prior to that. This article seems to be describing the home and gentleman:

For my part I put up at the house of a friend who has one of the loveliest spots on the coast. Part of his land forms a peninsula, with deep, rich soil, in which the fig, the lemon, the orange, the olive, and the vine flourish to full perfection. There was at one time some excellent timber growing along the Pittwater road, tall, straight, sound, close-growing trees, which have for the most part disappeared under the woodman's axe within the last five years. This is a pity, but perhaps it could not be otherwise. The forest was too close to Sydney to escape the attention of wood merchants. There is still, however, quite sufficient native woodland to give the proper rustic air to these regions. How long this will be so under our present reckless system of forest destruction it is impossible to say, but those at least who own mighty tracts of virgin land along this road should endeavour to protect the native growths as far as possible from annihilation. We will regret our apathy in the matter of preserving our woods some day, when it is too late, perhaps, as the Herald has often pointed out, for anything but regrets.

My host had Theosophistic tendencies, and before long the conversation turned on the doctrines of the esoteric Buddhists. It is curious that quite a number of intelligent young Australians appear to be opening their mouths to swallow this many-humped camel of the Orient. Men who scorn the faith which accepts the Christian miracles are willing to receive as truth the tremendous miracles of the Theosophist, and do this without any apparent sense of the incongruous. Theosophism, however, can only be a vogue. It will never lay hold of Western minds as it has fastened on the men of the East. It has its foundation in the mind and not in the heart, and consequently it is a system and not a religion. But it is curious to note that it is growing here - most curious to hear its strange esotoric doctrines discussed in the spirit of a disciple in this isolated cottage, with all about it the mild growth of Australian life. How near we are to primitive nature is evidenced by the presence of a little black lizard, which, attracted by the warmth, comes out of some secret hiding-place and creeps towards the strange and beautiful fire which lures it to its doom. Outside, the southern stars blaze in the lucent night with a brilliance undimmed by a day of smoke. The dark waters sleep beneath, tranquil and secret.

Right: Head of Lovett Bay - from Photographs - New South Wales, 1879 - ca. 1892 / N.S.W. Government Printer. Image No.: 294068h, courtesy State Library of NSW.

In the cool early morning I took a stroll through the garden and orchard surrounding the house, on whose trees late oranges and lemons of unusual excellence were still pendant. Down by the waterside were millions of oysters, whose careless profusion suggested a flouted industry. A well-worn path under giant gums and sassafras trees led to a noted part of the grounds. Here was a waterfall tumbling fifty foot in smoke-like spray. The whole face of the cliff which was watered by the spray was covered with clinging plants, ferns, and funny looking creepers. About this spot the vegetation was as beautiful and luxuriant as I ever remember having seen it in the mountains. There were fern trees, as tall as the stateliest in the mountain gullies. Bangaloes of magnificent size, and 40ft, upon the trunk of a glorious blue gum there was a mass of Staghorn ferns as big as small cottage. From the trees the rope-like Supple jack descended, and the bushes about fairly blazed with blossoms. So thick was the growth that it was impossible to force a way through it. A fairer spot there is not on the coast anywhere in the vicinity of Sydney.

A huge Government reserve runs, back from the shores of Pittwater to Gordon, and this also was unusually brilliant with all kinds of our beautiful, barbarously-named bush flowers. Tearing through this vegetation was splendid work, if somewhat trying to the clothes; and on reaching the elevated ground overlooking Cowan Creek: the guerdon was well worth the pleasant travail. Hundreds of feet below, blue as turquoise, Cowan Creek nestled in dark green environing hills. It is sea-blue in colour as well it might be, for it is an eccentric arm of the sea, which winds its way far into the bowels of the, land, being, in fact, the longest arm of Broken Bay. Anyone, however, would mistake it for a fresh-water river. On those breezy heights the draughts of fresh air to be inhaled are delicious. Over miles of eucalyptus leaves a deep balsamic gale rushes up charged with the health-giving qualities that the old settlers found so soon in the eucalyptus woods. After a long and arduous climb, of several hours I found almost instant recuperation in this elevated air, interfused with forest perfumes. It would be hard to be sick under the influence of this " balsam of the forest". A medical friend informed me that he got rid of an unusually persistent cough of many months duration by going to the mountains and chewing the young eucalyptus leaves every day. The virtues of the "gum-tree " are not unrecognised, but are not all known yet, and its place in medicine is, perhaps, destined to be one of great importance. .... A RUN TO PITTWATER. (1889, September 21). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from

The Narrabeen Plum's popularity spread:

OUT-SIZED PLUMS Product Of Wyberba Orchard - When they opened up a number of cases of plums yesterday, members of a firm of Warwick fruiterers were, frankly astounded at the huge size of the fruit. In most of the cases the pack was of 2 2/4  Inch size and in another the plums had a diameter of 2 7/8 inches. 

The plums, which were of the Narrabeen variety, were of a beautiful colour, and when sampled made pleasant eating. Needless to say the fruiterers, Messrs. C. and D. E. Keates, soon had them on display, and sales were rapid;

Mr. N. F. Donagh (Wyberba) is the grower of these giant plums, which resemble fair-sized appies. The 2 7/8 inch plums scaled half a pound each, while the slightly smaller specimens weighed 7 ounces.

Mr. C. Schindler (Warwick fruit inspector) said yesterday that while the Narrabeen plum was one of the larger varieties, 'the' specimens at the Warwick Fruit Market were the largest he had seen. The grade standard for the variety was 1 ¼ -inch diameter and the "special" standard was two inches. 

He added that the Narrabeen plum was not generally favoured by growers, as although the fruit was quite good the trees as a rule were not prolific bearers. OUT SIZED PLUMS (1938, January 22).Warwick Daily News (Qld. : 1919 -1954), p. 2. Retrieved from 

Prices of choice Narrabeen plums was well maintained, but other descriptions were cheaper. Plums, choice 5/ to 7/ (few higher), other 2/-to 4/ per half-case: MARKET REPORTS (1940, March 1). Daily Commercial News and Shipping List (Sydney, NSW : 1891 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from 

Plums and Almonds.

"Fond of Fruit," of Cunderdin, wants to plant two Plum trees this winter, one a Satsuma and one that flowers at a similar time. The Satsuma is a blood Plum with dark red flesh, a heavy bearer and later with fruit. Although it is a good idea to have two or more trees of any fruit, this is not absolutely necessary in the case of Plums, but if "Fond of Fruit" desires a fruit for company to the Satsuma then I would recommend the one known as Narrabeen. This Plum is large and round, very sugary, covered dark red, a heavy-cropper, and ripens the last week in January or early February. Plums and Almonds. (1941, May 22).Western Mail (Perth, WA : 1885 - 1954), p. 30. Retrieved from 

Wickson a very large heart-shaped yellow plum with a red cheek that ripens about Christmas-time or a little later is the best mid-season plum.Narrabeen, a large round reddish plum that ripens after the Wickson, is, I think, the choicest, of the plumsTHE HOME GARDEN (1941, May 31). The Newcastle Sun (NSW : 1918 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from 

Some of the largest peaches this column has ever seen are now coming on to the Sydney market— but they cost 7'- per dozen! Firmest nectarines are 6/- per dozen— but they are extra large and extra choice. Some fiss also hit the 6/- a dozen mark, but here again size and quality are the dominating factors. Narrabeen plums, those luscious giants grown in the outer metropolitan area, also figure in the 6/- a dozen class. It would be interesting to know what the growers receive for all this prime quality stuff. [?] from [?] (1946, February 26). The Wingham Chronicle and Manning River Observer (NSW : 1898 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from 


The intricate pattern made by the branches of  this Narrabeen plum presented no difficulties to Mr. Owen. Note the pruning ladder with its wide grip of Mother Earth. Its prop is hinged for side-setting when the ladder is placed on falling ground shaking and a crack appeared' in the ground behind its trunk,'  but before anything more decisive occurred the hook on one of the blocks pulled, ropes  dropped slack to the ground and the onset was stemmed. 
The tree stood victorious, for the time being at least. 
But even with one block out of action a compromise was called for, and it wasn't long 
before a sturdy green jarrah was brought down with a resounding crash-with only half 
the mechanical advantage of the former attempt too, incidentally. Yes, the rooting  habits of jarrahs and gums are not quite the sanie. 
I heard quite a lot of appreciative comment on the sub clover sward in that timber patch. The Central Darling Range Fruitgrowers' Association put on a ...BUMPER FIELD DAY (1949, September 8). Western Mail (Perth, WA : 1885 - 1954), p. 33 (The WESTERN MAIL COUNTRYMAN'S MAGAZINE). Retrieved from  

Trials Prove Value Of Right Rootstock
IMPORTANCE of using the right rootstock has been proved dearly in an experiment with Narrabeen plums conducted In the N.S.W. Department of Agriculture's orchard at Bathurst Experiment Farm. A spokesman for the Department's Division of Horticulture said that Narrabeen plum trees on almond rootstock had suffered severely from abnormal wet weather during the past winter and spring. 'Yet right next to them,' he added, 'the Narrabeens on Myrobolan plum stocks are quite healthy. The trees on almond stock, though not yet dead, can certainly be regarded as a complete loss.' Trials Prove Value Of Riqhr Rootstock (1951, April 6). The Farmer and Settler (Sydney, NSW : 1906 - 1955), p. 17. Retrieved from 

Pollinators For Plum Trees
A Fort Lincoln reader wants to know (1) whether fruit may be left on a plum tree in its second year from planting; -2) whether a Narrabeen plum would cross pollinate a Satsuma plum; 3) whether a grub found on an apricot tree and forwarded, to this office, would harm the tree.
(1) A plum tree in its second year from planting could bear a few fruits without harm. If it appears to be overbearing, the crop could be thinned out. (2) A Satsuma plum is self-pollinating and needs no tree to cross with. It will not pollinate the Narrabeen plum, the best pollinator for which is a Santa Rosa. This variety might also help the Satsuma to set a better crop. -3) The grub did not reach this office. If it had been doing any harm on the tree the damage would be quite apparent on examination. Apricot trees are not subject to attack by grubs. Pollinators For Plum Trees (1953, June 18). Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), p. 21. Retrieved from 

The Narrabeen is now listed among 'Heritage fruits'!
Some sources state plums may have been one of the first fruits domesticated by humans. Three of the most abundant cultivars are not found in the wild, only around human settlements: Prunus domestica has been traced to East European and Caucasian mountains, while Prunus salicina and Prunus simonii originated in Asia. Plum remains have been found in Neolithic age archaeological sites along with olives, grapes and figs.

Right: Narrabeen Plum tag courtesy Daley's fruit

A plum is a fruit of the subgenus Prunus of the genus Prunus. The subgenus is distinguished from other subgenera (peaches, cherries, bird cherries, etc.) in the shoots having terminal bud and solitary side buds (not clustered), the flowers in groups of one to five together on short stems, and the fruit having a groove running down one side and a smooth stone (orpit). Mature plum fruit may have a dusty-white waxy coating that gives them a glaucous appearance. This is an epicuticular wax coating and is known as "wax bloom". [2.]

Nan Bosler OAM, in Memories of Narrabeen and its Public School, 1989, states "The family established Waratah Farm, an orchard on Mona Vale Road near the intersection with Powderworks Road. Old pine trees, planted by them around their property near the Baha’i temple, still stand to-day."

NARRABEEN SCHOOL. A new Public school has been opened at Narrabeen. The opening ceremony was performed by the senior Inspector (Mr. B. J. W. Friend). '  NARRABEEN'S SCHOOL. (1914, August 27).The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from 

The two eldest boys were keen cyclists and members of the Manly club:


The result of the annual 20 miles championship of the Manly Club over the Brookvale Narrabeen course was -A M'Mahon, 1 A Larkin, 2, R Larkin, 3.  Dead heat Time, 57m 50s. The winner of the point score competition will receive a silver cup, presented by Mr. Les Luker. The position of the riders is as follows -A M'Mahon, 20 points, 1, I Jones, 28 points, 2, Stan Luker, 3. MANLY CLUB. (1914, October 13). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 12. Retrieved from 

Isaac and Florence's two eldest boys served in WWI - Robert losing a leg, returned to begin a car hire service while Arthur set himself up as a contractor, laying roads or making jetties - skills possibly achieved during the laying of what would become the Narrabeen Tramway. Both clearly had their parents hard work ethic. The farm, after WWI had a name change to 'the Pines', which was also the name given to the farmhouse.

Mrs Florence Larkin with two of her sons, William and Jock, and her sister outside the Larkin family home "The Pines" at the corner of Mona Vale Road and Powderworks Road, Ingleside. Sister reported as A Hewitt - other sites state is a friend of the mother only.  The phootgraph was sent to Arthur Larkin in France during 1916 (WWI). 1916 - courtesy Olga Johnson and Pittwater History Unit - Mona Vale Library

Miss Olive Ware, The Pines, Thornleigh, with Mr. Arthur G. Larkin, of Lark Farm, Narrabeen. ENGAGEMENTS (1920, December 12).Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930), p. 15. Retrieved from 

The heavy rain inundated all the low-lying portions of the district between Manly and Newport. All day yesterday anxiety prevailed at Narrabeen lest the lake should over-flow, for although a channel was opened out to the sea last week the heavy seas- poured the water into the lake faster than it could escape. The creeks running into the lake. Deep Creek, Middle Creek, and South Creek were carrying great volumes of water, but when the tide receded the outgoing water was given a chance to escape into the ocean. Some cottages along the banks of the lake were slightly damaged, but no serious dam-age in that area was reported.
Many buildings in the Green Hills district at Narrabeen were flooded, and in the vicinity of Wetherill-street and Ramsay-street most of the homes were surrounded by water, and difficulty was experienced in keeping the water from getting inside the dwellings. A stable, owned by Mr. Arthur Larkin, in Wetherill-street, was washed away, and some of the gardens were four feet under water.
About 100 Boy Scouts camped at Deep Creek, Narrabeen, had an exciting experience during Friday night and Saturday morning, and they decided to strike camp on Saturday afternoon and return to their homes. During Friday night a tree fell near the scouts' tents, but fortunately none of the boys were injured.
The tramline between Manly and Brookvale was under water during Saturday morning, and traffic was held up for several hours. A channel about 30 yards wide and eight feet deep was made in the beach at North Steyne, Manly, by the flood waters from the Manly lagoon. The Manly golf links were under water, and several shops at Manly Vale, were flooded. NARRABEEN FLATS FLOODED. (1927, April 18). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 8. Retrieved from 

SYDNEY, Monday
For a stone approach, jetty and hinged ramp at the Mental Hospital, Brooklyn, a contract has been given to A. G. Larkin, of Narrabeen, whose tender price was £456/10/4.  BROOKLYN WORKS CONTRACT (1938, November 15). Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate(NSW : 1876 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from 

Isaac Larkin kept on as a member of the Narrabeen Progress Committee well into the 1930's. Warringah Shire Council Minutes of Meetings records his being involved in settling on council land for the South Narrabeen surf club building. This community involvement began soon after he began his farm:

On Saturday evening last the annual election of officers of the Narrabeen Progress Association took place, and resulted as follows –President; Alderman T West vice-presidents; Messrs Wheeler and Gordon, treasurer; Mr. G Powell , secretary; Mr T H Macpherson, executive committee, Messrs,Larkin, M'Lean, Twight, and Macpherson. NARRABEEN PROGRESS ASSOCIATION. (1901, December 17). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from 

On February 24, 1933 Isaac Larkin 24/2/33, is replying to council that Lot 6, Section 18; Mt. Ramsay Estate (Narrabeen Progress Association’s land) may be purchased by the Council at £325, at the amount of the Valuer ‘s valuation.  Council Resolved, to interview Mr. Larkin  and discuss the matter with him. 

On October 28th 1933 the Narrabeen Progress Assoc., submitted requests - (a) that a footpath be laid on the western side of Pittwater Road between Collaroy and Narrabeen terminus to lessen the danger of accidents to pedestrians; (b)that accounts for rates and kerb and gutter 'charges on the Progress Association' land at South Narrabeen be forwarded to the Trustees of the land, care of Mr. Isaac Larkin; (c)that Mactier Street between Park Street and Walker Avenue Mectier St. be reconditioned. Council's decisions were that the Engineer to estimate cost; that the request be complied with; and this road be repaired.

In April 1934 the Local Government Dept.,wrote to council regarding the proposed advance of £1000 for erection of dressing accommodation and a Surf Club-house at South Narrabeen, stating that plans and specifications are accepted as satisfactory. It was resolved hat it be left to Cr. Sheppard to interview Isaac Larkin to ascertain the possibility of acquiring from the Trustees the land on which the present Clubhouse stands and that the South Narrabeen Club be asked for the estimate of the cost of the building. 

A few more years elasped but in December 1928 Mr. Russell Marshall wrote to council stating that 'the Deed to Narrabeen Progress Association's property is a direct Progress from Mrs. F.A Hanson to T.I. West, R. Marshall and I. Larkin.' 

Mr, Larkin seems to have become involved in many 'progress' projects for Narrabeen - listed later as being connected with another subdivision.

On January 30th 1944, Isaac Larkin passed away at Manly, aged 78. He was a man who built a life for himself, his wife and his children from dirt and with the sweat of his brow. Thanks to his pursuit of excellence in one of the best plums still available many farmers, and eaters if plums, have profited from or enjoyed the ongoing crops from his labour.

His equally made of the right stuff wife passed away a few years later.

LARKIN Florence -March 15 1951 at a private hospital in Manly, late of Narrabeen beloved mother of Florence (Mrs Lancaster) Robert, Arthur, Leslie, William, James and Eva (Mrs Wilson) aged 80 years See Saturday’ s Herald for funeral notice. Advertising (1951, March 16). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 20. Retrieved from 

Old orchard, 1925 by Sir Lionel Lindsay, nla.obj-152524828-1 - courtesy National Library of Australia- visit Rock Lily Hotel history 





TRAMWAY CONNECTION WITH NARRABEEN. (1912, March 6). The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), p. 35. Retrieved from 

A tramway extension from Brookvale to Collaroy Beach, Narrabeen, being a continuation of the present line from Manly to Brook-vale, will be officially opened by the Minister for Works this afternoon. But though Mr. Griffith and the Ministerial party will not commence their official trip from Manly till 1.40 p.m., the car service will begin, according to the published timetable, at 6.42 a.m. to-day.

Work was commenced on the line in August last, following an official turning of the first sod by the Minister on July 29. The extension was commenced at about three miles 33 chains from Manly at the present Brookfield terminus. The new portion travels along Pittwater-road on the left-hand side for a distance of about one mile. Thence it runs through the Salvation Army property for two miles ten chains on a strip of roadway 33 feet wide, and passes the Deewhy Lagoon, over portion of which a light bridge has been built. The line continues on to Collaroy Beach, and thence on to Fielding-street, where it at present terminates. The new extension measures 3 miles 25 chains, and the total length of the line from Manly to Fielding street is 6 miles 58 chains. The first stop-ping-place after Brookvale is between Pine-avenue and Mitchell-road. Others are at victor-road, the intersection of Manly-road and Pittwater-road opposite the brick kiln; about 4 chains from Redmond road; about 12 chains from where the line enters the Salvation Army property; at 5 miles 52 chains; at 5 miles 64 chains; at the boundary of the Salvation Army property; at Collaroy-st, and at Fielding-street. There will be two penny sections making the fare from Manly to Narrabeen 5d. Cars will run about every hour from 6.42 am to 10.14 p.m.

The extension was built on the day-labor system, under the supervision of Mr Hutchison, chief engineer of the railway and construction branch of the Public Works Department. A successful trial run was made over the new portion on Thursday and the line has been handed over to the Railway and Tram-way departments. TRAMWAY EXTENSION. (1912, August 3).The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 18. Retrieved from 



An exciting incident which fortunately resulted in less serious consequences than might have been expected (says Friday’s Sydney Evening News) was enacted a few days ago in the Zoological Gardens, in which a venerable and recently retired statesman and two gentle-men of high social position were made the subject of a little by-play on the part of an elephant, who apparently hitherto has been allowed to roam through the wide domain without lot or hindrance. The little episode appears to cast a shade of doubt, to say the least of it, upon the generally expressed and universally accepted opinions of naturalists, that the peculiarly distinguishing characteristics of the noble animal in question are those of docility, intelligence, and gentleness. 

To begin, then, it appears that on Friday afternoon a meeting of the council of the Zoological Gardens was held on the grounds, and that after having exercised their deliberation and administrative functions, the members proposed to leave the place. Proceeding down one of the main paths which leads to the place of exit with "measured step and slow," Sir John Robertson, Mr. S. M. Frankland, and the secretary of the gardens entered into conversation in which they became so deeply engrossed that they failed to perceive that they were getting in the way of "Jumbo." The animal, no doubt, having a duo sense of his own importance, naturally felt indignant at the manner in which he was being "cut" by those who ought to have known better, and in a moment of exasperation just as he was passing the trio by way of a gentle reminder, he raised his trunk high in the air, and brought it down with a thud upon the body of Mr. Frankland, who happened to be on the outside. 

This rouser had not only the effect of dispelling the reverie into which the councillors had allowed themselves to fall, but knocked the recipient, to use a sporting phrase, "completely out of time," He staggered and fell against Sir John, who also lost his balance, and was laid low. The two gentlemen, by the help of their friends were quickly assisted out of the undignified position in which they so unexpectedly found themselves placed. It was then ascertained that Mr. Frankland had sustained injuries of a rather serious nature; but Sir John marvellously escaped unhurt. Mr. Frankland was at once placed in a cab, and driven to the Reform Club," where Dr. Mackellar, who examined him, found that three of his ribs were fractured. He is at present under the professional care of Dr. Mackellar, who states that the patient is progressing toward convalescence satisfactorily. It is said that Mr. Frankland and the secretary had been in the habit of giving the animal sweets, and otherwise paying attention to him, and his belligerent conduct is explained by the supposition that their both having passed him without recognition was a slight which demanded to be summarily avenged. STATUS OF BUILDING SOCIETIES. (1886, October 1). The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), p. 6. Retrieved from 

FRANKLAND.- March 11, Samuel Marsden, youngest brother of G. J. Frankland, of Mowbray, Paterson, in the 61st year of his age. Interred in the private cemetery on the estate. Family Notices (1887, March 14). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from 

They had also to record the loss they had sustained by the death of Mr. Samuel Marsden Frankland, who for several years served as a member of the council, and gave the society many valuable birds, from New Zealand and Lord Howes Island. THE ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY. (1888, March 30). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from 

A quantity of tree ferns presented to the society by Mr. Samuel M. Frankland, of Burwood ZOOLOGICAL, SOCIETY. (1883, December 8). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 9. Retrieved from 

AN INSECTIVOROUS BIRD.-Mr. G. J.Frankland, of Mowbray Vineyard, Paterson River, N.S.W., has informed us that the little bird (silver eye) is a famous destroyer of insect pests in the vineyard, especially of the elephant beetle. The birds damage the grapes to a small extent just as they are ripening. But this injury is much more than compensated for by the destruction of the insects. The Pitcher Plant. (1887, November 12).Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907), p. 21. Retrieved from 

By a ' Mail ' Special.

The Zoo has been very much in evidence in Sydney of late, and this from various reasons, but » chiefly on account of the controvert.}- as to Sunday opening. How that was settled is familiar. There being legal prohibition against the making of any charge on the Sabbath, while at the same time there was a widespread desire that the gardens and their living treasures should be open to those who could not visit them on week days, the Government agreed to find £1000 a year as compensation for the loss and expense the society would he put to. So the gardens were opened free on Sunday, January 9, to an attendance of 7319, and since then the Sunday attendance has gone up till on om- Sunday it web over 13,000. In the great storm oi last Sunday the number wa« 'if). Unfortunately, it has been found that the weekday paying attendances are suffering from the free Sun lay, and the loss to the funds is likely to be much greater than the subsidy. Therefore, either the subsidy will have presently to be increased, legislation passed allowing a charge, or Sunday opening will have ultimately to be discontinued. 

The Zoo on Sunday
In view of the increased interest being taken in the Zoo, a ' Mail ' photographer has taken a series of pictures of various of the animals and of the gardens as they appeared on Sunday, the 6 .h instant, with a crowd of nearly 7000 in them. 

The Zoo elephants are the especial delight of all juvenile visitors, and fine specimens they are. It did not need Rudyard Kipling's delightful story of the rebel elephant to persuade the public of the intelligence, as well as the vindictiveness, of the elephant. We learn to revere the elephant in our nurseries. It is sad to think that so fine a beast is doomed to extinction, for he will not breed in captivity, and he is being rapidly exterminated by men with that extraordinary lust to kill which is understood to constitute the sportsman, or who slaughter him for the value of the ivory in his tusks. Jessie and Toby, both females, are the Zoo elephants now, and both of them are fine beasts. Jessie is particularly intelligent and good natured. She came here from India. Her companion was brought over ahead of an American circus which did not follow, and so Toby was purchased for the Zoo. These two have a blameless history, but not so their predecessor, Jumbo, who died of a painful internal disease, which made him fierce of temper. That great beast, a present from the King of Siam, often chased his keepers. He flung one man out of his stable and hurled a lump of wood at another. Finally, tragedy came. Jumbo took a dislike to Mr. Frankland, a member of the council. Mr. Frankland was one day in the gardens with Sir John Robertson and another gentleman when Jumbo rushed at him, knocked him down with his trunk, and then got down and tried to kill him with his tusks. Mr. Frankland recovered, and was warned by every one not to go near the dangerous beast, but one Saturday afternoon he walked up to him in the stable, whereupon Jumbo viciously attacked him and broke his ribs. The injuries were probably fatal, as not long after Mr. Frankland died- Jumbo was distinctly a ‘bad elephant,' though his malady may have had something to do with his ferocity. 
BIRTHS AND DEATHS. One of the most interesting books at the Zoo is the register of births and deaths. Looking through this with Mr. Holmes on Sunday and starting with the notable advent of the four lion ctubs on December 11, 189G, I found these birth i-'iiiriua to date : — Four lion cubs, two fallow den-, two gazelles, eight Eusa deer, one lion cub, tvrt- llama, one pony foal, one rock wallaby, three tiger cubs, two puma cubs, one fallow deer, one sacred baboon, two puma cubs, one rock wallaby, one kangaroo, one wallaroo. Here are deaths in the same period ; — One hornbill, one springbok, one musk duck, one Timor deer, three flamingoes, one kiwi, one weka, one Grivet monkey, two paddy-melons, one hyena, one Sumatran bear The bear was a baby, too young to travel, purchased by Captain Ghest from a ship's crew here, who had brought it from Sumatra. On the ship it was generally petted and had, too, the warmtli of the boilers. When taken to the gardens it missed the petting of the crew and fretted itself to death. The young puma« whose birth is recorded above were in the next cage to a tiger recently. The tiger lay down with his tail through the barred partition, whereupon the pumas pounced upon it and irnawod it off before the enraged beast could i get it back.

SOME NOTES FROM THE ZOO. (1898, February 19). The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), p. 388. Retrieved from 

LOT 4 NARRABEEN, 249 ACRES OF LAND, upon which is erected a substantial and well finished STONE and WB RESIDENCE, which contains extensive accommodation, also a number of outbuildings and a large quantity of building materials

The Property is known as "INGLESIDE," the residence of Mr WATKINS and formerly the residential portion of the Powder Company s property. There is a large brick and cement reservoir, with a capacity of 1,000, 000 gallons The water is laid on to the House Stables etc.

A SPLENDID BLOCK FOR SUBDIVISION PURPOSES having a large frontage to Lane Cove and Pittwater roads, and road leading to Narrabeen. Immediately opposite Mr Larkin's Orchard THE TITLE IS TORRENS. Plan on View at the Salerooms. Advertising (1912, January 20). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 25. Retrieved from 

LABOURERS for Powder Works, Narrabeen. Apply to John Taylor, on the Works, Thursday next. Advertising (1884, December 31). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from 


Born 1866 or 1865
Came to Australia, unassisted passage, per
LARKIN  ISAAC age: 22 SEP 1887 ORIZABA Port: B

The Narrabeen Bore. 
An application for a grant out of the prospecting vote was made to the' Minister for Minister for Agriculture on the 15th instant by a deputation, headed by Mr. Bums, M.L.A., and representing a syndicate which is projecting Narrabeen for natural gas and coal. In support of file application it was urged that a' sum of £7000- — all that could be raised by.the company— had been expended in the operations. Natural gas had been found, and the only question to be determined was its volume. Favourable geological reports bad been furnished to the Minister by Mr. Slee and Mr. David, and the resumption of operations would be of value to the department in ascertaining value of the coal deposits, and in enabling it to complete of coal strata. The bore was on property adjacent to Crown lands, and if the venture proved a success — in which event the Crown lands would be increased in value — the company was prepared to repay the amount it might receive from the Government. In replying to the application, Mr. Sydney Smith pointed out that that very morning there had been received a deposit from a company formed to prospect for coal at Robertson's, better known as Cremorne Point, and a diamond drill had been granted under the usual conditions. He promised, however, to consider the case submitted, and to give a definite answer to the deputation in a few days' time. The Narrabeen Bore. (1890, August 23). The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), p. 442. Retrieved from

Another Avalon Coal Mining Application - Advertising (1895, December 19). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved from 

The monthly meeting of the Narrabeen Progress Association was held on Saturday evening last. The principal items on the business-sheet were consideration of the forthcoming meeting convened by the Mayor of Manly for the purpose of forming a tram-way league and election of officers for the ensuing year. The returns showed that it was necessary to raise the fee from 2s to 5s per annum, as in order to do effectual work the expenses were very considerable. This was unanimously agreed to on the motion of Mr. Macpherson. The election of officers resulted in the whole being re-elected, viz., Mr. T. J. West, president ; Messrs. T. Gibbons and J. Wheeler, vice-presidents ; Mr. T. G. Gibbons, hon. treasurer ; Mr. T. H. Macpherson, hon. secretary ; Messrs. West, Macpherson, Gibbons, McLean, and Powell, executive committee. A special vote of thanks was accorded to Mr. Macpherson, in which he was highly eulogised for the able way he had per-formed his duties as secretary, especially in connection with the tramway movement. Mr. Macpherson suitably responded, stating he was always pleased to assist in the welfare of the district. Mr. West (president) briefly responded to the vote of thanks passed to him, as did also Mr. T. G. Gibbons (hon. treasurer). NARRABEEN PROGRESS ASSOCIATION. (1898, December 15). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from 

The majority of the roads round about Narrabeen are in a very bad state, and efforts are being made to have some very necessary repairs effected. At the last meeting of the Narrabeen Progress Association, the matter was discussed at length, and bitter complaints were made of the condition into which the Powder Works-road has been allowed to lapse. It was decided to inaugurate a deputation to wait on the engineer for works on the matter. However, a motion, to hold a special meeting was negatived. It was thought that if the deputation were to point out to the officer the absolute necessity of repairing the road, something tangible would result. For his efforts in this matter, the member for Warringah (Mr. D. Thomson) was awarded a vote of thanks. It was decided unanimously that the executive committee of the association see that .the conditions of the contracts that are let for roads in the district are faithfully carried out, and the secretary will report to the engineer for roads, of any default. The proposed road to the Narrabeen Reservation was also considered, and, after a discussion, it was decided to send a petition to the Lands Department, protesting that the road in question was unnecessary and unsuitable. NARRABEEN ROADS. (1899, September 18). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 8. Retrieved from 

The annual dinner at the Narrabeen Progress Association was held on Saturday at Stennett’s Narrabeen Hotel
About 60 members and guests sat down. Mr. T. J. West (Mayor of Paddington) was in the chair, with Mr R. Atkinson Price, MLA on his right, and Mr Duguld Thomson, MLA , on his left. Among those present were Messrs. E. Terry, M.L A., D M. Clark, M L.A., T. Slatten. W. H. Fletcher (Mayor of Manly), H. E. Stevenson (alderman of Manly), P. Tyson, J. Waterhouse, G. S. Brock, N W. Montugu, Cr. A, Reid (postmaster, North Sydney) D. Farrell, T. H. Macpherson (hon, sectary), C. Newton (toastmaster), D. M’Lean, T. Price, P J. Moloney, J. J. Moloney, and Dr. Henry (of Manly). Apologies were received from the Premier and from Mr. T. Ii Hassall, Minister for lands,
The chairman gave the toast of " The Queen,'* and the company honoured it enthusiastically.
Mr. W. H. Fletcher (Mayor of Manly) gave 'The Government,'' and dwelt upon the opportunities for distinguished services which the times had thrown in their way, instancing the despatch of the contingents, the prospect of the attainment of federation, the battle now being waged against the plague, the resumption of the wharfs, and the feasibility of undertaking the national work of the construction of the Manly to Narrabeen tramway. Mr. J Waterhouse proposed "The Parliament "
Mr. Slattery spoke of the debt the country owed to those men who undertook the laborious duties of legislators, and of the veneration which should be held for our eminent public men. As an old resident of Manly he considered tram communication between the "village” and the district to be a work of national benefit. He said that had ho not relinquished Parliamentary life he would have given it his earnest support.
Mr, Dugald Thomson, M L A , responded, acknowledging the compliments paid by Mr Slattery, and regretting his absence from the House. Mr. Thomson urged upon the association the importance of being well supplied with facts and figures when the time came for the Public Works Committee to investigate the subject of the Manly to Narrabeen tram. He reminded them of the promise of the Minister for Works to bring the matter at any early date before the Cabinet, with the object of reference to the committee.
Mi. It Atkinson Price, M.L A , and Mr. E.Terry, M.L A , supported the toast.
Mr. L\M. Clark, ML A. proposed " The Narrabeen Progress Association," which was honoured
Other toasts were – “Success to Narrabeen," " The Ladies," and "The Press”.  NARRABEEN PROGRESS ASSOCIATION. (1900, May 8). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from 

A matter of balance — coming in on a surf board at North Narrabeen.  POLL OPEN (1926, October 26). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954


During the season members of the Narrabeen Sailing Club race their 16-foot skiffs practically every week-end. There are ten boats, and when the lake is full, as it is at present, they sail two laps over the long course, but when the lake is 'down' three laps over the short course. This picture shows the winning boat, Narrabeen (C. Fisher), on the left, with the Carefree (H. Hanson), second, after a race. SAILING ON NARRABEEN LAKE. (1927, February 16).Sydney Mail (NSW : 1912 - 1938), p. 2. Retrieved from 


You can ride a bicycle on water now, but the machines must have floats like these. The water cycles provide a popular pastime at Narrabeen. NEW SUMMER SPORT ON NARRABEEN LAKES (1941, May 12). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 15 (LATE FINAL EXTRA). Retrieved from 

THE majority of people who reside in the neighbourhood of Sydney or its suburbs scarcely need to be told that Ryde is situated on the Parramatta River. If the readers of the TOWN AND COUNTRY JOURNAL resided only in and about Sydney, it would be unnecessary to do more than chronicle the name of the town. But as the journal enjoys an immense constituency, and is read almost everywhere, it may be necessary, in order to distinguish the Australian beauty-spot from its famous namesake in the Isle of Wight, to state that the Ryde to which we specially refer is situated on the beautiful and winding arm of the Sydney bay, which is for convenience, or some other unknown sake, designated the Parramatta River. So far as the purposes of the present writing are concerned, it is of very little consequence whether the tidal water is a very long bay or an extremely short river. It is sufficient to say that the scenery on either hand is of surpassing loveliness. Beautiful as are the environs of Sydney generally, it will, we think, be generally conceded that there are spots overlooking the Parramatta outrivalling anything else that can he found in the neighbourhood of the city. It is scarcely too much of a stretch of the imagination to believe that a weary Peri might be seen hovering around waiting for an entrance to that Paradise which, though of earth, it is difficult to think less beautiful than that of ethereal construction. 

But Ryde has another name, and is in the position of having a second stream to its bow. It is also called Kissing Point-a name that suggests bliss unutterable, of an osculatory character, at all events. How it obtained the euphonious and suggestive name it is not now necessary that we should have to inquire. We hope to have something to say on this point-that is, Kissing Point-on another and early occasion. Ryde is finely situated, on high land; the more elevated portions, on many of which pretty cottages are erected, command fine views of the river and surrounding scenery, which visitors do not need to be reminded is charming in every sense of the word. Ryde enjoys municipal government, having been incorporated about nine years ago. It is a municipal district, and divided into three wards, returning three members each to the council. A considerable amount of work has been done. Roads have been made, and traffic made possible. The influence of an incorporated body has been felt, and many advantages have been obtained from the central government, which under other circumstances are denied to less favoured localities, wanting spirit or enterprise to tax themselves for mutual advantage. In short the benefits of self help and the advantages of municipal institution properly exercised is abundantly shown. The people of Ryde, by determining to tax themselves, have obtained advantages which by far exceed in present value their cost in money. The present Mayor is Mr. Herring, who enjoys the confidence of his fellow-aldermen and rate payers to a large extent. 

The principal produce of the district is fruit, the soil being specially adapted for the growth of oranges and lemons. Nearly all other kinds of fruits are produced in equal abundance and of excellent quality - grapes, loquats, peaches, nectarine, apricots, apples and pears, and strawberries. The series of sketches published in this ¡issue illustrate the principal industries in the district. A fair idea of the general appearance of Ryde is afforded by the first sketch. The church of St. Ann is a neat structure, after the model of so many of the old churches in England, with square tower and high gables. The Rev. Mr. Britter is the present incumbent. The grounds surrounding the church are ornamented with many handsome trees, and the general appearance of the church and its surroundings affords the belief that the attentions of loving and careful hands are bestowed upon it. The vineyard in the sketch is owned by Mr. Jackson, our view being taken from a northern aspect. The rise and fall of the land presents a very picturesque appearance. Orange gathering is a busy and, on the whole, pleasant period. The trees present a very rich appearance, covered as they are with golden fruit. One artist's sketch is from nature in every particular, and it may he that some will be able to recognise the trees, the gatherers, and the little folks who are so pleasantly engaged in the delightful task. The full force of the orange harvest is now over, but there are still large quantities on the trees awaiting a market. Ryde wharf at this season generally presents a busy appearance. Our sketch shows one of the small craft that trade up and down the river, and which are in many cases owned by the growers themselves, moored at the wharf. The fruit is sent in large cases, which are afterwards repacked in the market.

The fourth sketch is to our mind a gem. It depicts one of the prettiest of the many beautiful spots on the river. The view is looking down the stream -if there be any besides that given by the tide - and shows the tiny merchantmen under a full head of sail bound for the city with their cargoes of rich fruit. The long reach of land jutting out into tho water is known as Blaxland's Point, and margins the property of the honourable well-known gentleman, one of the earliest colonists, whose name it bears. The handsome looking house, Cloves, belonging to the Hon. J. Blaxland, is beautifully situated, and always marks a point of interest to the river-borne traveller. The stretch of water is also famous as the convincing ground of many a well-contested rowing match, and is the champion course upon which the Hickeys, Bush, Laycock, and Trickett have won their spurs. The mile from the start is just visible, and "first past" that has ere now made many hearts beat with quicker bounds.

The small craft having reached their haven, which is Darling Harbour, in safety, the fruit is conveyed to the George-street market, whence it is distributed to many parts, a considerable quantity going seaward to neighbouring colonies. We were in hopes of being able to obtain some statistics of the value and quantity of fruit passing through the markets, but we find that no record is kept. Considering the vast importance not only to the municipality but to the colony as an item of national wealth, we confess to some surprise that no means of ascertaining the extent of the fruit trade is to bo obtained from official, or, at all events, municipal sources.

Not the least interesting place in the district of Ryde is the studio of the Messrs. Collingridge Brothers, who, as painters and engravers, have earned a well-won fame in the art world of this young child. It is to their skilful hands that we are indebted for the series of views we now present to our readers.

Ryde. (1880, August 28). Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907), p. 25. Retrieved from

Orange culture at Ryde, New South Wales. Collingridges, A., artist. Print published in The Australasian sketcher with pen and pencil. Date created: August 26, 1882. Image no.: mp009008:3111330, courtesy State Library of Victoria.

Historic Ryde: 1791 to 1922

Next to Sydney and Parramatta, Ryde is the oldest centre of population in Australia. Some interesting information concerning its settlement and development is here given by Mr. R. Carmichael.

IN one of the earliest, if not actually the earliest, maps of Australian territory, the Ryde district (with other country; is referred to as a 'track '.tract) of good land to appearance in many places hereabout." This map purported to be "a map of all those parts of the territory of N.S.W. which have been seen by any person belonging to the settlement established at Port Jackson, in the said territory, faithfully constructed from the best materials that could be obtained; and respect-fully inscribed to Captain Twiss, of the Royal Engineers, by his much obliged and most humble servant, William Dawes. March, 1791" — a little more than three years after the advent of the First Fleet, which arrived in Port   Jackson on January 26, 1788. Ryde was successively known officially as Kissing Point, the Eastern Farms, and Field of Mars. There is a legend that Governor Phillip, or Governor Hunter, was present at a picnic party which landed on what is now designated Blaxland Point. His Excellency, being caught indulging in "forty winks," was playfully kissed by one of the ladies of the party, for which she expected, and possibly received, the customary reward of a pair of white kid gloves. The second appellation resulted from the fact that the district had been laid out in farms for settlement, these lying east of this reach of the Parramatta River. Quite a number of those farms were taken up by time-expired soldiers — hence the name ''Field of Mars." 

The name Ryde was suggested by the wife of the Rev. George Turner, incumbent of St. Anne's, owing to its similarity in some respects to Ryde, in the Isle of Wight, where the reverend gentleman was born. The last name was officially bestowed when the district was incorporated. 

Early Land Grants. 
THE first grant of land in Australia was; made to a man named Rouse, in 1791. The earliest grants to Ryde settlers were made in the year following, each being issued by Governor Phillip. The first grant in the Ryde district was that made to Isaac Archer, on January 3, 1792. It consisted of 80 acres. Then followed 30-acre grants each to John Laurel, William Careless, and James Weaver, all bearing the date of February 22, 1792. Isaac Archer's grant was afterwards known, and is still referred to, as Linsley's Bush. It adjoins the eastern side of the road running to Pennant Hills wharf, is bounded on the south by the Parramatta River, and on the north by the road leading from Parramatta to Ryde. (The northern frontage of this block was recently sold at, from £2 to £2 10s per foot.) Laurel's grant is directly opposite Mount St. Margaret's, being on the north side of the main road, Ryde to Gladesville. The other two grants are bounded on the north by Morrison-road, on the east by Princess-street, and on the west by Church street. 

Religious Services. 
THE first religious service held in Ryde — in a barn,   on August 26, 1798 — was historical from more than one point, of view. It not only marked an epoch in the history of the settlers, but was conducted by a man who himself had figured in history — i.e., the Rev. William Henry, who was a member of the pioneer mission (sent forth in the ship Duff in 1796), and survived, all his companions. He died on April 1, 1859, aged 87 years, and was buried in St. Anne's Churchyard cemetery. He married, late in life, a lady who was born in Ryde on October 2, 1797, and who followed him; to the tomb on July 28, 1882. To Ryde, belongs the distinction of having possessed the third church erected in Australia. The first, was built   in Sydney by the Rev. Richard Johnson, B.A. (the first colonial chaplain), with the assistance of his convict servants, the site being at the junction of Hunter, Bligh, and Castlereagh streets. It was known as the "Wattle   and Daub" Church, and was completed on August 25,   1793, on which date the first, service was held. The second church in Australia was built, at Parramatta, of materials of old huts, at the corner of George and Mars-den streets, near the site now occupied by St. John's. It was opened by the Rev. Samuel Marsden on the first, Friday in August, 1796. The third (Ryde's) was erected somewhere on the flats between Glebe-street and the Parramatta River, and was consecrated on July 16, 1800, by the Revs. R. Johnson and S. Marsden. It was a church and school combined, and measured 30ft by 14ft, with a side room, 9ft by 7ft, for the schoolmaster to sleep in. The cost was £40 12s 2d, or £26 7s Id more, than had been subscribed. The causes which led to the erection of this structure, as well as the means adopted to bring the scheme, to fruition, were thus quaintly described -by Missionary Hassall in a letter to the London Missionary Society, dated April 22, 1800: — .. . "In the district of Kissing Point (Ryde) I found it necessary to build an House of God partly on ac-count of the prejudices of the people against each other, they not being willing to attend each other's

REV. W. HENRY, Who conducted (the first- religious - service held at Ryde — on August 26, 1798.  Same image in Box 66 No. 882. Sydney Suburbs - Ryde - Reverend William Henry (portrait) - preached at first service in Ryde, 26th August 1798 Image No.:  a6940039h - Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales.

Same photo in Box 66 No. 883. Sydney Suburbs - Ryde - Rectors of St Anne's Church, 1838-1914 - Rev. J.G. Southby, 1872-6, Rev. G.E.W. Turner, 1838-69, Rev. W.F. Creeny, 1869-71, H.H. Britten, 1877-1905, J.H. Mullens, 1905-1914.
Digital Order Number: a6940040, courtesy Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales.


houses; and partly for the purpose of opening a schoolroom for the instruction of the settlers', children. A subscription was opened and we built an house." Appointing a Schoolmaster. IN an earlier communication Missionary Hassall said: — "Twenty-two settlers of Kissing Point voluntarily offered to build a place of worship, and asked us to use our influence to appoint them a schoolmaster to instruct their children. We applied to Governor Hunter, who immediately offered a school-master. The Governor also gave them some material for the building, which should be finished in November" (1799). There was evidently a hitch in these arrangements, as the building was not completed till eight months later than the-time here forecasted. The teacher appointed was Mr. Matthew Hughes, an Irish Protestant, who had been a corporal in a militia regiment before coming to New South Wales. In addition to a room to sleep in he received the munificent sum of 4d per head per week from the 20 children attending the school, or 6s 8d per week in all. Several of the parents were unable to provide the fourpence per week for the education of their offspring; so the missionary paid those missing fees to the schoolmaster out of a fund he had in hand, trusting to the Missionary Society to ratify his action. 

A Plot Discovered.         
AN interruption of the regularity of Divine service at Ryde occurred soon after the opening of the church above described. Explaining this to the London Missionary Society, Missionary Hassall, in a letter dated Parramatta, September 29, 1800, said he had constantly attended Toongabbie and Kissing Point alternately every Lord's Day. '. . . last Sunday only excepted, when through a report we were led lo believe the Irish Defenders which were transported to this country had an intent to beset the different places of worship and secure the military, with all the principle people, and at a signal that was to be given a bauditte was to rush into the town and kill, burn, and destroy all that lay in   their power, having a great number of pikes for that  purpose; but through a Divine Providence the plan was discovered, and, having got timely notice, every exertion was made and their plan confuted (and since  the above date some of their pikes have been found) but not knowing of the above plan till late on Saturday night, no order could be attended to on the Sabbath. A number of the bandits are now in custody. Some of them have been severely punished, and 1he rest, no doubt, will. At this date we are all in peace, and the Defenders have not been permitted to hurt any person.

History does not explain what became of the little school chapel, but it disappeared, schoolmaster and all, and another building, with another schoolmaster, reigned in its stead. It was recorded in the 'Sydney Gazette' that a meeting of the inhabitants of Kissing Point was held on June 20, 1812, by direction of the Rev. Samuel Marsden, for nominating a schoolmaster for the district. As a result, Mr. William Brown was appointed. The next record showed that on July 11, 1812, subscriptions had been received to the amount of £106 6s 'for the purchase of a farm and buildings to be used as a chapel and schoolhouse, the 28 acres of farm to be let to keep the buildings in repair.' The site of Ibis new chapel and school was undoubtedly John Jones's grant of 30 acres between Pope-street and Buffalo-road. The foundation of the present St. Anne's was laid in 1825, and the church was opened in 1828. 

The First Baptism 
ON the day the first chapel was opened at Kissing Point (122 years ago) three baptisms took place, and the records of those were made in the Rev.  Johnson's handwriting, in an ordinary plain book, each entry being written in and ruled off. The children baptised were: — Joseph Hatton, born May 5, 1800; Elizabeth Wood (date of birth not given) ; and Enoch Weaver, born July 30, 1796. The first baptism, after the creation of St. Anne's Parish, was that of Ann, daughter of John and Elizabeth Small, on May 21, 1826; the first, marriage, that of Wm. Pollard and Susannah Rearson (by consent of Governor Darling), on August. 11, 1827; and the first, burial Anthony Bergin, September 16, 1820, the chaplain then being the Rev. John Espy Keane. So far as the Church of Rome is concerned, the Marist Fathers, who established themselves at Villa Maria, between Woolloomooloo and Double Bays, in 1845, and afterwards at Tar bun Crook (Hunter's Hill), attended to the spiritual needs of those of their faith in Ryde, until, in the late 50's, St. Charles's Church was established. Other denominations followed, and now the Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, and Congregationalists are represented as well. 

Parkes and Other Noted Men 
ASSOCIATED with Ryde have been some men who were memorable in the history-making of Australia. The' late Sir Henry Parkes lived for many years in that fine old stone pile Hellenic, originally built, under difficulties, away back in the '40's, for the late Isaac Shepherd, who was born in the district in 1800. Hostile blacks provided the difficulties, the workmen having to be protected against the attacks of these by a detachment of soldiers. Some of Sir Henry’s family were born at Hellenie, and there also many of his poems were written. Mr. Wm. t osier, afterwards Agent-General for N.S.W., was for many years a resident of Brush Farm. Previous to that Brush Farm was the home of Mr. Gregory Blaxland of Blue Mountain exploration fame. The old house at Ermington Estate, now remodelled, was the residence of Major Lockyer. The homestead at Meadow Bank, built about the year 1835, was the residence of Captain Bennett (master mariner ) , who had previously lived at Byedale. An old house near the Ryde railway station, bearing the date 1803, was a sly grog shop, frequented mostly by timber-getters. The track along which timber was hauled, traces of which could be seen till recently, led past this house to Meadow Bank creek, whence the timber was boated to Sydney. In 1854 Mr. J. K. Hey don resided at Ermington, and in the earlier '50's

Same photo held in State Library of NSW Box 66 No. 881. Sydney Suburbs - Ryde - Council (portrait groups) Image No.: a6940038h
ALDERMEN AND OFFICIALS OF RYDE MUNICIPAL COUNCIL. Front Row (left to right) :- Alderman C. R. Summerhayes, Alderman A. Stewart, D. N. Morrison (town clerk), Alderman C. Dyer, Miss J. Kelly (typiste), Alderman P. G. Chatfield, Alderman C. Folkard. Back Bow: S. Brettell (engineer) , H. Bloomfield (deputy town clerk), W. Colhoun (caretaker), Alderman W. Watt, Alderman H. Seddon, Alderman C. Davis, J. W. Ainsworth (health inspector), E. E. Seale (rates clerk), Alderman R. Skelton, H. Harper (valuator). Since the group was photographed Alderman C. B. Summerhayes has been elected Mayor in succession to Alderman Dyer.

Mr. (afterwards Sir) John Bayley Darvall, one of New South Wales' first responsible Ministers, lived at Cleves, Mile Point. This he sold to Charles Blaxland, and then 'went to live in the old stone house, still tenanted by his descendants, near the railway station. The Hermitage (Blaxland-road) was built in 1854, and was for some time the residence of the Hon. John Blaxland. It, too, is still tenanted. The buildings of those early days, though lacking the style of modern architecture, could give points to many of our up-to-date , houses. Hellenie in more prosaic times was the scene, of the manufacture of excellent  whisky but the 'enterprise' was speedily ended by the intervention of the Ryde police, under ex-Sergeant John Ross.Another prominent Australian whose home was in Ryde was the late Hon. James Squire Farnell, whose life was practically spent in the district. 



Supplying Sydney With Produce
FROM its earliest inception Ryde supplied the metropolis with fruit and vegetables, also timber for building purposes and metal for the macadamising of the city streets. Concerning the fruit industry, an advertisement which appeared in the- Sydney 'Gazette and N.S.W. Advertiser' on Sunday, May 10, 1805, read: — 'For Sale. By W. Furber, at Kissing Point, a number of peach seedlings of a proper age for transplanting, and, if taken in quantities, will be disposed of at the -very low price of 4d each plant. Also, some very fine vinegar at 8s per gallon.' 

In those early days carriage was by water, barges and cutters principally being used for the purpose. It was no uncommon thing for those vessels to occupy a whole day in reaching Sydney, when squalls or baffling winds or calms were met with. As time went by roads were opened up and a punt service instituted, vehicles then going by way of Five Dock to Sydney. Still later the distance was further shortened by a punt service at Balmain.

The first hops grown in Australia were propagated at Ryde by James Squires, a soldier, in the reign of George II T., who brought them from -his native county, Kent. He established a brewery not far from the Ryde wharf, close to which was a tavern. The first orange trees grown in Australia were also cultivated in Ryde, about 130 years ago. They were grown by the Rev. Richard Johnson from pips that he had brought from Rio de Janeiro, on the land surrounding what is now known as Mr. Shepherd's residence, close to which the pioneer chaplain had his' home for a time. 

Remarkable Contrasts 
WHEN incorporated in; 1871 the area of the Ryde municipality was 15-69 square miles. This, however, was reduced to 1111 square miles on the secession of Marsfield (now Eastwood) on June 2, 1894. At the beginning the value of Ryde's ratable properties was £105,000, the annual revenue £1060, and the annual expenditure £1365. Now the unimproved capital value of properties is £1,289,966; the improved capital value, £2,443,811; and the annual average rental value, : £1,888,320, the annual revenue being £36,800, and the annual expenditure, ditto. There were at first 243 dwellings and 322 assessments, while now the dwellings number about 3100 and the assessments 14,700. In 1871 the population was 1458 persons, while now it numbers 15,500. There are now about 200 miles of formed streets, about 100 of which are macadamised. Land values in Ryde have increased enormously. For example, since the inauguration of the tramway service, on December 12, 1908, land that could previously be bought at 5s, 7s 6d, and 10s per foot has been sold up to £4 per foot. In the centre of the municipality it has been sold up to £12 per foot. Kerosene lamps for street lighting were superseded by gas on February 1, 1893, and gas by electricity on July 1, 1921. Up to about 20 years ago about three-parts of the total area of Ryde were held by seven or eight families, while the glebe lands, acquired about 1812, occupied a considerable area. Most of these estates have long since been unlocked, with results that are abundantly apparent to-day. Steps are now being taken to dispose of the glebe lands. 

Beautiful Surroundings 
RYDE- is noted for the picturesqueness of its scenery. From Brush Farm, the highest point in the municipality, a panoramic view is gradually unfolded to the vision, extending from the Pacific to Mount Wilson (beyond Blackheath), 80 miles away. This comprehensive and beautiful scene, with the waters of the sinuous Parramatta 'River sparkling in the foreground, was described by Froude, the historian, or Edmonds, the Trish patriot (there is some doubt about the matter), as being well worth coming all the way from Europe t.-see. It is only one of many vantage points. 

Historic Anecdotes 
SOME of Ryde’s historic anecdotes, duly authenticated as they are, are worth recalling. The old stone house near the Ryde railway station, bearing the date 1800 was as has been said, a sly grog shop, and it became necessary to 'give the office to the inmates when the police suddenly appeared in the neighbourhood. As distinguished from present-day methods of conveying similar warnings, the plan al that time was as novel as it was effective. The proprietor, Williams by name, merchouled at the top of his voice. 'Mother, the hawk is taking the chickens!' In those days the free gentry were assigned convicts as servants. These convicts were numbered, like parcels of goons in an auction room, and when they misconducted themselves were ordered so many lashes, which were, of course, inflicted by the proper authority. Convicts — ^ having duly earned 30 lashes, was despatched to this authority with a note indicating the extent of the punishment. On the way he met; a blackfellow and gave him the note, telling him to give it to the 'big fellow over there,' who would give him 'something good.' Jacky delivered the note, and, much to his surprise and indignation (he was a son of King Billy . was promptly trussed up to the triangle and given, with gusto, the 30 lashes intended for Convict No. — . After that, Jacky p.sciiewed notes of every sort, explaining they were 'Baal budgery'— 'no plurry good to him.' The administration of .justice in the T)ft's was not performed in the severely formal way it is to-day. At that period two prominent men in Ryde, inseparable friends, were popularly known as the 'two Jimmies.' One was the chief magistrate of 1he district, and the other an ordinary citizen. They 'got on the spree' one memorable night, and when told it was closing lime the magisterial 'Jimmie' struggled home, 'as full as a tick' and quite incapable of speech. The other began singing and shouting, and w7as arrested for drunkenness. Next morning 1he magisterial Jimmie presided on the Bench, as usual, while the other Jimmie figured as the only defendant. The defendant was severely lectured and fined 10s, with the intimation that next time he would get imprisonment without the option of a fine. The magisterial 'Jimmie' paid the fine, unostentatiously, and both went out to allay the pangs of 'hot coppers,' also unostentatiously.  Mr. F. J. Cahill, a business man, of Parkes-street, Ryde, a native of Parramatta, recollects attending, as a boy, a guild picnic from Sydney, held at Linsley's Bush about 55 years ago. An enjoyable part of the programme was a 'corroboree' by 200 blacks, lasting for a couple of hours or so. This was in marked contrast to the conduct of the blacks about a quarter of a century before, when Hellenic was in the course of construction. For much of the information contained in this article the writer is indebted to Mr. George Collingridge, artist, of Hornsby, the Historical Society, and the trustees of The Mitchell Library.
Historic Ryde:1791 to 1922 (1922, August 30). Sydney Mail (NSW : 1912 - 1938), , p. 18. Retrieved from

Two women walking near a creek at Narrabeen, Sydney, ca. 1930s, PIC/15611/8820 LOC Cold store PIC/15611 Fairfax archive of glass plate negatives, courtesy National Library of Australia. 
Waratah Farm Ingleside and The Narrabeen Plum; Pittwater Fields of Dreams II - threads collected and collated by A J Guesdon, 2016

Previous History Pages:  

Marie Byles Lucy Gullett Kookoomgiligai Frank Hurley Archpriest JJ Therry Sir Patrick Gordon Taylor Bowen Bungaree W. Bradley 1788 Journal Midholme Loggan Rock Cabin La Corniche La Corniche II Lion Island Bungan Beach Botham Beach Scarred Trees  Castles in the Sand Dame Nellie Melba lunches at Bilgola Spring, 1914  First to Fly in Australia at North Narrabeen  Mona Vale Golf Club's Annual Balls  Governor Phillip camps on Resolute Beach  Ruth Bedford  Jean Curlewis  Mollie Horseman  Charlotte Boutin  May Moore  Neville W Cayley Leon Houreux  Frederick Wymark  Sir Adrian Curlewis  Bilgola Heron Cove  Mullet Creek  Shark Point  Woodley's Cottage  A Tent at The Basin  Collin's Retreat-Bay View House-Scott's Hotel  Bilgola Cottage and House  The First Pittwater Regatta  Women Cricketers Picnic Filmed In Pittwater  Governor Phillip's Barrenjoey Cairn  Waradiel Season The Church at Church Point  Gov.  Phillip'€™s  Exploration of Broken Bay, 2 €- 9 March 1788   Petroglyths: Aboriginal Rock Art on the Northern Beaches  Avalon Headland Landmarks  Steamers Part I Pittwater Aquatic Club Part I  Woody Point Yacht Club  Royal Motor Yacht Club Part I  Dorothea Mackellar Elaine Haxton  Neva Carr Glynn Margaret Mulvey Jean Mary Daly  Walter Oswald Watt Wilfrid Kingsford Smith John William Cherry  George Scotty Allan  McCarrs Creek Narrabeen Creek  Careel Creek  Currawong Beach Creek  Bushrangers at Pittwater  Smuggling at Broken Bay  An Illicit Still at McCarr's Creek  The Murder of David Foley  Mona Vale Outrages  Avalon Camping Ground  Bayview Koala Sanctuary Ingleside Powder Works Palm Beach Golf Course  Avalon Sailing Club  Mona Vale Surf Life Saving Club  Palm Beach SLSC Part I - The Sheds  Warriewood SLSC Whale Beach SLSC Flagstaff Hill Mount Loftus Pill Hill Sheep Station Hill  S.S. Florrie  S.S. Phoenix and General Gordon Paddlewheeler  MV Reliance The Elvina  Florida House  Careel House   Ocean House and Billabong  Melrose-The Green Frog The Small Yacht Cruising Club of Pittwater  Canoe and I Go With The Mosquito Fleet - 1896  Pittwater Regattas Part I - Dates and Flagships to 1950 Shark Incidents In Pittwater  The Kalori  Church Point Wharf  Bayview Wharf  Newport Wharf Palm Beach Jetty - Gow's Wharf  Max Watt  Sir Francis Anderson Mark Foy  John Roche  Albert Verrills  Broken Bay Customs Station At Barrenjoey  Broken Bay Water Police  Broken Bay Marine Rescue - Volunteer Coastal Patrol  Pittwater Fire-Boats  Prospector Powder Hulk at Towler's Bay  Naval Visits to Pittwater 1788-1952  Pittwater's Torpedo Wharf and Range Naval Sea Cadets in Pittwater S.S. Charlotte Fenwick S.S. Erringhi  P.S. Namoi  S.Y. Ena I, II and III  Barrenjoey Headland - The Lessees  Barrenjoey Lighthouse - The Construction  Barrenjoey Broken Bay Shipwrecks Up To 1900  Barrenjoey Light Keepers  Douglas  Adrian Ross Newport SLSC 1909 - 1938 Part I Overview  North Narrabeen SLSC - The Formative Years  Bilgola SLSC - the First 10 years   North Palm Beach SLSC    A History of Pittwater Parts 1 and 4 Pittwater Regattas - 1907 and 1908  Pittwater Regattas - 1921 - The Year that Opened and Closed with a Regatta on Pittwater Pittwater Regatta Banishes Depression - 1933 The 1937 Pittwater Regatta - A Fashionable Affair  Careel Bay Jetty-Wharf-Boatshed  Gow-Gonsalves Boatshed -Snapperman Beach  Camping at Narrabeen - A Trickle then a Flood Pittwater's Parallel Estuary - The Cowan 'Creek'  RMYC Broken Bay Boathouse and Boatshed Barrenjoey Boat House The Bona - Classic Wooden Racing Yacht Mona Vale Hospital Golden Jubilee - A Few Insights on 50 Years as a Community Hospital Far West Children's Health Scheme - the Formation Years  The First Scotland Island Cup, Trophy and Race and the Gentleman who loved Elvina Bay Royal Motor Yacht Club Broken Bay NSW - Cruiser Division History - A History of the oldest division in the Royal Motor Yacht Club   Royal Motor Yacht Club€“ Broken Bay€“ Early Motor Boats and Yachts, their Builders and Ocean Races to Broken Bay, the Hawkesbury and Pittwater  The Royal Easter Show Began As the Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales   The Mail Route to Pittwater and Beyond  The Wild Coachmen of Pittwater - A Long and Sometimes Bumpy Ride on Tracks Instead of Roads  The Fearless Men of Palm Beach SLSC's Surf Boats First Crews - A Tale of Viking Ships, Butcher Boats and Robert Gow'€™s Tom Thumb 'Canoe'  Furlough House Narrabeen - Restful Sea Breezes For Children and Their Mothers  From Telegraphs to Telephones - For All Ships at Sea and Those On Land Mona Vale Training Grounds - From Lancers on Horses to Lasses on Transport Courses  Fred Verrills; Builder of Bridges and Roads within Australia during WWII, Builder of Palm Beach Afterwards  Communications with Pittwater  Ferries To Pittwater A History of Pittwater - Part 4: West Head Fortress  Pittwater's Lone Rangers - 120 Years of Ku-Ring-Gai Chase and the Men of Flowers Inspired by Eccleston Du Faur  Early Pittwater Launches and Ferries Runs Avalon Beach SLSC - The First Clubhouse  Avalon Beach SLSC The Second and Third Clubhouses From Beneath the Floorboards at Hyde Park Barracks  Bungaree Was Flamboyant  Andrew Thompson - 'Long Harry'  Albert Thomas Black John Collins of Avalon Narrabeen Prawning Times - A Seasonal Tide of Returnings  Oystering in the Pittwater Estuary - Oyster Kings and Pearl Kings and When Not to Harvest Oysters Yabbying In Warriewood Creeks  Eeling in Warriewood's Creeks (Includes A Short History of community involvement in environmental issues/campaigns in and around Narrabeen Lagoon - 1974 to present by David James OAM) Eunice Minnie Stelzer - Pittwater Matriarchs  Maria Louisa Therry - Pittwater Matriarch  Katherine Mary Roche - Pittwater Matriarchs Sarah A. Biddy Lewis and Martha Catherine Bens Pittwater Matriarchs  Pittwater's New Cycle Track of 1901 Manly to Newport  The Rock Lily Hotel  Barrenjoey House The Pasadena Jonah's St Michael's Arch  The First Royal Visitor to Australia: the Incident at Clontarf March 12th, 1868  Pittwater: Lovely Arm of the Hawkesbury By NOEL GRIFFITHS - includes RMYC Wharf and Clareville Wharf of 1938 + An Insight into Public Relations in Australia George Mulhall First Champion of Australia in Rowing - First Light-Keeper  at Barranjuey Headland  Captain Francis Hixson - Superintendent of Pilots, Lights, and Harbours and Father of the Naval Brigade  The Marquise of Scotland Island   The First Boat Builders of Pittwater: the Short Life and Long Voyages of Scotland Island Schooner the Geordy  Boat Builders of Pittwater II: from cargo schooners and coasters to sailing skiffs and motorised launches  The Currawong: Classic Yacht  The Riddles of The Spit and Bayview/ Church Point: sailors, boat makers, road pavers winning rowers   VP Day Commemorative Service 2015 –  at Avalon Beach RSL Cenotaph: 70th Anniversary  Captain T. Watson and his Captain Cook Statues: A Tribute to Kindness   Pittwater Reserves: The Green Ways; Hordern or Wiltshire Parks to McKay Reserve – From Beach to Estuary Pittwater Reserves, The Green Ways: Clareville Wharf and Taylor's Point Jetty  Pittwater Reserves: The Green Ways Bilgola Beach - The Cabbage Tree Gardens and Camping Grounds - Includes Bilgola - The Story Of A Politician, A Pilot and An Epicure by Tony Dawson and Anne Spencer  Pittwater Reserves - The Green Ways: Mona Vale's Village Greens a Map of the Historic Crown Lands Ethos Realised in The Village, Kitchener and Beeby Parks  Pittwater Reserves: The Green Ways; Bungan Beach and Bungan Head Reserves:  A Headland Garden  Early Pittwater Paddlers, Oarsmen, Rowers and Scullers: The Green Family  Elanora - Some Early Notes and Pictures  The Stewart Towers On Barrenjoey Headland  Early Pittwater Paddlers, Oarsmen, Rowers and Scullers: The Williams Family  Early Cricket in Pittwater: A small Insight Into the Noble Game from 1880's On  The Pacific Club's 2016 Carnival in Rio Fundraiser for Palm Beach SLSC Marks the 79th Year of Support  Bert Payne Park, Newport: Named for A Man with Community Spirit   Early Pittwater Paddlers, Oarsmen, Rowers and Scullers: The Fox Family  Surf Carnivals in February 1909, 1919, 1925, a Fancy Dress Rise of Venus and Saving Lives with Surfboards  Early Pittwater Paddlers, Oarsmen, Rowers and Scullers: The Paddon Family of Clareville  Mermaid Basin, Mona Vale Beach: Inspired 1906 Poem by Viva Brock  Early Pittwater Schools: The Barrenjoey School 1872 to 1894  The Royal Easter Show and 125th Celebration of the Hawkesbury Agricultural College: Farmers Feed Us!  The Newport School 1888 to 2016 Pittwater's Ocean Beach Rock Pools: Southern Corners of Bliss - A History The Royal Botanical Garden Sydney Celebrate 200 Years in 2016  The Porter Family of Newport: Five Brother Soldiers Serve in WWI Church Point and Bayview: A Pittwater Public School Set on the Estuary  The Basin, Pittwater: A Reprise: Historical Records and Pictures  Lighthouse Keepers Cottages You Can Rent in NSW - Designed or Inspired by Colonial Architect James Barnet: Includes Historic 'Lit' Days records   Bayview Days Ships Biscuits - the At Sea Necessity that Floated William Arnott’s Success  Mona Vale Public School 1906 to 2012   St Johns Camden: 176th And 167th Anniversaries In June 2016 - Places To Visit  Narrabeen Lagoon And Collaroy Beachfront: Storms And Flood Tides Of The Past  Avalon Beach Public School - A History   Muriel Knox Doherty Sir Herbert Henry Schlink  Shopping And Shops In Manly: Sales Times From 1856 To 1950 For A Fishing Village   Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club's 150th Sailing Season Opening: A Few Notes Of Old  A Few Glimpses Into Narrabeen's Past Beauties  Dr. Isobel Ida Bennett AO   Taronga Zoo 100th Birthday Parade: 1000 Reasons To Celebrate  War Memorials: Manly, October 14, 1916  Avalon Beach Golf Links: Pittwater Fields of Dreams II  War Memorials - Mona Vale, November 14, 1926  Annie Wyatt Reserve Palm Beach: Pittwater Fields of Dreams II Tumbledown Dick Hill