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Hurstville City Timeline

This timeline tracks the history of Hurstville and its suburbs from Pre-European contact till 2001.


Pre-European Contact to 1835

Georges River from Oatley Park looking east 1930s
Georges River from Oatley Park looking east 1930s


Pre-European Contact - The main family groups or “tribes” in the area between Cooks and Georges Rivers were thought to be the Cadigal and Biddegal. The Cadigal tended to be closer to the Cooks River.

1789 - Capt John Hunter surveys Botany Bay, including Georges River. He is not very impressed with the River.

1795 - Bass, Flinders and Martin sail up the Georges River.

1804 - Hannah Laycock's land grant 11 August which she named “King's Grove Farm” - present day Kingsgrove.

1808 - John Townson's land grant 9 July covering the area north of King Georges Road. Robert Townson's land grant 1 November basically the area south of King Georges Road to Boundary Road. He extends his holdings further south in the following year.

1809 - Governor Macquarie visits both Hannah Laycock and John Townson on their properties 13 December.

1812 - John Townson sells his grant to Simeon Lord. The area becomes known as Lord's Forest or Bush. Only residents of the area were illegal timber cutters, escaped convicts and Kooris.

1813 - Ships, including the Whale, make regular trips to Botany Bay for timber.

1828 - 1828 Census lists 299 people living in the District of Botany Bay - the present Parish of St George.

1831 - James Oatley acquires the first of his local land grants.

1833 - James Oatley receives a land grant in the area now known as Oatley.

1835 - Creation of the Parish of St George. 


1839 to 1856

Dam across the Cooks River
Dam across the Cooks River

 1839 - Construction of a dam across the Cooks River at Tempe gives access to the St George area.

1841 - 1841 Census has 453 people living in the Parish.

1843 - The Lugarno ferry service established.

1843 - Major Thomas Mitchell, or rather his son, starts constructing Mitchell's Line of Road to the south. This road, with slight deviations, is present-day Forest Road.

1846 - 1846 Census has the population increasing to 611 for the Parish.

1850 - Michael Gannon acquires John Townson's grant for £732 and the area becomes known as Gannon's Forest.

1850 - Man of Kent Inn built - the first licensed hotel in the now Hurstville area.


Blue Post Hotel, c.1925
Blue Post Hotel, c.1925


c.1850 - The Blue Post Inn constructed on Forest Road and Roberts Lane, Hurstville. The village of Gannon's Forest is centred around the Inn.

c.1850 - The first school opens in a shed near the present-day railway station - operated by George Crew. The school moves over the next several years as the teacher changes.

1850s - The major clearing of the forest gets underway with timbergetting the area's major industry.

c.1852 - Another inn, Currency Lass Inn, built in Forest Road near the present-day Hurstville railway station - one of many in the area.

1854 - Church services first held in Hurstville, firstly in a shed and then in the home of the school teacher, George Crew.

1854 - Thomas Smithson establishes his tobacco and snuff factory on Stoney Creek Road - now Kingsgrove Park. It's believed the tobacco may have been grown at the factory.

1854 - Robin Hood and Little John Inn, Stoney Creek Road, Beverly Hills first licensed hotel.

1856 - The first Wesleyan Church in Peakhurst - used as a school until 1877. 


1856 to 1882

St George
St George's Church of England


1856 - St George's Church of England, opens on the corner of The Avenue and Forest Road, Hurstville. A small cemetery is in the church grounds.

1861 - Census shows 1,619 residents.

1863 - First ferry service at Tom Ugly's Point.

1864 - Gannon's Forest Post Office opens in the store of Charles Claggett on 1 October. Like the school, the location of the post office moves over the next forty years.

1870s - Coach services to the city start - exact date unknown but services extended to Hurstville during this decade.

1870s - Edwards Nursery, Croydon Road, dates from this decade.

1870s - Cappelow's Paddock, near the Blue Post Inn, the first recreation ground, (including a racecourse), in the area.

1871 - 1871 Census has 2,038 people in the Parish.

1876 - Hurstville Public School constructed. The Inspector, Mr McIntyre, names the school “Hurstville”.

1877 - The first Peakhurst Public School built in Forest Road.

1879 - The second Wesleyan/Methodist Church built in Peakhurst.

1879 - Methodist services commence in Hurstville.

1880 - Iliffe's Hurstville Farm nursery commences.

1881 - Gannon's Forest Post Office changed to Hurstville Post Office on 1 March - the first use of “Hurstville” to describe the district.

1882 - The appointment of the first policeman to the district.


1883 to 1887

Hurstville Railway Station, 1893
Hurstville Railway Station, 1893


1883 - The opening of the Illawarra Railway to Hurstville on 15 October has at least two effects - the moving of the centre of the district from the Blue Post Inn to around the station and increased land sales in the area.

1884 - Mortdale Brickworks established.

1884 - The erection of a Methodist Church, Hudson Street, Hurstville.

1884 - Hurstville Hotel built.

1885 - The first Post Office established in Peakhurst.

1885- The first Como Railway Bridge opened.

1886 - The first Oatley Railway Station opened.

1886 - St Michael's Catholic Church and Convent of St Mary's Star
of the Sea opened.

1887 - The Municipal District of Hurstville proclaimed with a population of 1,050 - the meeting place moves several times in the year.


1888 to 1895

Centennial Bakery from a painting
Centennial Bakery from a painting


1888 - Mortdale Public School opened.

1888 - Centennial Bakery built on the corner of Forest Road and Bridge Street, Hurstville.

1888 - Hurstville Council moves into its first permanent home - rented premises.

1889 - A new St George's Church of England built to replace the old wooden building. Stages added over the next fifty years.

1890 - First permanent Hurstville Council chambers built.

1890 - Penshurst Railway Station opened 17 May.

1890s - Heinrich, Chislett and Matthei families settle in the Lime Kiln Bay area.

1891 - The first of several water service reservoirs built on the hill on Laycock Road, Penshurst. This one removed in 1914.

1891 - By the 1891 Census the population of the Parish had increased to 10, 411. As with previous census only a small percentage of people actually lived in the City of Hurstville area.

Early 1890s - The Allerdice Entertainment Hall opens.

1892 - Beverly Hills Public School opened.

1894 - Small part of land south of the Georges River (now Illawong) annexed by Hurstville Council.

1895 - Water and gas mains installed in the Municipality.

1895 - Another water tank at Penshurst - removed in 1951.



1896 to 1908

Hurstville Fire Brigade before 1900
Hurstville Fire Brigade before 1900


1896/7 - A volunteer fire brigade with 14 volunteers established on the corner of Dora and MacMahon Streets.

1897 - Mortdale Railway Station opens with a level crossing.

1897 - The telephone is connected at Hurstville Town Hall.

1897 - The first St Peters's Church of England, Mortdale built.

1899 - Hurstville Park proclaimed.

1900 - Hurstville Municipality cedes its Bexley Ward which becomes Bexley Council.

1902 - Ferguson's Nursery established in Kingsgrove - now Kingsgrove High School.

1903 - A new Methodist Church built in The Avenue, Hurstville.

1903 - Baptist Church, Mortdale built.

1904 - The first permanent Hurstville Post Office constructed.

1904 - The first Presbyterian Church, St Giles, built on Forest Road, Hurstville between Carrington Avenue and Gloucester Road.

1905 - The second Oatley Railway Station opens to the west of the original location thus causing a border dispute with Kogarah Council that lasts many years (resolved in January 1931).

1905 - The overhead bridge built at Penshurst Railway Station replacing a level crossing.

1908 - Penshurst Park proclaimed 15 April.

1908 - Mortdale Fire Station opened. The building was transferred from Kogarah.

1908 - Dumbleton (now Beverly Hills) Post Office established.



1909 to 1912

Hurstville Police 1910
Hurstville Police 1910


1909 - The telephone arrives at Peakhurst Post Office.

1909 - School of Arts and Hall, Peakhurst built - the first School of Arts in the Municipality.

1909 - The Hurstville Picture Palace opened - at first open air but part covered within the year.

1909 - Hurstville Police Station built.

1910 - The third water tank at Penshurst - steel elevated.

1910 - The first St John's Church of England built King Georges and Forest Roads.

1911 - Methodist Church, Mortdale built.

1911 - Hurstville Oval opened.

1911- The founding of the “Propeller” newspaper.

1912 - A second fire station built in MacMahon Street, Hurstville.



1913 to 1940

1913 - The second Council chambers built on the corner of MacMahon and Dora Streets.

1914 - A new fire station built at Mortdale.

1915 - Open air picture show built at Mortdale.

1916 - St Andrews Presbyterian Church moved to Penshurst Street, Penshurst from Dumbleton (Beverly Hills) - replaced in 1961.

1916 - The first indoor theatre, the Queens (later called the Civic) opens on 17 April.


Penshurst from the Water Tower, 1913
Penshurst from the Water Tower 1913


1917 - Holy Trinity Church of England, Peakhurst opened.

1920 - The formation of the St George County Council.

1921 - The small parcel of land south of the Georges River transferred to Sutherland Shire.

1922 - New railway station built at Mortdale, including an overbridge and subway.

1923 - The general supply of electricity to the area commences 9 March.

1923 - The second St Giles Presbyterian Church built on the corner of MacMahon Street and Park Road.

1926 - The electrification of the Illawarra from Oatley to the city opened 1 March.

1926 - The first Penshurst Methodist Church built. 

Beverly Hills, 1949
Beverly Hills 1949


1927 - The Strand Theatre opens.

Late 1920s - Mortdale Park developed.(The land is purchased in 1925).

1928 - St Declans Church built Forest Road and Penshurst Street, Penshurst.

1928 - A Picture Palace built at Mortdale.

1928 - The new Baptist Church at Mortdale built.

1929 - The second Peakhurst Public School built in Bonds Road.

1930 - The third Council chambers built on the same site.

1931 - The East Hills Railway line opened.

1931 - Herne Bay, now Riverwood, Railway Station opened.

1932 - All Saints Church of England, Oatley West built.

1936 - The last water tank at Penshurst built - made of reinforced concrete.

1937 - The formation of the St George Co-operative Building Society 6 May.

1937 - The Savoy Theatre opens.

1939 - St Declans School built next to the Church.

1940 - Dumbleton changed to Beverly Hills. Beverly Hills 1949

1940 - The St James Theatre opens in Beverly Hills.


1947 to 1972


1947 - Olds Park, on Forest Road, Penshurst dedicated.

1954 - The second Penshurst Methodist Church built.

1955 - The third St Giles Presbyterian Church built - the full title being St Giles Presbyterian War Memorial Church.

1958 - The Baptist Church at Mortdale enlarged.

1958 - Herne Bay changed to Riverwood.

1959 - Second St John's Church of England, renamed St John's Memorial Church of England, built.

1960 - Kingsgrove High School built on the old Ferguson's Nursery site.

1961 - St Andrews War Memorial Presbyterian Church, Penshurst Street, Penshurst - the second church on this location.

1962 - The present Hurstville Post Office built.

1962 - The fourth Council chambers built on the same site.

1963 - The Regina Coeli Catholic Church, Beverly Hills, opened.

1964 - Pickering Park, Peakhurst built.


1965 - H V Evatt Park, Lugarno opens.

1965 - The road bridge over Salt Pan Creek opened.

1972 - Penshurst Branch Library opens.

1972 - The second Como Railway Bridge opened.

1972 - Mortdale Brickworks cease production.



1974 to 2001

Lugarno Ferry, 1962
Lugarno Ferry 1962


1974 - The last journey of the Lugarno Ferry Punt 12 December - the service was provided for 131 continuous years.

1988 - Proclamation of Hurstville as a city 25 November.

1992 - St George Co-operative Building Society becomes the St
George Bank Limited on 1 July.

2001 - Hurstville's new library opens on the corner of Dora Street and Queens Road on 23 August.


Aerial view of Hurstville City Library in 2001

Aerial view of Hurstville City Library in 2001





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