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Events in the History of Newtown
Demolition of Mary Reiby’s house
1962: Mary Reibey’s house is demolished for inexpensive flats.
South Sydney Council
Part of Newtown under Marrickville Council; South Sydney Council formed.
End of Newtown Council
1949: Newtown is incorporated into the City of Sydney.
1947: The population of the municipality declines to 24933 people.
1933: The population of the municipality declines to 25290 people.
Premiership to Newtown
1933: Newtown Rugby League Club wins premiership.
‘Black Friday’ evictions
19th June 1931: The ‘Black Friday’ eviction battle between police and tenants in Union Street.
Part of the city
1927: Real estate agents Hardie & Gorman classifies its Newtown properties as being part of the ‘city’ rather than suburban.
1927: The railway is expanded with two island platforms demolished, the bridge widened and the Hatte’s drinking fountain removed.
Salvation Army Hall
3rd June 1922: The Salvation Army builds hall in Brown Street.
1921: The population of the municipality peaks at 28168 people.
1919: Influenza Epidemic.
Last drinks at 6
1916: Local hotels have ‘six o’clock closing’ until 1955.
Barracks at Marrickville
1913/14: Army Barracks are established at Addison Road Marrickville; it is said that one sixh of lovcal eligible men were called up for service.
1913: A Royal Commission into electorates proposes Newtown be included with the city and eastern suburbs
1912: A murder in Gowrie street. Jubilee Celebrations.
1911: The population of the municipality is now 26498 people.
Electric street lights
31st December 1910: The municipality’s gas streetlights are disconnected and replaced with 418 electric lamps, there will be 465 lamps in 1922.
New rail proposed from Erskineville
1909: Royal Commission on Sydney Improvement proposes two branch rail lines to Randwick and Botany branching off just south of Erskineville station.
Newtown Rugby League
8th January 1908: Newtown’s Rugby League Club is formed. Known as the “bluebags” they are only the 2nd rugby league club in Australia.
1905: Camperdown ratepayers petition to join Newtown this year but it is amalgamated within Sydney City in 1908.
1901: The population of the municipality is 22640 people.
1st January 1901: The Commonwealth of Australia established.
1st April 1900: Tram depots open at Newtown and Tempe.
Baby farmer caught
20th June 1893: Dead children are found in the garden of baby farmer John Makin of Macdonaldtown.
March 1893: There is great unemployment in the area and council staff are asked to work on alternating weeks on half-pay.
February 1893: A plan to rename the municipality as South Sydney is discussed (North Sydney was created in 1890 when two smaller muncipalities amalgamated).
Bankstown railway line
1895: Opening of the Bankstown railway line.
1892: Newtown is the fourth most populous of Sydney’s suburbs. Marie Ryan, p 4.
13th February 1894: Burwood’s Town clerk William Redfearn shoots Mayor William Paisley in Burwood Council chambers.
1893: Erskineville separates from Macdonaldtown Municipality[?].
10th January 1892: The new Newtown and Macdonaldtown railway stations open as part of the two-year long quadruplication of the line.
Last of the estates
1891: The population of the municipality is now 17870 people; only three of the mansions, Stanmore House, Thurnby and Linthorpe retain a semblance of their formerly large gardens.
1891: A steam tram operates between Newtown and St Peters station; it will later be replaced by a horse tram.
10th July 1890: Newtown is considered as a shopping Mecca serving all the south western suburbs; a newspaper report in the Echo (and/or W. Freame (?) claims 612 were business houses. Compare Marie Ryan (p.63) – ” As Newtown produced very few of her own basic necessities, shops were the very foundation of the suburb. 413 shop residences are recorded in 1892, and 20 buildings served solely as shops. Of this 413, all but 57 were found on Enmore Road or King Street, hailed as “another Oxford Street”.The remaining 57 were scattered in more distant parts of the borough and were mostly corner shops”.
March 1890: St. Peters Council writes asking for Newtown’s assistance in campaigning for the Alexandra navigation canal; the former nightsoil dump is to be converted into useful factory sites alongside Shea’s Creek which is to be dredged and channelled for barges; the Department of Public Works will extend the canal to Buckland Street Redfern over the next decade.
2nd July 1889: Two local newspapers commence publication, the 4-page ‘Newtown Chronicle’ and ‘The Independent’ (which closes in 1911). There are thirty hotels in district.
Erskineville highest mortality in the State
2nd January 1889: Alderman O’Connell draws attention to the typhoid fever in Gowrie Street in Camden ward. The Herald reports that William Jones, aged 34, of 53 Gowrie Street succumbed to the attack on the 21st, son Edward died on the following day; on Monday daughter Maggie died too; and the mother alone is left. Mrs Charlotte Jones, 31, is now recovering from the fever at Prince Alfred Hospital but does not yet know of the loss of her husband and children. On 24 May 1889, the NSW Board of Health names Erskineville as the suburb where the highest mortality has occurred in the state; the problem of faulty cesspits is made worse by the new railway viaduct impeding drainage to Shea’s Creek.
26th March 1889: The Trocadero amusement hall and skating rink opens in Kings Street; the minutes for April this year mention a swimming club.
23rd April/21st May 1889: Sections of Newtown east of Liberty Street are to be connected to the sewer being built to serve the Royal Price Alfred Hospital.
4th December 1888: Petitioners complaining of large volumes of smoke from the brickyards.
St Georges Hall as Town Hall?
February 1888: Pharmacist Richard Thomas Bellemey is elected mayor and prompts more discussion on resuming St Georges Hall as a Town Hall.
11th October 1887: Mr Bartlett’s Varieties Theatre is i operation in King Street
Quadruplication of the railway line
1886-1892: Quadruplication of the railway line commences. Local streets are being paved with asphalting, the Council transfers its account to the Bank of Australasia after 23 years with the Australian Joint Stock Bank and Stanmore Fire Station opens,
The Gadigal People
Their land south of Port Jackson stretches from to South Head to Petersham.