The City of Parramatta Council Archives, Research Library and Collection Services Team
The Research and Collections Services Team (RCS) primarily provides services to Council and the residents of its Local Government Area (LGA). Many of the services are made available to the broader Australian community and international visitors to extend the understanding and appeal of the Parramatta region as a destination with a vibrant innovative culture and heritage.
Its services include: management, storage and dissemination of Council archives dating back to 1860. Access to library books, pamphlets, and journals relating to the development of the Parramatta LGA from its Aboriginal past through to the present.
RCS also manages, stores and disseminates information relating to the material culture and artistic life of the Parramatta. It acts as a respected Western Sydney based centre for professional advice and expertise relating to: cultural heritage, museum collection management, archival records, family history, and innovation in the cultural sector.
The team develops, manages and programs exhibitions, school programs, public talks and symposiums, research partnerships, and community based workshops.
Parramatta Timeline 1788 - Present
A chronological list of events from Parramatta’s early colonial settlement to the present.
|1788||24 April. Site of Parramatta chosen by Governor Phillip.|
|1788||2 November. Settlement at Rose Hill (now Parramatta) founded.|
|1788||King’s Wharf, Parramatta, established.|
|1789||1 November. James Ruse established the first private farm in Australia.|
|1789||November. First wheat crop harvested at Rose Hill.|
|1790||June. First burial in St. John’s Cemetery.|
|1790||Parramatta Town laid out.|
|1791||James Ruse granted 30 acres.|
|1791||Australia’s first grape vines planted in the Governor’s garden, Parramatta Park|
|1791||30 March. Experiment Farm, No. 1 grant.|
|1791||May. Military barracks completed.|
|1791||4 June. Rose Hill renamed Parramatta|
|1792||First Public House erected.|
|1792||Foundations laid for the first Town Hall site in Parramatta.|
|1792||22 February. John Irving, Australia’s first emancipated convict, granted land on the Parramatta River.|
|1793||Elizabeth Farm House built.|
|1793||First road constructed to Parramatta. An unsealed road travelled from Sydney to current Flemmington then to Mona Street, South Granville and then to the south of Parramatta around Pitt and Church Street.|
|1796||Sydney’s first Gaols built in Alfred Park and in Sydney Town.|
|1796||September. First Church opened.|
|1799||First part Old Government House, Australia’s oldest surviving public building, completed.|
|1799||First Parramatta Gaol burns down.|
|1801||17 August. Female Ophan School opens.|
|1803||9 April. First St. John’s Church opened.|
|1804||First Female Factory erected|
|1804||New gaol completed in Prince Alfred Park.|
|1810||April. First horse-race held in Parramatta.|
|1810||John Eyre’s school opened.|
|1811||Town extended by Macquarie|
|1812||Map of the town by James Meehan, Deputy Surveyor.|
|1814||‘Native Institution’ school for Aboriginal people founded.|
|1816||New St John’s Parsonage built.|
|1818||New Hospital erected.|
|1818||Parramatta Orphan School completed.|
|1820||Military barracks completed|
|1820||Convict Barrack erected.|
|1820||Towers of St. John’s Church completed.|
|1821||First Methodist Church built.|
|1821||Second Female Factory completed.|
|1821||Brislington House built.|
|1822||Aboriginal Meetings in Parramatta Square, 1822-1833|
|1822||Agricultural Society established.|
|1823||Parramatta Observatory erected.|
|1825||Foundation stone of the Darling Mills (Flour) laid|
|on site of present Sydney Woollen Mills.|
|1828||First Post Office built in Parramatta|
|1828||Work begins on Howell’s wind and water mill|
|1832||13 February. The first King’s School opened at Harrisford House.|
|1836||Jnauary. The Second King’s School building completed above the weir North Parramatta.|
|1839||Lennox Bridge completed.|
|1840||Harvey’s Mill built and begins operations between 1840 and 1841.|
|1840||John Ireland and Issac Titterton proprietors of White Horse Hotel|
|1841||Byrnes Bros. Flour Mills erected. Later used as a cloth mill.|
|1842||Third Parramatta Gaol opens Clifford and Dunlop Streets|
|1843||Parramatta’s first newspaper “The Parrmatta|
|1843||Second St. John’s Church opened|
|1855||26 September. 1st Railway opened to Parramatta Junction near Granville.|
|1856||Dam at Lake Parramatta completed.|
|1857||Parramatta Park Created|
|1859||Parramatta Fire Brigade established.|
|1860||Parramatta Rifle Corps fromed|
|1860||4 July rail line extended to current Parramatta Station.|
|1861||November. Parramatta incorporated as a municipality.|
|1863||Ranleigh House built.|
|1868||Municipality styled a ‘Borough’.|
|1870||Parramatta Amateur Dramatic Society formed.|
|1872||Parramatta Gas Company purchased land on the Parramatta River.|
|1872||19 May. Congregational Church building opened.|
|1873||Gas turned into town mains for first time.|
|1881||First Parramatta Council Chambers erected.|
|1882||Anderson Fountain erected.|
|1883||Parramatta Town Hall completed.|
|1888||Foundation Stone of the Centennial Fountain laid.|
|1888||15 September. Centennial Baths opened.|
|1889||8 February. The King’s School new chapel opened.|
|1890||Friendly Societies form a Medical Institute.|
|1900||First motor car runs in Parramatta.|
|1902||Granville District Football Association formed.|
|1908||2 December. New Friendly Societies Dispensary building|
|1910||August. Sewerage scheme completed and taken over|
|by Municipal Council.|
|1911||May. St. John’s Church Parish Hall opens.|
|1911||4 November. Billy Hart’s Australia’s first aviator lands in Parramatta Park.|
|1913||Parramatta High School opens.|
|1913||4 December. Parramatta and District Historical Society formed.|
|1915||Electric light used in town for first time.|
|1915||23 February. New High School Building opened.|
|1917||2 July. Nurse Dorothy Cawood saves patients at Messines and is first woman in Sydney to be awarded a Military Medla.|
|1918||15 September. Foundation Stone Royal Gate, St John’s laid.|
|1924||21 May. New Masonic Temple opened.|
|1925||New Presbyterian Church completed.|
|1925||Work begins on Parramatta’s first shopping arcade.|
|1930||6 February. Roxy Theatre opens.|
|1930||Rivoli skating rink opens.|
|1935||Wishing Pool opens Parramatta Square.|
|1936||Granville Swimming Centre opens.|
|1936||26 May. Third St. Patrick’s Church, opened.|
|1938||27 October. Parramatta proclaimed a City.|
|1938||Parramatta Grand Prix in Parramatta Park.|
|1938||150 year celebrations.|
|1938||The Star Hotel, Parramatta Square opens.|
|1947||Parramatta District Leagues Club play their first season.|
|1948||December. First Greater City of Parramatta Council elected. (The Greater City of Parramatta was formed by the amalgamation of Dundas, Granville, Ermington, Rydalmere, and Parramatta)|
|The first traffic light in NSW installed at Parramatta.|
|1955||The completed maternity unit opened at Parramatta Hospital.|
|1956||11 December. Olympian Betty Cuthbert victory parade.|
|1958||Meals on Wheels service established.|
|1958||Children’s Library opened in Prince Alfred Park.|
|1958||A central library was established in Jubilee Hall within the Town Hall|
|1958||New Parramatta City Council Chambers opens a 2 Civic Place (now Parramatta Square)|
|1959||Opening of the Parramatta Leagues Club.|
|1959||24 October. Parramatta War Memorial Swimming Centre opens.|
|1959||A branch library opened at Granville.|
|1960||The Queensland Insurance Building opens in Centenary Square.|
|1961||David Jones’s first suburban store opened.|
|1961||Miss Australia Tania Versak visits Parramatta|
|1962||Silverwater bridge opened.|
|1964||28 November. Central Library Building opened.|
|1975||Westfield complex opened as the largest shopping complex in the southern hemisphere.|
|1975||Survey of historic buildings in the Parramatta CBD completed|
|1975||Barry Wilde Bridge Opens.|
|1977||18 January. Granville Railway Bridge Disaster|
|1978||Westmead Hospital opened.|
|1979||Album “Canned Rock” recorded from three concerts held inside Parramatta gaol|
|1981||Macquarie House built.|
|1981||HMAS Parramatta Memorial unveiled.|
|1988||Bicentenary of Parramatta’s foundation.|
|1988||50th anniversary of the declaration of Parramatta as a City.|
|1988||Position of Mayor of Parramatta raised by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to the status of Lord Mayor in recognition of Parramatta’s significance in the Greater Sydney metropolitan area.|
|1988||Opening of the Riverside Theatre complex in February.|
|1989||Archaelogical Management Plan of Parramatta CBD completed.|
|1993||Rivercat Service to Parramatta inaugurated in December.|
|1998||Opening of the Parramatta Heritage Centre.|
|2006||Opening of the new Parramatta Transport Interchange in February including the upgrading of the station and a new bus interchange.|
|2008||Opening of the new Justice Precinct in February.|
|2010||Old Government House and Parramatta Park, as well as ten other Australian sites with a significant association with convict transportation, were inscribed as a group on the World Heritage List as the Australian Convict Sites.|
|2012||Sydney Wanderers, Soccer League franchise launched.|
|2013||David Jones Building on Church Street demolished|
|2015||Library and Post Office in Civic Square demolished as a part of the Parramatta Square project.|
|2015||Council Works Depot moves to Rydalmere Operation Centre|
Library Museum and Archive Services
The City Council has acquired a number of significant objects and artworks related to Parramatta and the broader district. The Centre also has on display a free permanent exhibition on the history of Parramatta.
The research library is free to visit and contains a significant collection of books, magazines and journals related to Parramatta and Western Sydney. It also has online subscriptions, databases and magazines relating to family history.
The Parramatta City Council dates back to 1861 and its archives contain rare and interesting documents from the mid 1800s through to the late 1900s. Items include rate books, valuation lists, photographic work, DA’s, minute books, maps, drawings, and ephemera.
The Heritage Centre has an extensive photographic, print and audio/visual collection relating to people, places and events in the Parramatta District dating back from the present to the early 1800s.
Hardit Singh Malik was born on 22nd November 1894. read more…
Sapper (military engineer) Albert William Jarman was born in Kent, England and was a shipwright by trade.
He was married to Linda Maude Jarman and they lived in Wentworth Street, Harris Park Parramatta. They had two children.
Sapper Alfred William Jarman enlisted to serve on 4 January 1916 and embarked for service overseas with the 1 Australian Tunnelling Company on 20 February 1916.
His war service record indicates that in late November 1916 he was treated for an injury to the right foot which he had sustained accidentally while doing carpentry work.
Sadly, he died from wounds he subsequently received in action on 13 June 1917.
Sapper Alfred William Jarman is buried at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Lijssenthoek, Flanders, Belgium. A photograph of his grave is located on the Australian Tunnellers of World War 1 Website.
The website documents that on 13 June 1917, a shell burst while he and four others were unloading a truck at a place called Lille Gate. He died sometime later that day at the Second Canadian Casualty Clearing Station from the severe wounds he received from the incident.
Notice of his death is published in the Cumberland Argus of 30 June 1917 at page 10.
Sapper Alfred William Jarman was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal. The medals, a photograph of his grave and a Memorial Scroll were given to his wife.
His name is located on the Memorial Arch at Saint John’s Anglican Cathedral Parramatta and his name is also located on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial.
Australian Tunnellers of World War 1 Website http://www.tunnellers.net/pages/indexpag.html
Janet Britton, Volunteer Research Assistant, City of Parramatta, Parramatta Heritage Centre, 2016
Sergeant Francis William Owens was born in Narromine New South Wales. He was a farmer and son of the late Francis Owens, grazier, of Owendale Narromine. read more…
Parramatta History Blogs
Situated adjacent to St John’s Cathedral is the area now referred to as Parramatta Square. But don’t be fooled by the modern facade for this area has been a community hub at the centre of Parramatta for over 200 years.
The Cumberland Precinct in North Parramatta is home to some of the most significant heritage sites in New South Wales. From the 1790s until today it continues as a mental health precinct for the Cumberland Hospital.
This stretch of river foreshore was arguably the most significant piece of land during the early European settlement of the area. It was also significant for the local Aboriginals for it was here that the fresh water of the river and the salt water of the harbour met.
Biographies of Parramatta’s Mayors and Lord Mayors brought together in a single resource, not only for interested researchers, but as a way of exploring the heritage and identity of Parramatta.