Parramatta Stories

The team at the City of Parramatta Heritage and Information Centre is continually adding new stories about people, places and events from Parramatta’s rich history.

You can explore the site by looking at the list of ‘Our Stories’ in the top menu bar, using the search field or subscribing to our site in the field at the bottom of the page to receive an alert every time a new research post is published.

Key to the City of Parramatta

The bestowing of a ‘Key to the City’ to an individual or group is intended to confer trust and honour. The tradition is derived from medieval times, when an actual key was given to the gates of a walled city which were guarded during the day and locked at night. The...

Henderson and Gregg’s Drapers – Demolished House in Parramatta

(Source: The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate, 31 December 1931, p. 14)[1] In mid-1923, Mr. James Reid Dill Henderson and Mr. Harold Gregg, business partners of Henderson and Gregg’s opened their draper and milliners store on the south-west corner of Church...

Carlingford Branch Library

On 11 August 1966, the land title in which Carlingford Branch library is now located at, 17 Lloyd Avenue, Carlingford NSW 2118 (View Map) was transferred to Baulkham Hills Shire Council. Two years later plans were proposed to Baulkham Hills Shire Council to build a...

Noeline Rozanc: Her Early Years at Westmead Hospital

Nurse Unit Manager Noeline Rozanc (Source: Michelle Goodman 2018) Nurse Unit Manager Noeline Rozanc‘s experience at Westmead Hospital in 1980’s as a trainee nurse. Interview was recorded in 2018.   My name is Noeline Rozanc and I’ve been working at Westmead...

Constitution Hill Branch Library

Constitution Hill Branch Library, 20 Hollis Street, Constitution Hill NSW 2145. (Source: Anne Tsang 2019) Constitution Hill Branch Library was officially opened on Saturday 15 September 1990 at 2:30pm by the then Lord Mayor Alderman Alan Aizley Hyam. At the time, it...

Dundas Valley Branch Library

Dundas Valley Branch Library, c.1970s. Source: City of Parramatta Council Community Archives Collection, ACC002/096/005 Dundas Branch Library was opened on Saturday 5 September 1959 by the Mayor, Alderman Eric Arthur Mobbs. The library opened in the former Dundas...

Ellen Curling – Ladies’ doctor in Parramatta

Advertisement for Curling's Sanadentium (Source: Miners' Advocate and Northumberland Recorder)[1] In 1874, Ellen Curling arrived in Parramatta, NSW. By October 1878, she began her ladies’ medical practice in the heart of the Parramatta district to provide much needed...

Margaret Gail Davidson – Brislington Medical and Nursing Museum

Margaret Telfer receiving The Rose Butler Award Memorial Prize, Parramatta Psychiatric Centre, 5 June 1972. Source : Margaret Davidson Margaret Gail Davidson is a trained midwife and nurse. She is now a volunteer at Brislington Medical and Nursing Museum. Thank you...

Winifred Mary Tait, Parramatta Mental Hospital Matron 1913-1935

Winifred Mary Tait was born in 1876 in Goulburn, N.S.W. She was the daughter of Andrew McDonald and Isabel (or sabella/Isobel) McLean (Maclean) Tait of ‘Hayfield’, Carlingford, N.S.W. She was a trained nurse having graduated from Sydney Hospital. In 1913, she became...

Matron Betty Margaret Schofield – Parramatta Hospital

Betty Margaret Schofield, Parramatta’s Woman of the Year, 1975. Image: Women of Parramatta Betty Margaret Schofield was a Matron and Director of Nursing at Parramatta Hospital for almost twenty years from February 1966 to 1981. Born in 1920, Betty graduated in nursing...

Matron Florence Mary Greenwood – Parramatta District Hospital

Staff at Parramatta District Hospital, c.1890. Source: Heritage Centre – Local Studies Photographic Collection, LSP00098 The photograph above shows Matron Florence Mary Greenwood in 1890 seated in the centre row, surrounded by Parramatta Hospital staff. Seated on...

Dr Mathew Anderson: Surgeon & Local Politician

The Anderson Fountain – Photo Peter Arfanis Mathew Anderson (ca. 1790-1850): ‘Dr Anderson’, wrote Mrs Elizabeth Macarthur, ’was related to the Percy family of the Duke of Northumberland’. At some time he trained at the College of Surgeons at Edinburgh, and then...

Jane Burn, Matron of the Parramatta Lunatic Asylum 1864-1892

Jane Burn, Matron of the Parramatta, Lunatic Asylum ca.1880s (Source: Local Studies Photograph Collection, Object Number LSP00073)[1] Jane Burn was appointed matron of the Parramatta Lunatic Asylum on 1 June 1865[2] following the death of former Matron Elizabeth...

Eric McEnnally’s photo studio in Parramatta, 1933-c1970s

1936 Advertisement of McEnnally’s Studio. (Source: The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate, 3 September 1936, p. 4)[1] In the book 'Living history of Parramatta: a tapestry of life in the cradle city 1992' by Rosslyn Blay[2], for one of the brain teasers on...

Slack & Co. Building, Parramatta

Slack & Co.'s former new building in 1956. (Source: The Cumberland Argus, 11 April 1956, p. 8) The above image was featured in The Cumberland Argus (11 April 1956, p. 8) and marked the reopening of the remodelled Slack and Company building on the corner of Church...

Rose Farm, Ermington

Rose Cottage, Ermington by John Cosh, 1920. (Source: National Library of Australia R7577) Rose Farm House is a heritage listed property located at 15-17 Honor Street, Ermington, New South Wales. Built circa 1820 by Alexander McDonalds (c.1745-1821), the original...

From German watchmaker shop to The Greenway Arcade, Parramatta

R. Straub’s Establishment on east side Church Street, Parramatta next door to Savings Bank of N.S.W. and opposite Murray Brother. (Source: Australian Town and Country Journal, 1 March 1902, page 30). Richard Straub was a well known Parramatta businessman who operated...

Hospital Nursing in Parramatta

Medical and nursing staff in Parramatta, c. 1890. (Source: City of Parramatta Reference Library Photographic Collection) The concept of ‘nursing’ is fluid. Many Indigenous societies, including the traditional custodians of the Parramatta area, the people of the Darug...

Inchneuk Private Hospital, Parramatta NSW

"Inchneuk", Parramatta, view of residence of Dr. Bowman, 1888 (Source: City of Parramatta, Parramatta Heritage Centre, Local Studies Photograph Collection, LSP00418) Inchneuk Private Hospital, formerly at 77 George Street in Parramatta, operated from 1888 to the 1950s...

The Parramatta Municipal Market Question – Democracy in Action

One of the market building designs submitted (Source: City of Parramatta Council Archives) As early as 1920 Parramatta Council put forward a proposal to establish a municipal market in the centre of Parramatta. The proposal was to eventually create huge debate within...

Parramatta in 1856 by T.A.G.

Source: http://trove.nla.gov.au/ Our family, leaving Sydney in above year, came to reside in Parramatta. I was then eight years of age. There were no public schools at that time, all being under the heads of the various denominations.Within a short time I spent my...

Helles Memorial and Indian Soldiers

India played a significant part in World War One. The normal annual recruitment for the Indian army was 15,000 men, during the course of the war over 800,000 men volunteered for the army and more than 400,000 volunteered for non-combatant roles. In total almost 1.3...

Blenheim House, Carlingford

In April 1932, Frederick Charles Cox, Parramatta's oldest resident, died at his house in Carlingford. He was born on 23 February, 1838, and spent the first years of his life in 'Honiton House' in Church Street Parramatta. As a young man Frederick opened a butchering...

“The Manse”, 41 Hunter Street, Parramatta

West side of 41 Hunter Street, Parramatta. (Source: Anne Tsang, 2017). On the evening of Wednesday 15 November 1893 the Scottish Reverend John Paterson (1860-1949) was ordained into St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church Parramatta as the new minister.[1] Back then, this...

World War One – Parramatta Soldier – Private Eugene Norris

During November of 1915 in Liverpool, New South Wales, Eugene Norris enlisted to join the army. It wasn’t until a year later that he left his family, including his father William Norris, to join his comrades in the 13th infantry battalion. At the age of 23 he embarked...

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