Parramatta Stories

Heritage and History of Parramatta

The team here at Parramatta Council’s Heritage Centre are continually adding new stories about people, places and events from Parramatta’s rich history. New posts are added every week and there are now hundreds available.

If you are wondering where to start try looking at the themed content in the ‘Current Projects’ menu bar above or you could try typing a word into the search field. Another good way to browse is to look at the categories list on the right or alternatively you can can just scroll down the page to look at our latest posts.

Perth House and Stables

Perth House, 85 George Street, Parramatta Perth House is aesthetically and technically significant. It is a single storey Colonial Victorian Georgian residence with a hipped roof to a central block with encircling verandahs. The verandah is paved with stone. It...

Dragoon Horses For India – 1857

Colonial Secretary’s Office, Sydney, 11th September, 1857 DRAGOON HORSES FOR INDIA The following official communication from the Government of India, notify that an officer is about to be dispatched for Sydney for the purpose of selecting horses suited to carry men in...

Indians in Parramatta for Australian Horses – 1820s

Indian Australians are Australians of Indian Heritage. A study of DNA has found that Indian people may have come to Australia around 4000 years ago. Indians were the largest self-funded migrants who were not of European descent.  Many Indians came to Australia as...

India’s untold story in Australia

Let’s look back and explore the centuries old contributions of Indians to the development of Australia. Australia’s multicultural phenomenon is not a recent one. During 19th and 20th century people from Britain, Europe, China, India, Egypt and Turkey came to Australia...

Bushrangers in Parramatta – Part 1

Bushrangers’ Camp by S T Gill artist, (1818-1880), c. 1871 From the time of the establishment of the European settlement at Sydney Cove in January 1788, members of the largely convict population attempted to break free from government control and regulation. As early...

World War One – Parramatta Soldiers – William Dawson Fisk

William was the son of G.D. Fisk of Guildford, New South Wales. He was born in Inverell, New South Wales and was a 24 year old shop assistant when he joined the forces on 22 March 1915. He married Miss Ella Virtue (also of Guildford) on 8th April 2015 prior to...

Baludarri – A Significant Figure in Parramatta History

A significant figure in the history of Parramatta, Baludarri was a young Darug man who was living in the area when the Europeans colonists arrived in 1788. In early 1791, Baludarri befriended Governor Phillip, and joined the Governor’s expedition to the Hawkesbury, as...

World War One – Parramatta Soldiers – Allan Colquhoun

Allan was the son of Geo. Colquhoun of Guildford and nephew of Mr and Mrs Andrew Colquhoun of Belmont Street, Loftus Park, New South Wales. He was a saddler, born in Glebe, New South Wales and was 18 years and 4 months when he joined the forces on 11 November 1915. He...

World War One – Parramatta Soldiers -Sergeant John Jeffery

Sergeant John Jeffery, a labourer, enlisted on 24 August 1915 at the age of twenty one.  He came from the Hunter's Hill area.  He named his wife Marion as his next of kin.  At the time of his enlistment, he and his wife were living with her parents in Dixon Street,...

World War One – Parramatta Soldiers – Elmore Aubrey Gane

Elmore was the son of Mrs Maude Gane of Guildford (Calliope Street), New South Wales, who was a 20 year old Telephonist when he joined the forces on 31 May 1916. He was serving with the 20th Infantry A.M.F. Unit at time of enrollment and was assigned immediately to...

World War One – Parramatta Soldiers – Walter Williams

Walter was the son of Sidney Williams of Smithfield (Poland Street), New South Wales. He was born in Smithfield and was working as a Storeman, aged 23, when he joined the forces on 12 December 1915. He trained in England with the 36th Infantry Battalion before...

World War One – Parramatta Soldiers – Private Walter McLaren

Private Walter McLaren was a 22 year old labourer from Earley Street Parramatta. He was married to Alma McLaren. He enlisted on 17 August 1915. He embarked with his unit from Sydney aboard the HMAT Medic A7 on 30 December 1915. He was wounded in action, with a shell...

Cambria Hall – A Hidden Cornerstone of Epping History

The Cambria, Epping showing ‘The Foundling’ c.1917. Source: Hazlewood Collection, State Library of NSW Travelling down the busy main thoroughfare of Epping today, it’s easy to overlook the building at 46 Beecroft Road. Nestled in a strip of small commercial and food...

Chinese Settlement in New South Wales

Life for Chinese labourers in Australia before the 1850s. Image from National Museum of Australia  The history of Chinese Australians provides a unique chapter in the history of Australia. The earliest contact with Australia appears of searching the Australian...

Mak Sai Ying Aka John Shying

Private John Joseph Shying, Grandson of John Shying, Source: Sydney Living Museum Photo - Charles Picking Courtesy Winsome Doyle Chinese migration and settlement in New South Wales has a long history. Records show that about 18 Chinese settlers had immigrated to...

Cheng Fan-Cheong/ Ah Hing /Henry Fine

Henry Fine (Ah Hing)  and Lily Ah Poo Wedding June 1896. Brad Powe family photographs and documents, 1862-1931, relating to Chinese ancestry. State Library of NSW. Henry Ah Hing Fine Chong was a successful merchant and portraitist who lived and worked in Parramatta...

Burnside Presbyterian Orphan Homes – Dunkeld – Part III

Dunkeld, Burnside, Parramatta. Digital Order No.: a106152 The opening of Dunkeld, No. 3 Cottage and third of the Burnside Presbyterian Orphan Homes A crowd of over 1000 gathered at around 3 o’clock in the afternoon on Saturday, 10 May 1913, to witness the opening of...

Burnside Presbyterian Orphan Homes – Cumbrae – Part II

Cumbrae, Burnside, Parramatta. Digital Order Number: a106154 The opening of Cumbrae, No. 2 Cottage and second of the Burnside Presbyterian Orphan Homes Lady Gertrude Denman, affectionately as Trudie, arrived in Australia in July 1912, alongside her husband and newly...

The Monument to Lady Fitzroy, Parramatta Park

This monument was unveiled on Centenary Day (Australia Day) 26 January 1888 in remembrance of the accidental death on 7 December 1847 of Lady Mary Fitzroy aged 57 years, wife of the then governor of NSW Sir Charles Augustus Fitzroy. Lady Fitzroy, born 1790, was the...

Park Gate Hotel, Parramatta 1879-1959

Park Gate Hotel, corner of George and O'Connell Streets, Parramatta, view of front exterior of two storey building with cars parked in front, ca. 1913. (Object Number LSP00701) Park Gate Hotel was once located on the south-east corner of George and O’Connell Street,...

Australia’s Most Notorious Escape Artist – Darcy Dugan

Darcy Ezekiel Dugan was born on 29 August 1920 in Sydney. As per Ancestry he died in Glebe on 22 August 1991 at the age of almost 71 and is buried in Rookwood Cemetery. Darcy committed numerous armed holdups, bank robbery and even robbing the hospital. He became...

World War One – Parramatta Soldiers – Henry Brodie

Henry was the son of Anna Brodie of Smithfield (Victoria Street), New South Wales. He was a farmer born in Blayney, New South Wales and was 25 when he joined the forces on 13 December 1915. He served with the 18th Infantry Battalion in France from April 1917 and was...

The Dairy Cottage- Parramatta

Dairyman's cottage, Parramatta Park, view of front exterior of single storey building, ca. 1950s. Local Studies Photograph Collection/Local Studies Library. The Dairy Cottage in Parramatta Park is of significance on many levels. The cottage is one of the earliest...

World War One – Parramatta Soldiers – John Samuel Bernasconi

John (also referred to as Maxwell John Berney in some war service correspondence) was the second son of Luc (Louis) Bernasconi of Jersey Street, Guildford New South Wales. He was born in Sydney and was a Fettler on the Great Western Railway in the mountains before he...

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