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.

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

Dairy 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 domestic...

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...

Parramatta Gaol: Building, prisoner’s routine and employment

There were a number of sites owned by the Department of Corrective Services situated on over 10 hectares of land around the Parramatta Gaol. These included the Parramatta prison, the Parramatta linen service and the Merinda Periodic Centre.  Parramatta Correctional...

Sydney Olympic Park and Homebush Bay – A Brief History

On Homebush Bay - remains of at least four ships, hulls and barges - Photo by Steve Dorman Indigenous Owners Sydney Olympic Park is part of the traditional lands of the Wann clan, known as the Wann-gal. These lands stretched along the southern shore of the Parramatta...

Lady Mary Cook (Dame of the Order of the British Empire)

Vice President War Chest Society  President of the Red Cross Society Parramatta. (1863- Sept 1960) Lady Mary Cook was born in Staffordshire, England in 1863. She came from a mining family where her brothers had left to work in the mine. Mary became a school teacher at...

Silverwater – A Brief History

Google Map image of Silverwater, New South Wales On 12 May 2016, Silverwater became part of the local government area of City of Parramatta from the former Auburn City Council (now part of Cumberland Council). It had been part of Auburn Council since 1906 after a nine...

North Rocks – A Brief History

City of Parramatta Council GIS online – Aerial Photography of North Rocks Road and Statham Avenue 1943 As a result of the 2016 New South Wales amalgamation of council areas, North Rocks is now a part of the City of Parramatta Council. It was previously part of the...

Eastwood

Eastwood Falls on Terrys Creek near Albeura Rd Epping 1915 The indigenous history of Eastwood includes the period when the Wallumedegal people lived in the territory bounded by the Lane Cove and Parramatta rivers. Part of the Dharug group, their country was called...

Macquarie Timeline

1761 Lachlan Macquarie is born on the Isle of Ulva, Inner Hebrides, Scotland. Of six boys, only four survived – Hector, Donald, Lachlan and Charles – and one girl, Elizabeth. 1776 Macquarie joined as a Volunteer in the 84th Regiment, aged 15. 1778 Elizabeth Campbell...

Old Toongabbie, Joseph Smith, 1845

Joseph Smith, who was known as 'Smashem' because he spoke his mind, to high and low alike arrived as a convict in 1789. The following extract about his time as a convict was taken from 'Voluntary Statements of the People of New South Wales'. Collected by Caroline...

World War One – Commandant Dulce Davies Little

Miss Dulce Davies Little, who lived at Alice Street Harris Park, Sydney, was born in Parramatta on the 11 April 1894 to Thomas and Mary Little. Her baptism was registered at Saint John’s Church, Parramatta, on the 21 April 1894.[i] Miss Little became the Commandant of...

John Taylor – Auctioneer Part 3

John Taylor was born on 8 December 1827 in Parramatta. He was son of Hugh and Elizabeth Taylor. Hugh Taylor wanted his son John Taylor to become a lawyer but in early 1840s John had taken up an apprenticeship with James Urquhart, Parramatta’s coachbuilder. After six...

Hugh Taylor Jr – Part 2

Hugh Taylor jr was a son of Hugh Taylor. He was born on 19 March 1823 in Macquarie Street Parramatta. He went to King’s School. After leaving school he started butchering which he carried out very successfully. He was very passionate about Parramatta issues. Hugh was...

Hugh Taylor – Part 1

Hugh Taylor senior was born in England in 1794. Hugh Taylor senior, came to New South Wales under life sentence in 1815Life sentence is generally given to the repeated offender. Within 6 years of arrival, Hugh Taylor senior was given a Ticket-of-Leave in 1821 and...

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