Sherbrooke Bulli Mountain Settlers Timeline

Here is a first draft :

Timeline – Sherbrooke & Bulli Mountain & Early Settlers

In the earlier days of European settlement on Bulli / Woonona Mountain and Sherbrooke there appeared to be several land grantees – Dr George Cox, Thomas Hale, John Caunt, David Ballantyne & Samuel Slocombe as well as selector Robert Longmore. Closer to the coast the earliest land grantee had been Cornelius O’Brien who was in the Bulli area by 1821, , although the grant was not formalised until 1833. There are indications that cedar getters had been in the area from 1815, and cedar getting had commenced up the mountain behind as early as 1819 according to William A Bayley in “Black Diamonds” – with most of the cedar apparently taken by the 1850’s.

By 1858 there appeared to be some buying & selling of parts of the lands owned in the Cataract River area by these land grantees and selector – with Henry Osborne having purchased significant lands on the eastern side of the mountain for coalmining. It is possible that only some of these owners lived on their landholdings on Bulli Mountain.

In 1858 there were changes in regard to farmlands auspiced by John Robertson, later a NSW Premier, who was trying to break the monopoly power of the Squatter / Pastoralists( which culminated in the Free Selector Act of 1861). In the meantime 9 lots of Crown land were offered for sale in the Bulli Mountain – Cataract area in 1858. Most of the families that we associate with Bulli Mountain and Sherbrooke probably date from after 1858. By the time of the 1872 Greville Postal Directory – there were many recognisable names on Bulli Mountain who had taken up selections on Bulli Mountain.

The timeline below provides an overview of when various people arrived in NSW and of land transfers in the 19th Century.

  • 1840 – (Dr) George Cox purchased or granted land, near the Spearing Grant, from George Coles Milne
  • 1842 – Estate of George Coles Milne, Customs Office Clerk, was under sequestration
  • 1844 – William Dumbrell, Harriett Dearling and Knight family arrived in Australia on “Neptune
  • 1847 – Possible arrival of Thomas Hale in Australia on “Sterling
  • 1848 – John Braisher and John & Elizabeth Loveday arrived in Australia on “Royal Saxon
  • 1852 – Thomas Hale purchased land adjoining Spearing Grant
  • 1853 – Edmund Biddulph Henning arrived in Australia on “Great Britain
  • 1853 – Thomas Hale sold land below Woonona Mountain to Dr Bartholomew O’Brien, a doctor in the Wollongong area who moved to Sydney
  • 1854 – John Kinnane selected land on Bulli Mountain
  • 1854 – Hapgood family arrived in Australia on “Lady Ann
  • 1854 – John Kinnane received a land grant on Bulli Mountain
  • 1855 – Edmund Biddulph Henning was at Bulli Mountain & built a cottage there.
  • 1855 – David Ballantyne & Charles McKinnon received  land grants at Bulli Mountain – D. Ballantyne’s was for land bought at auction
  • 1856 – George Blinkco arrived in Australia on “Morayshire
  • 1856 – Thomas Hale purchased or leased land from Hugh Dixson below Woonona Mountain
  • 1856 – Johann John Fritz arrived in Australia on “Isherbrook
  • 1857 – Henry & Margaret Reeve arrived in Australia on “Alfred
  • 1857 – Elizabeth Letitia Wilson nee Stevenson arrived in Australia on
  • 1857 – Haberley family arrived in Australia on “Gottorpe”
  • 1857 – Skeleton found on land grantee David Ballantyne property at Bulli Mountain
  • 1857 – James & Margaret Hicks bought 48 acres from Thomas Hale – adjoining Biddulph Henning land
  • 1857 – Biddulph Henning sold his land on Bulli Mountain to Henry Osborne – coal mining activities were planned
  • 1858 – John & Elizabeth Caunt & George Cox sold land at Cataract to Henry Osborne
  • 1858 – David Ballantyne’s daughter Teresa Jane born
  • 1858 – James & Margaret Hicks sold their 48 acre site  to Henry Osborne – coal mining activities were planned
  • 1858 – Crown Land offered 36 lots for sale including nine which adjoined John Caunt and Edmund Biddulph Henning ’s land – under the John Robertson Land Reform activities
  • 1858 – John Loveday was at Ben Rixon’s Spring Creek
  • 1858 – Samuel Slocombe had a clearing lease on Thomas Hale’s Bellambi Colliery land
  • 1859 – John Loveday’s tender for Bulli – Appin Road accepted
  • 1860 – 1863 Selector John Kinnane sold his selected Bulli Mountain land to Ebenezer Bourne
  • 1861 – Mortgagee sale of David Ballantyne’s land on Bulli Mountain
  • 1862 – Thomas Black sold land to Bulli Coal Mining Company
  • 1863 – George Knight was employed as a Carpenter at Bulli Coal Mine
  • 1863 – Selector John Kinnane sold some of his Bulli Mountain selection to Thomas Black & Robert Somerville
  • 1863 – 1864 – Thomas Ayling purchased land adjoining Caunt’s at Cataract  from Robert Longmore who selected it from the Crown
  • 1863 – George Cox sold some of his 1840 land grant to Bridget Taylor & Richard Darby
  • 1863 – Sale of David Ballantyne land grant to John Miller
  • 1863 – Marriage of Edward Spinks’ daughter – his residence given was Hennings Retreat
  • 1865 – (Dr )Bartholomew O’Brien purchased land at Cataract from William Speer who had purchased what  was part of John Caunt’s grant
  • 1866 – Insolvency notice for Edward Spinks of Bulli Mountain
  • 1867 – Knight’s are believed to have moved to Bulli Mountain about this time
  • 1867 – 1870 – Thomas Ayling sold to John Piper McKenzie land adjoining Caunt’s at Cataract that he had purchased  from Robert Longmore who selected it from the Crown
  • 1868 – Request for a school at Bulli Mountain – Thomas Black and John Loveday offered some of their lands for a site
  • 1870 – James Osborne bought various land parcels including parcels that had been land granted to Thomas Hale, John Armstrong and John Caunt – there were various vendors ie Hebden, George & Lewes, Henry Sayer & Billyard, William Whaley & Jenkins, William Warren & O’Brien, Elizabeth Sophia & Foucart, Louis Ecors of will of O’Brien, Bartholomew (dec – 1870)
  • 1871 – John Loveday advertised his 40 acre Bulli Mountain farm for sale- did not sell ?
  • 1872 – William Dumbrell wrote a letter in regard to the Provisional Bulli Mountain School
  • 1872 Grevilles Postal Directory has the following entries for Bulli Mountain & Cataract River
    • Samuel Bishop – Selector
    • George Blinker (Blinkco) – Selector
    • George Candy – Selector
    • Benjamin Carpenter – Teamster (Bulli ?)
    • Robert Carpenter – Sawyer (Bulli ?)
    • Joseph Eales – Splitter
    • Bernard Ford – Selector (Bulli ?)
    • Thomas Hildebrand – Selector
    • Thomas Jarrett – Sawyer
    • John Kagan (Keegan) – Miner
    • John Kinane –(Kinnane) – Freeholder (Bulli ?)
    • George Knight – Carpenter
    • John Knight – Selector
    • George A Lord – Teacher
    • John Loveday – Selector at Bulli (?)
    • Henry Reeve Senior & Henry Reeves Junior – Selectors
    • Samuel Slocombe – Selector
    • Edward Spinks – Sawyer (Bulli ?)
    • Samuel Vidler – Miner
    • Isaac Wales – Miner
  • 1874 – B. Carpenter suffered loss on Bulli Mountain in bushfires
  • 1874 – J Knight represented Bulli Range in the Bulli & Bellambi Benefit Society
  • 1876 – J Knight represented Bulli Range in the Bulli & Bellambi Benefit Society
  • 1878 – Knight’s began to erect a water powered saw mill on Bulli Mountain – the mill race was also carried away in a flood in 1878
  • 1878 – Death of Samuel Slocombe in Newtown and described as late of Bulli Range
  • 1879 – Bulli Mountain School – letter to Miss Gorman – Blinkco, Bourne, Fritz, Haberley, Hunt, Keegan, King, Knight, Loveday, Wales, Wilson, Winley
  • 1880 Enrolment at Bulli Mountain School
  • sherbrooke school pupils 1880 3
  • 1881 – Knight’s operated a steam powered saw mill on Bulli Mountain
  • 1881 – William B H Brown sold his West Horsley Dapto property and relocated to Bulli Mountain – though he may have selected land on Bulli Mountain as early as 1873 according to William Bayley in “Black Diamonds”. Notably there are no Brown children on the list of pupils at Bulli Mountain School for 1880.
  • 1881 – Planning commenced for Bulli Mountain Union Church to be built
  • 1882 – Opening of Bulli Mountain Union Church Wilson
  • 1882 – Bulli Mountain renamed Beaconsfield
  • 1883 – Beaconsfield renamed Sherbrooke
  • 1891 – Census Entry for Sherbrooke had the following families – with about 85 residents
    • Blinkco
    • Brown
    • Chin
    • DelaMotte
    • Fritz
    • Haberley
    • Jersey
    • Knight – extended family in various houses
    • Loveday
    • Smithers
    • Wales
  • 1895 – Bushfire destroyed SherbrookeUnion Church
  • 1896 – Opening of new SherbrookeUnion Church Wilson
  • 1901 – Census Entry for Sherbrooke had the following families with about 120 residents
    • Blinkco
    • Brown – extended family – various houses
    • Fletcher
    • Fritz
    • Haberley
    • Laucke (?)
    • Keegan
    • Keene
    • Knight
    • Loveday
    • Martin
    • Millar
    • Wales
  • 1901 – 1902 – Severe Sydney drought leading to a Royal Commission of Inquiry – these years were the last of what is known as the Federation Drought. This drought was said to have inspired Dorothea McKellar’s poem “My Country“.
  • 1902 – Announcement of resumption of Sherbrooke for Cataract Dam – list of landowners  resumption mapSherbrooke Resumption list
  • 1902 – 1907 – Construction of Cataract Dam – commenced about October 1902
  • 1905 – Two Royal Commissions of Inquiry into Cataract Dam
  • 1911 – Cataract Dam fills to capacity for first time
  • 1915 – Cataract Dam Spillway & Lower Valve House widened/extended
  • 1987 – Cataract Dam strengthened
  • 1999 – Cataract Dam placed on NSW State Heritage Register
  • 2013 – Sherbrooke Sisters group forms in Bulli
  • 2014 – Sherbrooke Sisters & Black Diamond District Heritage Centre produce first Sherbrooke focused NSW Heritage Festival events
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