Historical photo #4


bobreidSunday, 17 May 2020 - 10:35pm

Port Stephens City - block 871

This is an interesting photo.

It shows five men standing on the boundaries of lot 871 in Port Stephens City.

The two men in the foreground are standing next to white pegs - these look like boundary pegs, and the two men in the background holding flags were probably also standing next to boundary pegs.

Port Stephens City was designed by Walter Burley Griffin for Henry F Halloran - who was a land developer and was actively marketing blocks of land for sale from about 1918 after the subdivision was approved by Stroud Shire Council.

In 1920 Halloran told councillors:

"He gave it as his experienced opinion that given reasonable access, it would not be long before some thousands of lots would be sold at Port Stephens, which would quickly create a large body of the best and most influential class of persons as advocates for the progress and development of the port, each with a direct and personal knowledge of its advantages and interest in its progress. A big development at Port Stephens was certain."


Just a couple of corrections to your text about this interesting photo Bob.

Walter Burley Griffin did do the original design (of what is now our village) for Land Ltd but that company's principals were the federal MP (Sir) Austin Chapman and the developer Samuel Emmett. When Land Ltd folded in mid 1919 due to lack of funds, Griffin and Emmett left the project although Austin Chapman remained involved as one of the directors of the company formed to continue the development. This new company acquired most of the assets of Land Ltd including those on Port Stephens.

It was only at this point that Halloran became involved. He was appointed Governing Director of the new company. Halloran made some major changes to Griffin's design including eliminating most of Griffin's expansive green spaces ("public gardens") and redesigning many of the roads north of Cove Gateway. (Casuarina Reserve includes part of Cove Gateway).

The first sales of the Port Stephen's City subdivision took place on the Easter weekend of 1920. That first sale was 100 years ago, last month.


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