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Maitland in 1878

Over the past weeks we have been uploading high resolution digital scans of selected stories and illustrations relating to the Hunter Region from the microfilm copies The Illustrated Sydney News. These scans were done during 2009-2010 and most have been digitised and available through the newspapers on TROVE.

The article “Our Supplement: Maitland,”, originally published on page 10 of The Illustrated Sydney News 7 September 1878 refers to “our large illustration” which was taken from the top of Campbell’s Hill. The article was in fact digitised, and available on Trove, but the illustration, omitted from microfilm, had missed out on being digitised and was not available.

Our Supplement: Maitland (The Illustrated Sydney News, 7 September 1878 page 10) Click image for a higher resolution version. Thanks to David Sciffer for the digitally cleaned up copy.



MAITLAND, which claims to rank as the second town in the colony, is situated in the very heart of the valley of the Hunter – a district which is generally regarded as the Garden of New South Wales. There are few scenes to be met with on the eastern side of Australia more beautiful than that presented to a spectator from the top of Campbell’s Hill, as shown in our large illustration. The gorges and ravines of the Blue Mountains may surpass it for savage grandeur ; the vales and dells of Illawarra may be more fairy-like and romantic ; the craggy banks of the Hawkesbury may be more calculated to remind the traveller of the scenery on the Rhine, but nowhere in New South Wales is there a view to be met with more English-like in its character, or more pleasing as affording evidences of the presence of a large and thriving population. Before us stretches an ample, fertile plain, covered with verdure, and dotted over with farms and habitations. Through the midst of the plain we can trace the course of the Hunter river, as it meanders along in so tortuous a course, that whereas it is nearly twenty miles from here to Morpeth by the river, it is not more than four miles in a direct line. Beneath us are the streets and houses of West Maitland. About a mile away is East Maitland, while a little further off, and rather more to the left, is the town of Morpeth, at the head of the navigation of the river. To the left are seen the picturesque mountains of the Paterson range ; in front are the Sugarloaf mountains ; while the bold cliffs of the Bulga range close in the view on the extreme right. While gazing at this enchanting scene one can only feel what a pity it is that so lovely a district should be subject to the destructive floods that from time to time work such devastation upon this smiling country.

The Maitland district is not only one of the most beautiful and most thriving in the colony ; it is also one of the oldest in point of settlement. The Hunter River was discovered very soon after the colony was founded at Port Jackson. The discoverer, Captain Hunter, named it the Coal River, from the indications of that most useful of all minerals which he discovered at its mouth. It was afterwards, however, rechristened the Hunter, in honour of its discoverer. A settlement was soon formed in the spot where the coal had been found, and it was appropriately named Newcastle. The convict station formed here quickly expanded into a town, and the settlers soon began to push their way into the fertile virgin  lands along the river banks. A township was laid out at Morpeth, then called the Green Hills, and another at East Maitland, which appeared to be a convenient centre from which to tap the tempting country higher up. The hardy pioneers began gradually to work their way towards the interior; the forests became cleared ; and thriving farms and rural homesteads began to add a fresh charm to the natural beauties of the place. The site of East Maitland, although eligible in many respects, had its disadvantages. lt was situated on an elevated piece of ground, but the land there was not equal in richness to the soil on the alluvial bottoms, and it was deficient of a good supply of water. Added to this was the fact that the Government of the day was slack in offering land for sale, so that those who had money to invest, and were desirous of acquiring a homestead of their own, were compelled to go further afield. It is greatly to be regretted that this was the case, for although East and West Maitland together form undoubtedly a larger population than is contained in any other country town in the colony, in point of fact they are not united ; they are separated physically by a narrow stream called Wallis’s Creek, and morally they are separated by local prejudices and jealousies, which are still more narrow, but infinitely more difficult to bridge over. Had the two towns been joined in one, with their total population of some 10,000 souls, there might have been a metropolis of the north that would have been to Sydney what Manchester is to London. But it was not to be.

The site on which West Maitland now stands was known to the early settlers as “Molly Morgan’s Grant,” from the fact that a large portion of land in the locality had been granted by the Government to an eccentric old character named Molly Morgan, one of those, it is said, who left her country “for her country’s good.” The spot was a favourite camping ground of the aboriginals, of whom there were then considerable numbers – now, alas ! only represented by a few miserable half-castes. By the natives the place was called Minderribba, while the opposite side they named Bolwarra. The former appellation has entirely faded away before the English name “Maitland,” while the latter still remains applied to the district, upon which it was bestowed by bits original inhabitants. Molly Morgan’s grant was cut up and sold, and the land around was soon appropriated ; for the surprising richness of the soil, and the abundance of the crops produced therefrom, soon attracted a large and industrious population. West Maitland can scarcely be said to have been laid out at all. A bush track led in the general direction of the river northwards – a track that subsequently developed into the Great Northern Road – and along this track, without any regard to symmetry, the early settler placed their habitations almost haphazard. The results of this want of arrangement are still to be seen in the awkward, skew-shaped allotments on the north side of the High Street, and the corresponding form of some of the buildings. The first houses in West Maitland were rough, low, bush houses; but as the inhabitants increased in wealth and numbers, so did the appearance of the dwellings gradually improve. There is little good clay in the immediate neighbourhood, but bricks were procured from East Maitland and stone from the vicinity of Campbell’s Hill, until at the present day West Maitland contains buildings that would do no disgrace to the metropolis itself. East Maitland, the Government town, also improved. A stockade for convicts was built, which afterwards gave place to a substantial gaol. A handsome and commodious Court-house was erected, and fine stores and public buildings arose. By degrees, as the surrounding country became occupied, the two Maitlands became the depots for the produce of the agriculturists around, and the centre of a trade that spread over the whole of the northern districts of the colony, and indeed as far as the limits of settlement in the north-west. The prosperity of Maitland attained its highest pitch about the years 1856-7. At that period the streets presented an aspect of bustle and business activity not to be seen anywhere else in the colony out of Sydney. The stores were thronged with customers; the roadway was impeded with drays and teams of bullocks; large quantities of wool and other pastoral produce were continually arriving from the interior and passing on to Morpeth, there to be shipped for Sydney on board the steamers and the return drays stopped at the Maitland, stores. to take in cargoes of flour, tea, sugar, and other supplies for the stations in the north and north-west. At this time the Great Northern Railway, starting from Newcastle, only reached East Maitland ; it was opened to West Maitland on the 27th July, 1858. It was several years afterwards before the line passed on to Singleton, but when it did a great part of the trade went with it, and Maitland has had ever since to content itself in a great measure with supplying the wants of the immediate locality.

But there was another cause, still more powerful, which contributed, not to the decline of Maitland, but to prevent it from progressing at the rate which it had once attained. This cause is to be found in the floods, which we have already incidentally alluded to ; and an account of Maitland without a brief description of these disastrous visitations which have had so marked an effect upon its prosperity would be manifestly imperfect. Accurate information respecting the floods in the early days of Maitland can now scarcely be obtained, but it is on record that ever since the first white men made their houses on the banks of the Hunter there have been at irregular periods seasons of severe and extraordinary floods. The first of these of which there is any tradition occurred in 1820, and it is said to have reached a greater height than has been attained by any flood since. Old residents still living can point to places where they assert marks were to be seen in their early days of rubbish and debris left by that flood. If their information ,be correct the water must have reached at West Maitland a height of forty feet above the ordinary summer level of the river, and nearly the whole of the site of the town must have been submerged. Nor is this at all improbable when we remember that the country was not then cleared, and the course of the river was most likely to some extent blocked up by fallen timber, all of which would have had the effect of impeding the flow of the water, and of preventing it from getting away. The next great flood took place in 1826 ; it is supposed to have been less than that of 1820 by something like ten or eleven feet, but there is very little reliable information now to be got on the subject. Again, in 1832 another flood occurred, which reached to about the same height. Eight years elapsed before the next similar visitation came in 1840, in which the waters rose at West Maitland as much as 26 feet above the ordinary level, or 14 feet less than the great flood of twenty years before. Even when the river rises to the height of 26 feet a very large area of the low land is submerged, but in 1840 the farms were comparatively few, and the acreage under cultivation was proportionately small, so that the loss of crops and produce was not so severely felt. It was seventeen years before the next great flood occurred, and in that period the district had enormously increased in population. Three separate floods occurred in the year 1857, in June, July, and August respectively. The first of these reached a height of 26 feet ; the second attained 27 feet, and the August flood rose to the height of 29 feet above the ordinary level. It need not be said that an enormous amount of damage was done on these occasions. A Flood Relief Committee was appointed at the time to relieve the wants of the sufferers by distributing among them assistance in the shape of money and seeds from funds generously subscribed by the inhabitants of the colony at large. It was computed by that committee that in one area of 2,209 acres there were destroyed 1,309 acres of maize, 267 acres of lucerne, 114 of potatoes, 60 of pumpkins, 10 of millet, 10 of grammas, 8 of orchards and vineyards, 6 of melons, 6 of cucumbers, 3 of onions, and 416 acres of undefined crops. This, it must be understood, was within the radius of one mile only. Estimating the damage done at the very low figure of £10 per acre, some idea may be formed of the immense amount of destruction done by these floods. But these were not all the visitations of the kind that the district has had to sustain. Without stopping to mention high freshets which filled the low lands and destroyed large quantities of growing crops, in 1864 the river rose as much as 28 feet ; in 1867 it reached a height of 33 feet, and in 1870 it attained the greatest height known in modern times, 33 1/3 feet above low watermark. Besides the destruction of crops on these occasions much other damage was done ; fences were destroyed, and houses and buildings were damaged, and in some instances were actually washed away bodily. Since 1870 there have been a few high freshets or rather, small floods, which have been sufficiently destructive, though not to the same extent as those above referred to. The scene to be witnessed from Campbell’s Hill in flood time is a sad, though singular, spectacle. The whole expanse of land around is covered with water, in which the roofs of houses and the tops of trees are to be seen protruding in a painfully ludicrous manner. Boats may be seen plying across the paddocks and fields, going to rescue the unfortunate habitants of the submerged dwellings, or conveying provisions to those whose houses, being situated on the highest grounds, are now cut off from access to the town by the watery waste around. Even in the streets of the town boat are to be seen taking the place of the ordinary conveyances and we remember on one occasion a judge of the Supreme Court, who was stopping at the Northumberland Hotel, in West Maitland, had to take a boat from opposite the hotel door in order to arrive at the Court-house in East Maitland instead of proceeding as in ordinary times in his carriage. The course of the river can now only be distinguished by the extra strength of the current which bears along with it, in its relentless force, enormous quantities of drift wood, timber, and even large trees, with pumpkin and other produce, as well as sheep, pigs, and cattle that have fallen victims to the flood. Among the involuntary travellers thus carried away by the waters may often be seen poultry, opossums, and snakes, which are rapidly swept away far out to sea. Of course at such a time all business is suspended in the town. People in the lower districts at the first alarm hastily leave their dwellings, taking with them, possible, their household goods, but are frequently obliged to leave their lares and penates to the mercy of the flood Various public buildings, such as the School of Arts, and some of the larger buildings that happen to be out of the reach of the flood, are hastily fitted up for the reception of the unfortunate sufferers, whose wants are relieved as far as possible by the spontaneous benevolence and charity of the corporate authorities and principal inhabitants of the town. It is on such occasions as these that the best feelings of our nature are called into play, and to the honour of the people of Maitland be it said that they have never been slack in showing their sympathy, and tendering their assistance to the unfortunate sufferers by these calamities.

But the saddest scene of all is when the flood subsides, and the waters of the river return to their proper channel. Everything that has been under water is covered with sand,  soil, or thick slimy mud. Then may be seen the destruction that the impetuous rush of water has caused – fences carried away, or thrown down, houses and barns out of the perpendicular ; maize, lucerne, and other crops beaten down and covered with mud, and desolation everywhere. Yet it is  strange to note how soon these sad sights are got rid of, and how quickly the valley once more resumes its smiling aspect. The floods, after all, are not an unmixed evil ; for the rich alluvial deposit they leave behind them fertilises the soil anew, and after a time, by the industry and energy of the inhabitants, the district once more looks thriving, and is covered with luxuriant vegetation.

A few observations respecting the present condition of Maitland must close this paper. The present population of the police district of Maitland is estimated at 17,000 souls. Of these over 2,200 reside at East Maitland, and about 7,000 live in the town of West Maitland. There are four steam flour mills in the district, with fourteen pairs of stones, and employing over thirty workmen. There are seven agricultural implement manufactories ; two tobacco factories, one soap and candle factory, three tanneries, two meat preserving establishments, three wool washing establishments, one brewery, four brick-yards, one pottery, seven saw-mills, five iron and tin works, three brass and copper foundries, and a number of minor industries. There are about 150,000 acres of land under holding in the district, by far the larger part of which is in crop. Nearly 120,000 acres of this land are enclosed by fencing. The produce includes wheat, barley, oats, maize, lucerne, millet and vines. The latter thrive remarkably well, and have been known to yield as much 1,000 gallons of wine to the acre. All kinds of vegetables are also produced in the district. The quantity of hay produced here exceeds that of any other part of the colony; over 20,000 bales of lucerne hay alone have been sent away in the course of one year.

East Maitland has been a municipality since the year 1862 ; the ratable property in the town is valued at £130,000. The Corporation have under their charge about 27 miles of streets. The principal buildings are the Court-house and Gaol, the Mechanics’ Institute, the Bank of Australasia, and several fine places of worship of various denominations. The Great Northern Eailway passes through the town ; there is a not particularly commodious station house, at the junction of the main line with the Morpeth branch.

West Maitland has been incorporated since the year 1863; it has 32 miles of roads and streets within its boundary, and the ratable property is assessed at £360,747. Its principal buildings, which are so well depicted in our illustration as to require no further description, include no less than twenty-six places of worship, and there are two railway stations. The hospital, situated on Campbell’s Hill, has an income of about £900 a year ; it is not merely a local institution, but serves as a refuge for the sick and afflicted throughout the whole of the Northern districts. The School of Arts, which was founded in 1855, possesses a library of nearly 5,000 books. In West Maitland is published the Maitland Mercury, one of the oldest, most influential, and best conducted journals out of Sydney. The stores of Messrs. David Cohen and Co., in High Street, are considered the finest mercantile buildings in any country town in New South Wales, and the book store and fancy depot of Mr. Blair, excels any similar establishment even in the metropolis. Maitland is the seat of a Roman Catholic bishopric, and in addition to the Cathedral of St. John, it possesses a large and handsome convent. The two towns of East and West Maitland are joined by the Victoria Bridge over Wallis’ Creek; near it are the flood gates, erected at the joint expense of the two towns for the purpose not of keeping out the highest floods, but to prevent the waters in times of fresh from running up the creek, and devastating the low lands in the direction of Louth Park and Dagworth.

Morpeth is also a municipality, having been proclaimed in 1865. The property assessed for rates is estimated at £88,2S4. The population numbers between two and three thousand souls. The town possesses a handsome Courthouse, and a School of Arts, besides many places of worship, schools, stores, &c. The Bishop of Newcastle resides in Morpeth, at the western extremity of the town. The two steam navigation companies have ample and convenient stores and wharfs here, which have direct communication with the Morpeth branch of the Great Northern Railway.

The following engraving below, originally published as a supplement with The Illustrated Sydney News of the 7 September 1878 was not photographed as part of the microfilm copy, and subsequently was not digitised for inclusion as part of the newspapers on TROVE.

The University of Newcastle did possess a copy of this engraving at shelf location M2119, but unfortunately this was a poster reproduction of a copy of a copy, and the resultant high resolution has now been superceded by the two scans below, that were made from originals.

During the creation of this blog post, another digital copy was located online through the State Library of Victoria, and reproduced below. Their copy is damaged along the centre spread line, and contains yellowed tape on its right hand side. It was very generously digitised at 300 dpi from the original paper, and both the tif and jpg versions available free of charge online. Thank you State Library of Victoria!

West Maitland, N.S.W. and its Leading Commercial Buildings. (The Illustrated Sydney News, 7th September 1878, Supplement) Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria Trove: Click image for a higher resolution copy

In a stroke of luck, we again searched through the University of Newcastle’s recent archival accessions and located yet another original copy of the same engraving. It is damaged in places, which is understandable for a document of this age, printed on this kind of paper stock. We digitised at 800 dpi. It is reproduced and is 67 MB in size, but well worth it for the detail. Our copy again contains some damage, and minor tears and creases. In coming weeks we will do some extensive conservation treatment on it, and hopefully re-digitise when the conservation work is complete.

So, for the first time since 1878, please enjoy this remarkable engraving of West Maitland, and its accompanying description in digital form!

West Maitland, N.S.W. and its Leading Commercial Buildings. (The Illustrated Sydney News, 7th September 1878, Supplement) M6939 University of Newcastle Cultural Collections. Click image for a higher resolution copy (67MB)


Aerial view 2019 from Google Earth of 1878 West Maitland area with marked features. (Compiled by David Sciffer) Click image for a higher resolution copy

Maitland businesses in illustration Upper L-R:


A guide to the 1878 engraving


Originally compiled by Val Hamson, 1979

These historical notes accompany the engraving ” West Maitland and Its Leading Commercial Buildings” which first appeared in the “Sydney Illustrated News” in September, 1878. To assist in identifying the buildings in the engraving and relating them to the present, the notes have been arranged by street, commencing at the western end of High Street and then dealing with the lesser streets in turn.

This booklet prepared by ” The Friends of Grossmann House”, 2004

High Street. Commencing at Campbells Inn.

Note * =  demolished


Maitland Hospital. The foundation stone was laid by Edward Denny Day, Police Magistrate, in 1845. *

On the corner of Regent Street, above the Long Bridge was the resi­dence of Edward (Ned) Hawkins, and his Thistle Inn. *

Walter Cracknell leased John Eales’ Northumberland Flour Mill from 1877 until 1886 when the Maitland Brewery purchased it. This is now the site of Hampton Court No 534.

Opposite is Peter Logan’s residence. His soap factory, at the rear, no longer exists.

On the corner of Bull Street stands the Alma Hotel, named after the Alma Field in the Crimean War. Built in the 1850s, it was partly washed away in the 1893 flood, then became the residence & surgery of Dr Solling.

On the car-park, next to the courthouse, stood the Northumberland Ho­tel, owned in 1870 by James Fulford who later had the Family Hotel (see below). *

Near the present Maitland Library, 480 High Street, was J. Milne’s Mill­stream Brewery (previously Vindin’s Flour Mill). *

The Belmore Hotel was named after the Earl of Belmore, the Governor of NSW, 1865-1869. It was previously the “Sir William Denison”, No 476.

J F O’Briens shop, No 474 was then the premises of Vindin & Co. The Imperial Hotel, No. 458, was also known as Birmingham House.

The Albion Inn – Albion Ground, No 499 High Street, where the first cricket matches were played and the first show of the Hunter River Agricultural Society was held in 1844. *

Robert Blair’s shop and residence, No 428, is now part of Galtons Pty Ltd.

Samuel Owen & Isaac Beckett established their store in 1838 next door to Robert Blair’s site.

The Bank of Australasia was erected in 1870 at No 437. It was later merged into the ANZ bank.

Wolfe Gorrick & Co- the section at the back was the Government Bond Stores and today forms part of the Hills Chambers No. 416.

Sparks, Brown & Sewell – Wholesale and Retail Drapers. This appears to be the later S & W Miller’s store al 431 High Street.

John Rourke’s saddlery was established by Henry Rourke in 1838 and became one of the largest in the district. Only a part of what was a very large building remains today at No 417. It was later the site of the RSL and now Best & Less. *

H. Paskins Music Store at No 399 is now Ken Lane’s stores.

No 344 was built for Charles Miller Clarke.

James & Robert Munro’s shop stood at No. 334. *

The Carrington Hotel, No 324, is now empty and vandalised.

The Bank of NSW was established in Mailland in 1853 but the building shown here was not erected until 1861. This was later replaced by a modern building. *

The Methodist Church was erected soon after the sile was purchased in 1851. It is now the Uniting Church.

The Doch-n-Doris Hotel opened as the Commercial in 1845. *

The Plough Inn, which was built for John Callaghan in 1844, now stands in the grounds of Marist Brothers (now St Peters). School facing High Street.

St. John the Baptist Catholic Church was designed by architect Mortimer Lewis and opened by Dean Lynch in 1846. The tower and sanctuary were added in 1862 and it is now part of the Marist Bros, School. now part of St. Peter’s High School.

John Lee & Co was established in 1853 but this building at No 333 was not erected until 1867. It later became A S Mehan’s furniture store, serving thc district for over fifty years before being acquired by Waltons.

AMP building and Greater Permanent Building Society Office and Hall. Opposite No 333.

In Free Church Street this large building was built by J W & Wm Pender c. 1850. Established, as a school in 1855 and later became the first Maitland Girls High School. Presbyterian Manse – half the building – now part of St. Peter’s High School

The foundation stone of the Free Presbyterian Church was laid in 1847.

Robert Hyndes’ furniture and undertaking business was conducted from the rear of No 325. Mayor of West Maitland 1885-87, he resided at Clive Lodge, Regent Street.

James Kerr expanded a business begun by Joseph Marks at No 317 and eventually occupied these five shops.

E P Capper & Sons’ large store in High Street extended to Hunter St. and their Iron Yard was situated on the other side of Hunter Street. Establishing an ironmongery in 1843, Edward Peter Capper founded the family business which became one of the district’s largest commercial houses. The business was sold in the 1960’s and the building was subsequently destroyed by fire.

Willam McLaughlin established a bakery in Maitland in 1864 and, although he drowned in the 1870 flood while delivering bread, his wife Susannah took over the business and moved to the premises which were then under construction at No 303. The architect was William White.

Thomas W Tucker and Richard Jones eslablished the Maitland Mercury in 1843 as a weekly. It had the distinction of being the oldest daily afternoon newspaper in Australia.

Morris Benjamin’s Drapery and Bootshop at No 256 was known for many years as the “House of Quality” and is now occupied by Southern Cross Machinery.

The Australian Joint Stock Bank in the engraving at No 248 was replaced in 1882 by new premises designed by the local architect J W Pender. It was Maitland’s Cultural Centre, but no longer in use.

Originally Dickson’s Stores No 246 became the Family Hotel, then James Main’s Hotel and now the Royal.

The Repertory Playhouse served as a Congregational Church from 1857 until 1964.

On the carpark of Maitland Technical College, the pharmacy and bookshop of William Lipscomb once stood. It was possibly the first pharmacy established outside Sydney and William G Lipscomb who carried on the business established by his father was born in Maitland in 1839.

David Cohen & Co. once had two warehouses at Nos 228 & 226. The larger, built in 1865, was three storied and faced with beau­tiful Ravensfield stone. Unfortunately it was severely damaged by fire and reduced to a one storied building now occupied by Paul Ackroyd. It is now Centrelink.

Dr Bonar’s residence, No 224, served as the Commercial Bank­ing Company’s premises until 1887.

Nos 204 & 198 High Street, a boarding House and Garrick’s Head Hotel, Licensed by Daniel Lamb, in 1878.

Walli House c. 1840. The third house built for Samual Clift is situated next to Bridge House facing the Victoria Bridge over Wallis Creek.

At East Maitland – Visible below the horizon Maitland Gaol. Police magis­trate, Edward Denny Day and Colonial Architect Mortimer William Lewis laid the foundation stone on 16 February 1844. The new gaol was ready for occupation in December 1848 when the first batch of prisoners arrived by steamer from Newcastle Gaol.

The Maitland Showground, purchased by the Show Society in 1873,  is visi­ble on the top right hand corner of the engraving. Note the poplars!

St Paul’s Church of England and Hall. The Hall was originally the Gram­mer School and was occupied in 1854. The Parish of St. Paul was establihsed on 13 March 1856 and Bishop of Newcastle, Dr Tyrell, laid the foundation stone of the church on 23 September 1856. It was opened on 26 September 1858 and dedicated for divine service. ln September 1861 the large bell given by Bishop Tyrell was devoted to the tower; the old wooden belfry stood near the north transept entrance. A brick and stone tower was erected and the first peal was rumg on Easter Monday 14 April 1898.

Albert Street. Fronting Albert and Victoria Streets is the Institute for the Dominican Sisters which was established by Bishop Murray in 1867. It is now the Masonic Lodge.

St Andrews Street. James Wolstenholme established this timber mill in 1842. *

“Springfield’ ‘ at No 34 was the residence of George Turner of the Walka Tannery.

Church Street.

No 49 was the residence of the architect John W Pender.

Next to St Mary’s Church (64) resided another archtect, Whilliam White.

St Mary’s Church of England replaced the first church, which was built in 1837. Designed by Edmund Blackett it was built between 1860 when the foundation stone was laid and 1867 when the first sermon was given. Curi­ously the engraver sketched the tower, which was part of the original design but was not constructed until 1887. lts rectory was built in 1881 to replace theformer reclory on the same site.

Sauchie House – John Fraser’s school for boys in 1878. Demolishedin 1966.

Grossmann House and Brough House, the twin houses buill by Whilliam White for merchants Samuel Owen and Isaac Bcckell in 1871, are now on loan to the National Trust from the Department of Education. Grossmann House is currently open for inspection by the public. It is furnished with one of the finest collections of Victoriana in Australia.

Bourke Street

No 62 was the Congregational Manse

No 60 was the residenceof Thos. W Tucker

No 40 was the residence of Morris Cohen

No 53 & 51 were the residences of Thos. Ribee and James Barden.

No 32 was rhe residence of Edward P Capper aud was later purchased by Henry Fry.

Nos 37 & 35 were houses owned by John Patterson.

Charles Street

Maitland Gaslight Company

Regent Street.

Residence of Jolm Rourke. Number 2. *

“Clive Lodge” was the residence of Robert Hyndes, Mayor of West Maitland, 1885-87.

Sempill Street.

William Nicholson’s Mill. *

“Falls Hotel”, No 53 was kept by Mary Risby. Rim by the Risby fam­ily from 1860s to 1920s. The building is still standing.

Belmore Bridge, *

Construction began in September 1866 and ac­cess was from St Andrew’s Street. The new bridge was opened in 1964 and its approach from High Street closed off the original en­trance of Sempill Street.

Over Belmore Bridge.

Lorn House – the residence of Alexander Mc­Dougall. Lorn was a grant of 900 acres to Thomas McDougall but was occupied by his brother. Lorn House is now in Roy Street.

(Thanks to David Sciffer for providing a PDF copy of the above work)



(Provided by David Sciffer, 2019)

Maitland 1878 from the etching

First allow for artistic license, not all is as it seems.

Starting at Victoria Street: From the 1878 Maitland Rates Book

Susannah McLaughlinʼs owner/occupier of two story shop and residence with bakery at rear.

Photo Gallery, owner T. G. Rigney occupied by Morris Moss

George Moore, owner/occupier, shop and residence

Thomas Smith, owner/occupier, shop and residence

George Moore, owner Trustees of late Dr. Andrew Liddell, occupier of land at back

George Judah Cohen, occupier of residence and land owned by Trustees of late Dr.

Andrew Liddell. (Described as a house of 3 stories, with garden, stable etc. MM 6/11/1879)

Alfred J. Griffiths, occupier of shop and residence, owner Trustees of late Dr. Andrew Liddell – trading as B. Griffiths & Son, watchmaker & jeweller.

Joseph Marks, occupier of shop and residence, owner Trustees of late Dr. Andrew Liddell

Joseph Marks, occupier of shop and residence, owner Trustees of late Dr. Andrew Liddell

Robert Hyndes, owner/occupier of showroom and residence

Catherine OʼBrien, owner of shop and residence, occupier Anne Gould.

Thomas Brown, owner/publican of hotel (publican of The Royal Oak at Campbells Hill 1854-1860 – State Records, the MM 17/5/1884 under Licensing Court, granted to Thomas Brown, Royal Oak Hotel, Campbells Hill and Tamar Brown, Exchanged Hotel, West Maitland) Thomas Brown married Tamar Smith/Smyth in 1841 (CT – Maitland and surrounding district)

Lee Street: (which was not in existence in the 1878 rates.)

However, the pictorial map looks to extend to Charles Street. The buildings set amongst the trees with the tall chimney stacks could be Tuckʼs gas works off the end of the half street.

John Compton, owner/occupier of shop and residence (No. 329)

John Lee & Co., owner/occupier of shop and residence (3 stories) No. 333)

William R. Norman, occupier of showroom and residence, owner William Mudie

Henry Goddard Tuck, occupier of residence, owner John Tuck

Henry GoddaGoddard Tuck, showroom and factory, owner John Tuck

John Tuck, owner/ occupier of residence


Charles Street:

Thomas Bramble, occupier of shop and residence, owner William Farthing

Wesleyan Methodist Church (not listed)

William England Bourne, occupier of Parsonage, owner Wesleyan Trustees.

Whilst looking for three story buildings in this section, John Leeʼs premises appear to be near your notation ʻDr. Piece fountain?ʼ with John Comptonʼs 2 stories next then the three storied hotel of Thomas Brown (former Exchange). However, Dr. Liddellʼs house must have been prominent in that section, but does not appear. It looks a bit as though the buildings are shown too large in the street scape so some were omitted. After all it is just an impression of the town not an accurate historical map of the time, but a great asset to have.

Charles Street originally included Cathedral Street and went straight across High Street. The corner was changed for buildings owned by Catholic Diocese and that section then named Cathedral Street.

Charles Street:

John Warn Tuck owned land, 5 houses, house and land, stables and land 50 feet and Henry G. Tuck owned stables. Other owners were Trustee Callaghan, land; Elizabeth Callaghan, a stone shed; John Thompson, land; Geo. A. Smyth, land; Mrs Duncan, an old house.

Victoria Street:

Richard Cracknell 4 houses; Lady Superior Convent, owner Bishop of Maitland, land and lucerne and Convent School; Trustees of School of Arts, School of Arts; Benjamin Hawkins, 2 houses.

(-End of Val Rudkin’s Notes-)


Gionni Di Gravio
University of Newcastle (Australia)

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