For Sale, Dangar Island! Exhibition of Posters from the 1920s, Saturday 22nd April 2017

The launch on 22nd April at the Dangar Depot cafe of posters used in the early 1920s to advertise the subdivision and sale of Dangar Island was a great success.  The exhibition is still on display till 15th May 2017, so come and see the original advertisement for your block, purchase a commemorative tea towel or order a reproduction of the poster/s you like.  Can’t make it to Dangar?  You can make orders directly by contacting the DIHS secretary before 15th May via our web contact page.  A3 size unframed posters are available for $50 each, A2 size unframed posters are $25 each.  There is also an A3 size poster that shows all four images.  20% discount if you buy more than one poster, $12 for postage.  This is a limited offer, so if you want a poster … Act Now !

Tea Towels printed with the Island Gem / Dudley poster (the one showing the full island map) are available at the Dangar Depot cafe, or can be ordered for $20 each.  Raine and Horne have purchased a bulk order of the Easter Monday 1922 (Subdivision 2) Tea-Towels, with the result that there are only a very few of these left … contact the DIHS secretary promptly if you would like one of the Easter Monday tea towels.

Dangar Island was Crown Land until 1864 when it was purchased by Henry Cary Dangar. When he died in 1917, he left his large estate to his children. Dangar Island was left to his second son Reginald Neville Dangar. Reginald sold the Island to solicitors Lindsay Thom Crouch and John Stuart Thom in June 1921 for £7,500. The Island was then subdivided.

The first three subdivisions were auctioned by Raine and Horne between October 1921 and November 1922. The response was enthusiastic. At the first auction, practically every lot was sold on the day of the sale. Newspapers reported there was a large attendance, and 70 allotments were sold at 25 shillings to £9 per foot per frontage. Sales totalled over £11,000. The fourth subdivision was not put to auction. Lots were sold by H. Dudley Auctioneers and Estate Agents between 1923 and 1930.

After the first auction the Sydney Morning Herald reported: ‘It is the first time that an island in the middle of a river has been subdivided and sold in allotments. Some of this land brought up to £9 per foot [per frontage]. A few years ago such a figure would have been considered extortionate’. It seems there is nothing new when it comes to Sydney property prices!

The developers named four of the roads on the Island after the Dangar family’s properties. Neotsfield Avenue was named after their property in Singleton which in turn was named after St Neot in Cornwall, England – the Dangar family’s ancestral home. Grantham Crescent was named after the Dangar family’s mansion in Potts Point; Yallaroi Parade after Yallaroi Station, near Warrialda; and Baroona after the Baroona homestead at Singleton. Riverview Avenue was an attractive advertising descriptor for the second subdivision of April 1922.

The large posters advertising the sales were typical of real estate agents’ advertisements created between the 1880s and 1930s as large estates were broken up and sold. The posters were pasted onto telegraph poles and placed in shop fronts around the city to entice prospective buyers. They had to be striking to stop passers-by and encourage a second look. The posters of Dangar Island are beautiful works of art as well as pictorial records of the subdivision.   They were successful. Blocks sold quickly for good prices.

The poster for the second subdivision is particularly notable as Raine and Horne commissioned the artist David Henry Souter (1862–1935) to create the poster. They had to build on the success of the first auction by commissioning a well-known artist to design the poster for the second. Much was made of the artwork. It was described as depicting the Island in a hazy blending of colours, with the hills of the mainland as a background with a black spiderweb outline of the Hawkesbury Bridge cutting across the foreground corner balancing the design. The poster for the fourth subdivision by H. Dudley Auctioneers and Estate Agents heralded “Dangar Island – Hawkesbury River- ‘Australia’s Island gem’.

(Research by Rosemary Curtis, Image Source: State Library of New South Wales)

 

Then and Now Walking Tour – Dangar Island and the Hawkesbury River

Starts with the 11 am ferry from Brooklyn Sunday October 16 2016.

Come by train to Hawkesbury River Station (mind the steps) or park your car in the Brooklyn commuter car park near the ferry terminal.  

Enjoy the Hawkesbury River on a ferry ride from Brooklyn via Little Wobby to Dangar Island and join us for a walking tour of the island as we bring alive its history including:

  • Indigenous use of the Island prior to the visit by Governor Arthur Phillip in 1788 when he named it Mullet island
  • Purchase by Henry Cary Dangar in 1864 and subsequent lease 1887 to 1889 when it became the busiest construction site in the Southern Hemisphere during the building of the Hawkesbury River Railway Bridge
  • The Dangar family years followed by subdivision and the building of weekenders
  • The role of the island during WW2
  • Recent developments that have led to Dangar Island being home to 250 residents in a car free, water access only community just 1 hour from Sydney CBD

To join this tour catch the 11.00am ferry from Brooklyn to Dangar Island. Our guide will meet you from the ferry and take you on a leisurely 1 hour walk, mainly on the flat. The tour includes a delicious Roast Lunch plate and a drink at Dangar’s Bowling Club, where you will join the guide and other locals. Extend your visit with a walk around the top of the island (about another hour) or linger on the beach, have game of bowls, or catch the ferry at 2.45pm, which returns to Brooklyn via the river community of Little Wobby. Next ferry 3.45 then 4.45.

Go to our Map and Community page for the ferry timetable and a map of Brooklyn.  

Operated by the Dangar Island Historical Society. Price $32 a head ($30 concessions), which includes the tour, lunch, a glass of wine or equivalent and a free guidebook to take home. Children (5-14) $5 (kids meal deals available). This is a small group tour (maximum of 20), bookings are essential and a non-returnable deposit of 50% is required on booking. Note that ferry fares or additional purchases from the Bowling Club are payable directly to the operators.

Here is a testimonial from a recent private group tour:

Just a note to thank you for a most interesting and entertaining History
Tour of the Island last Friday.
All who attended thoroughly enjoyed the day.
Thanks again.
Kind regards,
John Whitworth
Probus Club of St Ives

Dangar Island as it was in 1969, starring in The Rovers TV series.

The Rovers was a family television show of 39 x 30 minute episodes which was filmed in Brooklyn and the Hawkesbury region and was screened in 1969-1970 on the 0-Ten network.

The series starred Rowena Wallace, Edward Hepple and Noel Trevarthen and featured the adventures of the crew of the ‘Pacific Lady’, an island schooner owned by Captain Sam McGill, played by Hepple, Bob WIld, a freelance photographer played by Trevarthen and Rusty Collins, a wildlife journalist, played by Wallace.

Dangar Island was the location for Episode 10, ‘Guitar Boy’.  Video and sound quality are poor, but if you watch this You-Tube from 14 minutes on you will see how the island looked in 1969.

Join us for a Then and Now tour – Dangar Island and the Hawkesbury River

Our last walking tour (advertised below) was a popular event and we are planning to hold another in October.  Details will be posted here when available.  

If you would like a private group tour (minimum 10 people) please contact us and we can make arrangements to suit you.

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Starts with the 11 am ferry from Brooklyn Sunday May 22 2016.

Come by train to Hawkesbury River Station (mind the steps) or park your car in the Brooklyn commuter car park near the ferry terminal.  

Enjoy the Hawkesbury River on a ferry ride from Brooklyn via Little Wobby to Dangar Island and join us for a walking tour of the island as we bring alive its history including:

  • Indigenous use of the Island prior to the visit by Governor Arthur Phillip in 1788 when he named it Mullet island
  • Purchase by Henry Cary Dangar in 1864 and subsequent lease 1887 to 1889 when it became the busiest construction site in the Southern Hemisphere during the building of the Hawkesbury River Railway Bridge
  • The Dangar family years followed by subdivision and the building of weekenders
  • The role of the island during WW2
  • Recent developments that have led to Dangar Island being home to 250 residents in a car free, water access only community just 1 hour from Sydney CBD

To join this tour catch the 11.00am ferry from Brooklyn to Dangar Island. Our guide will meet you from the ferry and take you on a leisurely 1 hour walk, mainly on the flat. The tour includes a delicious Roast Lunch plate and a drink at Dangar’s Bowling Club, where you will join the guide and other locals. Extend your visit with a walk around the top of the island (about another hour) or linger on the beach, have game of bowls, or catch the ferry at 2.45pm, which returns to Brooklyn via the river community of Little Wobby. Next ferry 3.45 then 4.45.

Go to our Map and Community page for the ferry timetable and a map of Brooklyn. 

Operated by the Dangar Island Historical Society. Price $32 a head ($30 concessions), which includes the tour, lunch, a glass of wine or equivalent and a free guidebook to take home. Children (5-14) $5 (kids meal deals available). This is a small group tour (maximum of 20), bookings are essential and a non-returnable deposit of 50% is required on booking. Note that ferry fares or additional purchases from the Bowling Club are payable directly to the operators.

 

1891, The opening of The Marine Club, Dangar Island.

In 1891, The Marine Club was opened as a get-away for Sydney-siders. It operated in The Homestead, built by Henry Carey Dangar in 1890 and was leased out to an operating group until 1893.

 

Below we have reproduced two articles about this, and a Postcard.

Surely celebrating the 125th anniversary of this institution in 2016 is an excuse for a party! Watch for publication of our party plans in the second half of 2016 … in the meantime, additional information about the Marine Hotel and suggestions regarding the anniversary party are most welcome.

Excursions for the Season1892-93

                                                     Excursions for the Season1892-93

Marine club 2

 

From:  Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 – 1931 Saturday 5 December 1891

“Despite the unpropitious weather on Saturday last, a large party of gentlemen journeyed to Dangar Island, Hawkesbury River, to witness the official opening of the Marine Club recently erected there. The party travelled by rail as far as Brooklyn, thence by the steamer Sapphire to the island. Arrived there the visitors roamed about the picturesque grounds, partook of oysters fresh from the bed, and after inspecting the well-appointed residential club premises sat down to a repast that reflected the highest credit on the catering department. Many toasts were submitted in the course of the function, and one wishing ‘Success to the Club’ was most enthusiastically drunk. Several members spoke of the comfort that the club bestowed on their wives and families during vacation, and were enthusiastic in their praises of the management of the Marine Club. A trip aboard the Sapphire up the Hawkesbury concluded the day’s enjoyment.”

 

From:  Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 – 1931 Wednesday 18 November 1891 p 3 Article

In and About Dangar Island.
THE NEW MARINE CLUB.

A welcome addition has just been, made to one of the many delightful holiday retreats, within easy distance of Sydney. A syndicate-fortified with ample capital, and cognisant of the opportunity that offered for a suitable club sufficiently removed from Sydney to provide pleasure and retirement for the yachtsman and amateur fisherman — has erected on Dangar Island (Hawkesbury River) club premises that fulfil to the measure all the comforts and conveniences of a first-class city club. Dangar Island, we may mention for the information of the reader who is not aware of its geographical position, lies in one of the most picturesque parts of the Hawkesbury River, near to the Hawkesbury railway bridge. One can approach it by rail as a first-class passenger for 2s 6d, being something under 1d a mile. By sea a suitable steam service is at the command of the visitor who may prefer the rugged scenery of the coastline to the stretch of tiny mountains, ravines, and clustering wild bush growths that the land trip affords. At Barranjoey Heads, where the Hawkesbury empties itself, new points of interest come and go with unceasing regularity. The beauties of Newport, Pittwater, Narrabeen, Church Point, Lion Island, and the many tiny bays inletting the foreshores are generously distributed by nature and can be taken advantage of by the tourist. Growing pictures of rural beauty are disclosed as the steam packet with its measured gaspings — resounding in muffled harmony through the towering – shore thicknesses — nears the point of destination. Arrived at the island’s substantial wharf the Marine Club —for such is its name — gives evidence of inside comfort from the attractiveness of its outside dress. It is erected on an easy slope up some 100 yards from the water’s edge, and enjoys an almost uninterrupted view of the best scenery thereabouts. The graceful pro- portions of the Hawkesbury Bridge, which spans the river for a mile or so, are seen to advantage, and the magnitude of the great work can be best understood and appreciated   from that site. Surrounding the club premises a liberal enclosure of land has been cleared and put under cultivation. Couch grass, tree ferns, and a varied assortment of ornamental trees have been transplanted, and give evidence of the wholesome care bestowed on their nurture. Inside the club is fitted up like a modern hotel, and special attention has been given to the proper care necessary for ladies and children. A social hall, which is reached through a conservatory festooned with verdant creepers, can be used for parties, balls, or banquets, and is well supplied with side rooms for card parties. The club has its steamer and rowing and sailing boats, which are all at the disposal of the guests. The island is well provided with material for the ‘crank’ who enjoys mountain-climbing, and can boast an oyster-bed of rare wealth. At the invitation of Mr. Oscar Schulze, the promoter of the club, a representative of the Evening News journeyed   by rail to Hawkesbury Station on Saturday, and was conveyed thence by boat to the island, where he remained the guest of Mr. and Mrs. Busch — the active managers — until Sunday evening. The staff of waiters and waitresses is ample and effective, and the culinary department, which is managed by Fran Schmidt, resists captious criticism. A water service is laid over the club and immediate grounds, and the sanitary appointments are similar to those in use in the city. Dangar Island should be popular during this and indeed all seasons.

 

 

Birthday Party: 125th Anniversary

No birthday party is complete without a cake and Adrienne did us proud with a giant bridge replica which was ceremonially cut by Her Excellency and quickly enjoyed by those present while listening to a selection of Colonial music from Island musicians Judy, Phil and Dominic.

The Colonial theme continued with our very first “Pop Up” restaurant – a Colonial bistro featuring popular stew and damper. Tea, coffee, biscuits and scones were in steady demand from our team of helpers.  Many more helpers worked tirelessly on the day and well before the event to ensure the day’s success.

Feedback has been amazing and most appreciated. The Dangar Island Historical Society believed we showcased our small community in a most favourable light and the enthusiastic response we received to the event was a reminder of why we enjoy living here.

Our historical archives are increasingly available on our website dangarislandhistoricalsociety.org and follow us on Face Book.

Sign up to become a member – it’s so easy and then you too can join us in preserving our heritage.

History Recreated

Aside from more formal activities held for the celebrations, we were actively supported by local businesses.  Giving a nod to the Island’s place in history, The Riverboat Postman and Rick Stockley’s historical Banksia welcomed visitors to the Hawkesbury River with special river tours around Dangar Island viewing various bridge construction sites and providing some understanding of the isolation of surrounding river communities – both then and now.  Historical commentary by Dave Reynolds brought to life details of the bridge’s construction and made visitors aware of its importance in moving our State towards Federation in 1901.

To complement these on-water activities, Brenda and Phillip entertained our visitors with walking tours of the Island.  These tours included activities along the way that brought history to life with specially written stories recreating life at the time.

Chief Engineer's Diaries

Chief Engineer’s Diaries

An historical address was given by Ian Thom, Chairman of the Henry Parkes Foundation and grandson of Sir Henry Parkes.  At the time of the bridge opening, Sir Henry Parkes was New South Wales Premier and later went on to become the Father of Federation.  In the celebrations of May 1889, the Hawkesbury River Railway Bridge was declared open by the Governor Lord Carrington, however Sir Henry Parkes also spoke at this historical event.  Ian Thom kindly showed us the pocket watch his grandfather had worn on the day of these celebrations.

Celebrations on Dangar Island (3rd & 4th May 2014)

The Dangar Island Historical Society was honoured to welcome Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO, Governor of New South Wales, together with our Federal Member, Philip Ruddock, State and Senate Members, Hornsby Council Mayor Steve Russell and other Council representatives to help celebrate Dangar Island’s role in the 1889 construction of the Hawkesbury River Railway Bridge.  May weather was kind to us and we shared our celebrations with more than 450 people over two days of activities.

The American Union Flag flown from the Bridge during construction

The American Union Flag flown from the Bridge during construction

Central to the weekend was an Anniversary Exhibition of over 75 photographs and artefacts that chronicled the progress of bridge building, revealed something of the life & times of the builders and documented the wondrous celebration of its completion.  We were loaned special items from the Powerhouse Museum’s collection and Hornsby Library (Neil Chippendale) thanks to the negotiating skills of Dave Reynolds and Rosemary Curtis.

IMG_0255The event was supported with a most welcome community grant from Hornsby Shire Council.   Bendigo Bank Berowra made available assistance with printed materials, marquees and signage for our heritage walk for which we are most grateful.  Feedback from visitors to the Exhibition was most encouraging and we were surprised by the number of visitors who told us of relatives involved in the construction of the bridge.

Mr Matt Keane, Member for Hornsby reported to NSW Parliament on the 8 May 2014 of our celebrations and on the significance of the bridge construction.  You can read the Hansard report via this link. (Ref 28525)

Bridge Anniversary: Schedule of Events 3rd & 4th May 2014

Postcard of Hawkesbury River Railway Bridge

Postcard of Hawkesbury River Railway Bridge

Thursday 1st May

9.20am          Live Radio Interview 702ABC Sydney Radio  Linda Mottram with Dave Reynolds

Saturday 3rd May

10am             Exhibition opens in Community Hall. Entry by gold coin donation

Tea and biscuits.  Launch of souvenir postcards and mugs.

11am             Story Telling starts (from the wharf)

11.00             Banksia Tour of the bridge leaves from Dangar.

11.00             Riverboat Postman tours leave Brooklyn (Public Wharf)

12.00             Colonial Stew and Damper available from the Hall

1pm               Riverboat Postman Tour disembarks passengers Dangar (approx.)

1.30pm          Story Telling starts (from the wharf)

2.00                Banksia Tour of the Bridge leaves from Dangar.

2.15                Riverboat Postman leaves Dangar, returns to Brooklyn (approx.)

4pm                Exhibition closes

Sunday 4th May

10am             Exhibition reopens in Community Hall

12.00             Story Telling starts (from the wharf)

12.00             Colonial Stew and Damper available from the Hall

1.15pm          Governor of NSW arrives aboard Banksia at Dangar Wharf

1.30 pm         Celebratory Addresses and cutting the cake

2.00pm          Governor departs.

From 2pm     Colonial Music in the Park

2.30pm          Story Telling starts (from the wharf)

2.30pm          Banksia Tour of the Bridge leaves from Dangar.

3.30pm          Story Telling starts (from the wharf) (on request)

4pm               Exhibition closes

Historic Hawkesbury Cruise

One of the most exciting experiences being offered over the weekend of the 125th Anniversary of the Hawkesbury Railway Bridge (3-4th May 2014) is an opportunity to join Hawkesbury Cruises for a lunchtime cruise of the river taking in the site of the first bridge.  The cruise will also take you close to construction sites on Long Island and Dangar Island and you can view other locations of historic significance.  We will have an expert commentator on board who will explain the activities involved in construction and highlights of the bridge opening on 1st May 1889.  You will feel as if you were there for this momentous occasion!  It will be easy to understand why the Bridge was so significant to our developing nation.

MV Zarapita

MV Zarapita

This cruise will be informative and one of a kind.  Boats will leave from Brooklyn at the Public Wharf (near the Hawkesbury River Train Station), include lunch and a stop-over on Dangar Island to view the Historical Society Exhibition in the Community Hall.  If time permits, take a self-guided Historical Walk around the island to discover many of the sites discussed on the cruise.

Hawkesbury Cruises is not your average tour boat.  Week days they are a life-line for “water access only” river settlements and you are able to join them as they make their trip upriver to isolated settlements.  The Riverboat Postman started its run in 1910 – not long after our famous Railway Bridge opened for business in 1889.  Even today, deliveries include mail and essential provisions; and perhaps even depleted “refreshment” supplies?

IMG_0806

The skippers are all locals who can fill you in on all the best information – gossip and intrigue, current house prices, dramatic events – and then round it all off with a good measure of river history and spectacular scenery.  The business is family owned and operates from Brooklyn.  All cruises include morning tea (home baked Anzac biscuits), a delicious Ploughman’s Lunch and plenty of freshly brewed tea or coffee. Bookings are essential.  Payment is made at the Brooklyn Public Wharf on the day of travel.  Cash & cards accepted (except American Express).  Group bookings are requested to please contact Catherine on 0400 600 111.

 

For more information:
Web: http://www.hawkesburycruises.com.au/
Email: info@hawkesburycruises.com.au
Phone: 0400 600 111

Hurry!  Don’t miss out on a great day out on the Hawkesbury River.

Dangar Island

Dangar Island