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.
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.