Oatley

nla.map-lfsp2033-e1890 – 1899  Broughton, Ernest C. V.
New Oatley township [cartographic material] : plan of subdivision of part of James Oatley’s 300ac. grant, dated the 31st August 1833 at Oatley
1890 – 1899. MAP Folder 128, LFSP 2033
National Library of Australia | Digital Collection
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nla.map-lfsp2035-s1-e

nla.map-lfsp2035-s2-e1906 – Raine & Horne.
Oatley Bay subdn no. 2, near Oatley Station [cartographic material] : with water frontages to elevated blocks, varied and extensive views
1906. MAP Folder 59, LFSP 859.
National Library of Australia | Digital Collection
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nla.map-lfsp859-e1893 – Richardson & Wrench. The great attraction, Oatley Park, Georges River [cartographic material] : the southern sanatorium : splendid building sites
1893. MAP Folder 128, LFSP 2035. Part 2.
National Library of Australia | Digital Collection
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Oatley – Timeline
Hurstville City Library – Local Studies Section 4 No.6

Pre-1788  Evidence of Aboriginal occupation in Oatley Park as well as the presence of a permanent spring and water supply at Neverfail Bay (the reason why it was called thus) along with as Cook’s observations in 1770 would imply some Aboriginal presence.
3&4/4/1770  Lieut. Cook travels some way up Georges River where he sees numerous “natives” fishing.
1788  Phillip Gidley King travels five miles up the Georges River.
14/12/1790  Watkin Tench leads a punitive expedition against Aborigines in the St George area. He hopes to hit the Georges River around the Oatley area but becomes lost eventually ending up in the Monterey area.
Feb 1795  Flinders, Bass and Martin explore and name the Georges River.
Late 1790s
   Farming further up the Georges River – Georges Hall, Bankstown and Liverpool – sees regular boat traffic on the River.
1830s  First industries in the area – timber getting and lime burning.
31/8/1833  James Oatley granted 300 acres with an annual rent of £2.10/-. He called it Needwood Forest. He apparently never visited the area although he lived at present-day Beverly Hills.
13/6/1835   The Sydney Hunt ends up at Oatley’s grant.
Dec 1835  Oatley has a further 40 ac added. When the grant is later surveyed it was actually 600 ac.
8/10/1839  James Oatley dies leaving Needwood Forest to his adopted son Frederick Stokes who later changed his name to Oatley.
Late 1840s  People starting to take trips to the Georges River area for picnics.
Late 1870s The oyster industry in production near the Oatley area
March 1881 Oatley Jnr sells Needwood to Charles Cecil Griffith for £10,000. Griffith plans to subdivide.
1883  Oatley’s Estate with 1,400 building blocks. The streets are named after either Australian plants or members of Griffith’s family.
1884  Judd’s Hurstville Brick works established at Mortdale – many Oatley people end up employed at the works. Now the location of the Georges River College.
1885  First settler in the area. Joseph Fletcher – a railway worker – builds near the present day Oatley Hotel. He was quickly followed by George Orange, the caretaker for the Oatley Estate. Nearest homes are at Mortdale in Morts Rd.
22/12/1885  
Municipality of Kogarah declared.
26/12/1885  Railway line to Sutherland opened with a small platform at Oatley. The platform first called “Oatley’s Grant” (up to 1886) and then “Oatley’s Platform” (by 1889) but land sales are slow.
1886  Population of Oatley is nine living in two houses.

c.1886  The Derwent family move into Neverfail Bay for the oysters. They were quickly followed by the Thompsons, who were boatbuilders, and the Wards and McAllum.
27/3/1887  Municipality of Hurstville declared with the railway line the boundary. This was to lead to problems following the 1905 deviation.
29/5/1888  Dedication of Peakhurst Park (now called Oatley Park).
Dec 1888  Hurstville Council starts building roads and culverts in and to Oatley. However, all washed away in the floods in late December.
1889/90  First church services at the home of Mrs Smith in Wonoona Parade. Services were multi-dominational.
1890  “Oatley’s Platform” changed to “Oatley”. Building activity increases around the platform which was increased in length with the erection of a station building. This year also saw the establishment of a telegraph office at the station.
1891 Station Master’s cottage built with John Brown the first station master.
1893  Nine houses now in the vicinity of the railway station.
Late 1890s/ early 1900s  The time of Peasley the cattle duffer who had his hideout at the top end of Llewellyn Street.
1901  Military operations held at Oatley where a force at Oatley held off an “invading force” from the south with artillery.
6/2/1902  Large bushfire destroys homes, haystacks and poultry in the area. (See also Dec 1911).
1902/03  Cricket club formed by the Mortdale Literary and Debating Society.
14/9/1903  Post office established at the railway station.
7/7/1905  Re-grading of the line between Mortdale and Como Bridge sees Oatley station move about 400 yards to the west.
13/10/1905  The Oatley School of Arts opened. It quickly becomes the centre of the village.
1908  Hurstville Council takes control of Peakhurst Park. Also this year the first Church of England services held in the School of Arts.
5/7/1909 The post office moved to the shops along with the installation of a public telephone.  The post office moved around various locations until 1935 where it moved to its present location.
Early 1910s  Houses began to be built in the Gungah Bay area on land originally owned Donnelly Fisher, later to become the Gungah Bay Park Estate and the Gungah Bay Subdivision.
April 1911  Oatley Progress Association, along with similar associations of Canterbury, East Hills, Belmore and Peakhurst, make a call to form a shire.
29/7/1911  Foundation stone of St Paul’s Church of England laid. It was opened 2nd December of the same year.
Dec 1911  Large bushfire at Oatley. This was to be repeated over the following years (Feb 1913, Dec 1915, Jan 1916 for example).
1912  Attempts to establish a school in Oatley fail. Numerous attempts over the following years also fail.
Oct 1913  Hurstville and Kogarah Councils send a deputation to the Railways in an effort to turn the old railway station area into a public square. The Railways refuse to see the deputation.
2/10/1917  Oatley School starts in rented premises at the School of Arts Hall.
3/11/1917  Foundation stone for the first Methodist Church laid. It was opened 1st December.
1919  Baths at Penshurst (now Oatley) Park.
12/9/1919  Mortdale Chamber of Commerce calling for a new municipality consisting of the Mortdale and Oatley areas.
June 1921  Work finishes on the new school building and 188 pupils move into a building built for 150.
March 1922  Peakhurst Park changed to Oatley Park.
1922/23  Drought in the area leads to water carriers being used.
1923  Electricity extended to the area.
25/10/1924  Unveiling of the War Memorial in a corner of the school grounds.
May 1925  Deputation from both Councils asking the Railways to release the unused railway land to the councils. The Railways refuse saying they will lease the land.
Feb 1926  Kogarah Council approaches the Lands Dept. over the matter of the railway land.
1/3/1926  Electric train service to Oatley started.

Sources:  
Davis, Pedr, The Hurstville Story, (Hurstville, 1986); Hatton, D J, Development of the suburbs Peakhurst, Penshurst, Mortdale & Oatley, (Hurstville, 1981); Hatton, D J, Oatley in Early Days, (Hurstville, 1981); Hurstville History Database;  Hurstville History Online, compiled G Blewitt [n.d]; Howard, Elaine, Oatley: The Working Man’s Paradise, (Oatley, 1979); Lawrence, Joan, Pictorial Memories: St George – Rockdale, Kogarah, Hurstville, (Crows Nest, 1996); Oatley vertical files, Local Studies Centre, Hurstville City Library; River, Road and Rail: A History of Kogarah Municipality, ed J Fletcher, (Kogarah, 1985); The Story of James Oatley, (Hurstville, nd).

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