User Pays?

In mid-1876 a committee of men from the West Maitland Borough Council assembled to plan the location of the town’s first 25 gas streetlamps. The Council had passed the decision to install lights as early as 1860 and ten years later, the Maitland Gas Light Company was formed to supply the gas. But someone would […]

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Sign of Respect

From a prominent place on a public drinking fountain in central West Maitland, this plaque saw many a carthorse approach to lap at the cool water in the trough below and townspeople stop to drink from its bubbling spout. The fountain was installed in 1889 in memory of Dr Robert James Pierce, and the plaque […]

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Who, When and Why?

In the 2004 book Time gentlemen, please!: Maitland’s Hotels Past & Present, a redrawn copy of this old undated plan of West Maitland was published, with an estimate that it was drawn around, or at least represents, the year 1858. But what evidence places it in the 1850s? For the Wonnarua people, the area depicted […]

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Armed to Defend

At 7pm on 24 October 1860, two hundred people waited in the Maitland School of Arts for the swearing-in of the recently formed Northumberland (West Maitland) Volunteer Rifle Corps’ members. The excited crowd cheered as several uniformed volunteers saluted and took their seats, this ten-page ledger was laid out on the table. That evening, ninety […]

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One Brick To Another

When Maitland’s middleweight boxing champion Les Darcy (1895-1917) convincingly knocked out the world heavyweight champion Eddie McGoorty, at the Sydney Stadium in 1915, his fast-growing fan base was elated. In celebration of this victory, Ernest Card, founder of Sydney’s Gold Brick Society, gifted this miniature gold brick to Darcy to wear as a watch chain […]

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