History of Neutral Bay
Neutral Bay is estimated around 1.5 kilometres north of the Sydney CBD, located in the area of North Sydney Council, it is a harbour side suburb on the Lower North Shore of Sydney.
Neutral Bay got its name from the bay on Sydney Harbour while a former locality in Neutral Bay, Kurraba Point was finally declared a separate suburb in 2010, sharing the postcode 2089. Despite that, Neutral bay dentist North Sydney Dentistry is glad to serve in this community.
Neutral Bay’s name originated back in the time of the early colonial period of Australia, during the time when different bays of the Sydney Harbour were zoned for many different incoming vessels. This is the bay where all foreign vessels would dock, thus the name neutral.
“Wirra-Birra” is the aboriginal name of the area. Soon after the arrival of the First Fleet in Sydney in 1789, the bay was declared a neutral harbour where foreign ships where permitted to replenish and stock on water and supplies by Governor Arthur Philip. The bay discourages convicts from getting away on these vessels and to keep possible enemy ships at a distance from the main settlement because Neutral Bay was far enough away from the Sydney Cove. It was later known as East St Leonards in the latter half of the 1800s.
Some of the 1st known vegetables and plants found in the area included Xanthorrhoes or grass trees and Angophoras or small grevilleas and banksias that usually grow close to the water along with Sydney blue gums & blackbutts on the ridges. GVF Mann even wrote that ferns and small waterfalls are still evident above the foreshore rocks and that Ben Boyd Road used to be a track with thick bush up to Middle Harbour.
A large part of the 700 acres(283 hectares)land was bought by Captain John Piper as a wedding gift for his son-in-law, Alfred Thrupp in 1816, who built a cottage that he never occupied, later on, Piper was bankrupt and sold all his land including the Thrupp Estate to Daniel Cooper, a wealthy merchant in 1827, who then appointed his nephew John Cooper as Estate Manager in 1854.
In 1830, a big house was built on the bay’s waterfront called Craignathan. It was a huge self-sufficient estate complete with water tanks carved out of sandstone and 5 ovens for baking bread. Was occupied by Ben Boyd in 1840 where he added a dam above the house to catch water for washing wool.
In the early 1870s, a track spanning along the ridge from North Sydney that supplies the newly-installed fortifications at Middle head. In 1880-1891, The Oaks Steam Brick Company-owned and operated by an entrepreneur, Patrick Hayes was the most prominent business around the Military Road, along with his soap making works at Kurraba Point. Hayes Street up to the ferry wharf in the bay was named after him.
The brickwork site became the Neutral Bay Tram Depot when the tram network was electrified in 1909. The depot was one of the biggest employers in the area, whose employees where mostly labour-voting Catholic men, the tramways extended along Military Road to Mosman and the Spit.
However, when the trams were stopped, the northern portion of the depot was kept as a bus depot (fronting Ernest Street while the southern portion facing Military Road was transformed into a Big Bear Supermarket, which became one of the first self-service supermarkets in Sydney during the mid-1950s.
In 1880, the Oaks Hotel was opened, so-called because of its adjacent brickworks, while Tooth & Co Ltd built the pub that’s currently on site during 1938. The architects Morrow and Gordon, who had just finished Greenway Flats in Milsons Point/Kirribilli, designed the garden lounge in 1957.
Dame Mary Gilmore taught in the Neutral Bay Public School when it was built in 1886. To help the growing community clustered at the Military Road/Wycombe Road hub, post offices, churches, fire stations and a shop were established. More developments in the suburbs lying south of Military Road towards the waterfront was greatly encouraged by the tram services down to Neutral Bay Junction and Hayes Street.
A shopping centre was also developed in the vicinity of Neutral Bay Junction, amidst the many boarding houses, guest houses and private hotels that continuously flourish in the lower reaches of the suburb close to the ferry services. While private homes on individual blocks and small apartment buildings predominated the strip between the shopping centre and the waterfront.
A famous resident in Neutral Bay includes May Gibbs, the creator of Snugglepot, Cuddlepie and the Banksia Men, she had a waterfront home built in 1925, which was bought by the North Sydney Council, both house and garden was preserved as a museum to commemorate her works and Margaret Tucker, a young Aboriginal woman taken from her family and trained at Cootamundra Girls Home for domestic service, she wrote of her experience working in the Neutral Bay home of the grazier family in the 1920s.
Neutral Bay is one central business district with good transport and local services, with apartment buildings and townhouses that had become a popular style of housing in the area. Complete with commercial complexes, shopping centres, foods, entertainment, amazing places, adventures and scenic views, it’s truly a great place to go to make a lifetime of memories.