1870s Our Campbelltown

Our Campbelltown 1870s


John Kidd MP

He moved his Sydney bakery business to Campbelltown and expanded it to a general store. His reputation for honesty and tact earned him the nickname of Honest John Kidd. Among many achievements and local interests he supported the local Public School, and attended the meeting in 1879 calling for the formation of a municipality i.e. local self government. After a successful political career he retired to his home Blair Athol, and died in 1919. He is buried in the Presbyterian Cemetery.

Black and white potrait of John Kidd
(Image sourced from State Archives and Records Authority of NSW )


First Public School opens

The only education available prior to 1848 were church schools or private schools. After 1848 government schools were established under the Board of National Education. This took longer in older more settled districts where church schools were firmly established. In 1874 the leading members of the Church of England and Presbyterians decided that one good Public School would serve them better. A committee was set up to establish a Public School. The local people were required to pay 1/3 the cost of Public School buildings. With money and attendance guaranteed, it was recommended that the school be built. Campbelltown Public School was opened in January 1876 and was situated in a paddock bounded by Lithgow, Lindesay and Dumaresq Streets. The image below shows the school's students saluting the flag in the early 1900s.

Black and white photograph of school students outside a federation style school house
(Image sourced from Campbelltown and Airds Historical Society)


CBC BANK is the first bank to be opened in Campbelltown

The first bank to open was the Commercial Bank of Sydney (CBC Bank)(PDF, 204KB) which operated out of a small building on Queen St, but quickly expanded and moved to McGuanne's House(PDF, 413KB). This was the colonial building on the corner, as shown in the photograph below. The CBC bank operated out of these premises for a number of years before the new bank building was built in the 1880s. It had just one employee for several years before a junior was appointed.

A parade passing by colonial buildings in the 1870s
(Image sourced from Campbelltown and Airds Historical Society)

Mrs Hickey's General Store

Mrs Hickey's shop, was a General Store, situated 50 metres south of the Queen Street and Bradbury Avenue intersection on the western side of Queen Street. This places it in the vicinity of where the car wash is now located. Items that Mrs Hickey sold included: cutlery, pottery, garden tools, farm products, linen, clothing, pots and pans, lamps and lanterns. Early stores sold a huge variety of items and were a very important feature of the community. There were a number of 'general stores' in Campbelltown that supplied essential items.

A parade passing by colonial buildings in the 1870s
(Image sourced from Garnie Dredge Collection, Campbelltown City Library)

Quintessential Campbelltown- Afternoon Tea

“Afternoon tea” was written on this 1878 photograph, snapped outside McGuanne's House, one of the four well known Queen Street houses(PDF, 413KB) in Campbelltown. This is a typical scene from 1870's Campbelltown.

A sepia photograph of a small family group enjoying afternoon tea

A family enjoying afternoon tea in the 1870s
(Image sourced from Gore Family Collection)