You may want to upgrade your browser. We have detected you are using Internet Explorer 10 or earlier. It is recommended that you update your browser to the latest version to get a better user experience. Find out more

Your JavaScript is disabled, we suggest you enable it to improve your Council website user experience.
Skip to main content Menu
Main Content Anchor

Significant moments in Campbelltown's history

1700s

Pre-1788
  • Before European settlement, the Campbelltown region was occupied by the Dharawal tribe. They ranged widely from La Perouse in the north to near Ulladulla in the south but especially Picton and along the Georges River, which provided a great source of food, water and shelter.
1788
  • Two bulls and four cows wander from the new colony in Sydney Cove and make their way across the Cook and Nepean Rivers. Some aboriginal cave paintings depict these animals.
1795
  • The small herd of cattle now numbering in the hundreds (estimates vary) are officially found by Governor Hunter in the area and he names the area Cowpastures.

1800s

1800 - 1809

1803
  • John Warby is appointed Government Herdsman. He lives in "Cowpasture hut" which stood near Elderslie, on the bank of the Nepean River.
1805
  • On instructions from Lord Camden, John Macarthur is granted 5000 acres of land in order to breed fine-wool sheep to export back to British factories. He chooses the Cowpastures site.

1810 - 1819

1816
  •  Appin Massacre
  • James Meehan, deputy surveyor-general granted acres at Macquarie Fields.
  • John Warby builds Leumeah House.

1820 - 1829

1820
  • Governor Lachlan Macquarie founds Campbell Town naming it after Mrs Elizabeth Macquarie (nee Campbell). Its limits are marked out as well as the sites for a church cemetery and school.
  • During this decade, James Ruse experiments in the area with wheat crops.
1823
  • St Peter's Church opens. The only other buildings in the township are a few bark huts and a school house.
1824
1825
  • John Macarthur exports wool from nearby Camden.1826 George Frederick James Fisher found murdered in Local creek bed.
  • Mail service to Campbelltown begins.
  • Private buildings begin to appear between Allman and Broughton Streets.
1827
1828
  • First Post Office opened.
  • First Doctor takes residence.
  • First Superintendent of Local Police appointed.
  • 1829 Campbelltown to Bong Bong coach service commenced.

1830 - 1839

1832
  • Water reservoir built at the upper end of Dumaresq Street. An 'iron gang' was sent for the purpose under the command of Captain Allman.
  • 1834 John Macarthur, agricultural pioneer, dies.
  • 1835 First story of Fisher's Ghost published.
  • Camden Park House completed.
1837
  • James Ruse, producer of rust free wheat, dies.
  • 1838 Sydney - Liverpool - Campbelltown - Appin service commenced.

1840 - 1849

1841
  • St John's Church opened.
  • There are now 77 houses in a town of 16 streets.
1842
  • Opening of Campbelltown court of petty sessions.
  • 1848 Population: 541.

1850 - 1859

1856
  • Two-thirds of the adult population can read and write.
1856
  • Menangle Bridge constructed.
1857
  • Railway line to Sydney begins service.
1858
  • Campbelltown railway station opened.

1860 - 1861

1860
  • Grapes are grown in region.
1861
  • Population: 938.
1863
  • Railway line continued to Picton.
1864
  • Rust hits wheat crops.
1866
  • Population: 950.
  • There are 17 hotels now in Campbelltown.

1870 - 1879

1874
  • The C.B.C our first bank is established.
1875
  • Dairying begins at Mount Gilead.
1876
  • The first Public School opens. Education had previously been borne by churches and small private academies.
1879
  • A Public meeting seeks to form a local council.

1880 - 1889

1880
  • The Campbelltown Herald, our first newspaper is published.
  • Wheat production falls.
1881
  • Population 688.
1882
  • A Tramway to Camden is opened.
  • First council is elected.
1883
  • First public library.
1886
  • Campbelltown Courthouse erected.
1888

Campbelltown connected to Nepean River Water supply.

1890 - 1899

1891
  • Fire station established.
1896
  • Ingleburn Municipal Council formed.
1899
  • Agricultural society is formed and put on 'The Campbelltown Show'.

1900s

1900 - 1909

1900
  • Rose Payten wins the New South Wales singles tennis championship.
1901
  • Population 3000.
1905
  • School of Arts is opened.

1910 - 1919

1911
  • Population 1925.
1913
  • The telephone exchange opens.
1915
  • There are 50 subscribers with a telephone between Menangle and Minto.
1918
  • Soldier settlement is commenced.
1919
  • Campbelltown Herald changes it's name to the Campbelltown News.

1920 - 1929

1920
  • We celebrated Campbelltown's centenary.
1921
  • Population: 2345.
1924
  • Campbelltown connected to electricity.
1926
  • A picture theatre is built.
1928
  • Campbelltown golf club is formed.

1930 - 1939

1931
  • Talking Pictures arrive at the Macquarie cinema.
1936
  • An overbridge is built over Queen Street.
1939
  • Campbelltown Council starts the first sewerage scheme.

1940 - 1949

1946
  • Campbelltown Pre-School Kindergarten established.
1947
  • Population: 6995.
1948
  • Ingleburn and Campbelltown Municipal councils are amalgamated.

1950 - 1959

1950
  • Veterinary Laboratory established at Glenfield.
1953
  • The 'Campbelltown News' becomes 'the Campbelltown Ingleburn News'.
1954
  • Population: 9690.
  • Nepean River County Council electricity Authority formed to serve the area.
1955
  • The first Council naturalisation ceremony held.
  • Campbelltown High School established.
1956
1957
  • Proposal for the satellite town of Minto dropped by the NSW Government.
  • Campbelltown golf course opened.
1959
  • The historic cottages in Queen Street are preserved by a resolution of Campbelltown Council.
  • The Campbelltown News office (Now Macarthur Advertiser) building is restored to the Georgian style.

1960 - 1969

1960
  • Campbelltown Ambulance Station is opened thanks to monies raised by the first four Fisher's Ghost Festivals.
1961
  • Kath Whitten is elected as Campbelltown's first female mayor.
  • Population 18701.
1962
  • New Fire Station built in Broughton Street.
  • Camden Railway closed.
1963
  • Population 24000.
1967
  • Campbelltown olympic pool is opened.
1968
  • Campbelltown is declared a city.
  • The railway to Sydney is electrified.

1970 - 1979

  • 1970 Our 150th anniversary is celebrated.
  • The historic building of Glenalvon is renovated.
  • The Campbelltown New City Development board is formed by the State Planning Authority to draw up the "Three cities Plan (Campbelltown-Camden-Appin)".
1971
  • New City Library opened.
1972
  • Three Cities plan released.
1973
  • The first of a number of large scale housing commission projects are built. The first is at Macquarie Fields. It is developed kilometres away from rail and has little infrastructure.
  • Second Olympic Pool at Macquarie Fields.
1974
  • Four man delegation visits Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, New Zealand to observe and plan a possible submission from Campbelltown to host in either 1982 or 1986.
  • Population est: 43000
1975
  • Glenquarie Shopping Centre opens.
1976
  • The Macarthur Growth Centre budget is cut to $2 million, reputedly cut from an earmarked $41 million. According to the government of the day this was to return Campbelltown to a "natural growth".
1977
  • Campbelltown Hospital opened.
1978
  • The 2CT Macarthur radio station opens.
1979
  • Fourteen men killed in the Appin mine disaster.
  • Macarthur Square opens.
  • Hurlstone Agricultural High School accepts female students.

1980 - 1989

1980
  • The intersection of Queen Street and Lithgow is paved.
1981
  • Twin Cinema opens.
  • Campbelltown College of Technical and Further Education (TAFE) opens.
1983
  • The Newtown Jets play out of Orana Park , Campbelltown but last only one season before being cut from the premiership.
1984
  • Campbelltown Mall opens.
  • Queen Street, between the historical Georgian buildings and the mall is closed to traffic.
  • April, Campbelltown becomes a sister city to the Japanese city of Koshigaya.
1986
  • Campbelltown Hospital's Maternity unit opens.
  • The suburb Glen Alpine is launched by Lend Lease.
1987
  • Western Suburbs Magpies make their home ground at Orana Park in Leumeah.
  • Former long standing Town Clerk Harley Daley dies.
1988
  • Campbelltown Bicentennial Art Gallery Opens.
  • Mount Annan Botanic Garden opens.
1989
  • The Macarthur Institute of Higher education becomes the University of Western Sydney.

1990 - 1999

1990
  • The Greater Union 9 cinema complex is opened at Macarthur Square.
1991
  • Macarthur Floods: 300mm of rain in 48 hours.
  • Local MP John Kerrin appointed federal treasurer.
1992
  • Scenic Hills given boundary to protect it from development (Scenic Protection Zone).
  • Retirement of former mayor Gordon Fetterplace.
1993
  • O'Hare's Creek declared a reserve.
1994
  • Koala habitat successfully saved from developers.
  • Catholic Cemetery vandalised. Headstones of James and Elizabeth Ruse moved to Campbelltown and Airds Historical Society.
1995
  • Former Miss Spirit of Campbelltown Caroline Byrne murdered.
1996
  • Population est: 143,773
  • Trial of suspected Backpacker murderer Ivan Milat begins at Campbelltown and lasts 15 weeks.

2000s

2000 - 2009

2000
  • Olympic torch relay passes through Campbelltown.
2001
  • Population est: 145,860.
  • Policeman Jim Affleck killed on Hume Highway whilst on traffic duty.
2003
  • Park Central development begins.
2005
  • Macquarie Fields riots.
  • Wests Tigers win the NRL premiership.
2006
  • Population est: 146,538.
  • Lawyer, John Marsden dies.
2008
  • Former mayor Gordon Fetterplace dies.
  • Local philanthropist, Ron Moore dies.
  • A newly constructed Menangle Park raceway is opened with a 1400 metre circuit - the longest in Australia.
2009
  • Rosemeadow riots.
  • The new Ingleburn Library and Community Centre opens.

2010 - 2019

2010
  • Menangle Park Raceway (TABCORP Park) becomes a premier NSW Harness racing centre when Harold park closes.
2011
  • Population: 151,173
  • Former mayor, Greg Percival dies. First elected to Campbelltown Council in 1956 he became mayor 1960-61.
2012
  • Dharawal National Park declared.
2013
  • Coal Seam gas Mining Banned in Campbelltown State Government.
2014
  • Construction begins on Narellan Road Upgrade Stage 1 2014.
2015
  • Local Historian Stella Vernon dies.
2015
  • Population est: 158,941
  • Lindy Dietz becomes the first female General Manager of Campbelltown City Council.
  • $240 million redevelopment of Macarthur Square announced.
  • The Kangaroo March re-enactment completes its journey from Wagga Wagga  to Campbelltown.
2016
  • Population est: 160,041
  • Former Mayor, Bryce Regan, instrumental in forging our sister city relationship with Koshigaya, dies.
  • Publication of Anzacs of Macarthur : the men and women who served in the First World War by L.E. Hokin.

References

Time line of Macarthur District by T. Robinson, Leumeah High School 1979.
Notes on the History of the Macarthur Growth Centre Area - Macarthur development board in conjunction with the Campbelltown and Airds historical Society. 1978
Campbelltown a Bicentennial History by Carol Liston. 1988.
Campbelltown a modern history 1960 -1999 by Jeff McGill 1999.

Back to top Back to top