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Significant moments in Campbelltown's history


Year  Significant Moment
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.


Year  Significant Moment
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.
  • Appin Massacre
  • James Meehan, deputy surveyor-general granted acres at Macquarie Fields
  • John Warby builds Leumeah House.
  • 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 Hume and Hovell set out for Port Phillip.
  • 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  George Worrall hanged for Frederick Fisher's Murder.
  •  First Post Office opened.
  • First Doctor takes residence.
  • First Superintendent of Local Police appointed.
  • 1829 Campbelltown to Bong Bong coach service commenced.
  •  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.
  • James Ruse, producer of rust free wheat, dies.
  • 1838 Sydney - Liverpool - Campbelltown - Appin service commenced.
  •  St John's Church opened.
  • There are now 77 houses in a town of 16 streets.
  • Opening of Campbelltown court of petty sessions.
  • 1848 Population: 541.
1856  Two-thirds of the adult population can read and write.
1857  Railway line to Sydney begins service.
1858  Campbelltown railway station opened.
1860  Grapes are grown in region.
1861  Population: 938.
1863  Railway line continued to Picton.
1864  Rust hits wheat crops.
  • Population: 950.
  • There are 17 hotels now in Campbelltown.
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.
  • The Campbelltown Herald, our first newspaper is published.
  • Wheat production falls.
1881  Population 688.
  • 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.
1891  Fire station established.
1896  Ingleburn Municipal Council formed.
1899  Agricultural society is formed and put on 'The Campbelltown Show'.


Year  Significant Moment
1900  Rose Payten wins the New South Wales singles tennis championship.
1901  Population 3000.
1905  School of Arts is opened. 
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  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.
1931  Talking Pictures arrive at the Macquarie cinema.
1936  An overbridge is built over Queen Street.
1939  Campbelltown Council starts the first sewerage scheme.
1946  Campbelltown Pre-School Kindergarten established.
1947  Population: 6995.
1948  Ingleburn and Campbelltown Municipal councils are amalgamated.
1950  Veterinary Laboratory established at Glenfield.
1953  The 'Campbelltown News' becomes 'the Campbelltown Ingleburn News'.
  • Population: 9690.
  • Nepean River County Council electricity Authority formed to serve the area.
  • The first Council naturalisation ceremony held.
  • Campbelltown High School established.
1956  The first Fisher's Ghost festival is held.
  • Proposal for the satellite town of Minto dropped by the NSW Government.
  • Campbelltown golf course opened.
  •  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  Campbelltown Ambulance Station is opened thanks to monies raised by the first four Fisher's Ghost Festivals.
  • Kath Whitten is elected as Campbelltown's first female mayor.
  • Population 18701.
  • New Fire Station built in Broughton Street.
  • Camden Railway closed.
1963  Population 24000.
1967  Campbelltown Olympic pool is opened.
  • Campbelltown is declared a city.
  • The railway to Sydney is electrified.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Fourteen men killed in the Appin mine disaster.
  • Macarthur Square opens.
  • Hurlstone Agricultural High School accepts female students.
1980  The intersection of Queen Street and Lithgow is paved.
  •  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.
  • 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.
  • Campbelltown Hospital's Maternity unit opens.
  • The suburb Glen Alpine is launched by Lend Lease.
  • Western Suburbs Magpies make their home ground at Orana Park in Leumeah.
  • Former long standing Town Clerk Harley Daley dies.
  • Campbelltown Bicentennial Art Gallery Opens.
  • Mount Annan Botanic Garden opens.
1989  The Macarthur Institute of Higher education becomes the University of Western Sydney.
1990  The Greater Union 9 cinema complex is opened at Macarthur Square.
  • Macarthur Floods: 300mm of rain in 48 hours.
  • Local MP John Kerrin appointed federal treasurer.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Population est: 143,773
  • Trial of suspected Backpacker murderer Ivan Milat begins at Campbelltown and lasts 15 weeks.


Year  Significant Moment
2000  Olympic torch relay passes through Campbelltown.
  • Population est: 145,860.
  • Policeman Jim Affleck killed on Hume Highway whilst on traffic duty.
2003  Park Central development begins.
  • Macquarie Fields riots.
  • Wests Tigers win the NRL premiership.
  • Population est: 146,538.
  • Lawyer, John Marsden dies.
  • 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.
  • Rosemeadow riots.
  • The new Ingleburn Library and Community Centre opens.
2010 Menangle Park Raceway (TABCORP Park) becomes a premier NSW Harness racing centre when Harold park closes.
  • 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.
  • Local Historian Stella Vernon dies.
  • 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.
  • 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.


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.

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