Take a walk through 150 years of extraordinary economic and social change. This heritage tour covers ~1.5 km of easy walking.
In the 1850s Moruya was buzzing – after a slow start, the town took off with the Gold Rush. People and money flowed into the region – and bushrangers too! Moruya became a regional centre.
But Moruya is perhaps better known for a different rock – its granite, most famously used in the Harbour Bridge, but also in polished columns for some of Sydney’s most majestic buildings. And many of Moruya’s stately buildings too.
Granite mining set Moruya apart, raising its status in Sydney and bringing more people and investment. Middle-class neighbourhoods developed, a “civic” precinct was established and the Moruya Examiner newspaper was born. In 1906, Moruya was proclaimed as the seat of the new Eurobodalla Shire.
By the 1920s tourism started to take off, fueled by the new Federal Capital in Canberra, the post-war boom and the arrival of the automobile. This breathed new life into Moruya’s many hotels, the Amusu movie theatre started up and commerce thrived.
Start your journey at the Moruya Museum on 85 Cambell St. The year is 1875, the Gold Rush is in full swing and granite mining is starting to kick off.
Built 1875 by Moruya store owner Abraham Emmott. This unique duplex is the first sign of residential expansion away from the hubub of Vulcan St. No 77 now operates as a cafe and shop, No 75 houses the Moruya Museum . . more
② Stonemason’s Lathe
Made 1881 in Aberdeen, this rare Victorian-era machine was used to turn Moruya granite into beautiful polished columns for some of Sydneys most majestic buildings. Displayed in Museum grounds . . . more
③ Late Victorian Cottage
62 Campbell St Built 1900. Occupied by the Cheeseman family, and then a police constable. In the 1920s operated as a maternity hospital .
④ Vivian Cottage
60 Campbell St Built ~1875, by local blacksmith Peter Williams. Victorian Georgian weatherboard, built at a similar time to the Emmott House.
⑤ The Moruya Examiner
56-8 Campbell St Built 1913, by Robert Henry Harvison (owner of the Moruya Examiner). Federation Italianate style, granite construction rarely used in domestic building. The Examiner was previously in Harvison’s auctioneer rooms on Page St. These new buildings herald the paper’s rising influence.
⑥ Lawyer’s Cottage
54 Campbell St Built late 1920s, attractive interwar cottage. Early use as a dental surgery, then became a private home, now a lawyer’s office. Replaced a 2-story general store and residence run by the Kee Chong family.
Campbell Street was a mixed residential-business precinct, occupied by a rising middle class.
POST & Telegraph – A New Civic Precinct
⑦ Post & Telegraph Office
52 Cambpell St Built 1887, this was the second Post Office in Moruya. Telegraph office added 1926. Late-Victorian Filigree architecture of refinement reflects the importance of postal services in an era of growing prosperity.
The PO established a new “civic” precinct on higher ground, envisaged as the long-term commercial centre.
⑧ Shire Chambers
73 Campbell St Built 1914, Federation Queen Anne, rendered brick with iron roof. Moruya was chosen as the seat of the Eurobodalla shire due to its central location, commercial importance and because there was a newspaper.
⑨ Masonic Lodge
16 Page St Built 1891, southern annex was constructed in 1946. Victorian Gothic, rendered brick with corrugated iron roof. The only building of its type in the region, and remains an important place for social activities.
⑩ Page Street Residences
⑪ St Johns Church & Rectory
15 Page St Built 1891, designed by renowned colonial architect Arthur Blacket. Brick & stone with slate roof , Victorian Gothic style. Replaced an original wooden church built in1861. Stonework by Henry Ziegler, stonemason and quarryman.
Rectory built 1870-74, granite stone rendered on the outside. Hall built 1903, used for Sunday school and meetings.
⑫ Mechanics Institute
13 Page St Built 1881, Neo-Gothic style, brick with iron roof. Designed by Reginald Heber Barlow, local teacher and architect. Centre of local life in late 1800s, now used as a community centre wila regualr art exhibitions.
⑬ RSL Memorial Hall
11 Page St Built 1953-55, Post-War institutional style. Weatherboard and corrugated iron with red brick facade. Very large hall has been a venue for many and varied functions.
⑭ Power House
10 Page St Built 1925, a corrugated iron shed with a stepped timber-framed parapet at the Page Street frontage. Operated as the town’s electricity supply from generating unit from 1931-1941, and later as the office of the Southern Star newspaper.
⑮ Moruya Examiner
8 Page St Built 1865, Victorian weatherboard Georgian building, original office of the “Moruya Examiner”, first published 1864 by owner, editor and auctioneerR. H. Harvison.
⑯ Uniting Church
7 Page St Built 1864, Victorian Gothic designed by Sydney architect Thomas Rowe. Moruya’s first granite building, stonework by Henry Ziegler, stonemason and quarryman.
⑰ Police Residence
3 Page St Built 1879, Victorian style, designed by Colonial Architect’s Office. Used as temporary Court House and Police Station, then became the Police Sergeant’s quarters.
⑱ Sacred Heart Catholic Church
36 Queen St Built 1887-88, Victorian Gothic, granite and sandstone construcytiondesigned by Sydney architects Sheerin & Hennessy. Stonework by Henry Ziegler, stonemason and quarryman.
Extensive grounds house the St Mary’s Catholic School and until 1996 the Convent of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour. The convent building is now used for parish and school administration.
Queen Street was the original commercial centre of Moruya. This gradually shifted to Vulcan Street as the town grew.
⑲ Carpenter’s Cottage
39 Queen St Built 1880 by Mr Thomas Edward Walter who was a carpenter and the town’s undertaker.
⑳ Club House Hotel
43 Queen St Built 1915, Victorian Tudor style. Distinctive white silica bricks thought to have come from the Botany Brick Company in Sydney. Replaced Kilkelly’s “The Club House” Hotel.
㉑ Keating Residence
51 Queen St Built 1922, as an “up-to-date” residence for publican Martin Keating on the site of the Kildare Hotel, which Keating had previously leased. Keating also ran a hotel at the site now occupied by the Air Raid Tavern.
㉒ Mylott’s Bakery
57-9 Queen St Built 1932, by Paddy Mylott, local baker. The building has been modified but some fine 1930s detailing remains – leadlight windows, period tiling and unpainted brickwork. Used by the Mylott family as a bakery outlet for over seventy years.
Now the Commonwealth Bank.
Vulcan Street – the NEW Commercial Heart
Vulcan St had been the domain of many pubs in the Gold Rush, but it was Emmott’s Beehive Store that ushered a new era, making Vulcan St the commercial heart. The rest is history . . .
Vulcan Street was named after the premises of the blacksmith’s James Gee – located near the river behind the boatshed.
㉓ Court House and Police Precinct
65 Vulcan St Built 1879-80. Victorian Italianate, designed by James Barnet of the Colonial Architects Office. Painted and rendered brickwork with timber balustrades and columns.
A prominent building, it reflects the Colonial Architect’s grand concepts for major regional centre public buildings. The Police Station is adjacent, and the locke-up keepers residence is at the rear read more . . .
㉔ Bank of NSW
59 Vulcan St Built 1883, bank with manager’s residence. Federation Italianate style, designed by Benjamin Backhouse. Granite construction with rendered architraves and slate roof. Granite from Louttit’s quarry on the south side of the Moruya River.
㉕ Commonwealth Bank
51 Vulcan St Built 1928, Inter-War Simplified Free Classical, brick with iron roof. Significant role in consolidating commercial centre and expanding local Banking services.
㉕ Moruya Bridge & Boatshed
The current bridge was built in 1966, and is the fourth on this site. The first was built in 1876. The second opened in 1900 and but was destroyed in the 1945 floods. A “temporary” replacement was built, finally replaced by the current bridge over 20 years later!
The River was the lifeblood of Moruya’s economy, providing the main transport route for produce, timber, gold and granite. The journey through the Moruya Heads was treacherous and many lost their lives.
㉗ Adelaide Hotel
36-8 Vulcan St Built 1910. Federation. Roughest rendered and painted brickwork. Replaced the previous Adelaide Hotel built in 1865, making it the oldest hotel still operating in Moruya. Built on the banks of the Moruya River, the Adelaide Hotel iremains a popular meeting place.
42 Vulcan St Built 1880-89. Remains as the only substantial timber commercial building in Moruya from the late 1880s period of commercial expansion. Originally a general store selling hardware, drapery and groceries with a residence above.
㉙ Monarch Hotel
54 Vulcan St. Built 1939. An iconic landmark in Moruya, noted for its Art Deco parapet above the street awning. Terracotta Marseilles pattern tiles decorate the roof. Replaced the Commercial Hotel which dated from 1866. The Monarch is named after a Royal Navy battleship.
㉚ Commercial Bank
60 Vulcan St Built 1905 by John Emmott. Victorian Italianate, rendered brick external walls, cement friezes to top of parapet. Leased and then sold in 1928 to the Commercial Banking Company. It was again sold in 1953, currently used for retail.
㉛ Beehive store – now Harris Scarfe
64 Vulcan St In 1862, Abraham Emmott founded the Beehive Store on this site. The Beehive was the centre of the town’s commercial activity. Emmott sold the Beehive in 1927, but the buyer continued to trade under the Emmott name until the 1970’s when it became Fosseys, then Grace Brothers, then J.B. Youngs and then Allens and currently it is Harris Scarfe.
. Current building dates from 1959.
㉜ Garnet Chewying Shops
68 – 72 Vulcan St Built 1920-9, Inter-War Art Deco, brick with stucco parapet. Marks the start of the developer-led expansion of post-war retailing in the main commercial street.
㉝ Amusu Theatre
78 Vulcan St Built 1921 by A H Preddy for use as a cinema, now trading as Silly Willy’s discount store. Inter-War Moderne style. Was the venue for many years for balls, concerts and other functions. Moruya’s first Cabaret Ball was held there in 1946.
㉞ Air Raid Tavern
73 Vulcan St Built 1953. Replaced the former Keating’s Hotel which burnt down in 1943. After the fire, the bar re-opened in the stables during wartime blackout – so it became knwon as the Aiir Raid Shelter.
㉟ Sun Dial
78 Vulcan St. This sundial was made by Joseph Ziegler, local stonemason, and donated to the public in 1867
㊱ pINK gATES
The Pink Gates were originally at one of the two original entrances to the showground. These replica gates now mark a walk through the golf course to the showground.
The present showground dates from 1914 having moved from its riverside location near the current bowling club site. The first show in 1879 was held on land at the corner of Murray and Evans Street.