Vulcan Street is Moruya’s ‘main street’ and is part of The Princes Highway, the coastal highway that links Sydney and Melbourne, and has had a vital role to play in the history of Moruya.

As pressure from new settlers grew on the colonial authorities to open up the land on the southern side of the Moruya River, the surveyor Parkinson was sent to lay out a new town. Following this, the town of Moruya was gazetted in 1851. It centred about the track opposite to where the road from Broulee terminated at the river bank, the two being linked by a punt.

As there already was a blacksmith on that track, it was named Vulcan Street. The other initial streets were Campbell, Queen and Church. Campbell Street owed its name to the squatter William Campbell, Queen Street to patriotism and Church Street to the Catholic Church’s presence there. Land sales commenced in 1852. Many of the blocks went to local settlers but Campbell cornered a large slice of the market.

Below is a series of photos of Vulcan Street through the decades.


Vulcan Street is still a busy, commercial street with a real mix of architectural styles and function.

Do you have any information or anecdotes about Vulcan Street and its history. While the Society has good information about the street we are always looking for more.

If you can help us make the history of the street ‘live and breathe’ through anecdotes, could you do please include these in your comments (following this post).

The Moruya Court House

A Magnificent building

The courthouse is one of Moruya’s older surviving buildings. It dates to 1881, at a time when the vogue was to erect substantial civic buildings. It was built at the time when Moruya had well and truly become the administrative centre for the area.

Long Description:
The Courthouse was constructed during the Public Works Department’s period of hectic and elaborate construction activity during the late 1870s-1890 period, a time during which the colony exuded a strong sense of prosperity and confidence.

It was designed by James Barnet of the Colonial Architect’s Office. The building, symmetrical in plan, consists of a central double height Court Room flanked by recessed single-storey office pavilions. It is constructed of painted brick with brick quoins. The hipped roofs are clad with concrete tiles while the front verandahs are iron-roofed and are supported by timber posts featuring decorative brackets. Windows to the upper walls of the Court Room are round-arched, while elsewhere there are double-hung sashes.

The Courthouse is approached by a short flight of stairs which leads from a grassed area set back from the pavement to the main entrance beneath the front verandah. Two more flights of stairs are towards the outer end of each of the flanking office wings.

The Courthouse has a heritage listing with the NSW Heritage & Environment Department (NSW Government) & the above information was obtained from that site.

Credit: (visit link)

Year Built: 1880

Current Use of Building: Courthouse

Level of Courts: County

Architect: James Barnet, Colonial Architects Office

Dates this building was used to house judicial proceedings: 1880 to present

Physical Address:
65 Vulcan St
Moruya NSW 2537

9:00 – 1:00 & 2:00 – 4:00 Monday to Friday

Related Website: [Web Link]

We can certainly admire it as a stylish old building. The way it is effectively lit at night ensures that it is is a real addition to the Moruya streetscape.

There also are other beautiful buildings from this period in our historic town.

Do you know anything about the history of the courthouse or of the people who worked there. If so please add your information to the comments section below.

Conference of the NSW and ACT Association of Family History Societies

Early Bird Notice

Registrations are now open for the 29th Annual Conference of the NSW and ACT Association of Family History Societies to be held in Canberra on 20 -22 September. Register before 30th June to save $25.00 and pay only $140.00.

This is a chance to check out what’s new in the family history arena. Hear our expert speakers share their knowledge, attend workshops, talk to the professionals and meet your fellow family historians. Conference 2013 will focus primarily on finding families through NSW and Commonwealth institutions; and the technologies that are changing the way we do family history.

Get in early to secure your place. Go now to the Conference 2013 website to see the program, register and save!

Trove Tuesday : A Real Treasure

Have you reserved a place for the Trove master class at the Family History Fair? Running in conjunction with Conference 2013 and exclusive to conference delegates, experts from the National Library of Australia will conduct a master class to help you get the best out of Trove for your family history research. The session is on Friday 20 September between 10.30am – 11.30am. Bookings are now open so go to the Conference 2013 website to register.

If you haven’t discovered TROVE yet, it’s a free on-line search service available through the National Library of Australia. Yes, it’s all about Australia and Australians. Use Trove to explore digitised newspaper articles as well as books, maps, images and music. 24/7 access means I can get on-line and browse the collection at a time that suits me. And once I start browsing I often find myself in for a long stint—I always find something that catches my interest. Not surprising as Trove has over 50 million digitised newspaper articles alone.

Recently I found a newspaper article that I didn’t know existed on Trove about my father-in-law. The Canberra Times of 18 February 1949 reported:

Truck and Lorry Collide – A utility truck, driven by Emily Scott, of Sutton, and a motor lorry, driven by George Francis Tooke, of Eastlake Hostel, were involved in a collision near the Patent Office yesterday morning. The vehicles sustained slight damage.

This small article was sandwiched between other stories—the cost of cows at the Homebush Stock Sales, and a report about a possible inquiry by the NSW Trotting Club into the confusion of a judge who had semaphored incorrect placings for four of the six races. And of course there was an inevitable advertisement—Aunt Mary’s Baking Powder, which always ensures success… and is available everywhere.

It’s fascinating to look back at these early newspaper editions and I find it amusing that such small incidents were newsworthy enough to make i t into the newspaper of the nation’s capital city. I suppose this a reminder of how small Canberra was in those days—can you believe a population of around 17,000? Thankfully as far as we know George didn’t suffer any serious consequences from the truck and lorry collision. We can only guess and hope that Emily faired as well. And who knows about the fate of the poor confused judge…

If you want to find out more about Trove and how to use it why not attend one of the Learning @ the Library sessions. I attended a session on Learning Trove for Family History and got heaps of information and some good search tips. It’s also worth checking out the Trove Forums – there is a genealogy forum where you can ask questions and connect with other family historians.

Personalised help to support your research on subjects covered by the library collections is available through ‘Ask a Librarian’. HAGSOC member John T recently mentioned he is very impressed with the service and found the librarians always provide good answers to his questions. So if you need help finding and using Library resources why not use this terrific service.

The National Library is a wonderful resource for your family history research. Hope you enjoy making discoveries as much as I do. And don’t forget to register for the Trove Master Class during Conference 2013.

Glorious Days @ the National Museum of Australia

Glorious Days – Australia 1913 is on show at the National Museum of Australia until 13 October. This exhibition is an opportunity to step back in time and be immersed in nostalgia from the period. 1913 is described as a ‘hinge year’ when people embraced the modern world of automobiles, aeroplanes, roller skating and cinema, although attitudes and prejudices from the past persisted.

The exhibition covers many aspects of Australian life – sport and leisure, Aussies at work, our homes, our health and how we defended and built our nation – seen through music, photographs, newsreels, artwork and ordinary and extraordinary objects. From Australia’s first postage stamps to luxury motor vehicles there are heaps of memorabilia and vintage items on show. Particularly impressive is the luxury Model T Ford with its shiny boa constrictor horn and kangaroo bonnet ornament. Horse-drawn vehicles were still commonplace in 1913 but motor vehicles soon outnumbered horses on the streets as vehicles and petrol became more affordable. I’ll bet the motorist of 1913 would never have guessed how much petrol would cost in 2013.

In 1913 the government of the day was keen to boost the birthrate. To reduce mother and infant mortality and to help pay for medical assistance a maternity allowance of ₤5 was provided. Mmm this is sounding familiar – I wonder if this is the 1913 version of today’s baby bonus.

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