The following text and photographs have been kindly supplied by Mrs Joan Edwards for use by the Blue Mountains Family History Society Inc. Copyright is held by J Edwards and no copying, unless under fair-dealing provisions, without permission is permitted.
The Blue Mountains became the transport route to the more fertile
hinterland. As well as stockades, services were needed for travellers,
so rough inns were established. Two of these were The Valley Inn
(Valley Heights) 1832 and The Weatherboard (Wentworth Falls) 1833.
The latter had the famous Charles Darwin as a guest.
Many more services were needed to cater for those heading for the
goldfields in the 1850s. Some on foot, others with barrows or carts
wended their way across the rough track to the west. Many Chinese
made the trek, slower than most, as they sold their wares along
The railway terminus was at Weatherboard (Wentworth Falls) in
1867 but 10 months later the line had been extended to Mt. Victoria.
The elegant stone station was constructed in 1872.
The more affluent members of Sydney society obtained homes where
Hordern, Arnott, Sweetacre and other business families were able
to escape Sydney's hot and humid summers.
Other home owners included Sir Alfred Stephen, NSW Chief Justice
1845-73, then Lieutenant Governor in 1875 and Sir James Martin,
three times Premier of NSW and Chief Justice in 1873, were neighbours
on the south side between Faulconbridge and Linden. In 1877 Henry
Parkes moved into the first of four homes he built and named Faulconbridge
after his Mother, Martha Faulconbridge. The name has remained. Five
times Premier Henry is buried nearby
Henry Parkes' grave.
Other identities include the famous geologist Sir Edgeworth David
at Woodford, Premier John See who bought Yester Grange at Wentworth
Falls, His Excellency Sir Frederick Darley at Lilianfels, Katoomba
and the Fairfax family of the Sydney Morning Herald at Mt Victoria
in 1876. The Fairfax residence became the well known Coopers Grand
Robert Matcham Pitt, of Pitt, Son & Badgery Stock & Station
Agents, built Coorah at Wentworth Falls in 1889 and commuted to
Sydney by train daily.
'Coorah', build by Robert Matcham Pitt in 1889
Two of the best known buildings on the Mountains are the Hydro
Majestic Hotel at Medlow Bath. Originally known as Belgravia it
was built in 1891 and sold to Mark Foy in the early 1900s. Another
is the 1880 built Carrington Hotel at Katoomba. Both have undergone
extensive restoration and are still operating.
Storekeepers, packsaddlers, poultry farmers, Chinese market gardeners,
shale miners and labourers provided the goods and services to residents
To the north, the high altitude and rich volcanic soils, became
the ideal site for the wealthy to build homes and develop beautiful
gardens. The area is still renowned for spectacular cold climate
One of the gardens at Mt Wilson