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.
Development in the 1900s
Increasingly 'The Mountains' was recognised as a desirable place
to live and the population increased. A Pioneer Register of the
Blue Mountains was compiled with a cut off date of 1920 and a second edition has been compiled up to 1930, reflecting
the transition from affluent holiday residences of the wealthy few
and those servicing travellers to a more settled general population.
Copies of the 1930 Pioneer Register are still available for sale from the Society.
The Morris family at Blackheath. Photo:Sydney
Three generations of a Blackheath family at the back of the residence
in 1922. Note the enclosed verandah and the water tank. None of
the services such as electricity, water or sewerage were available.
The Blue Mountains became a desirable holiday destination for Sydney
people easily accessible by train. 'The Bush' was ideal for camping
and shooting of wildlife, none of which was protected then. Some
set up semi-permanent camping sites.
Kanimbla Valley camp site accessed on foot from
Blackheath. Photo:Sydney Morris 1909
The clear air, spectacular scenery, waterfalls, newly made tracks
and steps were attractive and new guesthouses provided comfortable
accommodation, food and entertainment. Katoomba was THE place to
During World War 2 many of the guesthouses suffered staff shortages,
some became R & R sites for servicemen and others were temporary
boarding schools for children evacuated from Sydney. Unfortunately
the war's end did not bring revitalisation. As elsewhere shortages
of labour and materials did not allow adequate maintenance or renovation
and many declined. At the same time private ownership of cars became
more affordable and the nature of tourism changed from the week
long stay in guest houses to day trippers.
The post WW2 era saw the rapid expansion of residential areas,
fanning out from railway stations, along the ridge tops. Gradually
services expanded, additional shopping facilities including specialist
shops, new cafes, restaurants and take away food centres catered
for the visitors and locals alike. More importantly additional schools,
TAFE college, sporting clubs, service clubs, support services groups,
dramatic & musical societies, etc etc helped the Blue Mountains
to develop into the vibrant community it is.
And do not forget the Blue Mountains Family History Society ;-)
We are an environmentally aware society with our 26 townships within
the Blue Mountains City Council area fringed to the north and south
by the 247 000 ha of the Blue Mountains National Park which, with
its adjacent National Parks, make up the 1000 sq. km. of the World