Blacktown City Council

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Rooty Hill

Timeline for Rooty Hill District

 

1789

The first explorers that passed through the Rooty Hill district were a party led by Captain Watkin Tench, of the Marines. Included in the party were surgeons 'Arndell' and 'Lowes' as well as two marines and a convict. The route they took on 26 June, 1789 is closely followed by the present Great Western Highway.

1802-1803

Governor King builds a headquarters for his government stock reserve which he locates on a hillside in present day Rooty Hill.

1811

The first printed record of the name 'Rooty Hill' appears in the Sydney Gazette on 10 August, 1811.

1812

The Rooty Hill is used to survey much of Sydney's west and south-west.

1815-1818

Governor Macquarie upgrades the headquarters (known as 'Thornleigh') of the Government stock reserve. The building not only housed the reserve superintendent but also served as a country residence for Governor Macquarie. The building no longer stands, but the site is on Blacktown City Council's Heritage listing.

1817

William "Lumpy" Dean receives two grants of 100 acres and 50 acres on the Western Road near the Eastern Creek. In 1819 he establishes the "Bush Inn" (also known as "The Corporation Inn" or "The Red Lion"). The first church at Eastern Creek is also on William Dean's property. Called the Mission Church, it was often referred to as "The Cathedral".

1819

William Minchin receives a grant of 1000 acres of land at Rooty Hill which he names Minchinbury. He died in 1821 and his daughter inherited the property.

1820s-30s

The last of the Government Reserve around the Rooty Hill is disposed of, with the proceeds going towards a fund supporting the Church of England clergy and also toward schools for the area.

1825

'Bold John Donahoe', who is also known as 'The Wild Colonial Boy', assigned to a road gang at Rooty Hill for a minor misdemeanour. This was prior to his notorious reputation as a Bushranger.

1830

Eastern Creek is established. The village was originally known as Hebersham.

1846

The population of Eastern Creek is 375.

1861

Rooty Hill railway station is built and opens in January 1862. It closed 18 months later, due to a lack of patronage. In December 1864 sufficient passengers justify reopening the station.

1865

Minchinbury Estate is purchased by Dr. MacKay, who developed and improved the property to a great extent, producing wine from his vineyards by 1870.

1866

Eastern Creek Public school begins in a four-roomed brick structure at Wallgrove with 30-40 pupils. Prior to this the students were taught in a back room of Lumpy Dean's pub.

The Eastern Creek district becomes a postal township.

1872

Work commences on permanent buildings for the Eastern Creek Public School in January 1872 and the school was occupied on Monday, 8th June 1872. The school was known as Wallgrove Public School until it was changed to Eastern Creek in 1931.

1880s

Thousands of residential lots are released in Mount Druitt, Rooty Hill and Marsden Park.

1887

Walter Lamb establishes the 'Woodstock Fruit Company', a major cannery providing work opportunities in Rooty Hill North.

1890

The Imperial Hotel, which is situated across from the railway station, opens. Its licence was transferred to Wallacia in 1936 due to rowdy behaviour.

1891

The Baptist church in Rooty Hill Road South is built. Later the church building is purchased by the Presbyterian church and is now named the Pioneer Memorial Presbyterian Church. Rooty Hill's population is 527.

1892

William Smith sets up a wheelwright and blacksmithing business near Rooty Hill station.

1895

James Angus buys the Minchinbury land and amongst other improvements, expands the vineyard and cellars. Mr Angus was the catalyst behind bottling Minchinbury's first batch of champagne in 1903.

1896

Frank Watts, whose parents owned the first butchery business in the area, builds the historic 'Watts Cottage'.

1901

Rooty Hill School of Arts is built. Officially opened in March 1903, the opening ceremony attracts around 400 locals. The School of Arts has been used as a cinema (around 1935) and also as a library.

1906

The temporary 'Council of Blacktown' holds their first meeting in the School of Arts building on 13th June 1906.

1907

St. Aidan's Primary School is established.

1912

Penfolds Wines acquire the Minchinbury estate and provide local jobs for 66 years until its closure in June 1978.

The first aircraft crash in Australia occurs along the railway line between Mount Druitt and Rooty Hill.

1915

A ceremony is held to commemorate the laying of the foundation stone for St. Aidan's new (R.C.) Church at Rooty Hill.

1920s

Taxi cabs and hire cars carried passengers from the Rooty Hill railway station to the many scattered, outlying homes from as early as 1920. A fare to Eastern Creek was one shilling.

1929

Electricity is switched on in Rooty Hill.

1939-1945

Soldiers stationed at Wallgrove camp often attended dances in the town and would also patronise a popular roadside stall known as 'Cath's Canteen' which served hotdogs and hamburgers etc.

1954-56

Rooty Hill Rural Fire Service is established.

1955

The first electric train arrives at Rooty Hill station on 8th October 1955.

1957

Rooty Hill Public School is established.

1959

Our Lady of Consolation aged care nursing home officially opens on 25th July 1959.

1960

The Uniting Church building at Rooty Hill Rd. North is officially opened on 19th March 1960. The church (then known as the Methodist Church) was first established in the garage of Mr and Mrs Freeman of Derby St. in 1957.

1961

St. Albans Church of England opens on Sunday, July 30. The old Church of St. Alban, built in 1885 was destroyed by a windstorm in 1945.

1962

St. Agnes High School opens on June 3rd 1962.

1966

Eastern Creek Public School celebrates its Centenary.

1964

Rooty Hill High School officially opens 18th June 1964.

The Rooty Hill RSL is established on Rooty Hill Road North with 127 members.

1972

The first stage of the present Rooty Hill RSL club opens at a cost of $1,100,000.

1977

Local dentist John Lal purchases the Imperial Hotel which he restores and reopens in 1982.

Work begins on the township's sewerage system construction.

1981

'Rooty Hill's School of Arts' extensions are officially opened on the 72ndanniversary of the first meeting of the temporary council of Blacktown.

1983

The Blacktown City Council Work's Depot located at Rooty Hill officially opens.

1984

NSW Premier Neville Wran officially opens Australia's Wonderland in June.

1987

Land is purchased for Rooty Hill Mosque. Initially prayers are held in a small hall on the site until the Mosque is built (around 1990).

Minchinbury Winery is destroyed by fire. The site, which had been vacant for 10 years, was listed as worthy of being preserved by the National Trust but did not enjoy a State government heritage protection order.

1989

Two tonnes of deadly gas ammonia leak from a pipe at the Nestlé's plant at Rooty Hill causing three people to be taken to hospital.

1991

The new Eastern Creek motor racing circuit hosts the Australian motorcycle Grand Prix in April.

1992

The State Government officially hands over the deeds to the historic 34ha landmark of the Rooty Hill to Blacktown City Council.

Premier John Fahey officially opens the BHP mini-mill at Rooty Hill after years of controversial protest.

1997

Islamic school, King Abdul Aziz College, is built. The School is renamed "The Australian Islamic College of Sydney" in 2005.

Austral Australia's Wonderland is sold to two Malaysian companies and changes its name to Wonderland Sydney the following year.

2000

Aquilina Reserve at Rooty Hill hosts the Sydney 2000 Olympic Women's Softball competition and selected Baseball competitions.

2001

Rooty Hill's population at the 2001 census is 11,173.

2004

Wonderland Sydney closes and the area is redeveloped for light industrial buildings.

2005

The Westlink M7 Motorway officially opens on 16th December 2005. The Light Horse interchange (where the Westlink M7 intersects with the M4 Motorway) is Australia's largest interchange.

2006

International Goalkeepers Academy opens at Blacktown Olympic Park, Rooty Hill.

2007

The Rooty Hill is listed on the NSW Heritage Register.

2008

An AFL team for Western Sydney to be based at Blacktown Olympic Park and entering the AFL competition in 2012 is announced. Work starts on AFL/Cricket facilities at Blacktown Olympic Park.

2009

Cricket NSW officially opened its new facilities at Blacktown Olympic Park.

AFL hosts a preseason match at Blacktown Olympic Park.

2010

New Sydney AFL team is named the Greater Western Sydney Giants.

2011

Landcom develops part of the former OTC site as a residential estate named Bunya. 
The new suburb will be named Bungarribee. 
Greater Western Sydney Giants play their first game against the Sydney Swans in the NAB Cup. 
Blacktown Olympic Park renamed the Blacktown International Sportspark Sydney.

Local Studies Section 
Blacktown City Council Library Service 
December 2011

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