A Tour of Macdonaldtown (Erskineville) in 1882

Macdonaldtown Parish of Petersham

In 1882 a series of articles appeared in Sydney’s Evening News describing several municipalities and boroughs on the outskirts of the city of Sydney. Over many weeks between July and September 1882 the boroughs and municipalities of Paddington, Waverly, Randwick, Redfern, Darlington, Waterloo, Alexandria, Macdonaldtown (Erskineville), Newtown, St. Peters, The Glebe, Camperdown, and Balmain are described in detail. Introducing the first of the localities surveyed the unknown author established their premise:

If we go outside the city proper — to which we shall advert by-and-bye — and view the environs, old and new… what do we find in the way of roads and streets, house drainage and sewage, land drainage, house building? The sub-division of portions of land, and other matters peculiar to the surrounding of that solitude so much desired by the many who do not believe, with Bryant, in dwelling,

∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ amidst the crowd,
Through the great city rolled,
With everlasting murmur deep and loud —
Choking the ways that wind,
Mongst the proud piles, and the work of human mind.

But rather, when tired of the world’s incessant noise, seek the rural bower where in reflection they would sit enjoying a calm retreat, and casting their eyes around are softened by the charmer  — nature’s silent voice.

Evening News (Sydney) Wednesday, 5 July 1882
Poem: Hymn of the City William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878)

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Posted in 1880-1889, Erskineville Road, Macdonald Street, Munni Street, Railway Parade, Union Street | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Macdonaldtown Toll-bar

The Macdonaldtown Toll Bar

THE Municipal Council of Macdonaldtown are about to put into force the 179th section of the Municipalities Act of 1867, which regulates the collection of tolls, by the erection of a toll-bar on the Erskineville-road, and the collection of tolls thereat. This is a means of raising revenue not generally resorted to by the municipalities. The bylaw containing the schedule of tolls to be levied having been confirmed by his Excellency the Governor, with the advice of the Executive Council, is published in a supplement to the Government Gazette issued yesterday.

The Sydney Morning Herald Tuesday, 18 October 1881

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Posted in 1880-1889, 1890-1899, Erskineville Road, Railway Parade, Swanson Street | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Anderson’s Terrace – 20 to 32 Park Street Erskineville

Eastern side of Park Street (Number 20 at left)

Anderson’s Terrace (20 to 32 Park Street, Erskineville) is located on the eastern side of Park Street, close to Solander Park. Originally a row of six two-storey terraces, the relatively recent incorporation of an additional terrace at the southern end of the row (number 32) makes seven.

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Posted in 1880-1889, 1890-1899, Park Street, Terraces and Houses | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Why women age faster than men: Dr Morse’s Indian Root Pills – Mrs. W. Callaway – completely cured after a long period of suffering from kidney complaints

Dr. Morse's Indian Root Pills - For the Liver

What is there in life more tragic than the young woman who soon after marriage begins to fade and prematurely shows the sign of age, while her husband keeps his youthful health and vigour. The careworn wife and the youthful husband are to be seen everywhere.

Advertisements featuring the testimonial of Mrs. William Callaway of 14 Baldwin Street Erskineville appeared in newspapers around Australia from about September 1908, and continued until the beginning of 1910. Mrs. Callaway sought treatment at Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney for a kidney complaint, but finding no relief from the treatment and medicines prescribed to her Mrs. Callaway instead followed the recommendation of a friend. Commencing an eighteen-bottle course of treatment Mrs. Callaway found herself completely cured of her kidney complaint, and incidently found the pills very effective in the treatment of her headaches: Continue reading

Posted in 1900-1909, Baldwin Street, Good for what ails you | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Excitement at Erskineville – A Ruse Which Led To Escape

A Clever Trick

A clever instance of police impersonation, which unfortunately allowed the ends of justice to be defeated, is reported from Erskineville…

The Express and Telegraph (Adelaide) Wednesday, 28 May 1902

On the night of Saturday 24 May 1902 Mr. James Sanders, a grocer, had his attention attracted to a man who was upon the balcony of his premises, and whose actions were decidedly suspicious… Continue reading

Posted in 1900-1909, Swanson Street, Sydney Street | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Arnott’s Famous Milk Arrowroot Biscuits ‘Make Bonnie Children’ – Doreen and Edward Webb – 11a Burren Street Erskineville

Doreen Dulcie Webb, aged 2 years and one month; and Edward Eric Webb aged 4 years and 8 months of 11a Burren Street Erskineville appeared in an advertisement for Arnott’s Milk Arrowroot Biscuits in February 1919:

Arnotts famous milk arrowroot biscuits erskineville.pngThe Australian Worker (Sydney) Thursday, 13 February 1919

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Posted in 1910-1919, Arnott's, Burren Street | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lemon Rings – a 1920 recipe from Erskineville, Sydney

The World of Women.png

On 22 February 1920 a request from ‘Elsie’ of St. Leonards appeared in the ‘Housewives Exchange’ – a column within ‘The World of Women’ page of Sydney’s The Sun newspaper.

‘any kind of useful wrinkle concerning the home-cooking,
dressmaking, care of children-will find a place in this column.’ 


Recipies wanted - February 1920

The Sun (Sydney) 22 February 1920

The request for a recipe for Lemon Rings was one of many requests published in The Sun on that particular Sunday, appearing amongst appeals for getting rid of small black ants; a method for turning beef and mutton suet into soap; and a request for how to make pumpkin jam.


The following week the ‘Housewives Exchange’ column included a response to Elsie’s request from someone not willing to identify themselves beyond the moniker ‘Reader (Erskineville).’ The recipe for Lemon Rings was amongst three published on the day, which otherwise included helpful advice from Ada for cooks who have trouble grilling the breakfast meal (Ada has to prepare breakfast for seven persons, and has no maid); and a useful recipe for ‘Claret Cup’ for ‘J.H.’ of Redfern.

The recipe provided by ‘Reader’ of Erskineville for Lemon Rings is as follows:

Lemon Rings recipe 1920s.png

The Sun (Sydney) Sunday, 29 February 1920

Here it is again, a little clearer:


This recipe is sent to Elsie (St. Leonards) by Reader (Erskineville):
Beat 4 oz. butter to a cream and add 2 beaten eggs, separately. Mix in 6oz. sugar, 1lb flour, sifted with 2 teaspoons baking powder, grated rind of a lemon, and a little milk. Make into a paste, roll out about ¼in. thick, cut into rounds, and cut out the centres to form rings, and fry to a light brown in plenty of hot fat.

Lemon Rings
Lemon Rings Recipe.png

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Posted in 1920-1929, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments