The area now known as Springwood was originally occupied by the Aurang-ora band of the inland Dharug people.
|Aurang Jack, chief of Springwood and his two wives|
On Tuesday, May 11, 1813, Mr. Gregory Blaxland, Mr. William Went worth, and Lieutenant Lawson, attended by four servants, with five dogs, and four horses laden with provisions, ammunition, and other necessaries, left Mr. Blaxland's farm at the South Creek, for the purpose of endeavouring to effect a passage over the Blue Mountains.
On 13th May the explorers reached the vicinity of Springwood, “After travelling about a mile on the third day, in a west and north-west direction, they arrived at a large tract of forest land, rather hilly, the grass and timber tolerably good, extending, as they imagine, nearly to Grose Head, in the same direction nearly as the river. They computed it at two thousand acres. Here they found a track marked by a European, by cutting the bark of the trees. Several native huts presented themselves at different places. They had not proceeded above two miles, when they found themselves stopped by a brushwood much thicker than they had hitherto met with. This induced them to alter their course, and to endeavour to find another passage to the westward; but every ridge which they explored proved to terminate in a deep rocky precipice; and they had no alternative but to return to the thick brushwood, which appeared to be the main ridge, with the determination to cut a way through for the horses next day. This day some of the horses, while standing, fell several times under their loads. The dogs killed a large kangaroo. The party encamped in the forest tract, with plenty of good grass and water.
We then Halted at three O’clock in a very pretty wooded Plain near a Spring of very good fresh Water and Pitched our tents near the side of the Road. This Stage is 12 Miles from Emu Ford and our first on the Mountains - The Place being very pretty I have named it "Spring - Wood.
|Central Springwood showing Bathurst Rd. c. 1915|
|Macquarie Rd 1964 (SHS 85a)|
Danebury, formerly Glen Lawson, 100 Macquarie Rd
|Braemar c. 1900 (PF 123)|
|Springwood Civic Centre 1968|
|Francis Smith headstone, Springwood Cemetery (SHS 221)|
|Francis Smith plaque|
|Oriental Hotel 1920 (SHS 62)|
The trees associated with the Frazer Memorial Church, the Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani) which was grown from a seed brought back from Lebanon by Mrs Elizabeth Frazer, Jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia) and the Illawarra Flame Tree (Brachychiton acerifolius) are of high significance at a local level for their historic association with the construction of the establishment of the Church.
The design of the Frazer Memorial Church is a tribute to the important architectural firm of Slayter and Cosh.
|Frazer Memorial Church, early postcard (PF 2413)|
On 17 August 1895 the foundation stone for the church was laid by the sister of the widowed Mrs Frazer, who was abroad at the time. Memorial stones were laid by Mrs Frazer’s sister, the widow of John Frazer’s business partner, William Manson; by Mrs Rayner, wife of the Methodist storekeeper whose premises were just across the road; by Mrs Ellis, wife of John Ellis of Valley Heights, who had signed the building contract on behalf of the church; and by Mrs Flora Urquhart, the daughter of James Lawson, the Scottish cabinet-maker who had built Braemar and the Oriental Hotel, where services had been held in expectation of the building of the church.
The pulpit had been originally designed also by Spain and Cosh, to be carved in stone. The design was implemented but in wood, carved by William Maxwell Lawson, the craftsman son of James Lawson of Braemar.
During World War II the children who lived at the Burnside Homes, the great philanthropic enterprise in North Parramatta owned by the Presbyterian Church, were evacuated from Sydney to the Blue Mountains. Both the Buckland Hospital and the Oriental Hotel in Springwood were requisitioned to house the children and this brought heavy responsibilities to the minister and congregation of the Frazer Memorial church. The evacuation was partly organized by the distinguished theologian, Ronald G. Macintyre, who had been professor of Systematic Theology at St Andrew’s College and was now in retirement in Springwood. Macintyre had already dedicated the present manse behind the church in 1941; in the following year the hall, to the east of the church, was opened by Macintyre .
|Rayner's Store 1890s (SHS 028|
|The School of Arts in 1915 at the time of the Coo-ee March (SHS 836)|
About 1870 Boland sold the Springwood Inn but continued to live locally and in 1881 built the Royal Hotel in Macquarie Road for his son, Thomas Edwin, to manage. In the 1891 census the occupant of the Royal is shown as Adam Mutch, along with four males and five females on the night of the census.
In 1998 extensive changes took place in the Royal's fabric and the Brasserie, a new, fashionable restaurant, was opened at the rear of the hotel, with commanding views over Fairy Dell.
|Royal Hotel 1913 (PF 4094)|
|Royal Hotel 1934 (PF 4096)|
|Royal Hotel 1964 (SHS 532)|
|Honeysett's Springwood Garage 1926 (PF 208)|
|Springwood Hall 1932 (PF 3097)|
On Friday evening of last week a send-off was tendered to Private Tom Brett, in the Springwood Hall. Private Brett has been employed as a fire-man at the Valley Heights depot. On learning that he had decided to enlist his mates determined to suitably recognise the event of his departure.
Nepean Times 29.7.1916
|Macquarie Rd 1990 showing the Arnold shop right, Oxley's pharmacy centre (SHS 693)|
The speech was met by great acclamation and the meeting was then addressed by the local Alderman, Ald. Manners on the same lines. It was then moved by Mr F. Watson and seconded by Mr H. Townsend that a club named the Springwood & District Citizens' Boys' Club, be formed. This motion was discussed and a suggestion put that the name be changed to read Youth Club, this amendment was defeated by vote and the club was formed. The initial aims to “afford the boys an opportunity of participating in healthy recreation and to be taught the principles of good citizenship.”
|Macquarie Memorial 1965, 150th anniversary of the naming of Springwood, Tom Morony holds the Springwood Crest drawn by Norman Lindsay. From left: John Eddington, Bruce Jackson, Mayor Tom Hunter. (SHS 199)|
The rail-link to the city encouraged travel, tourism and the construction of holiday homes. The Springwood Inn (usually known as Boland's Inn) benefited from this increased traffic. Presumably because of diversifying interests and advancing years, Boland chose to sell his inn around 1870, while continuing to live locally, along with Madeline, his stormy petrel of a daughter.
|Manners Park and the old Police Station 1985 (PF 2332b)|
Unfortunately we a getting a very rough class of men around us in the wood-cutters and bush-men, and this class is likely to be largely augmented by those who will be brought here with the object of getting sleepers for the new railway extensions.
The number of residents in the neighbourhood will probably increase and it may become necessary to station a constable there but at present I do not think one as required. A similar application has been made to me from Mount Victoria where I am of the opinion a constable is more needed than at Springwood - but I have not felt justified in complying.
...the greatest cause for complaint is from tramps and drunken rowdyism, drink it appears being procured from Penrith. Hotel well conducted the houses are mostly isolated and the principal occupants necessarily away a good deal. Therefore no doubt if a police station has to be established it will give general satisfaction...
...about 3/4 of an acre, fenced, in a good position with a weatherboard room about 12x12 iron roof thereon and not in use which would make a temporary station for a foot constable (single man) if the Council of Education would grant the use of the same and give the land or part thereof as a site for a police station.
|Springwood Public School, Empire Day 1910 (SHS 074)|
|Buckland Park 1972 (PF 009)|
In 1918 the Frazer trustees sold the eastern portion of the land south of the railway (now identified as 73 -77 Macquarie Road, lot 1 in DP 801908) and the Catholic trustees proceeded to erect St Thomas Aquinas and the Angels Guardian Church. The remaining Frazer estate south of the railway was purchased by the Blue Mountains Shire Council in 1936 and was named Buckland Park. At the same time Springwood Bowling Club was formed and created its first green on part of the parkland: its initial patron in 1937-8 was Buckland.
|War Memorial and Dr Baxter Gates 1972 (PF 010)|