Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Minnamurra Punt

To the south of Shellharbour near the Minnamurra River led a track that went to Kiama.

Prior to a bridge over Minnumurra River horsemen waded through the river or swam their horses across it.

From as early as 1847 a punt would take travellers from the ‘Peterborough Estate’, over to the opposite shore at Minnamurra. In July 1858 a new punt was placed in service. Mrs. Hollings, landowner, paid for half of the cost.

In 1870 the design and specification for a bridge over the Minnamurra River at the cost of £1000 was secured. The bridge was built by contractor Michael for Shellharbour Council.

In 1890 a new bridge was built with Kiama and Shellharbour Councils sharing the costs. The new bridge was designed with 19 feet clear roadway and was erected east of the old bridge.

‘Blue Haven’, WA Bayley, Kiama Municipal Council, 1976.

Minnamurra Bridge, 1872.
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries.


In the early to mid 20th century, shops in Shellharbour were basic. General stores operated as small supermarkets and sold everything a family could require. Often they operated as a post offices and paper shops as well.

The butcher shop at Albion Park was run for many years by the O'Gorman family, who would deliver meat straight to your door. Hazelton's, Grocers at Albion Park for generations, would also deliver about once a fortnight.

Meat in those days was kept in an ice chest and people often had to go to Wollongong to get their ice. A wet roll of hessian was wrapped around the ice to keep it cold until they got home. In later years, the ice man would come and deliver the ice, dropping cold water all over the floors of houses.

Many people from Shellharbour caught a bus to Port Kembla to do their main shopping, prior to the establishment of Warilla in the 1950s.

Shellharbour Village had a butcher shop operated by the Thomas family. John Thomas ran a bakery (the old ovens are now located in the foyer of Addison's Seafood Bar and Grill Restaurant, which stands on the site today). A corner store operated for many years on the corner of Wentworth and Addison Streets (known as the Country Kitchen today). Beazley's General Store was situated on the opposite corner, on the southern side of Addison Street.

Swyny's was the first store at Lake Illawarra. The shop was at Reddall Parade and operated as a post office, a paper shop and grocers.

Graham's Store was also located at Lake Illawarra in the 1920s. At the store you could buy general supplies and even hire boats to go rowing on the lake. Mr Graham built a jetty out into the lake to people to launch from. During the Depression, people couldn't afford to pay their bills and so the shop had to close.

The Stanford's opened the first post office, paper and grocery shop in Kingston Street, Oak Flats in the mid 1930s . Mail was delivered in a horse and Sulky by Mr Stanford. The store was operated by Mrs Stanford who also had the job as Gatekeeper for the railway line.

Edward Hazelton's Store, Tongarra Road, Albion Park, c.1916.
Shellharbour Images Shellharbour City Libraries.

Swynys Post Ofice Store, Reddall Parade, Lake South, c.1925.
Shellharbour Images Shellharbour City Libraries.

The Post Office Store, corner of Central Avenue and Kingston Street, Oak Flats c.1938.
Shellharbour Images Shellharbour City Libraries.