History High Tales: Merchants, Wharves and Enterprise on the shores of Darling Harbour

  • 16 Oct 2021
  • 4:30 PM - 7:30 PM
  • 338 Kent Street, Sydney
  • 33

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  • Members receive 15% discount on full price.
    1 guest at member price.
  • Members receive 15% discount.
    Guests at full price ($65).

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Merchants, Wharves and Enterprise on the shores of Darling Harbour


Doors open at 4.30pm

Music by David Johnsen 4.45pm-5.45pm

Talk by Wayne Johnson 6pm-7.30pm

What we know as Darling Harbour and Barangaroo was an acknowledged place of seafood gathering and feasts to the original inhabitants, known to them as Tumbalong, Gomarra and Koogee. The large quantities of shell left behind were gathered by the Europeans who burned them to produce lime for their buildings.

Join Dr Wayne Johnson, Senior Archaeologist in the heritage team at Place Management NSW and co-author of A History of Sydney's Darling Harbour to hear about the street names Lime Street and Shelley Street that stand where the lime kilns once operated, and some very early buildings still show evidence of shell fragments between their bricks and stones. From the early 19th century merchants and shipbuilders transformed the eastern shore of Darling Harbour.

Recently the remains of a colonial-built ship were discovered in landfill on the edge of Barangaroo. Merchants built warehouses and engineers built mills and other works until smoke belching chimneys lined the shore- proudly depicted in illustrations of the day as symbols of progress. Along with them came the factory and waterside workers, huddled in crowded and unsanitary housing; the conditions spurring Sydney Council into action in the 1870s to combat rising levels of disease and death. A far cry from the Darling Harbour of today.

Our music comes courtesy of David Johnsen. 


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