Riverstone title

Riverstone Township 1880's

Click on buildings in the picture below with your mouse. Navigation Bar Go Right Go Left Go to Coverpage Riverstone Town Drawing Temperance Hall Parrington Terrace Railway Station Riverstone Old School Riverstone Hotel Roman Catholic Church Butchers Row
Picture from cover of Grantham Estate Purchasers' Companion and Guide. Boyd & King. Mitchell Library.

Riverstone, a post town, telegraph and railway station. 28 miles NW of Sydney. Fares 3s.3d and 2s. It is situated on the Eastern Creek; in the electorate of the Hawkesbury, and police district of Windsor. There is one Hotel here, a public school, Roman Catholic Church, several small stores and saw mills., with a population of about 320.

Australian Handbook 1884. Mitchell Library.

Temperance Hall, built 1880's

The Temperance Hall received its name from the Temperance Society who believed in abstaining from alchohol. The Temperance Society was also known as The Band of Hope. Instead of people spending their evenings in Hotels getting drunk they were encouraged to attend entertainment evenings at the Temperance Hall. The entertainment was usually in the form of concerts, literary and debating clubs, and dances. Often the Hall was also used for auctions of local produce.

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Parrington Terrace, Garfield Road East, built 1883

These terraces were constructed in 1883 for Joseph Parrington, a local shop keeper and the first hotel licensee in town. It is thought to be the oldest remaining commercial building in the town. The terraces have been known as Parrington's Terrace or Riverstone Terrace. In the early 1880's as the Meatworks and the town expanded there was alarge demand for boarding houses and rental accomodation, to house the workers and their families. The building on the railway end of the terrace which is set forward to the others is said to have been constructed at a later stage than the four other terraces. We believe that it was built in 1890 to house butcher's shop for Mr Parrington. During the 1940's this terrace was occupied by Mr Driscoll, a real estate agent. Over the years the terraces have housed a variety of shops, including dry cleaners, physiotherapist, and a remnant shop. The upstairs quarters have been primarily used for residential purposes. Just recently two of the terraces have been refurbished by the town chiropractor.

Source: Rosemary Phillis

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Blacktown City Bicentennial Museum (Riverstone Old School),Garfield Rd, built 1883

The Blacktown Bicentennial Museum Building started out as the first Riverstone Public School in 1883. The building at that stage was a small schoolroom measuring 20 feet by 17 feet (6.1 metres by 5.2 metres) with a teacher's residence attached. It was intended that the room accommodate forty two pupils, but within six months the enrolment was seventy five. We believe that this original schoolroom was the area now attached to the kitchen. It is hard to imagine forty two students fitting in there let alone seventy five! The artists impression of the School depicts the building as a two storey structure, when it is in actual fact a one storey building!

Accommodation continued to be a concern and in 1887 approval was granted for the construction of a classroom and additional schoolroom. (These now house the main Museum exhibition and the Movie Making Museum/storage area.) Further classrooms were added in 1892 and 1893.

A new Public School was opened in 1929. (It is located across the road from the Museum and is now used as the Infants Department.) With the opening of the new school the old school was sold to the local Masonic Lodge.

In 1931 the Masons had major alterations completed by local builders including Ray and Bill Vaughan. These alterations included the constiuction of the foyer, which is now used as the Museum entrance. (If you look at the front of the foyer from outside you will notice the year 1931.)

It may also be around 1931 that the teacher's residence was demolished and the original schoolroom turned into a serving area, with a kitchen attached. The Masons used the back hall for their meetings and allowed the local community to hire the rest of the building for various balls, parties, wedding receptions etc. It was a popular venue as it was in good condition and alcohol could be seived on the premises, something that wasn't allowed at the local church halls. In the late 1980s, a deal was struck with the Masons for the purchase of the building by Blacktown Council, for use as a Museum, with financial assistance for the purchase of the building coming from the Riverstone and District Historical Society and the Bicentennial Authority.

The Council then undertook renovation work on the building and surrounds and on the 3rd of December 1988 the Blacktown Bicentennial Museum was officially opened. The work was completed and in 1994 steps were taken to reopen the Museum as part of the Heritage Week celebrations. The Museum is open on the first Sunday of the month from llam to 3pm.

Source: Rosemary Phillis

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Riverstone Railway Station, Riverstone Pde, built 1864, rebuilt 1886

The railway came to Riverstone in 1864. The parcels office on the station was part of the original station building and housed the station master as well as the local post office. Part of the roof of the building can still be seen behind the dry cleaners shop. From the platform, if you look over the fence at the Sydney side of the post office you can see the little window where people used to call for mail.

The main station building dates to 1883 and has been modified over the years. The main waiting room was originally divided into two, the main waiting room and the ladies waiting room. Both these rooms had fire places and a World War I Honour Roll hung over the main waiting room fire place until the 1970s. (When it was removed for restoration and then disappeared.)

Along the platform towards the Richmond end, the signal box contains a mixture of old and new signalling. Some signals are controlled by a push button panel, while others are controlled by old fashioned levers.

The station building is listed by the National Trust.

Source: Rosemary Phillis

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St. John's Roman Catholic Church

The first Catholic Church at Riverstone was opened on 2 July 1882. Named St. John's, the Church was of weatherboard construction with corrugated iron roof and apparently stood where the present church now stands, being demolished about mid April 1904. While the present Church was being built, Services were held in the Oddfellows Hall, Riverstone. Erected in 1904, the present church is of neo-Gothic style, constructed in brick, with wall buttresses and a gable ended slate roof. It was built at a cost of £950 ($1,900). It is sixty feet long by twenty eight feet wide and seventeen feet high to the eaves, the Sanctuary is eighteen by twenty feet.

Source: Rosemary Phillis

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