Economic History of Campbelltown
The following text is extracted from Liston, C. Campbelltown: the Bicentennial History (North Sydney, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 1988) pp 49-51, 77-84, 136-139. Illustrations are from the collections of the Campbelltown City Library and Campbelltown and Airds Historical Society.
Campbelltown at Work
Most of the local workforce were assigned convicts who laboured for the farmers and settlers. In 1825, 1003 of 1973 residents of Airds, Appin and Minto were assigned convict servants. Another 509 had been convicts but were know free. They became farmers, employing other convicts, or worked as labourers and tradesmen.
Under the assignment system settlers could apply to the local magistrate for a convict servant. Settlers housed, fed and clothed the convict for as long as they required the convict's labour. Unwanted convicts were returned to the government for reassignment. Most of the convicts were unskilled labourers, but some had knowledge of a trade and were called mechanics. These were the most valuable assigned servants.
An 1824 list noted 23 occupations among 216 people living at Campbelltown. About half were unskilled labourers. A further quarter worked on the land as settlers, stock-keepers and overseers. The remaining quarter were tradesmen with the largest group in building trades - ten carpenters, a painter, sawyers, two stonemasons, some quarrymen but no brickmakers. Clothing manufacture employed several people as the district was a long way from the shops. There were eight bootmakers, three weavers and spinners and two tailors. Transport repairs were an essential service industry with four blacksmiths, two saddlers and harness makers and a boat builder. Retailing was limited to a baker, two butchers, two publicans and a storekeeper, while professional services were represented by four school teachers, a clerk and an engraver.
From the mid 1820s capital was invested in local industries, the most significant and enduring being flour milling. By 1830 there were three windmills and a horse in the Campbelltown district. Two windmills were on the estate of Richard Brooks at Denham Court and John Coghill at Kirkham. The other windmill and a horse mill were operated by William Mannix.
William Mannix of Spring Hill farm, near Molle's Mains, was Campbelltown's first industrialist. He arrived free as a merchant's clerk in 1805. During the 'anarchial government' which followed the overthrow of Governor Bligh in 1808, Mannix had purchased promises for land grants totalling 350 acres (20ha) and took up 400 acres (160 ha) in Upper Minto. By the mid 1820s he held over 1000 acres (400 ha) but this was not sufficient to carry his stock, over 500 head of cattle, and he received further land grants. In 1824 he built the Minto Flour Mill, a horse driven mill at Spring Hill Farm, 5 kilometres from Campbelltown. Settlers brought their wheat to the mill and paid Mannix 1s 6d per bushel to grind it to flour. Mannix cultivated only 83 acres (33ha) himself. By 1828, as well as three assigned convicts, one a blacksmith, he employed two free carpenters, another blacksmith, a miller and a clerk. His windmill, probably built in 1829, operated until 1836.
By 1833 there were four windmills and two horse mills, the largest concentration outside Sydney with its nine windmills and increasing number of steam mills. Dr John Dight, father-in law of Hamilton Hume, had built his windmill in Airds by 1833, and in 1834 Thomas Rose built the best known of the Campbelltown windmills at Mount Gilead. Within an impressive stone tower, the machinery of ironbark timber survived relatively intact for almost a century. Rose died in 1837 but the mill continued under lessees. By the late 1830s the Denham Court and Mannix windmills had ceased, but there were others to take their place - George Muckle at Minto; colonial born William Rixon on the Appin Road from 1838; Captain GB Christmas at Mount Gilead, and John Tooth at Narellan, possibly in the old Kirkham mill. Tooth and Newnham of the Kent Brewery were operating a windmill as well as a horse mill in 1841, probably connected with their malt brewery that operated briefly at Narellan from 1845. They appear to have diversified from their city site for some operations from the late 1830s.
Milling required support trades - blacksmiths, wheelwrights and carpenters. All were in demand in Campbelltown. George Graham, colonial born, ran a blacksmithing business at Minto in 1828, employing no convicts but a carpenter, a blacksmith, two wheelwrights and an apprentice wheelwright.
Tanning and associated trades of shoemaking and saddlery required access to water. Self employed bootmakers in 1828 included Samuel Lovely with a three-man business, Richard Woollock and colonial born George Fieldhouse, a cordwainer or shoemaker, who had a small business employing another cordwainer. In 1831 there were three tan pits in Minto and Airds. Thomas Avery of Minto, a ticket-of-leave saddler in 1828, by 1831 operated his own tan pits as did Edward Taylor, a ticket-of-leave shoemaker in 1828, and Charles Hollingshead. Avery was replaced by William Bursill and then by David Hennessy, a Sydney shoemaker who by 1835 owned tan pits at Campbelltown. Taylor, Hennessy and Hollingshead were the major tanners of the district into the 1840s.
Few colonists could afford wax candles. Robert Lack and Paul Huon had candle factories in 1831 in Airds, using animal fats or tallow to make their candles. On the George's River Sydney merchants Cooper and Levy operated two watermills at Holsworthy and Woronora, and Mathew Kirby, a weaver, had a course woollen mill at Lower Minto in the 1830s.
By 1841 the substantial buildings of the district were built from stone. Common building stone was easily found but permanent quarries did not appear until the 1840s. Isaac Dowse, who died in 1853, was a brickmaker in the 1820s, probably using the clay on his Campbelltown allotment in Oxley Street to make bricks. This site was used for brickmaking as late as the 1850s. Lime was needed for building mortar. There was little natural limestone in the Sydney region so the alternative was to burn shells. In the Campbelltown area George Weavers, an ex-convict, had the largest lime burning operation based at the George's River near Holsworthy. Here in 1828 he employed two convict lime-burners and five ticket-of-leave men who gathered oyster shells from the river and from Aboriginal middens.
General labourers were always in demand in the Campbelltown district, the Police Magistrate, Allman, reporting in 1837 that 100 could find work at wages from 15 to 28 pounds a year with rations, or about 3 shillings a day. House servants, for whom there was less demand, earned about the same. The best paid jobs were in the building industry. Carpenters, bricklayers and stonemasons could earn 56 pounds a year or 7 shillings a day. Most jobs provided food and accommodation. Those who had to purchase food paid about 5 pence per pound for beef and 19 shillings for 100 pounds (45 kg) of flour. Christina Blomfield of Denham Court preferred convict servants, rogues though they were, because they knew colonial ways and she thought them more useful than the lazy free immigrants. Farming labourers at Denham Court were paid 10 shillings a week with rations of 10 pounds (4.5kg) of flour and of meat, 1.5 pounds (680g) of sugar and 3 ounces (85g) of tea. Female domestic servants were paid 12-15 pounds per year.
Farmers also relied on their children's labour to weed crops and feed stock. Some settlers and publicans employed girls as young as eight as domestic servants. Some of these children were orphans in the care of guardians and worked no harder than the children of the household. For others, their parents had been unable to support them and had found them employment. In 1828 there were about 40 children in the Campbelltown district who were not living with their parents. Georgiana Sweetman, aged thirteen, worked as a servant for William Cordeaux. Eight year old James Masterman described himself as a servant working for Thomas Burn at Airds. Neil Campbell and William Byrne were the only storekeepers in Campbelltown in 1828. Public Houses partly filled this void in commercial life. The roadside inns of colonial Australia catered for many needs- refreshments for travellers, who were usually walking, basic accommodation, a staging post for coaches and the Royal Mail and a meeting place for local residents where games were played and business conducted. In 1830 new licensing laws required publicans to provide better accommodation for travellers. Under this system eight licences were issued for Campbelltown, about the same number as Maitland, and slightly over half the number in Liverpool. One of the Campbelltown inns received a free licence, valued a twenty five pounds per year, to encourage the construction of better quality inns. This was possibly the licence for the new eighteen room Forbes Hotel, built by Daniel Cooper to replace his building that was converted to the courthouse. By 1833 fourteen licences were issued for Campbelltown, so contemporary comment about the prevalence of inns was not exaggerated. Innkeeping provided the opportunity for several Campbelltown business people to launch their careers.
Along the Campbelltown Road one of the best known inns was about halfway between the Cross Roads and Campbelltown. At the bridge over Bunbury Creek near Varroville was the Robin Hood Inn which opened in late 1830. Mine host was Thomas Humphries until 1837. In Campbelltown were numerous public houses. In the view of one visitor to the town in 1841 if it were not for the "numerous grog shops" there would be no town at all. One the northern approaches to the town was ex-convict John Eggleston at the St Patrick's Inn from the late 1820s through the 1840s; the Graham family at the Wheelwright's Arms and Nathaniel Boon at the Three Brothers Inn. On the corner of Cordeaux and Queen Streets Thomas Hammond's house opened in 1830 under the sign of the King's arms. From 1832 the licence was held by John Hurley.
Opposite was the Forbes Hotel built in 1830 with Lewis Solomon as the first licensee. JW Bridges was the licensee in 1836 when the Forbes Hotel was the venue for a subscription ball and supper for the local races. Aside from a selection of wines, spirits and ales, Bridges offered well-aired beds and excellent stabling. At the southern end of town was the Royal Oak, Licensee Michael Byrne, and the Brewer's Arms of William Byrne from 1833 to 1837. Other inns in the 1830s included the Traveller's Rest (Thomas Avery) and the Crown (Joseph Scott) at Upper Minto; the Harrow (John and Catherine Patrick) and the Crown and Anchor (Sarah and Ann Andrews).
Most of the inns were small but their number did little to encourage sobriety in the population. William Bradbury confessed that he was more frequently drunk than not, his favourite tipple being a cask of rum. The magistrates refused to prosecute when Bradbury's watch was stolen because it was a regular town sport to bet on how long it would take Bradbury to sober up and discover that his watch was missing.
One of the most successful of Campbelltown's publicans was John Hurley. An Irishman who arrived with a seven year sentence in 1824 on the Prince Regent, Hurley completed his sentence as a labourer in the service of Captain Terence Murray, who had arrived in 1827 and taken land at Lake Bathurst. When Hurley's sentence expired he became licensee of the King's Arms, Campbelltown, from 1831. This gave him a base to establish a coaching contract. In the mid 1830s, with fellow publican Patrick Fennell as partner, Hurley bought and sold hay and cattle from the southern districts, planned the local horseraces, sponsored the Catholic church and attended Governor Bourke's farewell levee. Hurley dissolved his partnership with Fennell in January 1837 at the time of his marriage of Mary Byrne, daughter of the Irish rebel Hugh Byrne.
There were no banks in Campbelltown during these years. Indeed there was little cash in circulation, most business being conducted by the exchange of promissory notes. By the late 1830s John Hurley was virtually Campbelltown's private banker, partly because of his extensive business interests but also because of his friendship with fellow catholic John O'Sullivan, the bank manager for the Commercial Banking Company in Goulbourn. Hurley was Irish and Catholic but above all literate. He was trusted in Campbelltown and by Father Therry who used him as his agent.
Industry and Commerce
Many people became indebted speculating in land and stock in the late1830s. Falling wool prices were offset by markets for livestock in the new settlements in the Port Phillip district and South Australia, but when British investors lost confidence and withdrew funds from 1840, credit became tight. Mortgage payments could not be maintained and many properties changed hands. Livestock and grain prices collapsed. Unemployment increased, especially in the building trades. Legislation in 1842 enabled people seeking voluntary insolvency to retain the use of their property if there was a chance their debts would be repaid when the economy improved. Of almost 2000 insolvencies between 1842 and 1849, 1830 were voluntary, and some regarded voluntary insolvency as a ploy to cheat creditors.
The biggest company failure was the merchant partnership of Hughes and Hosking. Their firm was in debt to the Bank of Australia for about 150 000 pounds, a debt which led to the collapse of the bank in 1843. The shareholders of the bank were not protected by limited liability and were forced into deeper financial difficulties, spreading the crisis. John Hosking (1806-82), partner in Hughes and Hosking, had just been elected as the first mayor of Sydney when his business failed. His wife, Martha Foxlowe, daughter of Samuel Terry, had inherited Macquarie Fields estate and her marriage settlement enabled them to retain Macquarie Fields from Hoskings creditors. The estate remained the property of Mrs Hosking until her death in 1875.
Among Campbelltown residents, sixteen people from a population of about 500 sought the Insolvency Court to resolve their financial difficulties in 1842 and 1843. They came from a broad social spectrum. Three were farmers; two were storekeepers; there was a publican, a dentist, two school teachers, a butcher, a builder, a bricklayer, and several labourers. Others felt the strain. John Hurley commented to his banker friend, John O'Sullivan of Goulburn, in November 1840 that there was a great 'scarcity of money' and asked O'Sullivan to help him with 600 pounds, 'being completely blocked up at present.'
Michael Byrne was the licensee of the Joiner's Arms and a stock owner in the Argyle and Burragorang districts. He had built an elegant two storey sandstone house, later known as Glenalvon, in Lithgow Street where he lived with his wife, Jane, nee Warby and their six children. His brother-in-law, John Keighran, foreclosed on the mortgage over Glenalvon, obtaining possession of the house in 1844. In October 1844 when Michael Byrne sought voluntary insolvency his debts amounted to 1886 pounds and his assets to less than 100 pounds. Byrne's largest creditor was his mother, to who he owed 1140 pounds from the sale of cattle three years earlier. His farming equipment was sold to pay his servants' wages but his other creditors received little. Michael's brother, Charles Byrne, with his wife, Elizabeth, had built a single storey stone cottage, later called Richmond Villa, in Lithgow Street, Campbelltown. In 1840 Charles Byrne mortgaged this cottage to John Vardy for 1000 pounds. Unable to repay the loan, he forfeited the house to Vardy who in turn sold it for 520 pounds to John Keighran in 1847.
Michael Byrne continued to run the Joiner's Arms. An 1840 map marked Byrne's inn on the western side of Queen street at the southern end of town. Another map drawn about 1842 showed the Joiner's Arms on the corner of the Old Menangle Road and the Narellan Road. Emily cottage may have been one of the outbuildings on the 10 acres (4ha) around the inn. The Joiner's Arms had four bedrooms, two parlours, detached laundry and kitchen and a taproom with four tables, eight chairs, a bench and a bird cage.
Other publicans felt the financial pressures of the 1840s. The owners of the Forbes Hotel, near the courthouse, advertised for a new licensee in mid 1844, offering a rental of only 50 pounds, one third of the previous lease because of the difficult times. The Forbes Hotel had nine bedrooms, two parlours, a taproom, bar and cellar. At the back was a detached kitchen, gardens, a yard, well, twelve-stall stable and grazing paddock. Charles Morris, licensee of the Coach and Horses Inn, was also selling out, offering his furniture at valuation. The Coach and Horses Inn opposite Bradbury Park had eight bedrooms, four sitting rooms, a large ballroom and hall, cellars, a detached kitchen and laundry with stabling for sixteen horses, a coach house and ample paddocks.
With the arrival of the railway in 1858 old coaching houses like the Robin Hood Inn on the road from Liverpool to Campbelltown faded away. Within six months of the railway's arrival the licensee of the Railway Hotel was in financial difficulties. The publican, Sylvester Byrne, who rented the premises from John Doyle, was new to the trade and blamed this and neglect of business for his difficulties. Mrs Byrne's father, John Vardy, helped support her and the children. Still standing in Queen Street, the Railway Hotel had a bar, two parlours, a dining room, three bedrooms and another small room with a bed. In the kitchen was a meat safe, a water fountain, saucepan, frying pan and boiler. Byrne rarely had many customers. His bar room with one table and two benches had only seven tumblers and four decanters and his drinking stock in September 1858 consisted of four kegs and 23 bottles of ale. After Byrne's failure John Doyle took up the licence and later Thomas James ran the hotel, converting the wooden coach house into a music hall for dancing.
Despite its small population, there were many storekeepers, most of whom were related to local publicans, butchers or farmers. William Graham senior came to Campbelltown in 1832 as a child with his Irish immigrant parents who farmed at Spring Creek near Campbelltown. He became licensee of the Forbes Hotel and diversified into a general store, which was carried on by his sons, William, James and John. George Fieldhouse (d 1880) followed his convict father to New South Wales in 1828. In the late 1840s he opened the Jolly Miller Inn opposite Kendall's Mill. His sons, William and Edwin Hallet Fieldhouse, opened a general store nearby in 1853. Colonial-born Daniel Fowler (1822-1900) trained as a cooper. Fowler came to Campbelltown in the 1840s, married Mary Bursill and became a butcher and storekeeper. He retired in the early 1870s, selling the butchery to his Scottish-born partner of sixteen years, James Wilson. His sons continued the family's commercial activities. Charles Beck was a draper and auctioneer in the 1840s.
A cabinetmaker by trade, William Fowler was Campbelltown's longest serving early postmaster. From 1846 to 1863 he ran the post office from his general store, a substantial two storey building in the main street near Allman Street. On the ground floor was the shop and four rooms with another six rooms upstairs, a separate kitchen, pantry and storeroom in brick and stone, and a timber stable and coach house. The store was taken over by his sons, George and William, about 1879. William Bursill, convict settler and farmer in Airds and Dapto in 1820s and 1830s, had opened a store and a tannery in Campbelltown by 1846. He went to Gulgong and Home Rule during the gold rush, but returned to Campbelltown in the late 1850s as a publican and storekeeper in partnership with his sons.
Tanneries were cottage industries , using local resources - hides, bark, water, animal dung and nightsoil. It was a foul-smelling trade, banned from the Sydney area in 1848. As well as making leather for boots, there was a steady demand for leather for harness, saddlery and belts for machinery. From the 1840s to the 1870s there were usually three tanneries at work in the Campbelltown area, using the stream through the Bradbury park estate. One tannery with two small pits was operated here by Hugh Murphy in the early 1840s. William Bursill had a tannery in conjunction with his boot shop on part of the Bradbury estate. Charles Huckstepp, arriving as a convict in 1833, settled in Campbelltown in the 1840s. He also had a tannery and worked as a shoemaker. Huckstepp was verger at St Peters Church where he was buried in 1887.
Another unpleasant industry was 'boiling down', introduced in the 1840s when sheep prices were very low. Slaughtering the animals and rendering down the carcasses for fats became more profitable than selling wool or meat. The tallow, used in soap and candle manufacture, was shipped to Britain in wooden casks. The first boiling-down works at Campbelltown opened in 1850 under J Pendergrast. In 1851 it processes 379 sheep and 582 cattle to extract 430 hundredweight (21 844kg) of tallow. When stock values rose during the gold rushes, boiling down became less attractive, and by 1856 it was operating as a slaughter yard, processing 1800 sheep, 700 cattle and 140 pigs during the year. Because of the smell it was located away from the town on a creek between Campbelltown Road and the railway, near Raby Road.
Common building stone was quarried by George Onslow on the George's River in 1843 and by George Muckle at Narrawa, Minto. Better quality stone, 'Cowpasture marble', was available from the George McLeay's estate at Bronlow Hill. Limestone, needed for mortar and fertiliser, came from a quarry and lime kiln at Picton. Brickmaking was a minor occupation. Simple clamp kilns were erected near building sites and the bricks made as needed in hand moulds. In 1859 John Dowse made the bricks from the Congregational church on the corner of Oxley and Dumaresq Street. Each brick was imprinted with crosses on the frog. There were two brickmakers at work in the district in 1861.
Construction of the railway to Campbelltown in 1857 and 1858 attracted new residents but the 1860s were hard years. As the railway moved south one resident observed in 1863: 'Our town presents rather a quiet appearance and I regret to see so many houses to let...there are no buildings or public works going on in the town, consequently the labouring class have to seek some other spot where work can be obtained.'
One storekeeper who came to Campbelltown as a result of railway construction was John Kidd who arrived from Scotland in 1857, aged 21, and set up a bakery in Sydney. Recognising the financial prospects in feeding railway navvies, he moved to Campbelltown where he prospered, expanding his bakery into a general store. In the 1870s he became interested in bulk milk supply to Sydney. Another Scot who settled in Campbelltown in these years was Willaim Blythe Caldwell who was farming in the district in 1861. He married Mary Percival and established a butchering business. Railway contractors James Cobb and James Bocking used Campbelltown as a base and, in the case of Bocking, diversified into commercial activities.William Gilchrist ran a general store in Campbelltown which he rented from John Hurley for 35 pounds per annum. His store was stocked with canisters of rice and barley, bottles of pickles and oil, starch, soap powder, boot blacking, gloves, flannel shirts, stockings, socks, some fabric and 48 packets of hooks and eyes. By 1866 he faced financial disaster after extending credit to the local people 'whom I know to be honest'.
The largest storekeepers in the 1870s were Fowler Brothers E&W Fieldhouse, James Bocking, John Fidd, Samual Clarke and E McSullea. Several small shopkeepers were women. Mary Bray had been deserted by her sailor husband in 1869. Five years later she was able to get some assistance under the Deserted Wives and Children's Act. She ran a small grocery shop in a building rented from John Hurley for 8 shillings a week, selling pipes and purses, pickles and polish, golden syrup, marbles and eau de cologne. For Empire Day in 1876 she stocked fireworks, Chinese crackers, rockets and roman candles. Mrs Hickey conducted a general store in Queen Street in a small weatherboard building with a shingle roof, where she sold an assortment of manufactured goods - pots, pans, lamps, cutlery and fabric in the 1870s.
The railway had a mixed impact on Campbelltown's economy. For Doyle, Henty and Company, with stockyards at Campbelltown station in the 1870s, the railway provided rapid transport to markets and encouraged city buyers to come to the town and purchase stock. For the farmers, their once extensive local market for hay was substantially reduced. Thomas and Mary Milgate arrived in Sydney in 1840 with their nine children, all under fourteen. Thomas established a hay and corn business in Newtown and by the 1870s had four produce stores managed by his sons at Newton, Camperdown, Parramatta and Campbelltown. He died at Newtown in 1874 and his sons continued the business. The Campbelltown hay and corn store was managed by Spencer Samuel Milgate near Milgate Lane, now Milgate Arcade.
Spncer Milgate had married in 1855 and planned to live permanently at Campbelltown with his wife, their seven children and his widowed mother. He rented, then purchased Eshcol Park from William Fowler in 1878 but tragedy struck. His mother died at Eshcol Park in March 1877 and a year later two of his daughters died of diphtheria, followed by a third daughter in January 1879. The one happy event was the marriage of the Milgate's eldest daughter, Elizabeth to Thomas H Reeve of Campbelltown in 1878. Spencer Milgate sold Eshcol Park and moved back to Sydney, turning his attention to real estate development at Leura. He died at Wentworthville in 1891, aged 57.
From the mid 1860s post offices accepted deposits for the government savings bank and by the 1870s banks recognised the need for branches in the larger towns. The Commercial Banking Company of Sydney, formed in 1834, established the first bank in Campbelltown when it opened a branch in 1875 with George Jones as temporary manager. The following year AJ Gore came to Campbelltown as manager, staying until he retired in 1904. The Bank of New South Wales, established in 1817, opened its Campbelltown branch in February 1878. Its first manager was William Hurley, a son of the local member of parliament and former publican, John Hurley, who had for many years acted as a private banker.
There were attempts to improve the town in 1878 to induce farmers to spend their money in Campbelltown. Mr R Campion, a painter and decorator, converted a 'very ugly building' into the most ornamental business premises in town. In 1875 he had redecorated Glenlee House, painting the stair hall to resemble marble, a fashionable touch which he also added to Glenalvon. Campion Road was the original name of Badgally Road and part of Broughton Street near the railway where Campion lived.
In former days, Campbelltown was a place of considerable importance...it long enjoyed a considerable amount of commercial prosperity...[as] one of our principal wheat districts. It may almost be said it was the granary of New South Wales. The establishment of the township of Camden, on private lands, between thirty and forty years ago, gave the town its first check. The line of the main road having also been changed so as to pass through that township and over Razorback, missing Campbelltown, it lost a large proportion of its business with both the farmers and the travellers. Next came the change from coach and bullock teams to railway traffic, by which a large source of grain was removed from the locality. But still worse, was the advent of the rust disease in wheat.
Such were the causes of economic decline in Campbelltown. Part of the problem, in the opinion of outsiders, was the slowness of Campbelltown residents to take up new opportunities. By the 1870s abundant reserves of coal were known to exist near the town and there were plans for improved water supplies. With coal, water and railway transport, Campbelltown could have a manufacturing future. Water also offered the key to more varied agriculture. There seemed no reason why orchards, vineyards, market gardens and farms should not flourish and Campbelltown, in the words of the Australian Town and Country Journal, become a centre
where gigantic wine cellars, and fruit drying establishments, meat preserving, ham and bacon curing and numerous other manufacturing businesses are carried on. Then will Campbelltown rise from her long continued stunted-seedling state and take her place as the most important inland town not only of Cumberland but of the colony.
Commerce and Industry
The water canal, the Camden tramway, duplication of the railway track and the construction of Cataract Dam brought many labourers to the district. The railway station at Campbelltown was the gateway for most of these projects, and the local farmers found work for their horse team carting building materials and supplies. There were opportunities for new businesses such as boarding houses, fruit and vegetable shops and general stores. There was little specialisation among the storekeepers - all carried some clothing, china and grocery lines.
A visitor walking through Campbelltown from the south in 1896 would pass on the western side of Queen Street Fieldhouse's store; the Jolly Miller Hotel (run by Elizabeth Cooper in 1891, Meyer in 1894 and Stanley in 1896); two small fruit shops (one run by Mrs AL Coles); some houses; a saddler; (Michael Croghan); the fire station; town hall and council chambers; a chemist and dispensary (run by Arthur Power, formerly a doctor for a Newcastle coal company); a house; a blacksmith; the Commercial Bank; the post office; another fruit shop; Hickey brothers' butchery; a tailor (Brown); W Oswald Lees, tinsmithy and bootmaker; the jubilee hall concealed behind the shops; another butcher; then Lees' Glasgow House general store (approximately where Dumaresq street now continues across Queen Street). William Lees was the only licensed plumber in town and was also the local tinsmith. From their store in Bursill's Buildings, Mr and Mrs Lees operated a bakery and general store selling drapery, boots and shoes, fancy goods, china, glass, earthenware, groceries, ironmongery and patent medicines, hay corn, chaff and pollard. Plumbing and tinsmithing work included water connections and mending leaking roofs. Behind the shops along the railway line Shu Gut had leased land for a market garden.
Continuing north was the Bank of New South Wales; Patrick Clifton's drapery; a boarding house (run by WW Berry); Graham Brothers' general store; Graham's boot shop, with the military volunteers' drill shed behind, and Caldwell's butchery in a two-storey building. North of Milgate Lane there was very little development, with a large vacant block to Patrick Street and three buildings between Patrick Street and Railway Streets - a boot shop and refreshment rooms soon to be replaced in 1897 by Reeve's Emporium, behind which the fire brigade was based, and the Forbes Hotel. The courthouse and the police station on the corner of Queen and railway Streets were isolated on the northern entrance to the town.
Returning south toward Appin on the eastern side of Queen Street, the traveller passed the two-storey Club Hotel (previously the Sportsman's Arms and rebuilt in 1893); the old newspaper printing office (formerly the post office and used by Barker the saddler in 1896); a grocery store opposite Patrick Street, then a large vacant allotment next to Lithgow Street. Between Lithgow Street and Dumaresq Street there were only a draper's shop and a few empty stores, then from Dumaresq Street to Allman Street, a blacksmith; a photographer; a barber; a fruit shop; Michael O'Shanessy's store, and a large house. South of Allman Street were the well-known Georgian buildings occupied by McGuanne's boot shop; Doyle's Railway Hotel (John Doyle's home in 1891); with a coach builder behind; Thomas Gamble's store and home; a small cottage; a private home in the two storey building with the archway, and three small houses, one formerly a saddlery and butcher.
Beyond the creek was the old mill, by the 1890s Commerce House, the premises of James Bocking and Sons, grocers, drapers, bakers and general storekeepers. Bocking's sold general ironmongery, galvanised iron, ridge capping and spouting, crockery, furniture, bedding, boots and shoes. They were also produce and timber merchants and agents for the Bulletin, the Town and Country Journal and the New Zealand Fire Insurance Company. Dressmaking, millinery services and the mourning clothes were available at the shortest notice.
In 1880 Newling and Walker operated cordial factories at Campbelltown and Parramatta. The technology for making cordials, ginger beers and soda was fairly simple. Carbon Dioxide was made by the reaction of sulphuric acid on baking soda then compressed into distilled and filtered water to produce soda water. In the 1880s Gilbert Bray and Company operated a cordial factory, Gilbert being the proprieter of the Forbes Hotel. Later cordial manufacturers were Samuel M Jenner and Joseph Pickles Seddon (1845-1937) whose cordial factory was also used as the Campbelltown Cooperative Creamery.
The Railway Hotel and St Patricks Hotel had closed by 1912 and were private homes. The Jolly Miller Hotel became the Commonwealth, recognising the end of the old era and the start of a new. The Cumberland Hotel became the Royal under TF Hogan; Mrs Honora McCarthy was at the Club hotel, remodelled premises on the site of Hammond's 1830 inn, and Joseph Sherack was the licensee of the Forbes Hotel.
Charles Nichol operated the sawmill near the railway in 1911. Building tradesmen were few, and found routine work repairing schools and public buildings. Government contracts varied from small projects to construction worth about 1300 pounds. Sureties for the completion of their work were usually provided by local shopkeepers. The most active contractors were William Gee, a builder in partnership with George Bullock or Fowler; William Craft, carpenter and George R Lusted. Their sureties were usually one of the butchers - William Blythe Caldwell, George Chinnocks or James Wilson. Other regular guarantors included Henry John Craft and George Lusted, both builders; Thomas Henry Reeve, ironmonger, of 748 George Street and of Campbelltown; William Grahame and James Bocking, storekeepers; George Brown, tailor, and George Kershler, farmer.
There were four bootmakers and two saddlers. Locally crafted implements and repairs supported several trades. Blacksmiths were Doyle Brothers, J Jones junior (also the wheelwright), James Lynch, Charles North, J Swann and Charles Tripp. Charles and Thomas Tripp, coach builders, had horses and sulkies for hire, advertising with the slogan "If you want a good Turn-Out go and C Tripp".
In the 1890s there were two undertakers, Doyle Brothers and Gee and Fowler. Professional men were rare and the turn over was rapid. Solicitors in 1880, Joseph Leary and Charles Bull both had parliamentary ambitions. Bull could be consulted at home every evening after 7pm and at any hour on Saturdays. They were replaced by S Moore and Charles J Passmore in the 1890s. There was one auctioneer, Thomas Gamble. Most businesses met purely local needs, the exceptions being the Campbelltown Co-Operative Creamery and the Campbelltown State Nursery.
As the new century advanced, there were changes in individual businesses but few new services. The list of bakers was increased with a pastry cook. Dressmakers had a high profile by 1908 with Miss Ellen Chinnocks, Miss Annie Kershler (later Mrs PC Marlow) and Miss Emma Whitehead advertising their services. Among the professional classes by 1908 were a doctor (Wilfred B Dight) a chemist (Ian W Tyerman), a dentist (Norman Gilbert), an architect (Alfred Payten) and an engineer (Thomas Houghton). Real estate agents appeared. By 1911 CJ Marlow and TH Reeve, both from local storekeeping familes, were land and real estate agents.
There was little commercial development in the outlying villages. There were no shops at Wedderburn. Most people living north of Campbelltown shopped in Liverpool. William J Collins and Alex B Kavanagh ran general stores at Ingleburn railway station and WR Simpson ran one at Minto. At Glenfield there were two stores, Mrs Magee and Mrs Thompson, and a greengrocer, William Kilduff. Mail order catalogues from the city retailers provided access to a wider range of goods. Marcus Clarke regularly advertised in Campbelltown in these years.