Mount Kuring-gai

2011
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Mount Kuring-gai

Mount Kuring-gai, in the parish of South Colah, Hornsby Shire, is 702 feet (approximately 214 metres) above sea level. The Guringai Aboriginal people originally inhabited the area between the coast and Berowra Creek.

Ku-ring-gai was an Aboriginal word describing the home or hunting ground of the local people, so this is possibly the origin of the name. Another suggested explanation for the name, that is now considered incorrect, was that kuringai was a combination of the words kuri, meaning 'black duck' and ngai, meaning 'self' (supposedly local people referring to themselves as black). [1]

The township was called Kuring-gai from 1892, but the suburb's name was changed to Mount Kuring-gai in 1933. [2]

Apart from the ridgeline along which the Pacific Highway was built, Mount Kuring-gai consists of steep, heavily wooded hills and gorges. The water drains to the west into Berowra Creek and on the east into Cowan Creek. Both these waterways empty into the Hawkesbury River system.

Early building and subdivision

The first house built in the area was on land now occupied by the railway station. It was moved to the site of the present primary school and survived until 1956, when it was demolished. [3] Many other early cottages at Mount Kuring-gai were demolished to make way for the southern (third) section of the F3 Freeway, when it was built in the mid-1980s.

In 1886, Crown land was sold for about £1 per acre at Mount Kuring-gai, with lots of between 36 and 60 acres (14.5 to 24.3 hectares). After World War II, 112 blocks of land went for sale at £100 each. [4]

The railway station which opened in 1903 was situated 800 metres from the present island platform. [5] A goods siding was opened in 1909. [6]

Several tracks were cut through the bushland from Mount Kuring-gai to boatsheds along Cowan Creek. Frank Woodnut, who owned a boatshed, cut steps out of the sandstone leading down to his boatshed, and these steps now form part of the Apple Tree Bay walking track. [7]

Industry and progress

The Beaumont Road Industrial Estate area was originally known as Wall's Ridge, after the farm there, owned by Mr Wall. [8] On weekends, the Governor of the Commonwealth Bank, Mr Armitage, stayed at his property at Wall's Ridge. The area was mostly poultry and dairy farms and was first set aside for industrial activity in 1967. At the time, there was one existing development with a storage depot and mining enterprise. The first single development was Grace Brothers furniture storage facility. [9]

Over the years the industrial area has steadily expanded and is still an important source of employment for local people. The industrial area is separated by bushland from the residential housing and small shopping centre close to the railway line.

The Mount Kuring-gai Progress Society had its first meeting in 1949. The society worked to obtain fire-fighting equipment, for improvements in street lighting and public transport, and towards the establishment of schools. Hardwood Hall, where the society held its meetings, was destroyed by fire in 1971, and four years later the society had its last meeting.

In 1929 there were 23 families at Mount Kuring-gai. In 2006 the population had risen to 1515.

References

Mount Kuring-gai Public School, Memories of Mount Kuring-gai, the school, Mount Kuring-gai, 1998

Notes

[1] Mount Kuring-gai Public School, Memories of Mount Kuring-gai, the school, Mount Kuring-gai, 1998, p 7

[2] Mount Kuring-gai Public School, Memories of Mount Kuring-gai, the school, Mount Kuring-gai, 1998, p 15

[3] Mount Kuring-gai Public School, Memories of Mount Kuring-gai, the school, Mount Kuring-gai, 1998, p 8

[4] Mount Kuring-gai Public School, Memories of Mount Kuring-gai, the school, Mount Kuring-gai, 1998, p 35

[5] Claire Schofield, The Shaping of Hornsby Shire, Hornsby Shire Council, Hornsby NSW, 1988, p 78

[6] Mount Kuring-gai Public School, Memories of Mount Kuring-gai, the school, Mount Kuring-gai, 1998, p 15

[7] Mount Kuring-gai Public School, Memories of Mount Kuring-gai, the school, Mount Kuring-gai, 1998, p 17

[8] Mount Kuring-gai Public School, Memories of Mount Kuring-gai, the school, Mount Kuring-gai, 1998, p 20

[9] Bob Slapp, 'Mount Kuring-gai industrial estate', Local studies vertical files, Hornsby Library

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