|Historical notes: ||The "Eora people" was the name given to the coastal Aborigines around Sydney. Central Sydney is therefore often referred to as "Eora Country". Within the City of Sydney local government area, the traditional owners are the Cadigal and Wangal bands of the Eora. There is no written record of the name of the language spoken and currently there are debates as whether the coastal peoples spoke a separate language "Eora" or whether this was actually a dialect of the Dharug language. Remnant bushland in places like Blackwattle Bay retain elements of traditional plant, bird and animal life, including fish and rock oysters.
With the invasion of the Sydney region, the Cadigal and Wangal people were decimated but there are descendants still living in Sydney today. All cities include many immigrants in their population. Aboriginal people from across the state have been attracted to suburbs such as Pyrmont, Balmain, Rozelle, Glebe and Redfern since the 1930s. Changes in government legislation in the 1960s provided freedom of movement enabling more Aboriginal people to choose to live in Sydney.
(Information sourced from Anita Heiss, "Aboriginal People and Place", Barani: Indigenous History of Sydney City http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/barani )
The first land grants were made in 1794 to John Malone (24 acres) and William Mitchell (18 acres) and in 1795 to Thomas Jones (55 acres). John Macarthur acquired the portion originally granted to Thomas Jones in 1799 and this eventually became the Pyrmont Estate but remained largely undeveloped. The area was named in 1806 after a popular German spa near Hanover. Following Macarthur’s death in 1834, the first plans for subdivision were proposed by his son Edward in London 1836. These were deemed unsuitable and a second plan of 101 lots was devised in 1839. By 1843, most lots south of John Street and some to the north had been sold or leased and developed for residential use. John William Russell, a Sydney shipbuilder, purchased 2 lots fronting Pyrmont Bay and constructed a shipyard, and similarly shipbuilder Thomas Chowne leased lots fronting Johnstons Bay. In 1844 Pyrmont was incorporated into the City of Sydney and the early 1850’s saw a number of major developments in Pyrmont and also in Ultimo to a lesser extent.
In 1853, the Sydney Railway Company resumed 14½ acres of the Ultimo Estate for a railway line to and with a terminus at Darling Harbour. Also in 1853 Charles Saunders purchased land from the Harris family for a sandstone quarry on the northwest side of the peninsula. This developed into a substantial operation including a causeway to Darling Island and supplying stone for the construction of a number of major buildings in Sydney including the University of Sydney, Colonial Secretary’s Building, Lands Department, General Post Office, and other buildings in Melbourne, New Zealand, Fiji and Canada. Other industries established in the area at the time included an iron foundry. The first Pyrmont Bridge c1858 (a timber toll bridge from Market Street) stimulated further development in the area. The first school in the area located in Mount Street was opened in 1858 and around the same time a Police Station, Presbyterian and Catholic Churches were established. A bridge was constructed in from Pyrmont to Glebe across Johnstons Bay c1860.There was significant industrial growth in the area in the 1870’s including the City Iron Works and the Colonial Sugar Refinery Company (CSR) in 1878. By the early 1880’s Union Square was established as a commercial centre and by 1900 most residential development had ceased by which time the Pyrmont and Ultimo Power Houses had opened and the new Pyrmont Bridge had been constructed. Most development in the 20th century was commercial and industrial and included additional woolstores, Pyrmont Incinerator (1934) , flour mills (1940), additional power stations (1955) and the Government Printing Office (1960’s).
The Colonial Sugar Refinery (CSR) was established in January 1855. Its refinery operations commenced in Sydney during that year using the former Brisbane Distillery in Chippendale. In 1870 the company established ist first sugar mills on the Macleay and Clarence Rivers in northern NSW, and then expanded into Queensland and Fiji in 1881. The Melbourne refinery was built in 1874 and others followed in Auckland (1883). Adelaide (1891) and Brisbane (1893). By 1900 CSR had extablished a near monopoly on the Australasian sugar market with 5 refineries and 13 raw sugar mills.
The former Tablet House was designed in August 1909 by CSR's own engineers which generally shows the building in its current form. It was adaptively converted as part of the Jacksons Landing development in around 2000.