I walked every street in Woy Woy

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Fun With Maps

(Originally posted 16th of August 2005)

Went on a research thingy today. Looking at maps in the local library. They've got a restricted access thing upstairs. Most of the local history stuff is up there.

(Big version)

Despite it being a crappy-looking seventies library the inside's pretty light and airy. The upstairs is a sort of suspended floor at one end of the building. Half is the office bit where all the boxes of donated material are sorted and tagged and catalogued and put in folders and the rest of it. Then there's the usual shelves and microfiche readers and big steel drawers full of stuff and nice big tables to lay things out on.

I had a good long gander at local council maps going back several decades. They gave me a nice clear picture of 20th century settlement on the Peninsula.

Got confirmation of most of the patterns I'd noticed myself:

Before all the land was filled up, the houses clustered around Umina, the train station at Woy Woy, Ettalong & Booker Bay, along Ocean Beach & Blackwall Roads and filled up all the foreshores.

A wide band of land along the bottom of the ridge wasn't built on until the seventies.

Learned some new things:

A lot of land was sold in the twenties but it was built on over the next couple of decades rather than immediately. (I'd assumed a lot of the forties houses were on land previously occupied by pre-1900 houses.)

Lots of owner-builders used to bring fibro sheeting up from Sydney in their own trailers. They had to come up the F3 which is a very windy road so as well as breakages from jolting there must've been a fair few flying sheet incidents.

Got a few references to be going on with and I'll be up there again next week with my photocopy list honed down to the bare essentials. Having a couple of those maps up on my wall will be excellent.

Next walk


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