Double Bay takes its name from
the bay situated on Sydney Harbour. It refers to the two geographical formations between Point Piper and Darling
Point, which are interrupted by a miniature point in between. The eastern part is also known as Blackburn Cove.
Double Bay is an affluent residential suburb. Because of its well heeled residents Double Bay earned the
monicker 'Double Bay, double pay'
The traditional Aboriginal owners
of much of the Woollahra district, which includes Double Bay, were the Cadigal band, while the harbour area
around Watsons Bay and South Head was inhabited by the Birrabirragal band. Both the Cadigal and Birrabirrigal
clans belonged to the coastal Dharug language group.
The devastating impact of
European settlement in 1788, felt particularly in the effects of introduced diseases such as smallpox, resulted
in the eventual disappearance of the local Aboriginal population.
While there is limited information on the lives of the Cadigal and Birrabirragal at Woollahra some of their
heritage is preserved in the form of rock art, shell middens and the Sydney language.
Double Bay developed early after initial European Settlement in 1788. In the early years of the
colony Double Bay was used as shelter for fishermen who would regularly fish around the harbour. In 1803 the
Steel family established a small farm in the marshy paddocks that lead to the bay. The farm initially
comprised 14 acres (57,000 m2) that included some of the hills around the valley. Farming mostly cattle and
lettuce the farm developed and by 1814 the farm had increased to envelop the valleys leading into the area
currently known as Woollahra, Bondi Junction, Bellevue Hill, and Point Piper.