Postcards from 100 years ago




The Borogegal tribe inhabited the Mosman area. The best known Aborigine in Mosman’s history was Bungaree. Bungaree (c1775-1830) grew up in the traditional Aboriginal environment which his people had enjoyed for many thousands of years. With the coming of the European settlement his life became dramatically different. By the time he was 20 most of his tribe had died of smallpox. By the time he was 26 he had joined British explorers on voyages to the far north and had circumnavigated Australia with Matthew Flinders.  

193 Mosman Bay

Mosman Bay

HMS Sirius, flagship of the First Fleet, was careened in 1789 at what is now known as Mosman Bay or Great Sirius Cove. The site chosen was described as a “… convenient retired cove on the north shore …”. Less than six months later the ship was wrecked in the rough waters off Norfolk Island. From as early as 1801 Mosman has been synonymous with Sydney’s maritime and defence installations, when a battery was constructed at George’s Head. In 1811-1813 Thomas O’Neil cultivated land at Balmoral and in c1823 Captain John Edwards settled in the area. Later Barney Kearns plied a ferryboat across Middle Harbour. 


The late 1820s brought the whaling industry to Chowder Bay which was used as an anchorage for visiting American whalers. In 1831 Archibald Mosman and John Bell were allotted grants of land in Mosman Bay to establish a whaling station. Two years later it was completed and Mosman’s first grand home, The Nest, was built. The whaling industry flourished and Archibald Mosman sold the business at its height in 1838 and moved to Glen Innes. Thereafter, in the 1840s, whaling declined and for the next 10 years, Mosman Bay was used for overhauling ships. 

37 Mosman Bay


54 Mosman Bay


60 Mosman


133 Mosman

134 North Head from Mosman


168 Sydney Heads





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