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Paterson River history

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William and Elizabeth Paterson – their lives revealed

My biography of the man after whom Paterson township and river are named, and of his wife – buy on ebay. For details about my books click here.

New book on the environmental history of the Paterson Valley

Cameron Archer's new book The Magic Valley – The Paterson Valley Then and Now traces the environmental, social and agricultural changes in the valley from pre-European invasion through to modern times. Purchase online.

Paterson River History

This website covers the early history of the Paterson district in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales, Australia. Use the site indexes to look for particular people or places.

Acknowledgement of Country

There were several Aboriginal nations in the Hunter Valley at the time of European arrival. The Awabakal lived on the southern side of the Hunter River while the Wonnarua lived to north west and the Worimi to the north east. The Paterson River valley is the ancestral home of the Wonnarua and Worimi Aboriginal people ... more more

Exploration & timber cutting

In 1801 a party led by Lieutenant-Colonel William Paterson explored the lower Hunter Valley.

In 1804 a permanent convict settlement was established at Newcastle and convict gangs began cutting timber on the Paterson River.

Convict settlers

In 1812 Governor Macquarie permitted five men to settle on small farms on the Paterson River as a reward for procuring a special order of cedar logs.

Four were convicts, the fifth was born in the colony. They were the first settlers outside the Sydney basin ... more more

Wealthy settlers

In 1822 the Hunter Valley was opened to wide-scale settlement for those who had money.

To obtain land, settlers had to agree to feed, clothe and house one convict for every 100 acres granted ... more more

Paterson village

In 1833 the Governor approved the plan for the town of Paterson and invited applications for blocks of land.

By 1835 a court house and lockup had been built there.

In 1840 James Phillips subdivided 100 lots from his 'Bona Vista' property to form the southern part of the village ... more more

Things to see and do

Paterson Museum is open 11.00am to 3.00pm on Sundays ... details.

Town walk: a self-guided walk around Paterson ... details.

Tocal Homestead is open at weekends from March to November ... details.

Dungog Museum – google for current details and opening hours.

Looking for a person or place in Paterson's history? Use the site indexes:

Facebook group for Paterson history

There is a Facebook group for people interested in the history of the Paterson and Allyn River valleys. It's called 'Lost Paterson' and it is a great way to share photos and stories of the area's past ... go to Lost Paterson.

Paterson wharf

Above: an early postcard featuring Paterson wharf.

[Bidgee Whaler]