William and Elizabeth Paterson – their lives revealed
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
Above: an early postcard featuring Paterson wharf.