The area which is now
Lane Cove was originally inhabited by the Cam-mer-ray-gal Group
of the Ku-ring-gai Aboriginal Tribe. The group, which inhabited
the north shore of Port Jackson , was one of the largest in the
first recorded landing of a white man occurred in 1788, when Lieutenant
Henry Ball crossed the Greenwich Peninsula on return from a trip
to Middle Harbour . Lieutenant Ralph Clark landed not far from the
entrance to the Lane Cove River on 14 February 1790.
first written use of the name ‘Lane Cove” occurred on 2 February
1788 , soon after the arrival of the First Fleet in Port Jackson.
Lieutenant William Bradley, while surveying, referred to the river
into which he sailed by this name. Several possibilities for the
name have been suggested, but none have been supported by written
evidence. One suggestion was that it was named after Lieutenant
Michael Lane , a respected cartographer, who worked with Captain
James Cook in Canadian waters. The other possibility is that the
name was bestowed in honour of John Lane , son of the Lord Mayor
of London , and a good friend of Governor Arthur Phillip.
much of the nineteenth century the name Lane Cove referred to a
much bigger area than the Municipality of Lane Cove that we know
first land grants in the present area of Lane Cove were made in
1794, the majority going to privates and non-commissioned officers
in the New South Wales Corp. Many of these grants were never settled
by the owners, being exchanged for land elsewhere, sold or cancelled.
For those who attempted to settle, life was not easy. Much of the
area was steep, heavily timbered, with poor, rocky soil and few
roads. The settlers were plagued with bushrangers and bushfires.
the earliest days of settlement, Lane Cove was an important source
of timber for house and ship building, of grass for animal fodder,
and of shells which were burnt to produce lime for building. A stockade
was erected in Woodford Bay , with a permanent garrison of soldiers
to protect convict workers and settlers. Throughout the 19 th century,
farms and dairies were established.
of the earliest manufacturing industries was Rupert Kirk's soap
and candle factory, established in 1831, in what is now Longueville.
Later factories established included the Ludowici and Radke tanneries
in Burns Bay in the 1860s and the Phoenix and Sydney Potteries late
in the century (adjacent to the site now known as Pottery Green).
These were followed by the boiling down works of the Charlish and
Whatmore families in West Lane Cove, and the Australian Woodpipe
Company in Burns Bay in 1912.
Chicago Cornflour Factory was opened on the Lane Cove River near
Stringybark Creek in 1894, to be followed by the Cumberland Paper
Mill in 1912. After the almost complete demolition of the latter
plant in a fire in 1928, the site was used for a chemicals manufacturing
plant, owned firstly by Robert Corbett and Sons, and later by CSR
Chemicals. The largest industrial complex, the Shell Company of
Australia distribution and storage depot at Greenwich , was started
in 1903 as John Fell and Company Ltd, oil refiners, blenders and
government in its present form did not extend north of the harbour
until 1865, when an area of the North Shore , including the present
municipality of Lane Cove , was proclaimed the Borough of North
Willoughby. There were no wards until 1876, when Lane Cove formed
part of the Lane Cover River Ward. After a petition from ratepayers
of the area, the Governor proclaimed the Borough of Lane Cove a
municipality in its own right in February 1895.
from A brief history of Lane Cove by Judy Washington (revised