Free Settler or Felon

Adamstown - New South Wales


First Name

Surname / Subject


Adamstown - New South Wales

Adamstown Public School
Adamstown Trades
Primitive Methodist Church

ADAMSTOWN WAS ESTABLISHED in 1869 between the Borehole and New Lambton where Thomas Adams of Blane Street, Newcastle purchased 54 acres of Crown land. He planned to subdivide the land into small allotments to be sold at reasonable rates so as to encourage settlement however the land was sold to Thomas and Henry Bryant who later subdivided it.

The Post Office constructed in 1875, was located in Victoria Street. Mrs. Anne Syme was the first postmistress. Also situated in Victoria Street for many years was the Police Station which was manned by one officer until 1899 when a second constable was appointed.

Described in the Newcastle Directory 1881 as a village about four miles from Newcastle, Adamstown could boast a stately Public School, Mechanics' Institute and Assembly Rooms where concerts etc were held. There were three hotels, four general stores and one place of worship to cater to the population of 400 - mainly coal miners and their families. The public school had an enrolment of 250 pupils The schoolmaster was Mr. R. McCredie with Miss Conolly the assistant.

The Newcastle Primitive Methodist Church established a church in Adamstown in 1874. Cornelius Decker commenced a Sunday School in May. For an account of the early history of the church in Adamstown select Wesleyan Chapel .

By 1891 the population of Adamstown had reached 2,030 and ten years later in 1901 the population had increased sufficiently to support communication with the city of Newcastle by rail, tramway and omnibus. A large public hall had been constructed as well as three churches, fire brigade, Council Chambers and a brick works - a popular spot for local children to fish for yabbies.

The School Master in 1900 was J.C. Cosgrove, Postmaster - William Lee, Fire brigade Captain - James Bullerwell, Baker - John Sheedy, Butchers - Arthur Bush and R. Talbott, Medical Practitioner - Dr. A. J. Harwood, Storekeepers - J. E. Davenport, A. E. Eldrid, T. Hedley, W. Johnson, T. Robinson, A. Taylor, C. Turnbull and Ann Turnbull

Soccer was a popular sport in Adamstown and many of the town's sons went on to represent Australia as Soccer internationals. The first meeting was held in a cricket shed at Adamstown Park on Monday 12 July, 1889. A further meeting was held on 21st August 1889 when the decision was made to name the club Adamstown Rosebuds. The first colours were - White shirt, blue sash and dark trousers of knee length. The 1925 squad won the State Championship - the Gardiner Cup - and helped move the balance of power in NSW soccer to the north. Seven members of that team were selected to play in the northern representative team against the touring English professionals that year.

Adamstown Rosebuds

Rosebuds Football Team c. 1917 - The Sun 8 February 1950

Rosebuds Soccer Football Club under 18 premiers 1917. Back row: E. Bell, R. Pollock, R. Bruin, R. Walker, A. Lambert, F. Brockman.
Seated: T. Turpin, H. Johns, G. Blackmore, D. MacAlister
Front row: E. Cassidy, C. Davis

Soccer News Adamstown

Arthur Lambert Newcastle Soccer. c. 1980's

Adamstown School

Select here to read an article from the Sydney Herald written in 1936 giving a brief history of schools at Mayfield, Wickham, Bolton Street and Cooks Hill, Adamstown and New Lambton, Wallsend, Plattsburg, West Wallsend, Tighes Hill, Stockton, Islington and Merewether. Includes lists of headmasters of the various schools.

Adamstown Public School Principals

(Showing Dates of Appointment)

Robert McCredie - July 1877

Andrew Herd - January 1889

Louis Price - October 1889

William Bateson - April 1891

Arthur Buchanan - May 1896

John Cosgrove - June 1899

A. Cousins - November 1903

John Porteous - April 1904

Walter Vout - April 1911

J.R. Bridle - August 1913

Patrick Riley - January 1918

Stanley Callaghan - March 1924

George Martin - November 1924

W.L. Frew - May 1925

Michael Mahoney - May 1929

John Curry - January 1931

Horace Martin - November1935

Frederick Tyler - July 1940

Cyril Jones - January 1944

Samuel McMartin - January 1952

Arthur Butterfield - May 1958

Leonard Kaye - January 1961

Alan West - May 1963

John C. Brown (Acting Principal) - August 1973

Victor Bensley - January 1974

Adamstown Trades and Professions 1901

(Federal Directory of Newcastle)

Sheedy, John, Union Street

Baker, George M., Brunker Rd. Howell, David, Glebe Rd.

BOOT and SHOEMAKERS Farmer, J.M., Brunker Rd. George, E., Brunker Rd. Hansen, P., Union Street

BRICK MANUFACTURERS Adamstown Steam Brick co. Cottrell, Thomas, New Lambton Estate Hammon, Wm., New Lambton Estat4e Wood, James, New Lambton Estate ;

BUS PROPRIETORS Dowling, W., William St. Howarth, Henry, Brunker St.

BUTCHERS Bush, Arthur, Narara Rd. Talbott, R. B., Union St.

CABINETMAKER Gray, James, Crown St.

CARRIERS Jenkins, S. Thomas St. Johns, James, Thomas St. Johns, Thomas, Fairfield Talbott, E.A., Thomas St. ;

DRAPER Shaw, Anthony, Brunker Rd.

HAIRDRESSERS Davis, William, Union Street Hall, J.F., Union St.

HOTEL KEEPERS Adamstown, Turnbull, S., Union Street Royal Crown, Carnley A., Union Street Royal Standard, Simmonds, Joseph Victoria Street,

MEDICAL PRACTITIONER Harwood, Dr. A. J., Charlestown Rd

MILK VENDOR Bell, Thomas Brunker Rd. Robinson J., New Lambton Estate

NEWSAGENTS Davis, J. Belmore Rd. Johnson, William, Brunker Rd

PIG FARMER Strick, Wm., Henry, Charlestown Rd.

STOREKEEPERS Davenport, J. E., Bourke Street Eldrid, A.E., Union Street, Hedley, Thomas, Brunker Rd., Johnson, William, Brunker Rd., Robinson, T. Union Street, Taylor, A.C., Glebe Rd., Turnbull, Charles, Victoria Street, Turnbull Ann, Union Street,

TAILORS Dodd, A. Union Street Shaw, A. Brunker Rd., ;

THEATRE COMPANY Carrington Hall Company

UNDERTAKER Gray, James, Crown Street.


STATION MASTER Hall, William, Victoria Street

Newcastle Primitive Methodist Church, Adamstown

Adamstown originally was part of the Newcastle Primitive Methodist Circuit, which began with the formation of a society in 1852. The beginning of the work in Adamstown came with the starting of a Sunday School there by Cornelius Decker in May 1874. About three months later Rev. Samuel Gilby, the second minister of the Newcastle circuit, conducted the first service in the open air beside a turpentine log. At the quarterly meeting, on June 1 1874, Adamstown is first officially mentioned in a brief minute, 'That Adamstown came on to the plan'.
Much of the land on which the suburb now built was commonage. The church, like many of the residents, 'sat down' on the land, depending on the Governmental promise that the common would be sub divided and sold.

A little wooden church was first erected on the site now occupied by the Public School, financed by an arrangement with Richard Hall. When the Education Department required a site, it built a school close to the little church and told the Methodists to move to the opposite vacant corner. There was no alternative but to obey, and they removed their church bodily to the site of the Jubilee Church. In July, 1879, an addition was made to the building.

Expansion necessitated a larger church, and in 1884 the present Sunday School Hall was erected. This was a venture of faith, for the scheme cost 700 pounds, and there was still no title of the land. It was not until October 30, 1890 after 12 years had elapsed, and after strong efforts to dispossess them were made, that those pioneers had the land legally secured to them.

In 1885 the Newcastle Primitive Methodist circuit was divided with Rev. John Penman as first minister of the newly formed Burwood (Merewether) circuit. The work extended, and a second minister, Rev. Wm. Atkinson, was appointed three years later.

In 1892 the Charlestown circuit was formed, with Rev. James Green as first minister.

The saddest experience through which these circuits passed was the Dudley colliery disaster, on March 21 1898, when 15 lives were lost. Most of the men were Methodists, chiefly from the Charlestown circuit, but the disaster took from Adamstown its 'grand old man, ' Thomas Hetherington.

With the coming of Methodist Union in 1902, Adamstown was formed into a circuit comprising Adamstown, Cardiff, Charlestown, Dudley, Redhead and Belmont with Rev. John Calvert as first minister. The immediate need was a parsonage. The people rallied to the project and on July 10 1902, only three months after the minister's arrival, a contract for 500 pounds was signed.

A further step was taken when Rev. Alex Stephen initiated a scheme for a modern brick Church. Year by year funds were raised for the purpose, and in 1914 the scheme was about to be launched when the World War intervened. The proposal was delayed until 1824. Then a tender for 5000 pounds was accepted, and the foundation stone laid on May 17. The Jubilee church was opened and dedicated by the President of the conference, Rev. J.C. Hill, On November 15, in Rev. C. J. MacAulay's second term.

The circuit was divided to form the Charlestown circuit in 1925.

In its present activities the church maintains its tradition as a live spiritual agency. The young people are served by Intermediate and Junior C. E. Societies, Senior and Junior Knights and M.G.C. and Ryas. The Intermediate C. E. usually forms the morning choir. A strong Ladies' Church Aid is functioning also a Ladies' Auxiliary to Overseas Missions and a War Comforts Society.

Outside preaching places are Kahibah and Kotara. At the latter services are held in a private house - that of Mr. J. Davies, Gregory Parade. The N.S.W. Development Committee has undertaken the building of a church there as soon as preliminaries permit. A site to serve Kotara and Orchadtown has been secured.

Kahibah church was built by voluntary labour when Rev. Charles Viney was at Charlestown.

Ministers at Adamstown since Union have been Revs. John Calvert, J. Scharkie, A. Stephen, A. Cooper, C.J. MacAulay (twice), J.J. Boyd, J.W. Dains, J.H. Margetts, B.H. Willis, J. Wadkin, P. Williams, W.H. Butler, H.E. Cosier and A. Collins

(Glory Be 1845 - 1945. Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the opening of the First Wesleyan Chapel in Newcastle, p27)

Adamstown's Sons in World War 1

Select here to find a list of one hundred and fourteen Adamstown men who enlisted in the AIF in World War 1 (from AIF Project site)

Adamstown's Mayors

1888 - Thomas Hetherington - Australian Town and Country Journal Sat 15 Sep 1888

1889 - Alfred Edden - Australian Town and Country Journal Sat 17 Aug 1889

1894 - John Thwaites - Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate Wed 17 Oct 1894

1897 - Jeremiah Robinson - Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate Sat 22 May 1897


Newcastle Morning, Herald article 8.7.1989, Newcastle Morning Herald 3.9.1976,

Newcastle Federal Directory 1901,

The Newcastle Directory 1880.

Adamstown Public School Centenary booklet 1877 - 1977

Glory Be 1845- 1945.

Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the opening of the First Wesleyan Chapel in Newcastle



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