Cabarita Road has been variously referred to as Cabarita Park Road or Cabarita Point Road. It has had several spellings including “Cabareta” as well as “Cabaritta”. By whatever name it has remained one of the districts most significant thoroughfares and been witness to the changing character of the locality and more broadly of the city of Canada Bay.
The earliest plan of Cabarita Road appears on an 1856 sketch by E.J Bennett, the newly appointed assistant to Surveyor General, Sir Thomas Mitchell. It shows the template of a number of streets in Cabarita including Phillip, Elphinstone, Short and Roberts. Cabarita Park is clearly marked, although it was not dedicated as a reserve until April 1880.
The original landholdings along Cabarita Road were subdivided in 1886 following the opening of the Australian Gaslight works at nearby Mortlake. In the decades following there were a number of land sales as larger estates were subdivided for housing. Realtors and speculators promoted the dream of home ownership, with extravagant promises of a better life for all. Cabarita was then known as a pleasant place to picnic or view rowing regattas. It was described by boosters as a picturesque retreat surrounded by river vistas.
Advertisements for the sale of land at Cabarita and Mortlake emphasised its easy access by tram to suburban train stations, the prospects of further development of industry in the area as well as easy terms for buyers. The advertising was at best optimistic, as the boom times forecast in the advertisements were interrupted by depression, strikes and the onset of the Great War. The rural idyll described in the advertising was offset by the growing number of “dirty” factories attracted by cheap land and the area’s access to the Parramatta River.
Between 1880-1920 Cabarita was transformed from an area of market gardens and dairy farms to more closely settled allotments. Workers’ cottages and the occasional shop now appeared along Cabarita Road. Vacant lots were gradually filled with new houses replacing older farm buildings. Factories and workshops encroached on its grand houses such as the stately “Strathroy” which once boasted an extensive curtilage of formal gardens and a view overlooking Hen and Chicken Bay.
There was a building boom in the immediate post-war period. Many of the houses built in Concord at this time reflect the popular California bungalow style, still evident in places along Cabarita Road. It was common at this time to name houses, a practise that predates numbering. Curiously, houses are seldom named now, but apartments complexes are, almost without exception.
The following is a list of house names taken from Sands Sydney Directory and Wises Post Office Directory. The date is the first appearance of the house name and the resident at that time. The number is the house number, introduced in 1924-25, although many houses continued to be named up until World War II.
Named Houses of Cabarita Road
Right hand side from Frederick Street: Mascot = Jonathon Meuleman, No.3 fruitier (1923); Taringa = James Andrews No.5; Boders Ayr = William Henry Pattison No.9 gas stoker; Ryalstone = Arthur Schofield No.11; Sidville = Paul Sidney No. 13; Loch Lomond = Jonathan Trussell No. 21; Aston Villa = Albert Edward Coulthard No. 35; Maramar = Harold Smith No. 37; Glenhu = Bert Buchanan No. 39 later Nimrod = Arthur Sanders from 1930; Enarki = William King No.43; Loyola = Patrick Powell No. 47; Perrymeade = R. Thompson No. 49; Glanquin = Clement Glancy No. 77 architect ; Bayview = Louis P Edwards No.77; Dnaheri = Michael Glancey No.77; Sunnycroft = Mrs Harrison No. 79; Wynella = Charles Bissaker No. 89 accountant; Boomerang = William C. Parker No. 97; Brompton = Robert King No. 105; Homedale = A.C. Webb No. 109 also Israelite House of David (c1915-1920); Correys Gardens = H.R. Steele No. 111; Refreshment Rooms, Cabarita Park. The Kiosk = Frederick E. Barrett,
Left hand side: Frampton Cotterell = Herbert McGee independent means, later Tarrangower = Mrs R. Fox No.2; El-Nathan = William Stewart Renn, (1930) clerk No. 34; Bensonville = Lambert A. Favell No.36 gas stoker (built c1899) later Allenby (from 1924); Burnley = George Charlston No. 38; Southgate = George Dawes No. 42; Pacific = Walter C. Bunt No. 46; Montrose = Jonathon Penman No. 46A; Caverswall = Thomas Rowland No. 58; Easdale = Donald McLean No. 60; Hinton = C.P. Thomson No. 74; Brooklyn = Robert Jeffery No. 78 later Trevallyn= George Millis No. 78 (from 1930); Riverside = Thomas Clover No. 80 ; Dalmazia = Nicholas Francis No. 84; Nelligen = Jonathon Davidson No. 86; Cooinoo = Norman Taylor No. 92; Broadhurst = Frederick R. Lane; Lawley = Joseph Crapp JP; Peronne = George McGuiness No. 108; Hazelwood = Robert Herkes No. 120; Ellimatta = William H. Brown No. 122; Kurrawyla = Robert Herkes No. 126; Kismet = Charles Sanders No. 128 boat proprietor; Dagmar = Thomas Marsden No. 130