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map with creek highlighted 1842 Map Source: NLA MAP F 662

White's Creek Valley and Wetlands

White's Creek Valley | Wetlands | History


Well on White's Creek shown on Map of the Estate named Annandale situate in the Parish of Petersham and District of Sydney the property of Robert Johnston Esq. R.N. [cartographic material] / Surveyed by R.W. Goodall and P.L. Bemi.Sydney : Peter Lewis Bemi, 1843. (map also shows adjoining land ownership Piper, White, Moore etc)

Pond and Creek, Piper's land, Leichhardt [cartographic material] [Album view]


Land Grants

In 1788 John White, was the surgeon on the first fleet and then Surgeon General to the colony of New South Wales until he returned to England in 1794, with an New South Wales born son. White received two grants the first grant, was 100 acres, between what is now parramatta road and petersham station, which he named Hammond Hill Farm. In 1822, White's land grants were sold to Edward Redmond, in 1822, a year before White's son returned to New South Wales. Rachel Turner, the convict mother of White's son, married Thomas Moore in January 1797. White left us a journal of his journey to New South Wales...more


Map showing Grant to John White, Piper etc Circa 1840: Petersham [cartographic material] : Burrowes Survey [Album view]

In 1799 Captain Piper, E.N., was given a large section ...more

George Johnston supervised the transportation of convicts in the first fleet. On Australia Day 1808, Lieutenant Colonel George Johnston led the so called Rum Rebellion against Governor Bligh. George Johnston died in 1823, preceded by his eldest son, and the property passed to his second son Robert...more

This Plan of the Piperston suburban allotments near Sydney For sale by Mr Stubbs on the 14 of March 1842. E.J.H. Knapp, Surveyor. shows Austenham, the Seat of Capt SA Perry, Garry Owen the Seat of JR Brenan ESQ PM, Mr Lloyd, WM Kenzie Esq JP, Annandale Estate of Robert Johnston ESQ and White's Creek - which is labeled Johnstone's Creek probably indicating ownership rather than its name.


"XXIV. IMPORTANT ALLOTMENTS, comprised in the eastern portion of the estate towards Johnstone's Creek, eligibly situated for carrying out the design of pleasant and desirable VILLA RESIDENCES. Note.-The habitual accuracy and soundness of judgment in all those persons who have invested their money in the purchase of the Piperston property, is every day becoming more apparent. As a neighbourhood it is the finish of all suburban appreciation or else we should not find such noble and expensive establishments, mansions, and villa residences as those of James Norton, Esq., the Annandale, Captain Perry's, Ryan Brenan's, Esq., and other gentlemen, not to leave out Titterton's valuable property, and Lloyd's grants. The various streets, as laid down on the map, explain the general access to the Parramatta Road and also to the Creek. The estate is popularly known as PIPERSTONS'S AND DIGGER'S GRANT, a very old selection of the Petersham Estate, and must be familiar to every individu al at all cognizant of the value of land so near Sydney as this is. Terms will be most liberal, and made known at time of sale." - 1843 'Advertising.', Australasian Chronicle (Sydney, NSW : 1839 - 1843), 10 January, p. 3, viewed 7 October, 2014,

Sale on the Piperston Estate, Petersham 23rd day of January, 1843... Lots 28 to 30 are irregular plots of land, with frontages to the same reserved road leading to Parramatta-street. Lots 31 to 37 are upon High-street [Catherine Street], with Johnstone's Creek at their back. Lots 38 to 40 are with: frontages on Piper. astreet, with the same access., . Lot 41 is a large corner piece of land of twelve acres, with reserved access to Piper street and appears the commencing point of land of Johnstone's Bay. There are several water-courses described on tihe property; two of which are crossed by High Street… whilst 'n the easterly side: of the same street it inclines towards the creek side to a light sandy soil; lot 41 being partially a flat tea tree brush, as before stated,; a small farm of twelve acres acres. 1842 'Advertising.', Australasian Chronicle (Sydney, NSW : 1839 - 1843), 22 February, p. 3, viewed 28 October, 2014,

Parramatta Road crossing upper Western Tributary of White's Creek (1850s)

Subdivision along White's Creek between Piper and Elswick (now Hill) Street 1857?

Surveyor's notes. possibly 1857 (metadata(map) and more notes

"Beames had bought what was then known as the Piperston Estate. As an acknowledgement of the support that Beames had shown, Leichhardt named a tributary of the Albert River in Queensland ; Beames Brook. Beames, in turn, renamed Piperston to Leichhardt, and when the estate was subdivided in 1849, the area became known as Leichhardt Town"...

Intending purchasers at the Sale of the Allot- ments in Leichhart Town, to take place ON THE GROUND, at 11 o'clock, THIS DAY, tho 15th January, are reminded that White's Creek forms the eastern boundary of Leichhardt, and that the whole of the inhabitants of Petersham and surrounding neighbourhood ARE SUPPLIED FROM THE STREAM. This fact is brought forward for tho information of those unaquainted with the locality." - 1855 'Advertising.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 15 January, p. 7, viewed 7 October, 2014,

1850 - 1859 Map showing White's Creek dammed at Styles Street

"The Mayor for annandale (Alderman Allen Taylor) brought up a special minute at the last meeting of the Annandale council respecting the question of the consruction of the whites creek storm water channel..." - The Sydney Morning Herald 18 February 1898 page 8

1890s Navigable almost to Hudson Street

White and Johnston's Creek Aqueducts including creek beds and banks.

Elevation of White's Creek and Johnstone's Creek aqueducts (Proceedings of the Engineering Association 1895-6): X - Monier structures. (1.4MB PDF)

Wishaw Dairy, 31 White Street

James Brownlee was born in Hamilton, Scotland. He left Scotland with his parents James Brownlee and Catherine Bell Duncan and brother, Robert Duncan Brownlee. The family sailed settled in Dunedin, New Zealand before moving to John Street, Leichhardt in 1884. James was dux of Kegworth School. When his father died James left school to work to help support his family including helping his mother to run Wishaw Dairy, on the banks of White's Creek. In 1902, Catherine signed the dairy over to James by lease of personality. The dairy remained in his hands until the early fifties, when his son William Robert Brownlee took over. more

Robert started a box factory in Annandale around the turn of the century. Elizabeth Mary Somerville Brownlee was born 30 July 1885[56] at John Street, Leichhardt, N.S.W. Lived in White Street, Annandale..more

"At about 1 a.m. to-day a fire broke out in Bromley's (Brownlee's) Federal Box Factory, Susan-street, Annandale, near Parramatta Road." 1912 'BOX FACTORY ALIGHT.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 15 May, p. 19, viewed 8 October, 2014,

Redmond's Estate on the hill for auction 9th May 1903
Sales plan for land bounded by North Avenue, South Avenue and Catherine Street, Leichhardt. The plan shows proposed bridges where North and South Avenues meet White's Creek. There is a "Building covenant for protection of buyers. All buildings erected upon this land must be of brick or stone and of a value of not less than £150"..
White's Creek becomes Stormwater Channel 95

Whites Creek Stormwater Channel No 95 between Railway Parade and Parramatta Road) was constructed between 1898 and 1935. The Rozelle Bay to Booth Street segment was constructed in 1898. Styles Street to Ferris Lane was constructed in 1909. Booth Street and Hill Street to beyond Styles Street was completed in 1925. IN 1935, the walls between Piper Street and Parramatta Road were as part of the Unemployment Relief Program....more

White's Creek Aqueduct

The White's Creek Aqueduct carries sewage safely over the creek.

"The Whites Creek Sewage Aqueduct was completed in 1897 and is a major and highly visible component of the Northern Main Sewer extension of the Bondi Ocean Outfall Sewer...."

White's Creek becomes Stormwater Channel 95
  1. Rozelle Bay to Booth Street segment was constructed in 1898.
  2. Control of White's Creek

    The Metropolitan Board of Water and Sewerage wrote to the Annandale Council advising a decision would be made about the control of the White's Creek Channel from Parramatta-road to Moore-street after the preparation of a survey and an estimate of the cost of reconstruction. - 1905 'ANNANDALE COUNCIL.', The Australian Star (Sydney, NSW : 1887 - 1909), 16 November, p. 3. (FIRST EDITION), viewed 11 Nov 2020,

  3. Styles Street to Ferris Lane was constructed in 1909.
  4. Booth Street and Hill Street to beyond Styles Street was completed in 1925.
  5. In 1935, the walls between Piper Street and Parramatta Road were raised as part of the Unemployment Relief Program
  6. Source (also includes 1898 photo of Aqueduct and Valley):Heritage item Number 4570343 Whites Creek Stormwater Channel No 95
Booth Street Bridge

The Department of Public Works has in formed Annandale Council, in reply to a depu tation which recently waited on the Chief Engineer tor Railways and Tramways, that the renewal of a portion of the bridge over White's Creek for tramway purposes has not weakened the structure, and therefore there is no justification, for any grant or subsidy for making good the alleged damage. The bridge in question is being altered for the purpose of carrying the extension of the tramline from Johnston-street, Annandale, to Lilyfield." 1908 'STRENGTHENING WHITE'S CREEK BRIDGE.', Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), 22 December, p. 3, viewed 8 October, 2014,

White St Public House

Hemming Subdivision

Swamp is source of White's Creek

Leichhardt Library Collection
Wells, Reservoirs, Tanks and Sydney's water supply


Presentation to Leichhardt Council HAC 15 November 2014

hac-15Nov2014.pdf (low res) and High res