9 episodes

A fortnightly history podcast about the people, places, and events that have shaped the city of Sydney and its surrounds.

Stories From Sydney: History of the Harbour City storiesfromsydney

    • History

A fortnightly history podcast about the people, places, and events that have shaped the city of Sydney and its surrounds.

    Overengineered and Underdelivered (The Story of the Great North Road)

    Overengineered and Underdelivered (The Story of the Great North Road)

    Colonial Sydney was rife with grand schemes to put the town firmly on the map and in hearts and minds across the Empire. Few such schemes were as demanding, or as necessary, as the plan to build a road connecting the Parramatta, Hawkesbury and Hunter Rivers. Things didn't quite go as planned, but the present day residents of the route might just be better off for it.

    • 41 min
    The Hospital that Rum Built

    The Hospital that Rum Built

    The so called "Rum Hospital", which still stands on Macquarie Street, was constructed in return for exclusive rights to import rum into the young colony. How did it come to pass that rum was such an important commodity in colonial Sydney? Did this government contract exacerbate the drunken debauchery that Macquarie had been tasked with bringing under control? And was this novel contract a good deal for the government, or an absolute bonanza for the rum-importing, hospital- constructing cartel?

    • 48 min
    From the Valley to the Gully

    From the Valley to the Gully

    In the 19th century British settlement irreversibly altered the ecological and cultural landscape of the Burragorang Valley. For the Gandangara people of the valley, the 20th century would bring only greater pain, as Sydney's demands for water and recreation would see them displaced again and again. The 21st century brought greater recognition of the struggles of the Gandangara people of the Burragorang, but with it the threat of yet further destruction.

    • 36 min
    The Last Woman Hanged at Darlinghurst Gaol

    The Last Woman Hanged at Darlinghurst Gaol

    This week's episode follows the story of Louisa Collins, a working class woman who in 1888 saw not one but two husbands die under mysterious circumstances. During the episode, we discuss the history of the Darlinghurst Courthouse and Gaol, and touch on the struggle for female political emancipation and growing opposition to capital punishment in the late 1800s.

    • 40 min
    Celebrating a New Beginning Across the Blue Mountains

    Celebrating a New Beginning Across the Blue Mountains

    It took white Australians 25 years to find a way across the Blue Mountains, but only 10 years for a pub to open on the way down the other side. This story is about a pub that burned briefly, but burned bright, leaving an indelible mark on Australia forevermore.

    • 40 min
    The Sydney Language and the Missing Notebooks of William Dawes

    The Sydney Language and the Missing Notebooks of William Dawes

    The notebooks of William Dawes, astronomer of the First Fleet, disappeared from public view for nearly 200 years before being uncovered in 1972. These weren’t just any old diaries, but instead contained an extensive account of the indigenous language of Sydney. This episode is about how these notebooks came to be written and then forgotten, and what we can learn from reading the conversations that Dawes recorded in them. Along the way, we too will learn a little about the local Aboriginal language of Sydney!

    • 46 min

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