HOME OF THE LADY DENMAN - Local history isn't always about the big story - the everyday story of life in the early development of the region can be a fascinating, entertaining and educational journey.

21 March 2016

A bit of wishfull thinking.

Despite all the publicity and grand ideas, as far back as 1917 by specualtive land developers such as Henry. F. Halloran,  Jervis Bay was still a sleepy little bay in 1924,  with few permanent inhabitatants.   Timber and shipbuilding were the main employers, tourism was just starting to become an important part of the bay’s development.

Developers such as Henry Halloran who aimed to exploit the promise of Federal government investment in Canberra, and hence the Fedral Capital Port of Jervis Bay,  planned great cities on the shores of Jervis Bay.  

Despite these  “grand visions”, his plans for two great cities with the most modern fascilities never materialised and remained nothing more than plans on paper


Investors were drawn to these schemes, many lost their investment over time,  much of the land was aquired by the local Shoalhaven Council through acquisition from rates arrears.

The powerful business people of Sydney who had the most to lose if any one of these grand visions was realised ,  went to enormous lengths to stop development of another city, and take commerce away from Sydney.

Stories of folly and fraud appeared, articles describing the developement of the bay in negative terms all contributed to investors staying away.

This advertisement appeared in a Sydney Newspaper in 1924,  and didn’t go down to well with the correspondent of the Catholic Press.

The last few lines sum up the sort of words described in many articles from this time.


The museum has a wonderful exhibition with large maps and information about the Grand Visions” it’s a real eye opener to what could have been.
The museum volunteers have also produced a small book called ‘Grand Visions” that goes into much more depth about those times, it contains some fantastic photographs from the era,  and the people involved.




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