By Cathy Jones
The land on which Ismay Reserve is built was part of a land grant to Thomas Rose in 1798. The land was purchased by Edward Powell (whom Powells Creek is named) and then sold to his son-in-law James Underwood (who Underwood Road is named) in 1823. Underwood owned significant lands in the Homebush district on both sides of the rail line.
Subdivision commenced c.1880 with the creation of Pomeroy Street (then called Creek Street). Some of the land along Powells Creek was used for early market gardens, while most of the land along Ismay Avenue and Allen Street remained undeveloped until c.1920s when it was subdivided for residential development.
In the 1930s Powells Creek was concreted as a stormwater canal and the land abutting the Creek became open space. The M4 Motorway was completed in 1982, which involved the acquisition on many homes and realignment of streets such as Short Street.
A further widening of the M4 (called the Westconnex) occurred in 2018-2019, which again required acquisition of properties on Ismay Avenue and Allen Street. The residue land from the road widening has been dedicated as open space. Together with the open space abutting Powells Creek, a large open space corridor has been formed.