By Cathy Jones
18 Meredith Street Homebush is located within the site of various 1793 land grants offered to a group of free settlers, including Frederick Meredith, in an area known as Liberty Plains by the NSW Colonial Government anxious to secure a food supply for the growing colony.
The land proved difficult to farm and the settlers abandoned farming activity and moved from their land. Eventually, this land and other land located in the current day Homebush West and Homebush (both sides of the railway line) came under the ownership of James Underwood. The land became known as the ‘Underwood Estate’. In 1878, 306 acres of the Underwood Estate was subdivided for residential development and marketed as ‘Village of Homebush’. This subdivision created Burlington Rd, Beresford Road, Abbotsford Rd, Bridge St, Coventry Rd, Meredith St, Homebush Crescent (later The Crescent) and Bellevue Street Homebush Road.
‘Chylasson’ 18 Meredith Street was built in c.1889-1890. The land occupied by the houses located at 16 to 24 Meredith Street Homebush were owned in 1889 by John Waugh, a local builder. Waugh is likely to have built and developed the houses with the intention to on-sell or rent the properties. Waugh did not reside in any of these residences and all were leased for short periods, before being sold.
Waugh leased the house to W H Baxter, after it was built. Records indicate that Baxter was the owner of the from c.1893-1895, followed by A L Lloyd. Around 1903, the house was owned by John Curnow, master blacksmith. Curnow also was an Alderman on Strathfield Council and elected Mayor in 1925. He named the house ‘Chylasson’.
By 1921, the house was owned by Miss J F Harrington. The house remained in the ownership of members of the Harrington family until 1965, when it was sold to William and Eileen Monahan, retired engineer for £4750.
Department of the Valuer General NSW – Valuation List – Valuation District of Strathfield
Fox & Associates, Strathfield Heritage Study, 1986
Society of Australian Genealogists, Rookwood Cemetery Transcriptions, 2003
Sands Sydney Directory, published by John Sands [1889-1932]
Strathfield Council Building Registers
Strathfield Council Valuation Lists 1888, 1889, 1890, 1894, 1896, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1907, 1914, 1917, 1939, 1960
Wise’s Post Office Directory 1904, 1908 & 1936