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HistoryThe township of Engadine is located on the Old Princes Highway and the Illawarra Railway line. Once crown land the area now known as Engadine was originally part of the village of Heathcote which had been proclaimed in 1886. Charles McAlister originally from Petersham purchased 7 hectares of the suburban land which was made available for auction sale. The land followed the Old Illawarra Road (later Woronora Road). With his wife Christina McAlister built a house they named Sunbeam cottage in about 1888 making him the first European settler. In about 1897 he extended the cottage and renamed it Holmlea. In 1906 McAlister was nominated with five other to form the first municipal council of the Shire of Sutherland. Elected to the first council he serve until 1913. Allotments of crown land in the village of Heathcote were again sold in 1904 and 1910. Some of the land was purchased primarily for speculation although a progress association was in operation and an application was made by Sutherland Shire Council to allocate land for a school. The land was promoted as suitable for fruit growing and poultry farming. In 1916 Charles McAlister recommended that crown land should be offered for the settlement of returned soldiers. By this time several other families had taken up land and built cottages to enjoy the tranquillity and rural character of the area. In 1916 22 blocks were offered to returned soldiers. One of the first to take up this land was Arthur Bower who set up a poultry farm. He had been wounded at the Gallipoli campaign. As early as 1916 there had been discussion among local residents about the importance of having their own railway platform. This section of the Illawarra Railway line had been opened for 30 years with no stop between Sutherland to the north and Heathcote to the south. In about 1919 the locals formed the Engadine Platform League to lobby for a platform. In 1920 a platform was built following hard work and a financial contribution from league members. Further land subdivision was encouraged as a result and by 1929 another application for a school was made. Many families took advantage of a subdivision made in 1931 in response to hardships of the Depression. Due to the increase in population a School of Arts was formed in order to offer social activities for the new community. Engadine was proclaimed a village in 1933 and a school was officially opened. In 1940 due to the drive and determination of Father Thomas Dunlea a home for boys was opened. The boys received a general education and two trade school were set up to train them in butchery and baking. In 1942 members of the De la Salle Brothers arrived to take over the care of the boys. By 1940 there were 23 poultry farms but a lack of essential services. A shopping area gradually built up around the Princes Highway. By 1965 a new highway was proposed which diverted away from the centre of town so the name was changed to the Old Princes Highway when the new highway opened in 1969.
Royal motorcade, Princes Highway Engadine, with people lining the road during Queen Elizabeth II's vist to Australia, 1954
Engadine Public School, the front of primary school classrooms and playground with benches, ca. 1950s
Local History – Sutherland Shire Libraries (25th Feb 2020). Engadine. In Website Local History – Sutherland Shire Libraries. Retrieved 20th Sep 2020 21:35, from https://localhistory.sutherlandshire.nsw.gov.au/nodes/view/6076