History: Looking Back

Looking Back: The man who sold Sandon Point


Henry Cotterell: The man who sold Sandon Point.

JUST what Bulli pioneer real estate agent Henry Cotterell would think of today’s property prices in the controversial Sandon Point residential estate is hard to imagine.

Cotterell, known as “Cottie” to friends, was one time editor of the Bulli Times newspaper, but more interestingly he was the agent who sold the original Sandon Point Estate on Boxing Day 1913.

A model farm, owned by George Adams, proprietor of the Bulli Colliery and later of Tattersall’s Lottery fame, was subdivided and auctioned by Cotterell on behalf of the trustees of the deceased estate.

In extreme contrast to the remaining former Bulli Colliery land to the selling almost a century later for around a million dollars, 60ft (18m) beach frontages were sold by Cotterell for around 60 pounds ($120) in 1913. Also in disparity, not an eyebrow was raised when 102 blocks east of Southview Street at Sandon Point were subdivided in 1913.

Born in Bath, England in 1861 Henry Fowler Cotterell was apprenticed to his father as a midshipman before embarking on a new life as a journalist in Sydney. He worked on the Macleay Argus at Kempsey on the NSW north coast in the 1880s before writing for a Campbelltown newspaper in the early 1890s. It was at Campbelltown he married Elizabeth Thompson in 1892 later taking the role as editor of the Singleton Argus.

Cottie arrived at Bulli in 1895 after purchasing the Bulli Times from founding publisher FW Wilson.

Read the full story at the Looking Back website.

About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in Australia for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick has owned and managed several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.


One thought on “Looking Back: The man who sold Sandon Point

  1. Even before Tattersall and Westmacott, the original 300 acres was given as a crown grant to Cornelius O’Brien, who dispossessed the Aboriginal owners – and that ripoff continues today. Now its Wollongong Council who steals public land and gives it to Stockland at Sandon Point and Thomas Gibson Park, and there have been a litany of other names involved: BHP, David Campbell, Rod Oxley, NPWS and Planning ministers, Gabrielle Kibble as Chair of Sydney Water who sold the Sydney Water land to Stockland in 1999 etc. Everybody wanted a piece of Sandon Point, but it is still Aboriginal land.


    Posted by Jill Walker | September 13, 2012, 1:02 am

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