Local history fast facts - J

This information has been provided by the Local History Centre and the Woollahra History and Heritage Society.


JACARANDA. A South American exotic bearing lilac-blue flowers in profusion during October and November in Woollahra. The propagation of it was helped along by Michael Guilfoyle who operated a nursery in Double Bay from 1851 to 1874. The northern slopes of hillsides in Double Bay and Woollahra, in particular are resplendent during early summer enhanced by the Flame tree and Bougainvillea which bloom at the same time.

JACOBS LADDER - Gap Park, Watsons Bay. Two 2 metre (7 feet) wide clefts in the cliff face. 'Chines', the remains of volcanic 'Dykes' from which the intrusive volcanic material has been eroded by marine action (chines). A dyke runs in a NW direction from there across Watsons Bay towards Camp Cove. The name is of biblical origin relating to a dream of Jacob in which a ladder lead from the ground up to heaven - any rope ladder generally took the name.

JAPANESE ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION. In November 1910 a Japanese scientific team engaged in an Antarctic Expedition and commanded by Lieutenant Nobu Shirase set sail from Tokyo in the ship Kainan Maru. Forced back by bad weather the team arrived in Sydney on 1 May 1911 and after attempting to make camp in a number of harbourside locations eventually settled in the Parsley Bay Reserve. Here they set up shelters behind the old kiosk in what would today be the car park in the picnic grounds. The expedition left for the Antarctic on 19 November 1911. More information on Japanese Antarctic Expedition(PDF, 269KB)

JERSEY ROAD, Woollahra and Paddington. Originally called Point Piper Road it was built by Capt. John Piper to give access to his home, Henrietta Villa (since demolished) at Point Piper. His road followed present day Jersey Road, Ocean Street/Ocean Avenue, William Street and New South Head Road and was so placed in order to avoid the reed swamps in Rushcutters Bay and Double Bay. It was renamed Jersey Road in 1900 in honour of the Earl of Jersey, NSW State Governor from 1890 to 1893.

JERSEY ROAD UNITING CHURCH, Woollahra - see Moncur Street Uniting Church.

JOHN DYKES AVENUE, Vaucluse. Formed as part of the Dykes Estate pf 1933/34 and approved by Vaucluse Council on 5 November 1934 in recognition of the work of John Dykes who served as Mayor of Vaucluse.

JOHN STREET, WOOLLAHRA. One of the first areas of the Point Piper Estate to be developed and intended to house worker's families - it is indeed a museum piece of varying styles of small house architecture. The street is believed to have been named after Capt. John Piper who was originally granted the land (his 500 acre grant) before it passed on to the firm of Cooper & Levey in default of a loan to the firm.

JOHNSTON’S LOOK-OUT- a triangular parcel of land at the intersection of Hopetoun Avenue and New South Head Road Vaucluse, acquired by the NSW state government from the Wentworth estate and dedicated on 24 November 1915 for ‘public recreation’. The resumption was one of several land acquisitions in Vaucluse which were reserved specifically to retain publicly accessible vantage points of the harbour, at a time when these natural vistas were becoming increasingly obscured by development. The resumption followed the successful lobbying of Vaucluse Council, which was granted custody of the resumed land. The name commemorates Alderman William Johnston who, as Mayor in 1912, instigated a ministerial visit by the NSW Minister for Lands, George Stephenson Beeby, which led to the decision to acquire and preserve this site in public ownership. See also WHHS Brief 41 - Public viewing points in Vaucluse(PDF, 1MB) .

JOYNER'S BLACKSMITHING SHOP - No. 496 Glenmore Road, Edgecliff. The business was operated by members of the Joyner family continually from 1858 to 1980. Ironwork was their specialty and there were many examples of their work locally including gates at Cranbrook School and St Mark's Church, Darling Point. The building was timber framed and clad and was demolished in the late 1980s.

JUNIPER HALL - No. 248-250 Oxford Street, Paddington. Georgian house built in 1824 for Robert Cooper (1777-1857) - the name was changed to Ormond House by Judge Kinchela when he leased it in 1831. Cooper leased the house to the Society for the Relief of Destitute Children from 1852-1858, and after his death in 1857 and that of his wife Sarah in 1863, the house was sold to John E Begg in 1876. Begg then sold the house as part of his subdivision of the Olive Bank Estate in 1878.The house continued to be leased and was put to various uses. It was eventually purchased by the Government in 1885. In 1924 it was sold to Joe Gardiner who converted the house into a number of flats known as Hillside Flats and built a row of six shops in the front garden facing Oxford Street. After it was purchased by Avrom Investments an employee of the firm, Elizabeth Randall, became interested in the history of the house and restored its original name Juniper Hall. In 1981 the first of a series of proposals to develop the site was put forward and a campaign to save the house was mounted by the Paddington Society and the National Trust. The Trust purchased the house in 1984, the shops were demolished and the house restored. Juniper Hall featuring a Museum of Childhood opened its doors to the public in 1988 . The Trust later ceased occupancy of the house, leasing it to private businesses, and in 2012 the house was sold to the Moran family.