Uncovering the history of Leura as recorded in local newspapers

The Mall, Leura. Copyright status unknown.

The National Library of Australia, with the assistance of the Blue Mountains City Library, the State Library of NSW and Springwood Historians, has recently released digitised versions of newspapers from as early as 1889 using the NLA's Trove service.

As a Leura resident, I am interested in the early history of the township but frustated by the lack of information available. Leura's larger and more interesting siblings receive all the attention and our little residential oasis is ignored. We can't even agree on the origin of the name.

So, now that all these old newspapers are available online, I'm reading my way through every issue, recording and annotating each reference to Leura, no matter how small, in the hopes of building up a picture of the first few decades of our village.

This web site hosts all the articles I have come across in my readings so far. I also have a Facebook Page for the site where I post some of the more interesting items as I come across them. You can contact me there, or follow the page for updates.

There are 120 total articles listed. I'm up to Saturday 17 May 1890.

Summary by Year

I have completed my first year's worth of reading, and summarised my findings below.

Latest additions

How it happened at the Leura Falls recently. Jottings. Saturday 10 May 1890, Katoomba Times, p2.
Short poem about an individual relaxing at the Leura Falls before being bitten by a soldier ant.

Coffee palace to be erected at Leura. Jottings. Saturday 10 May 1890, Katoomba Times, p2.
Coffee palace shares are nearly half sold, plans to be drawn by Mr William B Hardwick, a Katoomba architect.

Railway surveyors were measuring land. Jottings. Saturday 19 April 1890, Katoomba Times, p2.
Mentions a dangerous gully at Leura when locating the Katoomba railway siding.

Mr. Milgate and friends intent to erect a large coffee palace. Jottings. Saturday 12 April 1890, Katoomba Times, p4.
Milgate is named as leading the Leura Coffee Palace plans

Wentworth, Katoomba, Leura and Guiva Falls present picturesque views. Jottings. Saturday 12 April 1890, Katoomba Times, p4.
After massive rains, the waterfalls in Leura and around the mountains look particularly good.

See more recently-added articles here.


Duff, John (3)
First named inhabitant of Leura, owner of a Katoomba dairy and poultry farm and purchaser of the Blackheath buggy business.

Eyre, William (63)
Property developer responsible for the original sale of the Leura Estate.

Goyder, Frederick Charles (11)
Proprietor of the Carrington Hotel, chairman of the Progress Committee.

Harding, Charles (1)
Architect of the Burlington Palace Hotel.

Lord Carrington (1)
Governor of New South Wales 1885–1890.

Marshall, Robert (6)
Cleared Leura Estate for Mr. Eyre.

Milgate (1)


Gladstone Estate (4)

Government Road (1)
Later known as Craigend Street.

Leura Falls (10)
Also the Meeting of the Waters, now the Cascades.

Leura Reserve (2)
Unknown location.

Palmerston Estate (1)
The estate on which the Leura Oval was situated.

Tennyson Avenue (1)
Originally Tusculum Avenue.


Katoomba Municipality (13)
The creation of Katoomba (including Leura) as a Municipality.

Sale of Leura Estate (35)
The original subdivision and sale of the Leura Estate.


Burlington Palace Hotel (7)
A grand Leura hotel planned by William Eyre.

Leura Coffee Palace (2)
A guesthouse built 1892 and situated on the Mall. Now the Ritz.

Leura Racecourse (25)
A proposed sporting venue in 1889.

Railway (22)


Good Templars (2)

Leura Brigade (1)
A group of old ladies of an unknown religious group.


Katoomba Times (236)