Opening of Camden District Hospital


The new Camden District Hospital was opened in 1902 on Windmill Hill by the NSW Premier Sir John See in front of a large crowd of local folk.

Camden Hospital and Nurses Qtrs aftr 1928 CIPP
Camden District Hospital around 1930 in Menangle Road Camden. The nurses quarters built in 1928 are on the right hand side of image. The original hospital building has an additional floor constructed in 1916. The first matron of the Camden District Hospital was Josephine Hubbard assisted by Nurse Nelson with Senior Probationary Nurse Mary McNee. The medical officers were Dr West and Dr B Foulds. The hospital was administered by all male board.


The new hospital had 12 patient beds, 2 nurses bedrooms, a maid’s room, an operating theatre, a separate cottage serving as an infectious disease ward, lighting provided by acetylene gas and pan toilets.

The new hospital was designed by Sydney architect HC Kent, who also designed Carrington Hospital.

The new health facility replaced the original 12 bed Camden Cottage Hospital that was opened in 1899 in the two storey house known as ‘Edithville’ in Mitchell Street.

The Camden community had originally moved to support the opening of a cottage hospital in the 1890s after an outbreak of scarlet fever in the local area.


A country store and a retail legacy

The wonderful Victorian colonial building that was once the Whiteman’s General Store has had a new lease of life through the Burra Charter principle of adaptive re-use. There are has been a continuous retail shopping presence on the same site for over 135 years.

While the building has also had new work and restoration it is a good  example of how a building can be adaptively re-used for commercial activities without destroying the integrity of the buildings historic character and charm.

Camden Whitemans Store 1923 CIPP
It was a different world of shopping when the Whiteman’s General Store operated in Camden NSW in 1923 (Camden Images)


In 1878 CT (Charles Thomas) Whiteman, who operated a family business in Sydney, brought produce to Camden. He purchased a single storey home at the corner of Argyle and Oxley Street and ran his store from the site. (SHI)  CT Whiteman moved to premises in Argyle Street in 1889.

CT Whiteman was previously a storekeeper in Goulburn and Newtown and later married local Camden girl Anne Bensley in 1872. Whiteman, was a staunch Methodist, and  was an important public figure in Camden and served as the town’s first mayor from 1892 to 1894.

Learn more click here

A gothic picturesque style gentleman’s country town residence

Dr West’s Residence


Originally built by merchant Henry Thompson in 1860. He purchased the land off Sarah Tiffin in 1854. The house reflected Thompson’s social and economic status and authority in the small market town of Camden.

Camden Macaria Dr West Surgery OV Coleman Postcard No 158 c1905 CIPP
Camden’s town residence of Dr West in John Street Camden. This postcard is one in a series of the Camden area sold by general merchant OV Coleman in Camden. This one of Macaria is No 158 in a series of over 100. It dates from around 1905. The impressive gentleman’s town house was originally built by Camden merchant Henry Thompson in 1959-1860. The building is now an art gallery housing the Alan Baker Art Collection. (OV Coleman/Camden Images)


Henry Thompson lived in Macaria until 1870 with his large family of 16 children. Henry Thompson built “Macaria” in 1859-60 for the purpose of a school for teacher William Gordon, who was under his patronage, Thompson having several school-age sons.

The school did not eventuate, Gordon moving instead from Camden to “Macquarie Grove”.

Henry Thompson and his brother Samuel came to Camden as independent investors, setting up a general store and steam flour mill next to one another. They prospered being the middlemen for the local farmers.

The next two owners of “Macaria” were the Milfords, father then daughter. It later became Camden Grammar School and eventually was bought by Camden Council and is used as offices for the Mayor and Town Clerk.

The house was occupied by a series of doctors including Dr West. Macaria has gabled windows, high chimneys, and stone trims with wooden porch and verandah.

Sydney architect Clive Lucas maintains that Macaria is one of the finest picturesque Gothic town houses in Australia.

Learn more about Macaria and the Alan Baker Art Collection Click here

A country town gasworks

The Camden gasworks was an essential service to the country for most of the 20th century. Today the toxic chemical remains on the site have proved to be a major health hazard.

The Camden News reported in early 1912:

Mr Murray the gasworks manager reported that construction at the gasworks had been completed, the retort had been lit and he anticipated full supply by the end of the month. (Camden News, 4 January 1912)


Camden Gasworks 1900s CIPP
The Camden Gasworks provided a much needed essential service in the early 20th century in the country town of Camden. This image shows the Camden gasworks around 1910s with the manager, Mr Murray. The gasworks were located in Elizabeth Street in the Camden town centre. Today the toxic chemicals on the former gasworks site have proved a hazard to health. These chemicals forced the relocation of Camden High School which was adjacent to the site from the 1950s. (Camden Images)


During 1912 the Camden News reported

Throughout 1912 there an ongoing dispute between Mr Alexander, the managing director of the Camden Gas Company, and Camden Municipal Council over damage to Argyle Street while laying gas pipes and who was going to pay for it. (Camden News, 12 September 1912)

A country store

The Whiteman family conducted a general store in Argyle Street in Camden NSW on the same site for over 100 years.

Camden Whitemans General Store 86-100 Argyle St. 1900s. CIPP[1]
A genuine country store in Camden NSW run by the same family for over 100 years. The Whiteman family were Camden retailers who ran the general store at 86-100 Argyle Street Camden. This image shows the dapper male shop assistants outside store front in 1900. Female shop assistants were rare at this time in country stores. (Camden Images Past and Present)
In 1878 Charles Thomas Whiteman, who operated a family business in Sydney bringing produce to Camden, bought a single storey home at the corner of Argyle and Oxley Street and ran his store from the site. (SHI)

In 1878 a fire destroyed the business.

CT Whiteman was previously a storekeeper in Goulburn and Newtown and later married local Camden girl Anne Bensley in 1872. Whiteman, was a staunch Methodist, and was an important public figure in Camden and served as the town’s first mayor from 1892 to 1894.

CT Whiteman moving to premises in Argyle Street in 1889 occupied by ironmonger J.Burret and Whiteman modified the building for a shopfront conversion. (SHI) The store was leased to Woodhill family from 1903 to 1906.

The original Argyle Street building was an early timber verandahed Victorian and Federation period store. It was a two storey rendered masonry building with hipped tile roof, projecting brick chimneys.

The second storey had painted timber framed windows which were shaded by a steeply pitched tile roof awning supported on painted timber brackets.(SHI)