The European settlement of Maitland began with farmers in the early 1800s. The majority of Maitland, including its main avenue, High Street, grew without apparent planning giving the city its great charm. The original bullock track became fixed as the line of High Street with its meandering curves which are still evident today. At almost every turn within Maitland you come across an architectural delight with a myriad of historic buildings giving the city its unique character. Landmark buildings erected over 170 years ago stand alongside fine modern buildings, a harmonious mix of new and old. The area has long been an industrious area and since the 1820s Central Maitland has been home to industry, trade and commerce.
Its riverside location, stores and warehouses gave the settlers many a task to undertake within the frontier town. Maitland was home to a wide range of businesses, including flourmills, breweries, soap and candle making and salt stores. Iron workers, blacksmiths and saddlers also thrived at this time. During the 1850s a series of riverside merchants traded, most notably David Cohen & Co and Owen & Beckett, experiencing great success. Interspersed within the retail area of Central Maitland were a selection of services and outlets such as tailors, hairdressers, wig makers, confectioners, photographers and dressmakers who added to the sense of vitality and diversity within the area.
If you are chasing further information on Maitland’s history take a look at Maitland Libraries page on Local History. Maitland Library also offers resource links for those tracing family history. Alternatively, you can get in contact with the Maitland & District Historical Society, or the Maitland & District Genealogical Society who could help with your enquiry.