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  • History - Place Names

    How places got their names often involves interesting tales. Here are some that I've come accross for places in and around the Jamison Valley.


    Katoomba was originally refered to as "The Crushers" . In 1874 there was a crushing plant built at (what is now) North Katoomba, with a siding to the escarpment. Katoomba gets its name from the 1878 Katoomba Coal Mine operated by J.B. North. It is an aglicisation of an aboriginal word meaning place of "all falling waters" or "tumbledown water". Kedumba is its phoenetic equivalent.

    Wentworth Falls:

    Wentworth Falls was originally called "Weatherboard" after the supply hut used by Cox in 1815. In 1826 the "Weatherboard Inn" was built and renamed after William Charles Wentworth  in 1879 THe falls were originally names Bouganville Falls by Governor Macquarie and remined so for 10 or 15 years.


    Leura was mistakenly printed on the official map in 1891. It was apparently supposed to be named after the sub-divider'a daughter, Lurline. Lurline St in Katoomba is named after her. Leura may also be an aboriginal word meaning volcanic. Leura station / siding dates from the 1880's as part of the Gladstone mine.

    The Three Sisters:

    Originally called Trisaxa Point.

    Furber Steps:

    Named after Thomas F. Furber (1855-1924) a surveyor and lecturer who had an active interest in the reservation of the Blue Mountains and the Sydney Foreshore.

    Slack's Stairs:

    Named after Isaac Planter Slack a local auctioneer and chairman of the local Sights Reserve Trust.

    Copeland Pass:

    Named after William Raeburn Copeland who in 1893 made the first ascent when forced to try to exit the valley  via Sublime Point.

    Roberts Pass: 

    No-one is sure which Robert(s) it is named after but Jim Smith suggested that it might have been Sir Alfred Roberts a surgeon who died in his Wentworth Falls home in 1908.3

    Gladstone Pass:

    This pass was originally used by the miners at Gladstone Mine to gain access the the mine. The mine is located on Lawton's creek not far from the bottom of the pass.

    Jamison Valley:

    First named so on Sir Thomas Mitchell's map of 1834. It originally extended round My Soitary to the end of Kings Tableland.

    Mt Solitary:

    Mt Solitary was originally called "Isolated Mountain" on the ... map of ???

    Ruined Castle:

    Named after the look of the rock formations on its top.

    Princes Rock:

    Named after King George V whilst he was still the Prince midshipman in the Royal Navy.

    Kings Tableland:

    Named by Governor Macquarie in April 1815 after King George III

    Prince Regals Glen:

    Named after King George III's son

    Pitt's Amphitheatre:

    Named after the Brittish Prime Minister

    Goat Track:

    Originally called Bushrangers Track.

    Cook's Crossing:

    Namd for Joseph Cook (1860-1947) who had a long Association with the Blue Mountains. He was a miner at Lithgow from 1885, represented Hartley at State level and Parramatta Federally. He was Prime Minister from 1913-14.

    Dash's Cave:

    Named after Charles Lawson Dash (c1887-1958) by Jim Smith c1985 in honour of his involvement with Lindeman Pass. In 1913 Dash argued in favour of Katoomba Council completing Lindeman Pass. Charles Dash was a local alderman, Mayor and business man. Advertised his business by placing a flag on top of Orphan Rock with his name and slogan, Dash & Orphan Rock Stand alone.4


    1 Jim Barrett, Place Names of The Blue Mountains and Burragorang Valley, Jim Barret, 1994.
    2 NPWS, Track Signage.
    3 Jim Smith, The Blue Mountains mystery track : Lindeman Pass, Three Sisters Productions, 1990. p42.
    4 The Blue Mountains Echo, 5th eptember 1913, p4.
    Last updated : 27 Dec 2019


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