As Mosmanites, we know there is something so special about Mosman that people who come to live often find it incredibly difficult to leave, or if they do head around the globe on an overseas jaunt, they more often than not return to our Sydney shoreline, eventually.
Since life has slowed a little since lockdown, I’ve found myself being reminded of the slower pace of childhood. Having grown up in Mosman, today I find myself selling the dream and nostalgia of my youth to others looking to share in that je ne sais quoi that put Mosman on the map, though my real estate agency De Brennan Property.
My love of Mosman is shared with my father, who emigrated to Sydney three decades ago after spending time in Rhodesia, South Africa, and New Zealand before calling Australia his home. A bit of a local celebrity, my father, Frank Pearce, competed in the World Triathlon Championships in 2016 in Cozumel, Mexico, with his twin brother (at ages 78 no less) and won a Bronze Medal.
So, just what is it about Mosman that makes it a great place for generations of families?
1. Mosman is rich in local history
Mosman is not only one of the wealthiest suburbs in Sydney, but it is also one of the richest in history. The site saw important maritime and defence installations for Sydney in 1801, with its original inhabitation as a whaling station. Wealthy wool traders from Europe emigrated to the area and helped to establish the town and its culture. The French-Belgian influence can still be found in our town and buildings today.
2. Mosman has amazing architecture
Mosman is famous for its Federation homes, an architectural style prevalent from approximately 1890 to 1915. Derived from the Federation of Australia, it references when the Australian colonies formally became the Commonwealth of Australia.
Federation homes are a mix of Queen Anne and Edwardian styles, with influences from the Romanesque Revival style. The Federation period includes 12 main styles; however, Queen Anne is the most popular style associated with the homes found in Mosman. It is extremely rare to find Federation homes in Mosman that were not fully renovated. If you’re lucky to see one for sale, I assure you they are still a worthwhile investment.
3. Mosman has a proud history of public education
Mosman’s first public school was opened on 4 October 1880 by Mr Richard Henderson, the school’s first temporary teacher. Originally located at 852-858 Military Road, the building now houses homewares, shoe, and clothing stores, alongside a wellness business and Chinese medicine practice.
Since 1990, Mosman Public School moved behind Spit Junction near to the Mosman Community Centre. If you’re a Mosmanites reading this who attended the school in the 40’s and 50’s do you remember the school song?
Mosman Inter High …of you we are proud
Of you we will sing
Mosman Inter High …we’ll shout aloud
And make… the welkin ring.
We’ll fight with might and main…we’ll try and try again…
I enjoyed reading Richard Pieremont’s recollection of Mosman Public School in the post-war era on the Mosman memories website.
4. Mosman has some cool hangouts and landmarks
From the Spit Amateur Swimming Club to the Mosman Harbourside Beach Hangouts, there are some historically cool places to swim.
Founded in 1917, the swimming club hosted competitive swimming at Balmoral Baths, the birthplace of Olympians Edna Davey, Gergaynia Beckett, Kim Herford, Murray Rose, Brett Hill, and Roger Cornforth.
And these are not the only famous names to grace our shores, in the 1900s, Mosman earned the nickname “Australia’s most painted suburb” due to the many artist camps at Sirius Cove Mosman. Famed authors Arthur Street and Tom Roberts once resided there.
A trip down Mosman’s memory lane
If you would like to take a trip down memory lane, contact the Mosman Library for assistance. The Mosman Daily Archives are full of trace images and old photos to pique your interest and help you reminisce. There are some great books about Mosman that also can help with your journey. My suggestions are to read “A Kingdom by the Sea” by the late Nancy Phelan, an Australian writer who grew up in Mosman. Check out the Mosman Library catalogue for print and ebook versions of this and other books.
Interested in making your own memories in Mosman? Learn more about the property market in Mosman.
Banner image source: www.mosman.nsw.gov.au