Mosman residents do not need to be convinced about the distinctiveness of their lower north shore suburb. We recognise and appreciate our membership in this amazing community.
Mosman’s je ne sais quoi vibe is both appealing and difficult to define at the same time. Outsiders simply must experience the rich local history for themselves.
Raglan Street in Mosman, in particular, is steeped in local history, with properties dating back to the early settlement days. Raglan was one of the first streets in Mosman. Today, its popularity continues to grow. Located in a prized part of town, Raglan Street joins Balmoral Beach on one side to Taronga Zoo on the Sydney Harbourside.
Having grown up in the Mosman district myself, as did my father, I’ve enjoyed having the distinct honour of selling several properties on Raglan street over the past decade, as luxury real estate agents in Mosman.
Modern-day Mosmanites were not the first to be enthralled by Mosman. In the late 1800s, the first fleet of migrants landed in Sydney Cove. The crew of the Sirius were the first migrants to Sydney’s lower north shore and a detailed survey of the harbour included Mosman Bay. The remoteness of the area meant it was slow to attract new immigrants as residents.
Mosman’s rich history
The first Mosman residents made their home here in the 1830s when Scottish immigrant Archibald Mosman arrived on the scene and established a successful whaling station. By the mid-19th century, the whalers and ship repairmen had moved on.
A new group of immigrants hailing from Austria, Sweden, Germany, and China were next to visit. Irish businessman Richard Hayes Harnett, Sr. saw the untapped potential of Mosman. His son, of the same name, became the town’s first mayor. Together, the Harnetts worked to increase the appeal of their growing town to outsiders.
Mosman dived headlong into the ‘boom times’ of development and migration, with wool buyers from Europe and Japan flocking to and settling in Mosman. One such wool buyer was Georges Parmentier of Belgium. With businessmen from French-speaking parts of Europe migrating to Mosman, the town became a bit of a French enclave, rich with French culture and customs.
In 1938, Parmentier commissioned a substantial home to be built at 182 Raglan Street. He nicknamed his abode ‘Beau Sejour,’ which means ‘beautiful stay’ in French. The two-storey, four-bedroom home was magnificent and quickly became a centrepiece of Raglan. The Parmentier family lived in Beau Sejour and raised their children with the help of nannies and governesses. Descendants of Parmentier lived in the home until the early 1960s when it was sold to builder and developer Earl Cameron. Unfortunately, the magnificent home was demolished and in its place, a set of apartments stand with the same name.
Remnants of days past
Although the grand 19-century house Beau Sejour is no longer standing, Parmentier’s descendants are still in Mosman. His grandson, Marc Parmentier, and his granddaughter, Madeleine Prior, recounted the history of their family and its adoration of Mosman in the Migrants to Mosman documentary, produced by Mosman Council and the Mosman Historical Society in 2019.
Parmentier’s grandchildren recounted the opulence with which their grandfather lived, including a unique encounter with Spanish artist Salvador Dali.
The lavishness of the early French settlers of Mosman continues to this day, with modern-day Mosmanites enjoying the same luxury living standards and culture as their forefathers.
If you feel like immersing yourself in the french culture that Mosmanites of a bygone era enjoyed then we recommend visiting some of Mosman’s amazing taste French restaurants. Here are three favourites:
Luxury is our tradition
Our team at DeBrennan real estate understand the je ne sais quoi of Mosman. We know how to maximise a home’s appeal and attract a desirable buyer.
If you’re thinking of selling, reach out to us today to take advantage of our expertise.