Gone Fishin' at Henley's Boat Shed, Lugarno
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Gone Fishin at Henleys Boat Shed, Lugarno
Published in 1889, the map above shows Thomas Lawrence was granted 120 acres at Salt
Pan Creek. On 14 July 1896, Robert and Clara Holland acquired 18 acres of Lawrences
Grant, from Forest Road down to Salt Pan Creek. They built a house on Forest Road,
living there from 1897 until 1916 and selling quality poultry.
By 1905, Bert had also built a weatherboard shop and what would later be known as
Henleys boat shed and jetty. Bert now called himself a boat proprietor and ran a business
hiring out boats until selling to Jesse Tucker in November 1915.
Tucker sold the business to Ralph Nixon in April 1916. Nixon sold the house and boat shed
business to Max Booth in 1917, who sold to John Edmund Boatwright during that year.
John heavily promoted the business and in March 1926, bought the rest of Ralph Nixons 18
acres to create Henley Pleasure Grounds.
Henleys Boat shed, Lugarno, about 1927
Current overlay showing the 18 acres.
Suinday Times 4 February 1906
The Worlds News Saturday 17 February 1906
Evening News Saturday 18 August 1906
The St George Call Saturday 9 November 1907
Arrow Saturday 6 October 1917
The Propeller Friday 14 December 1917
The Propeller Friday 8 February 1918
The Propeller Friday 9 March 1919
The Propeller Friday 2 May 1919
The Propeller Friday 4 July 1919
The Propeller Friday 18 July 1919
The Propeller Friday 25 July 1919
The Propeller Friday 19 September 1919
Sunday Times 5 February 1922
The Propeller Friday 22 December 1922
The Propeller Friday 29 December 1922
The Propeller Friday 19 December 1924
The Propeller Friday 22 October 1926
The Propeller Friday 5 November 1926
The Propeller Thursday 6 May 1937
The Propeller Thursday 5 April 1945
The Propeller Saturday 13 October 1945
Henleys boat shed and jetty in 1943
On Saturday 29 June 1946, John Boatwright advertised for a boat shed caretaker: good
chance right man. On Saturday 21 August, he advertised the picnic grounds and boat shed
as a partnership or lease. In January 1948, he was still looking for a caretaker.
The Propeller Thursday 9 December 1948
Sydney Morning Herald Saturday 3 February 1951
The Propeller Thursday 16 December 1954
As the Boatwrights gradually sold most of their estate into the 1950s, the boat shed was
abandoned and together with Henley Pleasure Grounds, became part of Murdock Crescent
Reserve. In the early 60s, a fire destroyed the boat shed and its remains stood there for a
few years. Local residents started taking the sandstone blocks for their gardens until
Hurstville Council removed all but the stone base still there today.
But the boat shed area had another claim to fame. It was here that Lugarnos last
commercial fisherman worked the waters. This was Ken Dennis. John OGrady, writing as
Nino Culotta in Gone Fishin (1962) based his character Shorty Bent on Ken Dennis.
Ken and Dorothy Dennis lived at 58 Blackbutt Avenue, overlooking the boat shed area. At
the high tide mark, Ken had a fish cleaning table and two corrugated iron water tanks laying
on their sides. Kens fishing friends often used the tanks as bedrooms, calling them Chevron
and Hilton. The tanks were still there into the 1970s.
Ken was well known for supplying Oatley Hotel with mullet and neighbour Diane Nelson
from 66 Blackbutt, took the following photos of Ken and his business during the late 70s.