Mark of history as future of Morisset comes into focus

Published on 02 June 2021

Mayor Kay Fraser and Nicole from Creightons.JPG

The history and the future of Morisset have met, with the unveiling of a new plaque to commemorate Lieutenant Colonel James Morisset – one of the Hunter’s most prominent early settlers.

The historic spot located under a tree near the Morisset railway marks the site where it is believed Morisset, then a Major, made camp on the first overland trip from Newcastle to Sydney in 1823. The camp site is said to have led to the naming of the economic centre.

A plaque that was fixed to the tree originally marked the location, however after becoming weathered and difficult to read, Council, with local donor Creightons Funeral Service, have worked together to replace the original with a new plaque, turning a new page in the history of Morisset.

The new plaque was presented to Lake Macquarie Mayor Cr Kay Fraser and will now be fixed to a sandstone boulder adjacent to the iconic tree.

“This new plaque represents a really significant moment that celebrates the history of Morisset. It’s incredible to think that we’re standing here under the same tree where Major Morisset camped with his company. Similarly, it’s wonderful that we can continue to share the story of how Morisset was named with future generations,” Cr Fraser said.

“Historically Morisset has been an important site, but it also has an exciting future. It’s a gateway to Lake Macquarie City, connected to Sydney and the Hunter by road and rail, and has so much potential to grow the local economy, attract investment and create jobs.”

Lake Macquarie City Council Manager Integrated Planning Wes Hain said Morisset has the space to grow and to make a mark. The balance of rural and urban areas is what makes it different and shapes its identity. Open space, a family-friendly environment and a lower cost of living are just some of the advantages of the Morisset lifestyle.

“Morisset has been identified as an area of growth both in regional strategies and Council’s Local Strategic Planning Statement. The centre has fantastic opportunities to accommodate a range of land uses, including business, residential and open spaces, close to the railway station,” Mr Hain said.

“Its position near the Central Coast, M1 Pacific Motorway and rail line means it has capacity to facilitate industrial and manufacturing opportunities. The future of Morisset may see further residential infill, investment into Morisset CBD to attract a diverse range of businesses, a hospitality, entertainment and tourism precinct at Cedar Mill, as well as major improvements to transport connections and roads.”

“The exciting transformation of Morisset is in its early stages, but wouldn’t it be wonderful to look back on this time and mark it as a significant milestone in the history of Morisset. I’m sure, when Major Morisset made camp at this site 200 years ago, he could have never imagined the strategic importance of this place and what it may become,” added Cr Fraser.

Council has arranged for the previous plaque that was unveiled in 1978 to be removed from the tree and sent to descendants of Lieutenant Colonel James Morisset, who now live in South Australia.

The new plaque reads

Originally unveiled by Mr Christopher Morisset great grandson of Major J.T. Morisset on the 28th October 1978. This marks the spot where Major J.T. Morisset and his company camped on the first journey over land from Newcastle to Sydney in April 1823.

Kindly donated by Creightons Funeral Service/The Palmdale Group in 2021, to replace the original plaque donated by Ald. Fennell on behalf of the Fennell and Frost family.

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