Middle Harbour Tin Town

Tin Town Middle Harbour Sydney Front copy
The above postcard, from circa 1910, is an evocative glimpse into the life of poorer Sydney residents in the early 20th century. Located on the shores of Middle Harbour, the exact location of this particular camp is something of a mystery, though Mosman Library suggest it is overlooking Quakers Hat Bay near Cremorne.
Tin Towns and Depression settlements like the one pictured in this postcard are most often associated with The Great Depression yet many such camps and settlements predate this era. Some such towns were used by the poor, but others were places which were occupied only on and off, by people such as fishermen. The 1890s Depression perhaps was the beginning for many of these camps, but it was the Great Depression which saw their size and number increase. Many Sydney residents had lost their jobs and without an income to support them and pay rent, homes were soon lost too. Often these people took only what they could carry from their lost lives, and set out for one of the many depression settlements around Sydney. People who had lost their homes and their jobs arrived, chose an empty space and erected a ramshackle hut, using whatever materials they could find – often corrugated iron or tin sheeting. Life in these camps was hard, but often a strong and very supportive community evolved.

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