While many of Singleton’s street names come from monarchs or other cities and towns, some reflect our own town’s history and people.
Crowns and copycats
The most common street name in New South Wales is George Street, with a total of 521 scattered throughout the state – including here in Singleton. The streets are named after the notoriously mad George III, who reigned as monarch at the time of Sydney’s founding.
Our town also has the second most popular street name in New South Wales – William, also named after a British king.
Other street names reflect the dominance of the country’s first settlement, Sydney, with Pitt, Castlereagh, York and King Streets all found in both Singleton and the fast-growing town that would become the state’s capital.
Not all our street names come from elsewhere. Some honour those who played a key role in the establishment of Singleton.
There’s Munro Street, named after Alexander Munro, the pastoralist, publican and vigneron who was elected Singleton’s first mayor in 1866.
Howe Street commemorates John Howe, who led the expedition party from Windsor that discovered the area where Singleton now stands.
One member of Howe’s expedition party was Benjamin Singleton, after whom the town is named. Both Howe and Singleton were given adjacent land grants in the area – and Boundary Street marks the spot dividing those two long-ago grants.
And while it’s unclear whether the street was specifically named after them, it’s likely that Bourke Street is a nod to the much-loved, civic-minded Bourke family.
Mullaboy’s place in the heights
There’s a cul-de-sac in Singleton Heights that only has a handful of houses. But while Mullaboy Place is small, the impact of the man it was named after was big. Without him, our town may never have come into existence.
Blanket lists – inventories kept by the state government of provisions handed out to Indigenous people during the early settlement period – indicate that Mullaboy Gilmeroy would have been just a teenager when he joined Howe and his party in 1820 for their second attempt to find a route north.
Much of their success in finally finding their way to the Hunter is believed to rest on the shoulders of the group’s Indigenous trackers, including Mullaboy.
Other men in that exploration party are remembered in the streets around Mullaboy Place – there’s Loder Avenue, Bridle Place, Rhodes Place, James House Close and Dargin Close.
Singleton’s “peregrinating plutocrat”
Dangar Cottage Hospital opened its doors in 1907 and was named after Albert Augustus Dangar, a highly respected local pastoralist. Given Dangar donated the entire cost to build the hospital, it’s no surprise that the road it’s located on – Dangar Road – was also named after him. Dangar and his family also helped build the local cricket ground, and when he died he was engaged in funding the rebuilding of the beautiful All Saints’ Anglican Church.
While Dangar was mostly well respected, there were some who didn’t like him. One critic went so far as to label him a “peregrinating plutocrat”, a reference both to his wandering ways (he’d spent time in England and Germany, as well as three years at sea) and his habit of donating funds towards substantial community works projects – the speaker likely thought Dangar was trying to sway public opinion by splashing his cash. Whatever the case, Dangar left his mark on Singleton in both the hospital and the road it sits on today.