A long history

The Colo River valley has a long history. Prior to the coming of Europeans the local Dharug clans lived in the area. The Colo’s modern history starts only a few months after English settlement and the property’s history can be dated back to the early 1800’s.


Aboriginal History

The Colo area was home to the Dharug and Darkinung language groups. The Colo was the northern boundary of the Dharug group and the northern side of the river was probably the southern boundary of the Darkinung language group. 


early exploration

A second expedition up the Hawkesbury was commenced on 28th June, 1789 by Governor Phillip, who was accompanied by Captains Hunter, Collins and George Johnston and Surgeon White.

During this expedition the Colo river was explored and named ‘Second Branch”, the first branch on the Hawkesbury river being the Macdonald River. It is believed that, on Friday 3rd July 1789, they rowed approximately 12kms up the Colo from the Hawkesbury and stopped at the sand bank just east of the present day bridge on the Putty road. Read about it here:


early settlement

The early white settlement around Sydney was challenged for good agricultural land. The Colo River flats were one of the early areas settled because the river banks provided good agricultural land, but with two shortcomings. The first of these being that the Colo floods regularly and livelihoods (and lives) could be ruined overnight. Secondly, the river flats are not very wide and constrained by steep hills on either side of the river.

Despite these challenges white settlers were living on the Colo from the early 1800s with many land grants made in the 1820s.


Property History

The property was granted to William Cutler Maun on the 30th November 1833, although he was probably living on the property for at least 5 years before that.

William Maun had an infamous mother. William’s mother was Martha Cutler who was transported on the Lady Juliana in June 1789 in for being a highway robber.  Female highway robbers were not common and the case is well recorded. Martha and her two other female highway robbers were tried at the Old Bailey and given a choice of transportation to Australia or death. Martha chose transportation and married Jospeh Maund and they had one child, William Cutler Maun (born 1800) who was granted the 60 acres on the Colo in 1833. You can read more about Martha Cutler here:

Little is known about WC Maun after that. Nearby properties were used for cropping or grazing cows and produce was taken to Sydney by a regular boating services that continued until 1956. The next time the property changed hands was in May 1897 to two Sydney based business men.