Charles Moore - city gentleman, Mayor of Sydney, creditor of Henry Parkes, married twice, childless - built a home in the salubrious Springwood air where many of his acquaintances and friends from Sydney were also building country mansions.
Born in Ireland on August 29, 1820, Moore worked in Dublin and London before emigrating in September 1849.
After visiting Adelaide and Melbourne, he settled in Sydney in 1850, opening a drapery which prospered in the gold rushes. Moore, now a wealthy man, turned to politics.
He joined Randwick Municipal Council, 1860-1886, then was elected an alderman of the Sydney City Council, December 1, 1865 - April 22, 1869. He resigned to visit Europe but was re-elected on December 1, 1871 and retired November 30, 1886.
Moore was mayor between 1867 and 1869 but refused to accept the mayor's salary. His mayoral record includes Sydney Town Hall, the extension of Macquarie Street to Circular Quay and creating Moore Park for the people.
Moore served in the NSW Legislative Assembly for East Sydney from July 15 to November 28, 1874 and the NSW Legislative Council from December 15, 1880 to July 4, 1895.
Obtaining a Crown Grant of 34 acres in Springwood in 1875, Moore built a home, Moorecourt, there in 1876.
Retirement was not on his mind when he settled in Springwood. He was still commuting by train to Sydney but he also threw himself into Springwood's activities.
Before Moore arrived, the town had no school and no post office. By October, 1876, Moore was involved in acquiring both.
The school opened in 1878 with 49 children, although the town's population was only 200.
The Sydney postal authorities claimed that there were only five residents at Springwood besides Mr Moore. However, a receiving office on Springwood railway station opened in May 1877 and a postmaster was appointed in 1880.
Moore supported the Church of England too. Services were held in his conservatory after 1876. Moore donated the land on which the church now stands. John Sulman designed the proposed church, which was consecrated in 1889.
Moore died in July 1895 and is buried in Emu Plains Cemetery.
Moorecourt became Springwood Ladies College. The land was cleared in 1958 and Moorecourt'sgateposts moved to Buttenshaw Park's Wisteria Walk. Other columns from Moorecourt form the supports for the Baxter Memorial Gates at the War Memorial.
The church, these gates, the post office and the school are tangible reminders of Moore's presence in the Blue Mountains but his niece, Ada, and great-nieces, Ida and Beryl, lived at Tarella at Wentworth Falls. On her death, Beryl donated the cottage to the Blue Mountains Historical Society which opens it regularly.
- Robyne Ridge is publicity officer for Blue Mountains Historical Society.