Hamilton NSW History and Today

Hamilton is a suburb of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, located 4 kilometres  from Newcastle's central business district. The main commercial centre is located around Beaumont Street and boasts a vibrant multicultural atmosphere providing an array of restaurants, retail, fashion and commercial outlets along with day to day services such as pharmacies, banks, florists, hairdressers, fruit shops and delicatessens

Hamilton became a municipality on 11 December 1871 and was named in honour of Edward Terrick Hamilton, who was then Governor of the board of directors of the Australian Agricultural Company (AA Co), from August 1857 to September 1898. The AA Co. were instrumental in the growth of the area, operating the mines and owning most of the land.

The discovery of coal near St Peter's Church in the area known as Cameron's Hill, was the beginnings for the township of Hamilton (originally known as Pittown, Borehole or Happy Flat). A borehole was sunk and a shaft was completed in 1849 and was known as the D Pit, or borehole. Pittown grew up somewhere in the vicinity of today�s Beaumont street to service the needs of the miners and their families.

By 1928 there were over 400 retail outlets in Hamilton, having increased from 80 in 1909.

In 1947, Lettesi (a settler group made up of nearly 150 families from the village of Lettopalena in the Abruzzo Region of Italy), initially settled in the Islington but they soon expanded in to the nearby suburbs of Hamilton and Mayfield. This was primarily due to Islington's proximity to the BHP steel works. Before long Hamilton (especially Beaumont Street) was to become a strong community and commercial centre for Newcastle�s Italians.

By the late fifties, the local Italian community began patronising the Australian owned Exchange Hotel, located on the corner of Beaumont and Denison Streets. It continues to be a regular meeting place for Italian men of Hamilton.