Ruth Cotton, in her Hidden Hamilton blog has a good summary of the history of Hamilton Council.
Hamilton Council was incorporated on 11th December 1871. The first meeting of the council was held on 13th February 1871, in the building known as the Mechanics’ Institute. Over the years Hamilton had a number of municipal council buildings.
In the photo below from the University of Newcastle Cultural Collections, the building has two different dates
- “Municipal Chambers – 1880”
- “Enlarged – Prepared For Town Hall – 1892”
Questions yet to be answered
- Where was the the Mechanic’s Institute building where the 17 Feb 1872 newspaper article says the first council meeting was held?
- The photo of 70 James Street Hamilton (in the Hunter Photobank) is where early council meetings were held. Is this the same site as the current 70 James St? (Bearing in mind that renumbering of streets is not an uncommon event.)
- Where exactly was the 1880 council chambers located?
- Is the 1892 council chambers in the same spot? If so, why does it look so different from the 1880 chambers?