A Port Macquarie resident who had a love for astronomy was key to the naming of a prominent hill located south of the town's CBD.
The Port Macquarie Museum has identified documents from the British Astronomical Association, which outlines William MacDonnell set up his telescope equipment in 1882 to monitor the transit of Venus at the prime viewing point, Transit Hill.
"In order to gain an unimpeded and uninterrupted view of the sun from sunrise onwards, MacDonnell temporarily relocated his 9.3cm refractor to what is now known as Transit Hill," it states.
"A conspicuous hill a little south of Port Macquarie which afforded excellent views to the east."
According to the Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser from 1884, Mr MacDonnell was a bank manager who had a passion for science.
"Port Macquarie is to be congratulated on having as one of its citizens a gentleman of such high scientific attainments as Mr Macdonnell; and it is to be hoped that with his new and splendid instrument he will be able to make many new discoveries in the celestial realms," the article outlined.
Port Macquarie Historical Society volunteer museum curator Debbie Sommers said it's believed banana plantations occupied the lower part of the hill, near its base, but majority of the hill was bush and scrub in the 1940s.
"Banana, pineapple plantations and vegetable farms were located prominently in the Kennedy Drive and Tacking Point locations," she said.
Helen Gibson was born in 1943 at a property located near Rawdon Island.
Every week her family would make the journey into Port Macquarie to visit her mother's parents.
Mrs Gibson's earliest memories of Transit Hill are from the late 1940s.
"It was just a lot of scrub when we were children, with a lot of farms around the bottom of it," she said.
"When we were teenagers we used to drive up there with vehicles, it was pretty rough.
"We'd just go up there to have a look around and sometimes we'd have a picnic up there.
"It was a beautiful view."
Mrs Gibson remembers it was a challenge to make the journey up the hill in a vehicle.
"The road was just a track, and water used to run down it if we got a bit of rain," she said.
"You were better off walking up the hill, if you could, as it was pretty steep."
According to the Port Macquarie Historical Society, parts of Transit Hill were developed in the late 1960s as the Plantation Estate.
"It was gradually subdivided, bit by bit, up the hill," Mrs Gibson said.
What else is making news, sport?
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Bookmark our website
Make sure you are signed up for our breaking and regular headlines newsletters
You can support us with a subscription
Follow us on Twitter: @portmacnews
Follow us on Instagram: @portmacnews
Follow us on Google News