History

Discover and celebrate our history.

Ever wondered how Empire Bay got its name?

Robert Thompson looks into our history, boat building,

surrounding suburbs, and more.

A pictorial of Empire Bay's past>>>

Naming Empire Bay

Empire Bay was originally known as ‘Sorrento Estate’ being the name Arthur Rickard & Co. created when they subdivided the land for sale in 1905/06. Arthur Rickard was an extraverted salesman and he wanted an exotic name for his 152 acre subdivision. He chose the name after the city of Sorrento in Italy.  >>>

Boat Building

Built by Mr Arthur Davis, of Empire Bay, and his three sons, the Erina ll (80 tons) was constructed solely of timbers hewn from the bush near Empire Bay. The building took a year, and was done entirely by hand using axes, adzes and hammers. The shipyard was located near 34 Sorrento Road. The Erina ll was fitted with diesel motors.

On Saturday 25 August, 1934, the Erina ll, decked with bunting and a good crowd in attendance, was ready for her launch.

The crowd was excited, with fine words from the owner, Captain Childs, the champagne was splashed across her bow and the Erina ll was launched! Or was it?   >>>

Arthur Rickard, The Subdivision Specialist

Arthur Rickard, a new and enthusiastic Sydney land developer, purchased the 152 acres (now Empire Bay) from the Noble family in 1905. The Noble family owned the 152 acres for 66 years without any development.

Arthur Rickard, eager to turn his investment into profits, quickly subdivided the 152 acres into 55 waterfront residential sites and 15 larger orchard or poultry blocks and had them on the market by November 1905.   >>> 

Arthur Rickard, The Subdivision Specialist

Arthur Rickard, a new and enthusiastic Sydney land developer, purchased the 152 acres (now Empire Bay) from the Noble family in 1905. The Noble family owned the 152 acres for 66 years without any development.

Arthur Rickard, eager to turn his investment into profits, quickly subdivided the 152 acres into 55 waterfront residential sites and 15 larger orchard or poultry blocks and had them on the market by November 1905.   >>>