Berry Local History
Local History of the Town of Berry, NSW
Berry is a historic town located in the Shoalhaven region of New South Wales, approximately two hours south of Sydney. The town has a rich history, spanning from the early Indigenous inhabitants to the colonial period and beyond.
Berry and its surrounds were originally inhabited by the Wodi-Wodi people, who lived in the region for thousands of years. The Wodi-Wodi people were skilled fishers and hunters, and would often trade with neighbouring tribes along the coast.
It is believed that the name "Berry" comes from the Indigenous word "Jerrymara", which translates to "black swan". The black swan was a sacred animal to the Wodi-Wodi people, and often featured in their cultural stories and artwork.
The first Europeans to explore the Shoalhaven region were Captain James Cook and his crew in 1770. However, it wasn't until the mid-1800s that the first European settlers arrived in the area.
In 1822, Alexander Berry and Edward Wollstonecraft purchased the land that is now known as Berry. The town was established in 1863 and quickly became a hub for the surrounding agricultural industry.
The town's growth was accelerated by the arrival of the railway in 1893, which linked Berry with the rest of the region and facilitated transport of goods and people to and from Sydney.
The Berry Bypass
In the late 20th century, the town of Berry faced a significant challenge with the construction of the Princes Highway bypass. The bypass was designed to divert traffic away from the town centre and reduce congestion, but locals were concerned that it would have a negative impact on the town's economy and character.
After years of community advocacy and lobbying, the Berry Bypass was officially opened in 2001. While there were some initial concerns about its impact on the town, the bypass has ultimately proven to be a positive change, allowing Berry to continue to thrive as a tourist destination and agricultural centre.
Today, the town of Berry is a popular tourist destination, known for its historic buildings, boutique shops, and picturesque countryside. The town is renowned for its local produce, including fresh berries and dairy products, and hosts regular markets and festivals throughout the year.
Despite its growth and development, Berry has maintained its small-town charm and strong sense of community. Locals are proud of their town's rich history and heritage, and work to preserve and celebrate it for generations to come.