James Murphy, the principal assistant to Thomas Holt worked at various times as the secretary, manager, or director of the Holt-Sutherland Estate company. He held a large amount of land at Como, where he ran the Murphy's Pleasure Grounds from the 1880's to World War I. He built a Swiss style chalet at Como, overlooking the George's and Woronora Rivers, but chose to live in a one roomed tin shed, and had a caretaker occupy the house, which was later burnt down.
It is not known if James Murphy travelled overseas, or if he was inspired by accounts of the travels of Thomas Holt, but he is thought to be responsible for many Swiss and Italian names in the district, including that of Como.
With the advent of the railway in 1885, Como was favoured by weekend holiday-makers. The 'Como Boatsheds' (still in existence) and the 'Como Pleasure Grounds' were built shortly after this date. They provided boating and picnic facilities. Built at the same time, the small general store is still in use. The Como Hotel was built to house fettlers engaged on railway construction. It was converted in 1890 to a hotel but was destroyed by fire in 1996.
Como is an enclave of bush and parkland as well as residential living. Como was named when the Italian workers on the railway in the 1890's likened the area to Lake Como in Italy.
The area has long
been established as a recreational area for boating and fishing. Como also
offers parkland and sporting areas.
The historic Como hotel is situated on the Scylla oval. This hotel has been established since the 1890's for the workers of the railway bridge and is one of the only federation hotels in the Sutherland Shire. It was a famous landmark until it was burnt down in recent years. It will return very soon, plans are under way to rebuild it. (We are seeking more information.)
Scylla Bay has a Football field that was built in the 50's with tennis courts and picnic area. This is the home of the mighty Como-Jannali Mo's Junior Rugby League Team. Scylla Bay also offers excellent fishing and is often sheltered when conditions on the water are less than perfect.
Como also has a cycling and walking track which connects it to Oatley. This track is actually the old Como bridge built by the Italian railway workers. A newer modern railway bridge has been built next to the old one linking the Sutherland Shire and South Coast with the vibrant city of Sydney. Just west of the Como Bridge is where the Georges river joins with the Woronora River. The Georges river starts South of Appin. It then runs north to Liverpool before heading east into Botany Bay forming the northern border of Sutherland Shire. The Woronora flows from the Woronora Dam.
Como Railway Station offers access to the sites of both Como and Oyster Bay and is ideal for walkers to begin their adventures from. The stretch of railway starting at Como bridge to Sutherland is the longest piece of graded railway in Australia.
The January 8 1994 Como/Jannali bush fire was one of the most damaging fires that occurred in NSW during January 1994. One person was killed. More than 100 homes and other structures were destroyed. The fire was also one of the smallest which occurred in NSW being almost entirely confined to riverside bushland reserves within the built up areas of southern Sydney (Sutherland Shire).
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