The history and future of Morisset have come together with the unveiling of a new plaque commemorating Lieutenant Colonel James Morisset, one of the Hunter’s most prominent early settlers.
The historic spot, located under a tree near the Morisset railway, marks the site where it is believed Morisset, who was a Major at the time, made a camp on the first overland trip from Newcastle to Sydney in 1823.
The camp site is said to have led to the naming of the economic centre.
A plaque that was fixed to the tree originally marked the location, however after becoming weathered and difficult to read, the council have worked together with local donor Creightons Funeral Service, to replace the original with a new plaque, turning a new page in the history of Morisset.
The new plaque was presented to Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser and will be fixed to a sandstone boulder adjacent to the iconic tree.
“This new plaque represents a really significant moment that celebrates the history of Morisset,” she said.
“It’s incredible to think that we’re standing here under the same tree where Major Morisset camped with his company.
“Similarly, it’s wonderful that we can continue to share the story of how Morisset was named with future generations.
“Historically, Morisset has been an important site, but it also has an exciting future.
“It’s a gateway to Lake Macquarie City, connected to Sydney and the Hunter by road and rail, and has so much potential to grow the local economy, attract investment and create jobs.
“I’m sure, when Major Morisset made camp at this site 200 years ago, he could have never imagined the strategic importance of this place and what it may become.”
The new plaque reads:
“Originally unveiled by Mr Christopher Morisset great grandson of Major J.T. Morisset on the 28th October 1978. This marks the spot where Major J.T. Morisset and his company camped on the first journey over land from Newcastle to Sydney in April 1823.
“Kindly donated by Creightons Funeral Service/The Palmdale Group in 2021, to replace the original plaque donated by Ald. Fennell on behalf of the Fennell and Frost family.”
Council has arranged for the previous plaque that was unveiled in 1978 to be removed from the tree and sent to descendants of Lieutenant Colonel James Morisset, who now live in South Australia.
– Allie Martinelli