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Called Bullanaming by the Cadigal Aboriginal people before white settlement, Marrickville would get its name from the birth town of the Thomas Chalder, the owner of the estate on which the town of Marrickville was to emerge. Starting its life as a small farming suburb, the semi-rural town had only a handful of residents up until the 1870s with poultry and market gardeners attracted to the fertile land surrounding the area.
The 1880s saw the extension of tram and train tracks to Marrickville, and with Sydney’s first passenger train terminus being built here, the fledgling suburb had started to become more urbanised. Working and middle class residences were built on the land which ran either side of Marrickville Road. This proliferation of major transportation services and a major road running through it made it a popular urban area for industrial development and by the 1900s was an established factory area.
Marrickville has long been known for its multicultural population and after the post-war influx of European migrants became home to a large Mediterranean community, with Turkish, Italian and Greek communities settling in Marrickville and its surrounding suburbs. In 1961 it was noted for the first time that Marrickville's population was specifically skewed towards ethnic migrants from non-English speaking backgrounds. Today Marrickville is home to significant Vietnamese and Greek communities, which can been seen from the array of Greek bakeries, pastry shops and uniquely Mediterranean additions to their federations houses and Vietnamese grocery shops which line Marrickville road.