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The area now known as Mosman was traditionally the area of the Borogegal Tribe, and the homeland of prominent colonial-era Aboriginal Bungaree. Perhaps the best known of the Indigenous Australians at the time, Bungaree held an active role in the colony and was invited by Matthew Flinders to accompany his voyage to circumnavigate the country. His death by smallpox at the age of 26 was one of many Aboriginal deaths at the hands of the English disease which is purported to have wiped a substantial percentage of Sydney's Aboriginal population.
Mosman's location across the bay from Sydney Harbour became the frontline for Sydney's defence and maritime operations in 1801 when a battery was installed on Georges Head. Its rugged terrain made the land fairly inaccessible for early settlers and despite some small agricultural pursuits in the area, these early defence operations comprised the majority of settlement within Mosman for the first 30 years of the colony. A whaling station was constructed in Mosman in 1831 by the suburbs namesake Archibald Mosman along with John Bell proved to be a boom industry for the fledgling suburb until the company was sold and moved to Glen Innes in 1838.
With the construction of a road from Sydney to Mosman in the 1860s and a ferry linking the two coasts, Mosman start to attract settlers and visitors who wanted to be near the suburb's pretty coastal parklands. In 1878 a sandstone quarry was established in the suburb and would prove to be important for both the introduction of key industry to the area and for the colony with the majority of grand sandstone houses constructed at the time using Mosman sandstone. By the 1900s Mosman had a significant shopping strip and a great deal of magnificent houses which had it recognised as one of the more picturesque suburbs in a city becoming increasing polluted and overcrowded. With the construction of Taronga Zoo in 1916, the suburb had cemented its reputation as a destination suburb in Sydney.
It was the suburb's beauty which had long attracted a substantial artistic and literary community and led to the residents and the council taking specific care to challenge any development in the area which would impinge on the natural and architectural beauty of the suburb. Today Mosman's residents have maintained their support for Mosman’s heritage imperative with the large land blocks and architecturally stunning homes amongst the most prestigious and sought after in Sydney.
Mosman has the highest number of expatriates from America and the United Kingdom. Additionally, Mosman is known as one of the wealthier suburbs in NSW, with the greatest number of people earning $2000 or over in gross individual weekly income, and gross family incomes of over $3000 a week.
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