The potential of Twofold Bay has been of national interest since the 1840s, and it almost became Australia’s national port.
The final site was debated for almost 20 years with federation father Sir Henry Parkes once famously stating; “It does not follow that because this very fine port has from one cause or another been neglected, that it will continue to be neglected.”
Dalgety was long considered as a key site for the capital, with Eden as its port.
In 1904 it was named so in the federal parliament’s Seat of Government Act however the New South Wales government withheld support and refused to transfer the land to the Commonwealth - and so the debates and lobbying began again.
In 1908 Dalgety was briefly considered again before finally losing to the Yass/Canberra site, 39 votes to 33.
As the nation’s capital celebrates the centenary of its naming this year, a new exhibition by the Eden Killer Whale Museum reveals how the potential for the Eden port was recognised, and unrealised, as far back as the 1840s.
Among the items on display are photographs by WT Hall, Edmund T Luke and the full quote by Sir Henry Parkes.
The exhibition will be on display until December 8.