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Erskineville Name Origin
Erskineville is named after Erskine Villa, the home of Wesleyan minister, Reverend George Erskine, built in 1830. After changing owners a few times, the property was eventually left to the Church of England and became the rectory for the Holy Trinity Church at Macdonaldtown. In 1893 Macdonaldtown was renamed as the Borough of Erskineville.
Erskineville Settlement History
In the late nineteenth century, the inhabitants were originally market gardeners, though brick making and tanning also became dominant industries. The Victorian cottages and small rows of Victorian terraces that dominate the built form of the suburb were the homes of the workers in these industries, which explains their smallness: a four-metre wide terrace is large by Erskineville standards.
In the early twentieth century, manufacturing in the area diversified, and Erskineville became a resolutely working class inner city suburb, with a proud history of resistance, and a less proud history of street violence. After World War 2 Greek and Macedonian found it an affordable place to settle, near the city.
From the 1970s, Erskineville underwent gentrification with new residents attracted to the village atmosphere, the excellent public transport links (three railway stations on two different lines within walking distance) and the proximity to Newtown. The gay and lesbian community was part of the first wave of gentrification and are still a component of the community. As the terrace houses were renovated, the narrow streets were cobbled and speed-bumped and an urban forest of plantings grew in the streets and pocket parks.
The Imperial Hotel at Erskineville is the famous drag show pub featured in the movie Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
Erskineville and the Inner West area were featured in the indie film, Erskineville Kings, one of the last projects that Hugh Jackman worked on before he was offered the role of Wolverine in X-Men, henceforth becoming a Hollywood movie star.