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New South Wales
|Coordinates||32°35′S151°36′E / 32.583°S 151.600°E Coordinates: 32°35′S151°36′E / 32.583°S 151.600°E|
|Population||892 (2016 census) |
|• Density||21.55/km2 (55.80/sq mi)|
|Elevation||30 m (98 ft)|
|Area||41.4 km2 (16.0 sq mi) |
|State electorate(s)||Upper Hunter |
Paterson is a small township in the lower Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia. Located within Dungog Shire, it is situated on the Paterson River. It is in the middle of what was once dairy, timber and citrus country and is now more significantly a feeder town for the nearby mining industry in the Upper Hunter and the city of Newcastle. It was named after one of the first known Europeans in the area was Colonel William Paterson in 1801 surveyed the area beside the river. 
It is approximately 15 minutes drive north along either Tocal or Paterson Roads from the nearest major township of Maitland. Paterson railway station lies on the main North Coast Railway Line between Sydney and Brisbane with daily services north to Dungog and south-east to Newcastle.
Adjoining areas include Duns Creek, Martins Creek and Vacy.
The area was once occupied by the Wonnarua and Worimi peoples, who are Aboriginal Australian groups. The first official European in the area was the man whose name the town was to adopt, Colonel William Paterson, who, in 1801, surveyed the area beside the river that Governor King named in his honour. 
As with so many colonial settlements, timbercutters, after local supplies of red cedar, followed in the footsteps of the explorers and surveyors. Indeed, the Hunter River, into which the Paterson River flows, was then known as the Cedar Arm due to the abundance of timber.
In 1812, four convicts (Swan, Pell, Davis and Swan) and John Tucker jnr were permitted by Governor Macquarie to commence farming on the Paterson River at "Patersons Plains", a location that came to be known as "Old Banks", as a special reward for supplying the Government with 500 cedar logs.  Old Banks, in an area first surveyed by Henry Dangar in 1822–23, was the true genesis of rural settlement outside of the Sydney basin. It grew to eight farms along the river by 1818, six of them belonging to convicts. This fledgling farming community subsisted under the oversight of the locality's military station and lock-up established at the river's crossing point. Commandant Morrisett established (c.1818) the first Magistrate's Court above Newcastle in his Commandant's Cottage that he constructed at Old Banks on the farm of Pell (d.1815).
However, from the early 1820s, the prominence of Old Banks as the Government's primary frontier seat of Government, and the 'original' Paterson, waned as a consequence of the establishment (from c.1818) and prolific growth of the Government's rural settlement and township at Wallis Plains (now East Maitland) ten kilometres to the south. With the construction of an overland route direct to north-western Sydney in 1823, Wallis Plains and the deep river port of Morpeth became the centre of the Lower Hunter Valley's connections with Sydney and the penal settlement at Newcastle. Even so, the military outpost at Old Banks (along with a similar facility 14 kilometres to the east at Seaham on the Williams River) continued to provide for the interception of escaped convicts from Port Macquarie, the imposition of law and order for the Paterson region and the oversight of a most important centre for transportation of goods, chattels and people.
The first land grant in the area was made to Captain William Dun in 1821 on land a few kilometres to the north of Old Banks. In 1822, when the area was formally opened up to settlement, James Webber established "Tocal" on his land grant immediately to the north-west of Swan's farm; Tocal to become among the most successful of the farming establishments on the lower Paterson River. In 1823, Morrisett's Government Cottage and associated infrastructure was made available to Timothy Nowlan as the base for his Government-sponsored sheep breeding 'experiment', and family home. A one-mile square area situated to the west of the river at Old Banks (and about 800m distant from the river and to the south of Tocal) was identified as a possible township by the early 1830s. However this was not developed in favour of the present township site.
The present township of Paterson, situated six kilometres to the north of the original military station at Old Banks, was the third to be surveyed in the Hunter Valley after Newcastle and Maitland, but was not proclaimed until 1833. With the continuing settlement of the district, Paterson soon became an important tidal river port and service centre to the surrounding community. Many early settlers were Scots and hence a Presbyterian Church preceded an Anglican establishment. Indeed, St Ann's, opened in 1842, is said to be the oldest Presbyterian Church on mainland Australia. The river trade began to decline in the 1850s as the road to Maitland improved. Timber mills were established by the 1870s. In its heyday Paterson had four stores, five hotels, two shipyards, a sawmill, a tannery, four blacksmiths, two butchers, a bakery and a boarding school for girls. Shipbuilding also commenced with the development of the river trade and considerable supplies of tobacco were grown, as well as grains, grapes, wine, citrus fruits and cotton were transported by steamboats to Morpeth, Newcastle and Sydney.
By the time the railway arrived in 1911 the long-term decline of river transportation had taken its toll. With ironic symbolism the railway line passed directly over the wharf and a mishap during the construction of the railway bridge in 1909 sunk one of the local boats, the Anna Maria, which had been contracted to carry the BHP made girders. The boat was salvaged but was nearly destroyed again when a spark from a steam train set it ablaze. The last steam boats visited the area in the 1930s.
Throughout the 20th century agriculture has been the major source of local income. Citrus production was particularly strong at the turn of the century, with an estimated 30,000 cases being handled at the port each year.
At the 2006 census, Paterson had a population of 345 people. 
Before the church was built religious duties were done at home by George Augustus Middleton.  In January 1836 local people raised money for the election of a church.  On 26 October 1839 the town was appointed their first resident minister Rev. John Jennings Smith.  Jennings-Smith erected a small stone building on Church land at the corner of King and Duke streets initially for a church and a school.  In 1892 the large corner block was to Commercial Bank Co. in Sydney with the money used to build a parish hall.  The church stated to be built and not complete until 1845. 
Paterson has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
There is an active historical society that maintains sites of historical importance in the area. The society has a museum collection in the Paterson Court House that is open once a week. The area is also serviced by Paterson Public School, and the local newsletter The Paterson "Psst".
During March, Paterson holds an annual festival at Tucker Park, with market stalls and local produce. The nearby Tocal Agricultural College holds a small farms Field Day on the first weekend in May, showcasing the college and local agricultural interests.
Paterson Classic Car show is held mid September with a mixed collection of vintage cars, trucks and bikes, with market stalls and live music throughout the day.
Also Paterson Gallery hosts a collection of talented local artworks available for purchase, celebrating an open night the first Friday of every month with an open invitation to all. The Rail Motor Society is located opposite Paterson railway station.
Maitland is a city in the Lower Hunter Valley of New South Wales, Australia and the seat of Maitland City Council, situated on the Hunter River approximately 166 kilometres (103 mi) by road north of Sydney and 35 km (22 mi) north-west of Newcastle. It is on the New England Highway approximately 17 km (11 mi) from its origin at Hexham.
The Hunter Region, also commonly known as the Hunter Valley, is a region of New South Wales, Australia, extending from approximately 120 km (75 mi) to 310 km (193 mi) north of Sydney. It contains the Hunter River and its tributaries with highland areas to the north and south. Situated at the northern end of the Sydney Basin bioregion, the Hunter Valley is one of the largest river valleys on the NSW coast, and is most commonly known for its wineries and coal industry.
Dungog is a country town on the Williams River in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia. Located in the middle of dairy and timber country, it is the centre of the Dungog Shire local government area and at the 2016 census it had a population of 2,025 people. The area includes the Fosterton Loop, 22 kilometres (14 mi) of road, used in the annual Pedalfest. A small portion of Dungog lies in the Mid-Coast Council LGA.
The Main North Line is a major railway in New South Wales, Australia. It runs through the Central Coast, Hunter and New England regions. The line was the original main line between Sydney and Brisbane, however this required a change of gauge at Wallangarra. As of 1988, the line closed progressively north of Armidale with services gradually withdrawn till 2004, with the main route between Sydney and Brisbane now the North Coast line.
Morpeth is a suburb of the city of Maitland in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia. It is on the southern banks of the Hunter River at the border between the City of Maitland and Port Stephens Council LGAs. The major population centre, where almost all residents of the suburb reside, is the historical town of Morpeth which takes its name from Morpeth, Northumberland, near Newcastle upon Tyne, in England.
Civic railway station was located on the Newcastle line in New South Wales, Australia. It served the Civic part of Newcastle's central business district, opening on 22 December 1935. The station had the smallest signal box in the state to control the Merewether Street level crossing. The signal box closed in July 1992. Civic station closed on 25 December 2014, when the Newcastle line was truncated to terminate at Hamilton. In 2019, Civic was reopened as a park named "Museum Place" due to it being a short distance from Newcastle Museum. The area between the platforms was filled in, and the station buildings remained intact.
Seaham is a suburb of the Port Stephens local government area in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia. It is located on the Williams River which flows into the Hunter River 14.6 km (9.1 mi) downstream from Seaham village at Raymond Terrace.
Brandy Hill is a suburb of the Port Stephens local government area in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia. It was originally farmland but was subdivided in the 1980s and now supports a population of almost 700 people living on large, primarily residential, blocks. It overlooks working farmland and offers superb views of the greater Morpeth area, with visibility extending to Maitland.
Woodville is a rural suburb in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia that is shared between the Port Stephens and Maitland local government areas (LGA). Most of the suburb lies to the east of the Paterson River in the Port Stephens LGA while a small area of approximately 1.3 square kilometres (0.5 sq mi), to the west of the Paterson, is within the boundaries of the Maitland LGA.
East Gresford is a village in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia in Dungog Shire. The village is located 192 kilometres (119 mi) north of Sydney and the nearest major centres are Singleton some 42 kilometres (26 mi) southwest and Maitland to the south. In the 2006 census, it had a population of 289.
Clarence Town is both a primarily rural locality and a township in the Dungog Shire local government area in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia. It is 193 kilometres (120 mi) north of Sydney, 54 km (34 mi) north-north-west of Newcastle, and 28 km (17 mi) from the Pacific Highway at Raymond Terrace. The locality is bisected by the Williams River. The township sits just to the west of the river about 32 km (20 mi) upstream from where it flows into the Hunter River at Raymond Terrace.
Tarro is a north-western suburb of the Newcastle City Council local government area in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia. It, and parts of nearby Beresfield, was originally known as Upper Hexham, "lower" Hexham being an older settlement located about 5 kilometres (3 mi) to the east on the Hunter River. The name "Tarro" reportedly means "stone" in an Aboriginal language.
Glen Oak is a small community in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia, shared between the Port Stephens and Dungog local government areas (LGA). Approximately two thirds of the suburb's 45.1 square kilometres (17.4 sq mi) is located within the Port Stephens LGA while the remaining third, which is sparsely populated, is located in Dungog Shire.
Duns Creek is a rural residential suburb in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia, located near the historic village of Paterson in the north-western corner of the Port Stephens Council local government area.
Tocal is a locality situated in the lower Hunter Valley, of New South Wales, Australia. Located approximately 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) north of Maitland, and about 180 kilometres (110 mi) north of Sydney it is located at the junction of the Paterson River and Webbers Creek.
Martins Creek is a small country town located between Dungog and Maitland in the Hunter Region of Australia.
Largs is a developing township adjacent to Bolwarra Heights and is a suburb in the City of Maitland in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia. It is located on the eastern side of the Hunter River, 6 km north of the Maitland CBD. As of 2018, the Maitland LGA is seeing new development along elevated areas adjacent to the river flood plain. Maitland is an established city. Schools and all normal community facilities are available. The City of Maitland covers an area of 390 square kilometres.
Royal Oak Arms Hotel is a heritage-listed former Australian pub, store and bank building at 18 King Street, Paterson, Dungog Shire, New South Wales, Australia. It was also known as the Royal Oak Inn. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999.
Clarence Town Courthouse is a heritage-listed former courthouse and now museum at 49 Grey Street, Clarence Town, Dungog Shire, New South Wales, Australia. It was built from 1868 to 1869. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999.
Tocal Homestead is a heritage-listed homestead at Tocal Road, Paterson, Dungog Shire, New South Wales, Australia. The original 1845 homestead was designed by William Moir, while an 1867 barn was designed by Edmund Blacket. The property is owned by the C. B. Alexander Foundation. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999. The Tocal College complex, built on the former homestead grounds from the 1960s, is separately heritage-listed.
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