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History

A brewery built Oatley Hotel in 1928 and the pub originally attracted the nearby Oyster Farmers of Neverfail Bay. Back then, Oatley Hotel was known as “the closest country pub to the city”. The grounds of the pub were previously occupied by Harrison and O’Brien’s produce store and a wood and coal yard.

Through famous resident author John O’Grady the pub became even more prominent. John O’Grady wrote the books The Weird Mob (1957) and Gone Fishin’ (1962) which repeatedly featured Oatley pub.

At the advent of the Alexander Mackey College (now Oatley Education Centre) a pie shop was opened in the pub, where the Clock and Oyster restaurant is now. The pie shop introduced the Oyster pie, which attracted the attention of a journalist having lunch in the pub one day. The journalist wrote an article for a Sydney newspaper on the pies and John O’Grady and after this, people would come from far and wide for these Oyster pies.

James Oatley 1770 – 1839

James Oatley was born in 1770 in Staffordshire, England. In 1814 he was found guilty of stealing two featherbed mattresses and was at first sentenced to death, however he was reprieved but banished to Australia for life.

Arriving in 1815, he soon set up his own business as a clock and watchmaker in George Street, Sydney, on what is now the site of the Sydney Town Hall. He received a pardon in 1821 and died in 1839. He was buried on his own land, by that stage owning around 800 acres around Sydney.

In 1833 James Oatley received a grant of 70 hectares along the Georges River, which he called Needwood Forest. It was subdivided in the early 1880s in anticipation of the coming of the Illawarra railway in 1884.

Sources:
Oatley – In Early Days
DJ Hatton

Mr Oatley – the Celebrated Watchmaker
DJ Hatton