Mystery surrounding name of Rose Street in South Cronulla solved

A tragic story lies behind the pretty name of a South Cronulla street.

Rose Street, opposite Oak Park, appears to have been named after a young woman who died in 1908 after she slipped and fell into a well on a property in that location while drawing water.

Peter Moore, a member of Sutherland Shire Historical Society, discovered the story while looking for an explanation of the name of Rose Street, which runs between Ewos Parade and Harbour Street.

Writing in the society's bulletin, Mr Moore said Rose Thorne, 28, was the daughter of Edward Thorne, who owned a considerable amount of land in South Cronulla mainly around the Oak Park area, which he started to acquire from 1898.

"He was a businessman from the Newtown area and owned a tailoring shop in King Street," Mr Moore wrote.

"He developed his land in South Cronulla and constructed cottages for holiday letting and a weekend retreat for his family."

Mr Moore's searches revealed a record of the death of Rose Thorne, the daughter of Edward and Annie, in 1908.

He then found an article in The Sydney Morning Herald on October 27, 1908, headed: FATALITY AT CRONULLA - WOMAN DROWNED IN WELL

"The Kogarah police were informed at 11 o'clock last night of the death of Rose Thorne, aged 28, who was drowned in a well," the Herald reported.

"She had been living with her parents at Cronulla and was drawing a bucket of water from a well 11 feet deep and containing 7 feet of water.

"Whilst drawing it, the boards on which she was standing being wet caused her to slip, and the weight of the bucket pulled her into the well.

"Her father, Edward Thorne, a tailor, in business at Newtown, had left her at 12.30pm and returned at 3pm.

"He did not notice her absence, as she had previously stated her intentions of going to the post-office.

"At 6 o'clock she was still missing. He went to the well and came upon the body. He obtained assistance, and brought her to the surface, but life was extinct. An inquest will be held."

Mr Moore wrote that Rose Thorne was interred at Rookwood Cemetery on October 28, 1908.

In 1944, her sister May was interred with her and their parents alongside in 1928 and 1931.

Mr Moore wrote, as another society member Laurie Burgess had pointed out in a previous article on South Cronulla, the Thornes had a house in Harbour Street, called Cronulla House, which was situated near the intersection of Rose Street.

"Therefore, it is most likely that when Edward Thorne subdivided his land he named the new street Rose after his late daughter," he said.

"Thus ends the mystery in the naming of Rose Street".