Robert Campbell

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Robert Campbell, ca 1810
Robert Campbell was born in Scotland and became a very successful merchant in Sydney. In 1840 he was approached by two entrepreneurs, William Knox Child and Francis Kemble, to sell part of his land at Canterbury for a site to construct a sugar processing factory. This factory, The Sugar Mill, opened in September, 1842 and provided work for many in Canterbury both directly and indirectly. The Sugar Mill still stands and is the earliest example of a privately constructed industrial building in Australia. It is on the river near Ewen Park.

On Robert Campbell Senior's death in 1846, his daughter, Sophia Ives Campbell was left the north-eastern portion of his Canterbury Estate. This property totalled 673 acres and included the area of Ewen Park. Sophia Campbell contributed much to the small community of Canterbury, particularly through the slumps in the economy. She was one of the first landowners to agree to donate her land for the Sydenham to Belmore railway line, a factor contributing to the decision to construct the line along the current route.