The suburb is named after Cumberland region in England. Parts of today's suburb were previously known as Cabra, Redfern, Hollywood, Reade Park Gardens, and Avenue Park.
Cumberland Park is bounded by Goodwood Road, Cross Road, Winston Ave and Edward Street. It includes Sections numbered 1,2 & 3 of the original Survey B in the Hundred of Adelaide with 80 acres being granted for each, in 1838 and 1839. In the early days the area was known as St Marys or Goodwood Road. I as I know of no early photos it is left to our imagination as to how the area looked before there was housing. Sections 1 & 3 were managed as broad acres, until subdivision, for at least the first 50 years. Whereas Section 2, between a line along Morris Street and between Somerset and Kyeema Avenues, was rented out and later sold as small holdings by the first owners W Collins and W Pearce. There are several windmill skeletons in the area which indicate accessible underground streams for rural activities.
James and Elizabeth Kentish with their family, aged between 5 and 15 years, arrived in the Colony 1838 from Surrey England and by June had secured a Land Grant of 80 acres for Section 1. Eight years later they transferred it to their two eldest sons, James Jun. and David and established "Rye Farm". James was elected to Mitcham Council in 1859 and in 1870 he was appointed as chairman for a short time. By this time there was a vineyard on his property and by 1877 the property was being leased to adjoining farmer, Henry Twining of South Road. Eventually 60 acres was sold to Father Frederick Bryne a clergyman of the Roman Catholic Church. In 1882 ten acres was given to the Dominican Nuns and in 1885 the foundation stone of Cabra Convent was laid ready for opening as a school the following year. The remaining twenty acres of the section was transferred to William T Foster who arranged for Daniel Garlick, architect and Walter D. Hewer, gentleman, to subdivide it into 85 allotments to be offered as Redfern. However, an economic depression set in, and although many blocks were sold, few were built upon. By 1913 Cabra Convent school for boarders and day students was being advertised as being "most beautifully situated in a very healthy position, commanding fine views of the Sea and Hills, and is connected with the City by Tram.
The Pupils are prepared for the different University Examinations: also top all Vocal and Instrumental Musical Examinations, Painting in Oils and Water colours, Plain and Fancy Needlework, Dressmaking, Bookkeeping, Shorthand and Typewriting are included in the course of studies."
Section 2 was initially granted to William Collins and William Pearce who immediately divided the area and started leasing portions of it.
The southern 40 acres of Section 2 was taken up in 1839 by Robert Everett, a plasterer who leased it to James Cross in 1841. From1845 William Hitchin, with James Cossins both sawyers and splitters of the Tiers, and James Caust, a blacksmith of Adelaide, took up 20 acres of the southern portion of Section 2. W Hitchin eventually bought the others out and in 1847 added an adjoining 20 acres, giving his occupation as a farmer, although unable to sign his name. William, married neighbour, Maria Pretty of Black Forest, in 1850. The property was valued at , 300 when it was brought under the Real Property Act in 1862. Just before he died suddenly in 1868, the elderly William leased the property to his neighbour on Section 3, Thomas Baulderstone.
William Hitchin's, son, William, eldest of the nine children, was an agent at Gladstone and possibly caught up in the enthusiasm of a new developing farming community. He took out a mortgage over the Goodwood Road property with Thomas G Waterhouse in 1883, but after Waterhouse died several years later the mortgage was transferred to Waterhouse family connections in England. One of whom was Leonard Waterhouse of 58 Great Cumberland Place, Marylebone (?) Middlesex, England. In spite of this, the property remained in the ownership of the Hitchin family for over 60 years until 1909. The mortgage was not paid off until 1910 when the property was sold to sharebroker REP Osborn who in turn sold it to Saunders and Ashby, real estate agents who subdivided it in 1913 naming it Cumberland, and created Cumberland and Somerset Avenues. Within a month of advertising the approximately 200 blocks for sale, all but 20 were sold.
Meanwhile, the northern portion of Section 2 was divided into much smaller properties, often beginning as lease holdings but had been purchased by the end of the 1840s. One of the major landholders, 18 acres was the Choat family. Firstly owned by Joe who died in 1849 of "Slow Fever" and then Henry, possibly his son, who was a builder. Although there was a house valued at , 22 there in 1853, the family lived in Black Forest. In 1857 mortgage was taken out in 1857 and when Henry and Caroline's sixth child, in their family of eight was born, Goodwood Road was given as the place of birth. This indicates that a house may have been improved or added to, although the value in the Council Assessments did not change until 1881 when the property was described as having a five room dwelling, stable and garden and worth , 40. The following year, perhaps because Henry was busy building, he sold the house and eleven acres to Samuel Strapps and five acres to JA Bagshaw.
Samuel Strapps, an Ironfounder in Adelaide, and wife Emma, had a family of eight. A mortgage was taken out for several years with his neighbour JS Bagshaw, indicating improvements to the substantial old house which still stands in Avenue Road. Samuel leased the property for a time and then in 1897 sold it to sharebroker, Richard EP Osborn for his wife Fanny. There were several owners in quick succession at the end of World War I and in 1920 house furnisher, John James Harding Brown of Hindley Street, Adelaide purchased the property and subdivided it as "Avenue Park" into 41 allotments. Joseph Timms (contractor for building the Garden Suburb, Colonel Light Gardens), held the one acre homestead block for several years before it was bought by Thomas Gibson of Toorak Gardens who held it during the depression years to 1932 when he died. Emilie Louise Robertson bought the property and owned it until she died in 1960. Several years before in 1957 she sold some of the property surrounding the house and then in 1963 a further three blocks were sold.
Avenue Road Reserve
Dougal Babbage, a brother of Mitcham Council's first chairman Benjamin Herschel Babbage, settled on eight acres of Section 2 in 1849 and kept it until 1873 when he sold it to George Espie who built a new house. Some of this area eventually became the school oval for Westbourne Park School, now Avenue Road Reserve.
"Sweet Briar Hall"
Another pioneer full of optimism who settled on Section 2 in 1849, was Richard LaVence who was a grocer in Rundle Street, Adelaide. His business partner was William Younghusband, pastoralist, mine director etc. Richard, with is wife Emilie arrived from Scotland and subsequently complete their family of five daughters. After playing the mining share market, at the end of 1850 he took a ship to Sydney owing money. One son-in-law Henry Broadbent was involved in the grocery business and no doubt suffered deprivation with his young family when his father-in-law became insolvent the following year. When the first Council Assessment on properties were first done in 1853, it is recorded that John Hearne owned and occupied a five room dwelling with six acres of garden. Three years later he married Lucy Inskip at the residence of the bridegroom, at "Sweet Briar Hall", St Mary's near Adelaide. In 1862 this property was sold to one of Lucy's relations, Thomas Edwin Inskip, a butcher and later the last licensee of the Hand and Heart Hotel on South Road Edwardstown, 1875-1877. Some of "Sweet Briar Hall" may well be still standing as the old house in Bowyer Crescent.
William and his wife Mary Louise Stevens owned the property the longest from 1877 to 1918. They had eleven children between 1870 and 1885. William was employed as a draftsman for the railways and continued to live there until his death in 1902, his wife Mary followed in 1918. Although the family maintained a mortgage over the property, it was subdivided by Havilah A Hanns creating Farah Place and a subdivision named, Redfern West in 1925. The other half of the three acres was sold to Charlotte Bowyer in 1926. Her husband was a butcher and the family continued to live there until 1956 when they too subdivided. Bowyer Crescent appears to be the only street in Cumberland Park named after a resident.
Another notable person settled in Cumberland Park area was John Augustus Bagshaw, an agricultural machinist, in 1876. Eventually he went into partnership with Horwood to become a major agricultural implement maker. Their factory was on the site of the present-day retirement village further west in Edward Street, Clarence Gardens. The Bagshaw family added another 5 acres to their original purchase of 3 acres in 1882 and held the property until subdivision in 1923 by Brighton Gardens Ltd.
By 1840 Section 3, was part of "Cornwall Farm", which extended south and west to South Road. It was being worked by John Thomas Scown who had planted 3 acres of wheat, 2 of potatoes and 1 acre of oats and had sunk a well 54 feet deep with 12 feet of water. He had temporary fences enclosing 6 acres with brush. The wheat sown at the end of April was a very good crop with little smut and so was the oats sown in the middle of July, but the potatoes were a very indifferent crop. Later this property was transferred to Hiram Manful who renamed the property "Chellaston Grove Farm" and when he returned to England in 1853, it was divided between James Kentish and Thomas Baulderstone. Twenty years later Baulderstone owned the whole of Section 3 and in 1905 divided it between his four children.
Redfern, the subdivision buffer between Goodwood Road and Cabra Convent was offered for sale in 1882 but no building started before the mid 1890s. The Cabra subdivision, west of the convent was not successful as it was offered in 1909 and again in 1911. Subdivisions took place of Avenue Park in 1920 and Bowyer Crescent in 1925. Most of Section 3 was subdivided in 1929 as Hollywood and Reade Park Gardens. Winston Avenue, named for the British war-time prime-minister, Winston Churchill, which forms the western boundary of the suburb was named in 1943, replacing the previous confusing names, Ann Street or Forest Avenue. Edward Street was named after Councillor George Edwards who owned land in the vicinity. It was proclaimed in 1902 at the same time as the Governor declared the Edwardstown Institute open. Avenue Road was once called Bone's Lane because George Bone (no relation to Bone Timber) owned the land to the west of Cumberland Park.
In 1967 when postcodes were introduced, the smaller subdivisions of Avenue Park, Redfern, Redfern West, Hollywood, Reade Park Gardens were brought together to form the present day suburb of Cumberland Park, a name first used for the area in 1913.