Sydney’s first commercial dairy was built by Dr John Harris on his Ultimo estate, now an inner suburb. Harris was a naval surgeon and magistrate who became one of the colony’s largest landowners. Ultimo’s Harris Street is named after him.
In 1793, Harris bought the estate of James Ruse, Australia’s first ex-convict farmer, at Parramatta. Over following years he acquired more land, including estates at Ultimo, Drummoyne and Bathurst. By 1800 he owned 315 acres (127 ha) of land and had acquired 431 head of stock.
The Ultimo estate was subdivided in 1859. Until then it remained as farmland, in possession of the Harris family.