Originally named Eastern Farms, this area of what is now Ryde became known as Kissing Point by 1794. The first land grants, each of 30 acres, were made to ten emancipated convicts in 1792. The area became an important source of produce for the colony, supplying Sydney with fruit, vegetables, poultry, maize and pigs.
Kissing Point was located east of Parramatta, hence its original name. However, the Kissing Point name came into use, most likely because heavily loaded boats passing up the Parramatta River bumped or ‘kissed’ the shallow bottom as they rounded the point.
One of the most renowned farmers in the area was James Squire. He was an emancipist who was granted 30 acres in 1795. Squire grew hops and went on to become a brewer and proprietor of the Malting Shovel inn. He also raised sheep and grain crops, had a bakery and supplied Sydney with meat.
Produce was transported from Kissing Point to Sydney by boat and from 1803 the prices of goods landed at the wharf were reported in the Sydney Gazette.