Elderslie lies on the land of the Dharawal people. Governor Macquarie made land grants along the Nepean River including one to the surveyor John Oxley, and was named ‘Ellerslie’ in grant records of 1816. The name had changed to its present form by 1828.
It is believed that the first building in the Camden area was constructed in Elderslie, at the river crossing, sometime in 1803. A number of properties, including ‘Elderslie’ were eventually owned by Charles Campbell, who subdivided his land in 1841 to create a village.
Agriculture was the main industry, in particular grape growing and market gardening. Grapes for wine were grown by Martin Thurn, a vinedresser from Germany who was brought out by the Macarthur family to Camden Park in 1852. More recent industries include sand mining of the flood plain.
The expansion of the coal industry in the 1950s- 1970s lead to a population increase, with more housing being built in Elderslie, and the construction of a primary school (Mawarra) and a high school. This growth is continuing with new residential subdivisions being created on surrounding remnant agricultural land.
(Information provided by Camden Historical Society, Camden Council Library Service and Camden Council Community Profile)