It was first settled by Europeans between 1861 and 1866. The first industry in the area was timber. The public school opened in 1878, but this was eventually closed and pupils transferred to Cooranbong Community School. The town sits in a small valley at the base of the Watagan Mountains.
- Cooranbong, first town in Lake Macquarie, 1827–1997: a history including Martinsville and Dora Creek by Michael Chamberlain (description). ISBN 0-646-32958-8
- History of Martinsville (Lake Macquarie City Library)