Sunday, 28 February 2016

Old School & Schoolhouse, Campbell Town

This fine old red brick building is located in the Bridge Street school grounds and was the headmasters residence as well as the schoolhouse. The Principal resided in the southern half of the building and the class rooms were situated in the remainder.

The building was completed in 1878 and the first headmaster was William Crowther Blyth who went on to undertake the role for twenty two years. He was an avid collector of fossils and he once discovered a perfect imprint of a large scallop shell high up on the Western Tiers.

His wife was the daughter of a military officer in charge of the aboriginal settlement at Oyster Cove and as a child she had often gone swimming with Truganini, the well known Aboriginal woman.

James Gatty was the next headmaster and his son, Harold, was born in the schoolhouse in 1903. Harold Gatty went on to perfect an air navigation system and ultimately went on to set up an air navigation school in Los Angeles. He was to receive international recognition in 1931 when he served as navigator to the renowned American pilot Wiley Post in their extraordinary round the world flight which took over 8 days to complete.

Today the building remains in excellent condition and houses the Campbell Town Online Access Centre and is part of the Campbell Town District High School complex.

Main Text & Information Sources - 
Interpretive Sign at the Site
"Campbell Town....On Elizabeth" - Walter.B.Pridmore