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

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Hamilton Council Chambers

The Hamilton Council Chambers consist of a couple of buildings, one which was constructed in the period 1833 to 1835 and the main, central building around 1879. The earlier building is the old police building and is on the right hand side of the main council chamber.

Following many letters and petitions about the increasing number of robberies in the district, Lieutenant Governor Arthur approved the appointment of a police magistrate and supporting constables in 1833. In 1835, Colonial Architect John Lee Archer arrived to inspect the new police office and to which he arranged the addition of two more rooms. There was also a spacious loft for the storage of stolen property. By 1837, the police magistrate, Mr Torlese had a formidable staff consisting of a clerk, district constable, two divisional constables, eleven petty constables and a flagellator. To accommodate the police establishment's customers, there was also a watch house with two large lock ups, eight individual cells plus the lock up keepers quarters and a cook house. It went on to develop into the Hamilton Gaol.

The municipality of Hamilton was one of the first in Tasmania, being proclaimed in 1863. At the first election, J.F Sharland was elected as warden with Captain William Langdon as treasurer. Council's first meeting was in the middle building which was also to be used as the local court in 1879. It is a far more sophisticated building than the older buildings, the old police building and the old gaolers cottage, that surround it.

The new chamber were not only used as the court or council chambers. they could also be hired by the public for functions and meetings. Hiring fees for the new chamber ranged from 10 shillings for "charitable or religeous objects" to three pounds for a ball. A further addition to the complex is a concrete block wing which is probably quite functional but shows no empathy with the look of the rest of the group.

Hamilton today is the administrative centre of the Central Highlands municipality which covers over 12% of Tasmania's land mass. It has a permanent population of 2,216 and 3,700 ratepayers, many of whom own shacks in the communities around the region’s numerous spectacular lakes and mountains.
The Central Highlands boasts glorious scenery and dramatic built heritage dating back to the early 19th century. It is the birthplace of Tasmania’s Hydro-Electric power system and home to the best trout fishing in the southern hemisphere. The region is host to a World Heritage Area, two national parks and other Wilderness Conservation Areas, to Tasmania’s recreational fly fishing, hunting and bushwalking communities, and has strong agricultural, horticultural and tourism industries.

Main Text & Information Sources - 
"From Black Snake To Bronte" - Audrey Holiday & John Trigg

Sunday, 21 February 2016

White's Store Complex, Bothwell

White's Store Complex, comprises a group of buildings on two adjacent lots. The property is protected under the Tasmanian Historic Cultural Heritage Act 1995 and is recognized for its heritage value being included on the Register of the National Estate and in the Central Highlands Planning Scheme. The original White's wooden Store dates back to c.1837 and the later larger store on the corner of Alexander and Queen Streets was constructed around c.1850.

The larger brick building includes sandstone paving along the footpath. White's Store is named after John White, a convict who received a Free Pardon in 1843. White was born in England in 1810 and lived for 94 years. He became a prominent businessman in Bothwell owning a tannery and brick kiln as well as the general store. The later corner store shop front boasts 28 original glass panes in pilaster casings.

The shop residence includes a dormer area providing spacious accommodation, kitchen and living areas with 2 fireplaces. The residence at the rear of the original shop hosts fully self contained accommodation with a kitchen and bathroom. Buildings also located on the property include the early kitchen, 2 baker's ovens, early barn, grain store, stable/ coach-house/ barn, cow-bails and skin shed dating to the 1950's.

White's Store Complex is of historic significance as it represents a rare and unique group of Colonial shops. The Complex maintains the character and form of an Old Colonial Georgian commercial retail centre.
The White's Store is of social significance and maintains links to the local community. The complex is an important part of a relatively intact 19th century streetscape in Bothwell.

The property remained in the White family for over 150 years.  White's Store Complex is of historic significance as it represents a rare and unique group of Colonial shops. The Complex maintains the character and form of an Old Colonial Georgian commercial retail centre. The property was recently sold

Main Text & Information Source – 
Interpretive Sign at the Site
Youtube Video uploaded by RE Nation in 2010

Internal Photos – 

Watch the video for more information and views of the store.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Prince Of Wales Hotel, Evandale

The Prince Of Wales Hotel was originally constructed by William Sidebottom in 1836. It was one of the earliest Inns to be constructed in the new township of Evandale. Evandale was originally named Honeysuckle Banks after the camp made by Macquarie in his traverse of Tasmania in 1811 and thereafter the emerging town was named New River and then known as Collin's Hill in the 1820s.

The town was officially known as Morvern, after the original surveyed site for a town some 3 km south of the current town but the site was unsuitable due to lack of permanent water. The town was renamed Evansdale in 1829, after the surveyor George William Evans, and then Evandale in 1836.

The first inn was recorded as opening in 1832, the New River, which was later rebuilt as the Patriot King William the Fourth - later renamed the Blenheim, now Blenheim House. Another old tavern was the Ingleside, now rebuilt as the Ingleside bakery. The oldest public house still trading is the Prince of Wales Hotel and it was first licensed in 1842. Sidebottom also constructed the Railway Hotel (which no longer exists) and established a tannery and bark mill nearby.

Another licensee, Thomas Hanney, used to run coaches from Evandale through to Launceston in the 1850's. Hanney's coaches proudly carried the Royal Mail. The bar of the Prince Of Wales Hotel once contained a butcher's shop and a cake shop run by the Misses Fyfe, whose father operated an early bus service to Western Junction.

The hotel is now substantially altered from its original form. The original entrance used to be on the splay corner of the building. The Prince Of Wales Hotel is still a vital part of the Evandale community providing quality meals, accomodation & entertainment all year round.

Main Text & Information Sources - 
Evandale Heritage Walk brochure - Published by the Evandale Community Centre

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Accountant's House, Port Arthur

This house was built in 1843 to house the medical officers responsible for the outlying probation stations. Later, the officer in charge of the commissariat stores, otherwise known as the accountant lived in the cottage.

At the time that the cottage was offered for sale in 1889, the cottage was being used as a school. It was purchased by Mr A Blackwood who just managed to save the house in the 1895 bushfires. However, great damage was done to the cottage and much of the interior had to be painstakingly rebuilt.

It seems that the lawns around the cottage have always been a special feature of the garden of the property. This is in contrast to the flower beds and cottage gardens of many of the nearby houses.

As with all the houses on what is referred to as Civil Officers Row, the Accountants House has been restored and appears to be open to the public at various times during the year. A beautiful little house.

Main Text & Information Sources – 
Interpretive Signs at the site
“Port Arthur – Convicts & Commandants” – Walter B Pridmore