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Showing posts from March, 2012

Perthville #17

1. Bridge Hotel at Perthville
2. Farming near Perthville
3. The bridge

Being just 12 kms outside Bathurst, Perthville seems almost a suburb but retains the characteristics of a country town with a pub, general store and school. The railway line is active with freight trains but they don't stop at Perthville any more.

There is also a church and the Bathurst Diocese Mother House of the Sisters of St Joseph, the order foundered by Australia's saint Mary Mackillop. Today it is a pilgrimage site and Josephite Centre.
Perthville was originally gazetted as Perth but after federation had its name changed to Perthville to avoid confusion with the Western Australian capital city.  This town seems to be a rare case of not being a gold mining town in this region.  It was a stopping off point for bullockies and coach travellers. 

View the location of Perthville on the map.

Yetholme #16

1. Church at Yetholme
2. Home with creative studio

Yetholme was first known as Frying Pan. As the story goes this was because of the frying pan that was left on the wall of hut for use by passers by. Yetholme was declared as a parish in 1896 by which time it was a popular tourist resort.

Today it is bypassed by the highway so rests as an attractive little hideaway among the pine trees, a small town with a church, neat community hall and picnic areas plus a range of dwellings including accommodation and art galleries.

View the location of Yetholme on the map.

Bathurst #15

1. Bathurst Court House
2. Spring garden display near the War Memorial
3. Bathurst city street
4. Attractive old housing
5. St Stephen's Church
6. Mount Panorama race circuit
7. The Royal Agricultural Show
8. Historic Abercrombie House
9. Charles Sturt University

Bathurst is Australia's oldest inland settlement, a modern city with an historic past.  With a population of 34,000 today it is a busy regional centre serving the rural community. It also has a strong manufacturing base, government departments and a university.

The 1850s gold rush started in this area. Substantial historic buildings built with the wealth from that time are visible throughout the city.

It is a popular tourist destination with the famous Mount Panorama race track is easily spotted by the name emblazoned on the mountain. There is an old Royal Hotel (now renamed) which I am still to locate  and photograph.

It is an attractive, accessible city and a great base for exploring the countryside for those that prefer ci…

Peel #14

1. Peel Church
2. Home
3. Tennis Court

I wonder if the bell at the church still peals at Peel.  The town (population around 100)which is just 19kms outside the city of Bathurst is a cluster of homes and churches. I understand that the Catholic Church is now a private home. Like most of these towns it seems to have popped on the map in the 1850-60s but it is not clear to me whether it started as a mining town or a service town on the route to the goldfields. There was a reef mine in the area at some time but in 1866 the population was just 250 people so it was not one of those boom towns where tens of thousands of miners gathered.

View the location of Peel on the map.

Limekilns #13

1. Former Rising Sun Inn
2. Old boiler - historic relic
3. Another view of the Rising Sun, now Rosedale 4. Old farm shed

There is no town at Limekilns today.  Even in the heyday of these towns during the gold rush, back in 1866 is was just a little place with a population of 270, a post office and one hotel the Rising Sun which still stands today.

In the 1870s a Roman Catholic Church was built here but as early as the 1900s it had fallen into disuse so was moved to Sofala in 1913 and later moved to Wattle Flat. I guess this explains what happened to some of the buildings in these old towns that have disappeared.

See the location of Limekilns on the map.

Sunny Corner #12

1. Sunny Corner environs
2. Dance hall
3. Houses
4. Cemetery
5. Nearby mining ruins

In the 1860s Sunny Corner was a gold mining town with about 15 crushing machines at the peak of the rush.  In the 1880s discovery of a silver reef led to the establishment of the first silver-smelting plant in NSW and the town grew dramatically with shops and hotels.

Today it is a small but not particularly pretty town nestled among pine plantations. It's history lies strewn in the surrounding hills. The population of around 170 people includes timber workers, artists and people who commute to the nearby cities. It's a place where you can find history, rural tranquility and isolation in lovely surroundings without inconvenience.

See the location of Sunny Corner on the map.

Meadow Flat #11

1. Meadow Flat environs
2. Community hall
3. War memorial 
4. School

Meadow Flat has a string of houses old and new along its single street.  Why did it come into being, was it ever more of a town than it is today?  I don't know.  It is on an intersection of roads and is nicely placed halfway between the cities of Lithgow and Bathurst, perhaps that has something to do with it. Today around 40 students attend the school, the community hall is maintained (they were mowing the lawn the day we were there) and a rural fire service shed is in place. A pleasant rural spot within easy commuting distance to bigger places.

See where Meadow Flat is on the map.

Ophir #10

1. Farmland shed near Ophir
2. Ophir cemetery
3. Headstone at Ophir cemetery
4. View from Ophir cemetery
5. Map of the diggings
6. Camping area

Ophir was the first payable gold field found in Australia. The town started with a gold rush in the 1850s but by the 1860s the field was largely abandoned. In the 1870s it had another lease of life when reef mining began. The last of the burials in the cemetery occurred in the 1920s and the church nearby was a ruin by the 1930s. Today there is nothing left of Ophir other than relics such as this old cemetery and the land disturbed by gold mining.

In a gorge where the Summer Hill and Lewis Ponds Creeks converge there is a lovely picnic and camping ground where you can follow various walks around the old diggings. Ophir is interesting place for history buffs to take a walk or drive.

See the location of Ophir on the map.