Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Hillgrove Accidentally




We were in search of a particular National Park lookout, on our way home from our big day out to my son's university in Armidale. It was the garden of this cute cottage which caught my eye, enough to ask Master J to stop and let me take some photos. Then we noticed the sign -




'Chalker's Cottage'????






But which building was actually the Chalker's Cottage and who or what was or is the Chalker?




We passed some vacant blocks of land and small buildings then came to this more substantial one - 'Post and Telegraph Office Hillgrove 1901-1949'.








Numerous green visitors' signs were dotted all through the almost-ghost-'village'. But why, what happened? What is/was Hillgrove?






Do you fancy settling here? Seems there is at least one 'property' on the market. Looks like it may even have the electricity connected.

We found a museum but it was closed. The road did not go the the lookout we were in search of. This was a most delightful and mysterious accidental dead-end detour which left us very curious about the history of this place. I wondered aloud if it had once been a mining town.

Once home again some internet searching proved my hunch to be correct. Gold was discovered in the area around 1857, but it was the mining of antimony in the 1870's which saw this township established with a shaft sunk 610 m/yds below the surface of the creek which itself was about 400m/yds down the steep Hillgrove Gorge. 

Hillgrove went on to become one of the major gold fields of NSW with over 15, 000 kg (33,000 lbs) of gold being produced. At its height in 1898 it had a population of 3, 500 similar to  that of nearby Armidale at the time. As for the rest of the fascinating story - I'll let you discover that for yourself here and here.

I would love to spend more time leisurely exploring Hillgrove one day, at a time when the Museum is open. But this day we had other destinations to reach before the sunset.....


Sharing at SkyWatch Friday.

25 comments:

s.c said...

I must say that the rust on one side and the flowers on the other gives a certain appeal at the total that is very pleasing. I understand why you asked to stop for a photo.

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

I love the Chalker's Cottage. The whole place looks very peaceful. I wonder how much that little place is that is for sale. It would make a nice weekend get-away, or a place to settle into and call home.

Thanks for sharing ~ FlowerLady

Giga said...

Accidentally discovered a very interesting place and well thought, that is associated with the mine. Small cottage is beautifully decorated with flowers. Regards.

Erica Sta said...

A interesting place to See in the past of this little town .... A greatful story and amazing captures .... I like it :)
Ccheers, Heidrun

SarahZ said...

Happy accident to be sure! I just love the photos! and my maiden name is Curtis :)

Sally Tharpe Rowles said...

Wow what an interesting story ....beautiful cottages...& wonderful photos....so glad you stumbled on this sweet piece of history & then shared it with us.

geanina said...

very interesting story! great images!:)

Dirk Rosin said...

i love the photos !

Erin said...

How fascinating!!

Kim said...

Oh my, Chalkers Cottage and the pretty garden evoke a feeling of a bygone era. Re the cute li'l cottage for sale....I can't imagine living in a home so small, but past generations did, didn't they;and they had large families. I rather love the post office building. I love houses from the Federation era. What a lovely, accidental discovery you enjoyed. Gorgeous photos, Karen!

Cathy said...

I say fill a yard with an array of flora and beauty will astound. It was enough for me to fall in love with Chalker's Cottage.

Joy said...

Good to know the story too:) Seems nice and peaceful there:)

Rachaeldaisy said...

That is just the sort of town I love. Isn't it amazing how some towns continue to grow and flourish and others almost become ghost towns. Thank you for sharing Hillgrove with us.

eileeninmd said...

Interesting story and post.. I love the photos of the cottage and post office. It is a cute town.. And the sky looks lovely.. Have a happy day!

Light and Voices said...

What an adventure you two were on. I love the cottage with the flowers. Skies are really lovely. It was totally worth the trip. I hope you can go back and see the museum when it isn't closed. I've been and done similar here in the States. Isn't it fun?
JM, Illinois-U.S.A.

Gemma Wiseman said...

Love stumbling across mysterious places like this. The area has such an atmosphere of intrigue and beautiful landscape. Rusted iron has a very special beauty. The Chalker's Cottage is certainly an interesting one.

Jim said...

Wonderful skies

Photo Cache said...

what a charming cotttage.

Spare Parts and Pics said...

What a totally interesting place to discover! Great photos, especially like the cottage.

Magnus said...

Wonderful photos!

ladyfi said...

What adorable buildings!

Lea said...

Very interesting!
Have a great week-end!
Lea

Linda R said...

I enjoyed reading about your fun find. So interesting. The photos look wonderful.

Hugs~

Barb said...

Wow - isn't that cottage with the front gardens just charming? However, I don't think I'd be too interested in the fixer-upper!

liniecat said...

Chalkers Cottage ought to be a patchwork or embroidery subject, its delightful!

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