We need a hand
Wednesday, 18th April, 2018
By Emily Roberts
The restoration of one of the city’s oldest houses has hit a bump in the road.
In July last year, the State Government gave the former mine manager’s house in Proprietary Square to the Broken Hill Historical Society, which had big plans to turn it into a mining museum.
The society’s secretary, Jenny Camilleri, OAM, said they were planning to name it Jamieson House.
The stone building was the home of one of the city’s forefathers, William Jamieson, a six-foot tall Scotsman who was the Silver City’s first mine manager and a major shareholder in BHP.
The structure was built around 1884 or 1885. It’s within walking distance of the historical BHP chimney in McGillivray Drive where the mining giant’s first office once stood.
In recent times, the manager’s house had fallen into disrepair and become the target of vandals.
“The only thing we’ve done is pay to have it boarded up and secure it further,” Mrs Camilleri said.
“That cost the society $8,000.
“We are trying to find some funding and have been putting in for lots of grants.
“The money we need is phenomenal.
“It’s a dream that may or may not happen.”
The house was owned by the Department of Primary Industries for a time before Mrs Camilleri received word it was allocated to the Broken Hill Historical Society in the NSW Government Gazette.
“The house was originally on the mine grid for power and water.
“We’ve been quoted by Vertex that it will cost $60,000 to install power and Essential Water have told us they will need to install a pipe from the St John’s Hall and pump the water up hill.
“It’s a bit disappointing, we’re finding it hard to get volunteers and people to help.
“We thought it would be this magical thing, but going through everything has been really hard.
“At every stage there is another hurdle to overcome.”
There were plans to include housing exhibits from the overflowing and hugely successful Silverton Gaol museum, and building a car park in the vacant block next to the house.
A couple of “trustees” will initially look after the property, but the society had hopes that more people would come on board and help return the building to its former glory.
Mrs Camilleri said the area behind the house was a “working area” and mining company CBH would be drilling behind it and the St John’s Hall.
“It’s just been such a hard task.
“But we will continue to plod along the best way we know how.”
The former Mine Manager’s House in Propietary Square is believed to be one of the oldest in Broken Hill and the Historical Society are trying to bring it up to scratch. PICTURE: Emily Roberts
The home of William Jamieson on Block 14 as it appeared in 1888.