By Jackson Russell
With assistance from Mitchell Shire Council, some of Broadford and District Historical Society’s prized buildings have undergone repairs to help them stand the test of time.
Repairs to the Mills Cottage and Broadford Courier office were undertaken by council and have relieved the concerns of the society.
Broadford and District Historical Society president Rod Mackenzie said there was significant damage to a lot of the wooden floor and outside boards of the drop-slab Mills Cottage.
“We were really concerned that it was going to fall down, particularly with the decay of the shingles on the roof,” he said.
“I believe there’s still some work to get the boards back flush with the other boards on there, but they’ve done an excellent job so far to make sure that it will survive for a lot longer than what we thought it would.”
Mr Mackenzie said the society was appreciative of the help from councillors Fiona Stevens and Bob Humm.
“Bob Humm is the council representative on the heritage advisory committee and Fiona Stevens has also shown a lot of interest in these buildings in the past and they’ve been really helpful to us,” he said.
The Mills Cottage is an original example of the drop slab homes that were built in the area by early settlers and was found when a house on Gavan Street was demolished.
Mr Mackenzie said it was a challenge to preserve wooden buildings that represented Broadford’s history as a timber town.
“It’s not like other towns where you’ve got a lot of stone buildings, so to preserve buildings made out of wood is always a constant challenge because both of these were attacked quite significantly, particularly the Mills Cottage, by termites,” he said.
After successful Australia Day exhibitions and winning council’s Community Event of the Year award, the group was looking forward to another successful year.
The group has stopped meeting to adhere to COVID-19 social distancing rules and has switched its focus to preserving its historical buildings.
“A lot of the other work for example family histories, cataloging photographs and carrying out some other research projects have been put on hold at the moment,” Mr Mackenzie said.