Life coming back to stone hut

Three Creeks Station's stone hut homestead is being restored


Local Business Feature
RUSTIC BEAUTY: The stonework of the original homestead has been preserved.

RUSTIC BEAUTY: The stonework of the original homestead has been preserved.

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It's a labor of love but Amanda and Simon Hilder are committed to restoring the old stone hut homestead on Three Creeks Station for uses as accommodation in their Station Stays operation.

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There's life left in the original homestead at Three Creeks Station east of Cradock on RM Williams Way, and Simon and Amanda Hilder intend to bring that to the fore - even if that takes a bit of time to achieve.

Luckily for the stone hut - thought to have been built in the 1870s, with its history so far traced back to 1939 when it transferred from the Battersby family to the Hilder family - the farming couple saw the potential before it was too late.

"We're working on it over time,'' Mrs Hilder said.

"We started at Easter two years ago and there was a flurry of activity with the stone work because it was crumbling.

"It was amazing it was still standing. All the mortar was loose gravel. It is very rustic but all the stonework is secure now and finished.

"I don't think there was a lot of wealth out there from what I can see. A lot of home made stuff - nothing too fancy.''

DEDICATED TO HISTORY: Amanda and Simon Hilder are working to bring life back into the Three Creeks stone hut.

DEDICATED TO HISTORY: Amanda and Simon Hilder are working to bring life back into the Three Creeks stone hut.

Mrs Hilder said drought conditions had also dried up cash flow to keep the project ticking along, but work will begin once again in February and they hope to have the homestead and a second building open for business some time next year.

Mr and Mrs Hilder, themselves fourth and fifth generation graziers, said it was pleasing to have Battersby family members come and see the property and hut as they began restoring it.

"They all came back with the family and had a look at the home and the farm,'' Mrs Hilder said.

"The eldest Battersby family member with the group, he was born in the pug and pine section of the home.

GREAT GETAWAY: Lachlan, Emily and Simon Hilder display their camping skills on Three Creeks Station.

GREAT GETAWAY: Lachlan, Emily and Simon Hilder display their camping skills on Three Creeks Station.

The couple said while it took a long time for them to step into the project, they are committed to bringing the hut home back to life, honouring the Three Creeks history and the families of the past.

"None of the Hilder family ever lived in the house at all, but it is really important," Mrs Hilder said.

"Given we've had the Battersby family, including the young members, come here, we want to make it part of them and document them being there."

Three Creeks is open to camping and the Hilders are using funds earned there to help fund the restoration project, while also building the reputation of the station as a great getaway location.

The station is leased and has the capacity to run a maximum of 3000 sheep, with a heavily destocked Merino flock on the property.

HISTORIC WEALTH: The Three Creeks stone hut is thought to have been built in the 1870s.

HISTORIC WEALTH: The Three Creeks stone hut is thought to have been built in the 1870s.

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