In the late 1870s Joseph Hay, a civil servant, acquired 120 hectares of land at Lawson. His residence, built in 1879, provided him with an expansive view across his domain which extended as far as present day Bullaburra.
He named his estate 'San Jose'. By 1882 'San Jose' had become 'The Blue Mountains Sanatorium'. In the 1890s it became 'The Palace' guesthouse and was advertised as "absolutely the coolest house on the mountains in summer".
In 1919 the 'Stratford Girls School' moved from their small rented cottage into 'The Palace'. The building bore the school's celebrated Shakespearian name proudly on its Castle-like tower, becoming in 1928 an Anglican Grammar School under the management of a Church Council.
It continued successfully, with a curriculum spanning the years from Kindergarten to Leaving Certificate, until the mid-1960s. The Anglican Church closed the school and sold the property in 1966. A reception centre a…
Lawson is no longer one of the better known towns in the Blue Mountains but once upon a time we were the hub of activity, even having the shire office before it moved up to Katoomba. It is now our local library.
1918 Wilson Directory Lawson is becoming a township of considerable importance, and during the last few years improvements have been effected in numerous directions. Its admirable parks and reserves all situated in convenient and suitable places, prove a great attraction. LaWson possesses an advantage over other mountain centres with its excellent train services as all passenger trains on the Great Western Line stop there. It is also the centre of the Blue Mountains Shire and the council chambers are located near the station. The town is lit by electricity, and there is a good swimming bath quite handy which is well patronised The improvements recently made by the Shire Council make Lawson one of the most desirable places on the mountains. The climate is ideal as a summer and …
We are going on another walk, this time along Badgery's Cresent which is on the north side of the railway line. There is some sort of railway workshop over there with this rather nice mural along the length of it.
Bat update: They have mostly moved on ... none left in our garden but a few elsewhere.
Back at our place the birds have beaten a retreat in the face of the flying fox invasion. Normally at this time of year we would have noisy cockatoos feasting on the pine cones and spiky pods of the Liquid Amber. After the racket the bats are making even the squawking of cockatoos seems pleasant.
I don't think those bats are going to go away any time soon. See the valley below, it's full of eucalypts in full Autumn flower and that is their food.
Our lovely neighbours have the misfortune of having us live next door. In fact one of the few eyesores left in the street is our property (below). I see the neighbours have been helping out by giving our bank of weeds a trim for us. The problem is I have a LOT of garden to attend to and rarely venture down this far.
Flying fox report -- they seem to start a few more houses down the street and end at our block.
Our property has two street frontages. This is the one at the back.
On the right of this photo are the back gardens of old homes like ours. But as these are typically on double blocks some of which have been split and sold off for new homes. On the left are all new homes from around the 1970s. When we arrived here 20 years ago this street was not at all appealing but time has made a big difference, gardens have developed and curbing put in. It's looking quite nice (though suburban) now.
Sorry to disappoint you but I don't have the energy to go on the walking track and visit the waterfalls today. I will try to get down that way again soon. Now the weather is cooler and a little less wet it should be pleasant.
The pretty purple flower is a Tibouchina which blooms in late Summer and Autumn.
As I walking along I was thinking of the bird house I showed yesterday as being an American type thing, then saw this at the next house which is something you see in American movies, a basketball ring in the driveway.
I remember when we were kids we called this type of basketball "American men's basketball" as opposed to the type of basketball that girls played which is now known as "netball". But I just realised the netball usually has no net on the ring and basketball does ... so go figure.
Honour Avenue doesn't finish at Queen's Oak Park and the tennis courts. I continues down to the south to the forest so I going to take you on a walk down there on a damp Sunday afternoon. There is Autumn change in the air. Some varieties of eucalypts are in flower and the rain has brought their flowers to the ground which is good because there is no way I could have photographed them close up otherwise.
This home is typical of old mountain homes, built of timber with a corrugated iron roof. As a late Victorian home (circa 1895) is not overly ornate. Inside has tongue and grove timber walls, high (13 foot) ceilings, working fireplaces and generously proportion rooms.
She's 120 years old and holding her age well I think. Throughout her life she has served as a family home to 5 or 6 families but in the early 1900s was listed for a brief stint as a guest house. We've been looking after her for over 20 years and still love her.