History group unearths treasures

TREASURES UNEARTHED: Members of the Kalangadoo History Group examined the site of the town's first blacksmith shop for artefacts.

AN archaeological dig at one of Kalangadoo’s most historic properties has uncovered important turn of the century relics.

Kalangadoo History Group members got their hands dirty earlier this month, using shovels and hand trowels to sift through soil at one the town’s first wheelwright and blacksmith sheds. 

The Eliza Street property was the former site of Harry “Paddy” Bilney’s blacksmith shop – the first in Kalangadoo – and was built in 1899.

Kalangadoo History Group chair Sandra Young said a grid comprising of 24 cells were methodically raked and dug by members, with two metal detectors also used to help find items.

“Such metal items as horseshoes, nails, bands from a keg, file, parts of tools and other pieces that have yet to be identified were found,” she said.

“Other items included handmade glass bottles and pottery pieces.

The team were very excited to find the objects and with the grid system, they should be able to get a good picture of the blacksmith site.

The store was established in 1987 and started at the back of Mr Bilney’s house. 

A purpose-built shed was constructed at the site two years later, with a portion of the shed dismantled and moved to Bilney’s shop on Railway Terrace in 1905.

The building that was left was used as a garage for Bilney’s truck and remained until 1970.