'Ambermere' on the Great Western Highway at Little Hartley.
Harp Of Erin + Williams Store & Little Hartley Post Office
- now still Harp Of Erin and Hartley Realty.
Williams Store & Harp Of Erin are classified in the National Trust Register and on the National Heritage Commission data base.
According to P.M.G. records, at its closure in 1975, this was the oldest Post Office in continual operation in Australia.
It was first established in 1857 by George Jarvis who was paid twelve pounds per annum as Postmaster. On his death in September 1867 he was succeeded by his widow Elizabeth.
In April, 1870 she became Mrs. William Lewington and he was appointed Postmaster in May 1870.
The 'money order' system had been extended to Little Hartley prior to 1868, and in that year 274 orders, worth 1325 pounds and 2 shillings were issued.
Because of ill health, the Lewingtons gave up the Post Office. In September 1882 Dunlop and Lindsay, store keepers of Lithgow, opened a branch at Little Hartley, putting in Mr. F.H. Archer as manager.
He was appointed Postmaster in October 1882.
The stores next owner, Mr. Henry Williams, became Postmaster on December 5th 1882.
A telephone office was opened in September of 1898 and a 'public' telephone was installed in 1912 in which year Henry Williams drew an annual Postmaster's salary of thirty pounds.
By the 1880's, as a Post Office and General Store, the shop had a large local and passing trade. It remained in the Williams family until its closure in 1975.
Descendants of the family tell of a childhood spent amoung rolls of silk, top hats, dingo traps and the pervading odours of bacon and cheese. Teamsters with 'leaking' barrels of beer would call in to stock up before their arduous journey 'up the pass'.
Regular trading hours were unknown in those days and Henry often took 100 pounds before breakfast.
There are still residents of Hartley that recall visiting the store in their early years.
The original store building was wattle and daub, and stood only 6 feet high. It was replaced after the closure of the shale mines at Hartley Vale.
The present structure, dating to about 1860, is built of Australian cedar and was brought from Hartley Vale where it was known as Balmains Store.
Attached to the Harp of Erin, once an Art Gallery, built in the late 1820's it has been completely re-built on its present site.
The tenants, Hartley Realty, which was run by Inara & Ted Hawley and Sharon & Mark Tofler, carefully restored the interior to it's original standard.
Historic Rosedale 1839
"Rosedale" was built by convicts in 1839.
First called the Mount Victoria Inn, it was used as a half-way stop for weary travellers on their way to Lithgow and Bathurst. Rosedale, now the Hartley Valley Holiday Farm - farm manager's residence and office, is the landmark for your trip to peace and quiet.
'Ambermere' Early Days
Little Hartley - a brief History with details of some of its Historic Buildings.
Little Hartley Blue Mountains Australia is part of the wider area of Hartley in the Hartley Valley on the western slopes of the Blue Mountains NSW. Here you will find Artists, Art Galleries, Nurseries, Real Estate & accommodation.