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The Mylor Bootmaker's Cottage

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by Dave Walsh (subscribe)
I enjoy writing about Adelaide and its many attractions. If you think Adelaide is boring, the problem is not with Adelaide. Please click the link to Like my articles, and subscribe to see more. adelaideunearthed.blogspot.com.au
Published October 25th 2012
Is it a load of cobblers?
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The Unprepossessing Exterior of the Mylor Bootmakers Cottage


There are many sad stories about heritage places, steeped in history but left to decay, or even worse those that are demolished for little reason.

This is not one of those. It's an inspiring tale about a small community that has come together to rebuild a place that was home to a man who died a hundred years ago.

Mylor is a small but scenic town in the Adelaide Hills with a population of around 1000. It's just down the road from the free Warrawong Sanctuary for Australian animals, where the wild life can roam at will and interact with visitors.

When it was proposed in 2009 that a crumbling and condemned ruined cottage near the Mylor oval be demolished, local residents learned that the building had some interesting history. Initially it was felt that the structure was too run down to restore, and it was proposed to demolish and replace it with a replica.

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The Bootmakers Cottage Interior - Restoration in Progress


Two locals, Jane Goldsmith and Lesley Ewing formed an action group called Save Our Bootmaker's Shop (SOBS) to restore it with voluntary labour. Historians Donovan & Associates and restorers Heritage Stone Restorations also helped the SOBS group, which later morphed into the Mylor Heritage Society.

Funding for restoration work has been made available by the Adelaide Hills Council, from public donations, and through local fundraising events including the annual Wine & Roses Art and Photography Weekend in October.

Bootmaker Johnny Staples would probably be bemused by all the excitement today. Born in Kent, England in 1852, he emigrated to Australia in about 1883. After marrying in 1887 he moved to Mylor around 1904 where he played an active role in the local community until his death in 1919 aged 66 years.

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Almost Any Materials Could be Used for Building Once


While there are differing views about when the cottage was built, and what it was used for, it is touching to find a community coming together to celebrate one ordinary working man's life.
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Why? The past helps us to understand the present
Where: Mylor Oval, Mylor
Cost: Free
Your Comment
I always like these kinds of stories about people being aware of the value of the past and being willing to do something to preserve it. Good article :)
by Kathleen (score: 2|580) 2580 days ago
Wow, that's gonna be one hellava restoration to get that back........will be great to see the finished product!
by James Newcombe (score: 2|359) 2579 days ago
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