One building that always piques his interest is a solid stone cottage not far from the Tarnagulla Cemetery. Known as Bell's Cottage to locals, it was built by a returned WW1 soldier called Herbert Bell sometime in the 1930's; our son was excited to discover the year "1937" scratched into the mortar on the verandah.
A quartz crystal found in the stonework of Bells Cottage
According to the information board we found later at the public toilets in Tarnagulla, Mr Bell collected all the stones for his cottage from around the area on his bicycle. The stones collected and used vary from quartz, bluestone, granite, ironstone, smooth river pebbles, a few porcelain jars, and some handmade bricks. We found ourselves 'stroking' the walls with their intriguing textures.
The public can have a wander around the outside of the cottage, but it has been locked up to prevent loitering and preserve its interior. Looking through the windows one can catch glimpses of how Herbert Bell lived, with no power, dirt floors, open fireplaces, and no running water. The outhouse, his outdoor toilet, although slightly wonky is still standing out the back of the cottage.
Mr Herbert Bell's Outhouse or for those not familiar with Aussie bush slang, the toilet.
The back view of Bells Cottage Tarnagulla.
The yard of Bells Cottage is uneven and overgrown with wildflowers. We found scraps of metal throughout the yard and were very mindful of the legless lizards (snakes) that sometimes lurk in the longer grass.
The cannon on the corner of Tarnagulla's Soldiers Memorial Park.
Our next stop was the canon located on the corner of the Soldiers Memorial Park. Presented to the township in 1898 from the HMVS Nelson, it was originally placed at the Reservoir Reserve but later moved to its current position. With its lush green grass and lovely shade trees, the Soldiers Memorial Park is an inviting place to stop for lunch with its undercover BBQ area to throw a few snags and burgers on to cook while watching the kids play on the grass or the play equipment. We highly recommend bringing a picnic as we were under the assumption that there was a bakery, but alas there wasn't even a service station or general store for us to grab anything to eat.
The Soldiers Memorial Park is disabled friendly, and even though Bells Cottage does not have defined walking paths disabled patrons with walking sticks or frames would be able to manage it, but pushing a wheelchair on the grass and weeds may be tough going for some. We enjoyed learning about some of the landmarks we had been taking for granted as we cruised past and we were able to see our surrounds from the perspective of our eight-year-old son.