Darkan - Places to See

Arthur River and Six Mile Cottage
Apart from the old buildings at Arthur River (which stand forlornly beside the Albany Highway seemingly forgotten by progress) there is the fascinating slab cottage of Dick Strange known as 'Six Mile Cottage' and located about 10 km outside Darkan on the Quindanning Road. To the west of Darkan turn at the point which is signposted 'Slab and Stone Cottage'.

The cottage was built in the early 1900s by Dick Strange a sleeper cutter. It is a fascinating example of how small you can make a house. It is left unlocked so the visitor does not need to seek permission or a key to visit it.

An information sheet on the cottage recalls, in a most evocative way, what it was like when it was being lived in.

'The cottage was very, very nice - like a doll's house - all muslin curtains hanging here and there, and the furniture was all homemade...For lighting, all they had were hurricane lamps - and kerosene table lamps - these had an iron stand and a little floral bowl...The floor was of earth, as I remember, and the timber floor would have been put down after Mr Coli (about 1925-30) started the mill. There was no cut timber in those times, it was all done with broad axe. When it was first built, the windows had wooden shutters. They fastened in the centre and had to be propped up. There was a 100 gallon tank for drinking water, and they would cart water from a dam somewhere around for washing. The wash basins were on benches out the back...

Anyone who came to the cottage added a lean-to of hessian, or brought tents to stay in. Everyone called in on the way past to see if you wanted anything from town. Old Mr Broome was a great one - he went to town once a week and he called on just about all the houses with his spring cart and horse.'

It is well worth a visit as it offers a fascinating insight into a way of life which has long passed.