Possibly the sign of a misspent youth, my ability to guess ‘whodunit’ has been well-honed over the years by detective and courtroom drama novels, TV shows and films.
But this sign, languishing with other unlabelled exhibits in a shed at Boulia’s Stone House Museum, gave my amateur sleuthing skills the chance for a REAL workout!
Who made it? Where was it located?? Why wasn’t it there any more???
Of course to someone with my well developed investigative powers, finding the answers was a doddle …
According to point #10, the sign was once located 48 miles – approximately 80 km – from Boulia. So it pre-dates the metric system – adopted in Australia during the 1970’s!
The sign gives answers to probably repetitive questions – or why would the sign have been made in the first place? But while they’re about living in a remote location – Boulia itself is deep in western Queensland’s Outback – the signwriter clearly had enough visitors to make the sign necessary, which indicates a stopover point on or near a main road.
And given that other exhibits in the shed near the sign included signs for various refreshments, an old bain-marie and bottles, the stopover point could well have been a roadhouse or hotel.
Deducing the rest was
elementary easy. Within a radius of 80 km from Boulia, a map of the area indicated hotel ruins 78km to the east – with no other site meeting the parameters above.
Then – a quick look at the excellent Boulia visitors guide booklet confirmed the Hamilton Hotel ruins about 80km from Boulia towards Winton! QED!! Or should I say ‘WooHOO’!
|Hamilton Hotel Ruins, via Boulia, Queensland|
Today these ruins are what’s left of the last stage from Winton to Boulia. Opened in 1897, the hotel closed in the 1990’s – with what was left after demolition salvaged by the Stone House Museum. Travellers can still stay at the Hamilton Hotel – it’s now a popular rest stop and free camp with a modern amenities block.
And the old windmill still provides an irresistible opportunity for another Outback cliché shot!
|Windmill, Hamilton Hotel Ruins, Outback Queensland|
If, like me, you just can’t get enough of clever signs, you’ll be thrilled to find a whole bunch of them over at ‘Signs, signs’!! Head on over to check out the other contributors!!