Sitting quietly in a paddock 10km’s outside Darkan on the road to Quindanning is Six Mile Cottage, the fascinating tworoom slab house built in the 1900’s by sleeper cutter Dick Strange.
Six Mile Cottage is beautifully restored and offers a fascinating insight into a way of life which has long passed. The Cottage is left unlocked so the visitor does not need to seek permission or a key to visit it.
An information sheet inside the cottage recalls, in a most evocative way, the memories of Mrs Dorrie Gibbs and what the cottage 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 cottage, it was all painted white and looked so nice. They had shelves up, and a kind of mantlepiece. The fireplace was whitewashed over, and the walls of timber slabs were all cut with the broadaxe – you can still see the marks….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 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.’
This local treasure is no secret but it feels like it is when you discover it.