Explore historic Blue Mountains crossing through images

Government depot at Cox's River near Hartley 1819

Government depot at Cox’s River near Hartley 1819

Explore the celebrated 1813 first recognised European crossing of the Blue Mountains and the consequences of it through images at the A Moment in Time exhibition at Hartley.

Hartley District Progress Association 1813 Sub Committee chairman Duncan Wass said the exhibition title captured the essence of the crossing. “It was but a moment in time and this is an exhibition that considers what existed before and what came after.’’

Curated by retired historian and Hartley Valley resident Joan Kent, A Moment in Time examines much more than the crossing by Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth and their party.

It begins with a consideration of the rich and ancient geology of the landscape into which the explorers intruded, where ancient sedimentary rocks lie juxtaposed with igneous granite. The opening display is a remarkable large mollusc or Brachiopod fossil which has never before been on public display. Discovered in the Hartley Valley, it nestles in, but is removable intact, from the block of Late Devonian grit stone in which it was discovered.

While geology is the opening theme, the exhibition explores many aspects of the crossing story from the Aboriginal peoples whose country was being traversed, the explorers and the development of the Bathurst Rd, to the first European visitors to Bathurst.

It closes with a consideration of the life and achievements of some of the earliest settlers in the Hartley Valley: John and Jane Grant and Pierce and Mary Collitt who settled there in the early 1820s.

Museums adviser Lynn Collins said: “This significant exhibition is a comprehensive, sophisticated, accessible and absorbing presentation of that exciting yet poignant moment when the Europeans vigorously fanned out westwards. It’s a must-see amongst Crossings commemorations.’’

A Moment in Time will be held at the historic Hartley School and Hall, just off the Great Western Hwy in Mid Hartley Rd, Hartley, from 10am to 3pm weekends from May 18 to June 16. Open by appointment mid week. Party viewing by arrangement any time (Bookings: Barbara Johnson (02) 6355 2017).

A Moment in Time is just one element of the commemoration activities the Hartley community is undertaking, all promoted under the Hartley Rocks banner. Other activities include guided walks and rides along the line of Cox’s 1814 road through the Hartley Valley, a project to date sign many of the heritage assets located within the valley and the commitment of a time capsule to inform 2113
residents of the valley. The Cox’s Rd walk represents a unique opportunity to walk some of the country traversed by Cox and the explorers, much of which is located on privately owned land and not normally accessible to the public. For information on the Hartley Valley’s Bicentenary events, go to www.hartleyvalley.org.au/hartleyrocks.

For more information on Blue Mountains Crossings Bicentenary 2013-2015, go to http://visitbluemountains.com.au/bicentenary.php.



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