Silverton: Silent Witnesses - The Methodist & Catholic Churches

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Comments (11)

Ian Stehbens on April 12, 2009

Silverton History is a story of rush and bust. It began as a mining town around 1883 but by 1900 many of its buildings had been transported to the richer and bigger mining centre of Broken Hill. Only its more sustantial public buildings remained, and just a few houses.

Today it is often the set for films and commercials for television, and therefore it draws tourists that venture to Broken Hill, and Adelaide visitors especially, arrive for the annual race day, St Patrick's Day Races.

With the emergence of Broken Hill as a significant centre of Australian Art (Pro Hart, Julie Hart, Jack Absalom, Howard Willaim Steer et al), Silverton benefits too for its resident artists Peter Browne, John Dynon and Bronwen Standley and Albert Woodroffe have become renowned.

I trust that visitors to my Panoramio gallery see Silverton as quintessential Australian desert country, The Outback, as the film makers do.


joyfotos on April 17, 2009

Hi, pleased to make your acquaintance! Thanks for your history on Silverton and the Australian Outback. I found your site courtesy of Pedrocut when I he discovered our western town of Silverton, Colorado. I have not posted many photos of the town itself but here is a link to the old steam trainat the Silverton station.

I will have to come back for a visit to your site soon. I have always wanted to visit Australia but have never made it so I will have to check it out through your photos.

Greetings from Wisconsin, USA JF

joyfotos on April 17, 2009

Sorry, I meant to comment on your photo as well but got into all the links, etc too much!

Such clean simple lines amongst all the barrenness. Fantastic lighting. You can see why the movie industry love it and why it attracts so many artists.


Ian Stehbens on April 20, 2009

Dear JF,

Thanks for your visit and for very friendly response. While I have visited Colorado, I didn't get to Silverton. Wikipedia have a reasonable article on Silverton Tramway, if that is of further interest.

I look forward to further contact with you, and more conversations.

Greetings from Australia,


joyfotos on April 21, 2009

Ian, thanks for the link, I did not notice any mention of the remaining narrow gauge line for a tourist line. I am surprised that with the movie & art connection that has not happened. But perhaps it is too far afield from the mainstream.


Ian Stehbens on April 21, 2009

Yes you are right, JF. It would hardly be viable out here, especially if the tourists have spent 15 hours on a train getting here! I enjoyed just being here in the emptiness, and a train ride doesn't give you that.

The tourist steam trains are within a couple of hours of Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide etc, where kids and their parents climb aboard.


Olga I. Yakovenko on April 28, 2009

Very sad impression - the life has gone.

Amelia Royan on April 29, 2009

I have looked at the photos taken by others near this site Ian, and indeed it is the outback. I have checked the school, the railroad and a shop as well. The 2 churches stand proud, even though they bear silent witness to other times. I see though that they may be well kept, there are some large pieces of stone nearby for running repairs?

There is a special quality about this photo that reminds me of those by Marilyn W, I cannot put my finger on it ....

Warm wishes, Amelia

Ian Stehbens on May 3, 2009

Dear Amelia and Olga,

I appreciate your thoughtful appreciation of this photo and the precinct.

The Catholic Church (background) is now a private residence, and the bins you will see around it are part of the creating of a garden around it. I hope they are able to keep the wallabies, kangaroos and goats from invading and eating every plant!

The town may have gone more than a century ago, but the residents who live there are determined, proud, creative and productive, even if some are weekly commuters from the city to this rural retreat, and others retreated from the city long ago to become creative and productive as artists.


Peterbnz on August 2, 2011

Ian, we traveled to Silverton and back to the * 'Hill* in 1981, while on the way from Morwell, Vic to Port Augusta, SA.

The place was mostly galleries and a small shop for foodstuff and some takeaways stuff....

But the history was interesting to us, even then.

Looks like it has gone backwards somewhat since then though, I'm afraid. I don't think that is the 'price of progress' at all. Sadly.

Cheers, Peter

Ian Stehbens on August 4, 2011

I have only ever made the one trip to Silverton, Peter, so I am not able to comment on its recent progress or regress! I am pleased that you have visited here and enjoyed the story. But why you would go from Morwell to Port Augusta via BH, I don't know, but you must love deserts to do so! I'd prefer to go from Morwell to Port Augusta the long way via Apollo Bay, Warrnambool, Mt Gambier and keep the green landscapes around me.

Thanks for your visit to the gallery too, and for your interesting comments.


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Photo details

  • Uploaded on April 11, 2009
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    by Ian Stehbens