In the early farming days in the district, boundary riders were stationed on land near Halls Gap that later became the Borough Huts Settlement.
A small out station was built there with a fenced in paddock and sheep drafting yards. The boundary riders lived in huts built of poles with bark walls and roofs.
The huts were small and simple, yet they also served to accommodate visiting dignitaries especially in the pre guest-house days.
One of the more distinguished visitors to stay at the Borough Huts was the Governor of Victoria, Lord Carmichael in 1909.
MORE FROM DIGGING UP THE PAST:
There are no definite dates as to when the original Borough Huts were first erected but the area soon became known as the Borough Huts Settlement.
This area was used for habitation and activity well before the 1870's. By the end of the century, the Borough Huts became a small township and was then known as Upper Halls Gap.
After the 1870's the Borough Huts became associated with the development of Stawell's water supply system.
Right from its founding with the 1850's gold rushes, Stawell had been agitating for a good water supply for drinking and washing and for mining needs, but it was not until the 1870's that these hopes were realised.
A weir was built on Fyan's Creek where the creek ran down from Mt William and the water then flowed along 12kms of fluming.
The water then passed through a one km long tunnel under the Mt William range and finally along a 24km long siphon pipeline to Stawell where it was stored in reservoirs on Big Hill.
The Stawell Water Supply took seven years to develop and was completed in 1881. During the construction, the settlement at Borough Huts developed further to service the project.
The settlement also serviced several local saw mills including Sanderson's Saw Mill, three miles from the Borough Huts and the large number of bullock drivers who passed through.
DIGGING UP THE PAST:
The huts were situated about half way between the weir and the Western end of the tunnel.
The settlement included a large store, a butcher and a baker who called twice weekly and the mail arrived weekly by horse from Fyans Creek.
A school existed for 6 years at nearby Burnt Ridge for the education of the children of the workers at the Borough Huts.
After the water supply project had been completed most of the inhabitants of the Borough Huts left and very few families remained.
A fluming ranger stayed on and lived in one of the huts. He was employed to check and maintain the waterway.
In the 1939 bushfires, the buildings were miraculously saved when flames came within yards of destroying them.
The Borough Huts area is now a popular picnic and camping area, 10km South/East of Halls Gap, but there remains little evidence of the once thriving community.
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox from the Stawell Times-News. To make sure you're up-to-date with all the news from across the region, sign up here.