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HISTORIC Savernake Station, which has been farmed by the same family for 151 years, has been added to the NSW State Heritage Register.
Heritage Minister Robyn Parker granted the station and an accompanying 400 hectares of undisturbed forest the historic status last week after a five-year wait.
It has been owned by the Sloane family since 1862 with a fourth generation, Alex and Ann Sloane, its present occupants.
Ms Parker said Savernake Station provided a poignant snapshot of pioneer pastoral and agricultural life dating back to the 1860s.
“The property is an intact historic complex that includes a selector’s hut dating from 1876 and a homestead dating from 1886,” she said.
“Also servants’ quarters, overseer’s cottage and woolshed and shearers’ quarters from the early 20th century.
“This property is remarkable for its moveable heritage collection which includes farm machinery, domestic wares, written records and high-quality film and photographs of the farm under cultivation.”
In the 1930s more than 10 people lived on the property including a farm manager and his family and a maid.
Other local men were employed as needed to undertake rabbit baiting and hay making with a separate shearing team.
Mrs Sloane, who moved to the property when she married Alex in 1980, said researching the heritage application was a monumental task.
“We just had to dig deeper, document everything and make sure our history was accurate,” she said.
A condition of the heritage listing is any maintenance must be done in a way which is consistent with the property’s original condition.
They recently had to repair the overseer’s cottage and were forced to source the replacement weatherboards of the same profile from Melbourne.
“We are prepared to wear that because we want to maintain the place’s historical integrity,” Mrs Sloane said.
The property’s artefacts include rainfall records between 1862 and the 1980s.
The Sloane photo collection also illustrates the development of farming technology and practices over time in response to evolving environmental conditions.
Ms Parker said Savernake Station was a treasure trove of historical material.
“The historical material on the social, economic and management history of the homestead and property complex is comparable to the largest and most intact collections of this kind in Australia,” she said.