Hartley Historic Site

In 1830. Sir Thomas Mitchell proposed the site for Hartley along the new road between Mt. Victoria and Bathurst. The village grew up around the Court House, the administrative headquarters of the district from 1837 to 1887.
The town became the centre for all government activities including police, judiciary, controi of convict labour, and postal Services. It was also the social and Service centre for the pastoral Community west of the Blue Mountains.
Considerable expansion took place with the discovery of gold in the Bathurst area in the 1850's when Hartley became a Staging point between Sydney and Bathurst offering accommodation and change of horses. By the 1860's the local Population was over 1000 and Hartley had a population of 130.

Hartley Historic Site Hartley Historic Site Hartley Historic Site Hartley Historic Site

Hartley prospered as an administrative, commercial and social centre until it was bypassed by the Great Western Railway in 1869. This led to the establishment of Lithgow in the eariy 1870's, a town which boomed in the 1880s and assumed the role that Hartley had previously played in the surrounding Community. The Court House at Hartley was closed in 1887.

Hartley Historic Site   Hartley Historic Site Hartley Historic Site

Hartley enjoyed a brief revival in the early motor transport era when it became a stopover point for travellers to Jenolan Caves.
In 1914 the Court House and its surrounds were declared a Public Recreation Reserve by the State Government. In 1926 management was transferred to Blaxland Shire Council who cared for the site until 1972 when it was gazetted as an Historie Site under the management of the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Another phase has developed with the completion of a new road to Jenolan Caves. Hartley is once more being bypassed, The Service, however is seeking to provide a greater range of visitor Services at Hartley to enhance its role as an educational and recreational venue. Descendants of some of the first settlers are still (iving in the region and take a keen interest in the development and use of the village. Their presence is part of the continuity of Hartley's living history.

Source: On Site Information Board