Field Work, News

Prospecting the History of the Hills: Volunteer Opportunity in Prospect Hill

Over the weekend of the 29th and 30th of September, ArchSoc will be conducting a field survey at the site of the Deputy Surveyor-General of South Australia, Thomas Burr’s camp in Prospect Hill, South Australia. During this project we will be helping the Prospect Hill Historical Museum and the Prospect Hill Community Association Inc. to identify and interpret material evidence of the existence of the 19th Century surveyor’s camp, which was inhabited by Thomas Burr and his family during the c.1840s.

Participants in this project will assist ArchSoc in producing a high-quality, publishable report about the historical and archaeological backgrounds of the area. Following the field survey, participants will also help in collating the survey data to be included in a final report. The final report will be presented to the Prospect Hill Historical Museum.

For those that want to be involved in the project, send an email to expressing your interest. We will be having an introductory meeting for the Prospect Hill project at 10am Wednesday 8th August in Room 112 of the Humanities building. There is an opportunity to camp at the site during the survey and food and fuel will be subsidised by ArchSoc. Participation in this project is open to ArchSoc members only– update your membership via the PayPal link to the left of this entry.

Prospect Hill’s rich history seems to be mostly overlooked. Many people have probably passed the tiny town centre on their way to the paintball venue nearby, unknowingly passing sites that once marked of the original settlement colony of Kuitpo (pronounced kai-poh), Kyeema prison, and  mines that were once actively exploited for their gold.

Locals can recall stories including the tragic story of Sarah McHarg. Sarah supposedly kept Mrs Burr company, who disliked being left alone. Sarah was usually escorted on her trips from home to Mrs Burr’s, and back again, but one day went alone and got lost in the bush. Her remains were found 2 years later near Mount Compass, approximately 30km from the town. She carried a prayer book with her, and within the pages she had written to her sister:

“Grieve not for me as I am resigned to my fate.”