December 3, 2019
These days Rocky Hill is just a small rise beside Rocky Creek on the highway between Nanango and Yarraman … but in 1924 it was the site of the Rocky Hill School.
The one-teacher Rocky Hill State School was originally going to be called Rocky Creek School after its locale, but as there was already a Rocky Creek School near Millmerran, the education authorities decided that as there was a hill nearby, “Rocky Hill” would do.
The school educated generations of local youngsters and celebrated its silver jubilee in 1949. A local newspaper at the time, The Nanango Advocate, recorded the occasion which was celebrated with a ball, sports day, picnic and speeches by local notables:
Mr Bjelke-Petersen (MLA) said while offering congratulations, that it was these small country schools that the majority of country children were entirely dependent upon for their education, and he hoped that the school would have a bright future ahead as it was an asset to the district.
Sadly, Rocky Hill School’s future came to a close in August 1963 when students began being bussed to Nanango State School or driven by their parents to Yarraman.
Shortly afterwards, the school was moved to the Yarraman Memorial Recreation Grounds (now known as the Errol Munt Sports Reserve).
Nanango and District Historical Society researcher Jocelyn Hansen said the building was first located closer to Yarraman Creek but was then shifted to the corner of Emmert and Margaret streets where it stood for many years. Over time it housed the Yarraman and District Cricket Club, Yarraman Meals on Wheels and the Yarraman Sporting Group.
But in recent years, it stood vacant and vandals were starting to target the building, smashing windows.
About four years ago, the Historical Society began a process of seeing if the building could be shifted to its complex in Browne Street, joining other historic buildings in the grounds of Heritage House.
“We had to do something, otherwise it could have been burnt down,” Historical Society president Helene Johnson said.
It may have taken four years – and lots of negotiations – but the Rocky Hill State School began its latest journey on Monday morning, being hauled up Barr Smith Street towards the rear of the Heritage House property.
Once through the gates of a back paddock, the truck and its load made its way slowly up a hill backwards before the building was placed in position beside Heritage House.
Holes were then dug for new stumps which will lift the building off the ground.
The Historical Society plans to restore the building as a classroom – the blackboard apparently is still in place – and house various pieces of related memorabilia inside.
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The Rocky Hill School is carefully manoeuvred into position at its new home at Heritage House: