Enduring townships spring from the diggings


Goldfields entrepreneur John Wallace opened a story in Snake Valley (later Stanley) in 1854, followed by the first of his seven Star Hotels in various gold towns.

The Stanley Public Room, or Athenaeum, was built by public subscription in 1856 and opened in 1857 at the height of the gold rush. The original wooden building was destroyed by fire in the late 1860s and the present brick building was built to replace it on the same site, opening in 1874.

Today the Athenaeum houses a fine collection of rare 19th Century books.