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Year Built: 1890s
Condition: Site

Napthalis House

All that remains of Snowy Plains House, slightly northwest of Daveys Hut are a few wooden bearers. The ground is levelled and the outline of the house is marked by the remaining foundation stones. Napthalis had a sawmill. The water race cut from the creek and the broken remains of a wheel lays on its bank. Sarah Napthalias old stove, whose trademark beacon shines still, sits rusting in the remains of the kitchen. The house was positioned to have a command of the plain. Sarah could have had a batch of scones in the oven, then set on a plate with a linen doily by the time her visitors arrived. From her kitchen window is an outlook across the plain, of two kilometres north and south.

Maurice (known as Murray) Napthali married John Bolton' s sister Sarah. Their children, Albert, Cornelius, James (died in infancy), Eliza, William, Catherine and Mary were born on Snowy Plain in the homestead built in the late 1800s. It had a kitchen, and a large living room about the size of Daveys Hut. A big fireplace with seats along each side.

"There were two main bedrooms and a skillion roofed building off the side. One was a store and the other end of that skillion was a third bedroom. There was a billiard room with a full sized billiard table that served as sleeping quarters for overflow workers and passers-by. Mountain hospitality was always extended whether friend or stranger, when passing through. There was a verandah right along the front facing the quartz ridge and the rising sun. It must have been a fairly substantial building for its day Jack (Bolton) told me one afternoon as we sat on the verandah of Daveys Hut.

"Outbuildings consisted of a Blacksmiths shop and a sawmill on Teddy's Creek. There are water wheel bits and pieces around the bank of the creek dating from 1870s. An extra room built on by the Harveys was eventually moved to the Broken Dam lease and known as Harvey's Hut. In winter I've seen icicles hang off the roof, they had to be broken off to get in the door. The tennis court was a meeting place for many social events. Ladies in long dresses and hats, and gentlemen in waistcoats played in the cooler afternoons."

I remember riding over the old net, lying rotting on the ground over there. Snowy House was venue for the little community of Snowy Plain to get together and many looked to Murray Napthali for advice and compassion. Henry Hedger used to take his gramophone to Napthalis for the dances that Harry Bolton writes of in his diary. For many years, Napthalis was used as a stockmans hut, but was pulled down before the Park took over.

Excerpt from Pauline Downing's book If I Wake in the Middle of the Night, 1998

Inscription on Commemorative Plaque

Snowy Plain House Snowy Plain House was home for many years to Maurice Napthali and his wife Sarah (nee Bolton). The original house was built of slabs with a shingle roof. Weatherboards and an iron roof were added later. The house had five rooms and an outside dairy room where butter and cheese were made. Maurice (1841-1913) and Sarah (1857-1945) were married in 1883 and it is believed that they moved into Snowy Plain House, which Maurice had built at about that time.

Maurice worked in the Berridale, Jindabyne and Snowy Plain as a horse breaker, stockman and blacksmith and was renowned as a fine horseman. He arrived in Berridale with his sister Eliza who had married William Glanville, a well-known bullock team driver in the area. Snowy Plain House was a social centre for the eighteen families who lived nearby. Dances were held there regularly and tennis was played on a court in front of the house.

Information supplied by Alan Reid