HISTORIC Hartley has been slumbering in the bush in the shadow of the Blue Mountains for 100 years.
Once a major district centre complete with a grand courthouse, and a key stopover for traffic from the Bathurst goldfields and Jenolan Caves to Sydney, Hartley was given a death sentence when it was bypassed by the western railway line in 1869.
By 1914, as residents moved away, the area became a reserve. And when the Great Western Highway was routed away from the town, it became isolated on a side road.
As the modern world rolled by, literally, on the highway 100m away, Hartley’s old buildings basked in the past, attracting the few tourists who took a detour to have a look.
But now Hartley is awakening.