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Ravensthorpe Historical Society

About Dance Cottage

Originally the cottage was christened Hampshire by George Dance who built the house in 1900 on Town Lot 126, Morgans Street.

George Dance followed the rush into the Phillips River Goldfield. He brought two teams of horses from Esperance and earned a living clearing bush, making roads, scooping dams. After the town of Ravensthorpe was gazetted, George contracted for the Phillips River Road Board.

The cottage layout is typical of such buildings throughout Western Australia. There were four rooms, one of which led directly into another on the eastern side, and into a small passageway to the main front door opening onto Morgans Street . Either side of the passage are two further bedrooms. The front of the house is decorated by a bull nosed veranda. Bathroom and kitchen were added as a lean to on the southern side of the building in Dance's time but were removed in 1996 because of extensive termite damage.

Following Dance, the Taylor family occupied the building which was eventually acquired by the Ravensthorpe Shire in 1965. The building remained unused, unloved and unoccupied till it was handed over to the Ravensthorpe Historical Society for management in 1984.

Eventually, the Shire condemned the building and planned its demolition because of supposedly irrepairable termite damage to the foundations. The Ravensthorpe Historical Society organised a grant from Lottery West to commission a conservation plan for the cottage and later on renovations to the main building.

Dance Cottage is now the pride and joy of the Ravensthorpe Historical Society and its visitors. The cottage has been furnished as much as possible with period pieces to resemble a working home of the early 1900s.

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