Historic subdivision poster reinforces Singleton's rural heartbeat sti

Published on 31 March 2022

A historic poster promoting the auction of the then called “Minembah” Estate dating back to 1912 shows Singleton’s appeal as a rural destination with modern conveniences in proximity to Newcastle and Sydney hasn’t waned in more than 110 years.

Following requests from the community on social media, Singleton Public Library was alerted to the sale of the poster advertising the auction of 38 lots at the Mechanics Institute on 29 August 1912. The Library made a bid through the Newcastle auction house managing the sale and was fortunate to be successful.

As well as being a detailed prospectus for the subdivision of 12,600 acres (approx. 5000 hectares) into 38 farms ranging from 32 to 548 acres (approx. 13 to 221 hectares) described as “rich undulating country and creek flats” with “fine and extensive views of the Hunter Valley and of the Estate”, the land is promoted as being close to “Minembah” Railway Station, 41 miles (approx. 65km) from Newcastle and 141 miles (approx. 226km) from Newcastle.

Vicki Brereton, Singleton Council’s Director Organisation and Community Capacity said more than a century on, not much had changed. Singleton’s virtues continued to be planted in a stunning natural environment offering all the benefits of a rural heartbeat with city conveniences.

But the poster also raises a mystery to be solved. 

“Our Library team will be doing some research into the different spelling of Minimbah and when and why it was changed,” she said.

“The poster is in surprisingly good condition for its age from 1912 to now, so what we’ll do is engage some expert knowledge to help us preserve it properly so that it can continue to last for even longer.

“The story behind the sale is that the previous owners bought it at an auction in Sydney, so we might assume there was plenty of interest in our part of world back then, as there is now, and we just wanted this piece of our history to come back for our community to enjoy.

“Because of how precious it is, the original will be kept in the archives and a digitised version will be available online and to our Library customers.”