First steps taken to rescue historic Fisher’s Ghost restaurant

A HUGE JOB: Some of the workers (from left), Richard Ray, Geoff Hay, Matthew Inns, Mark Jones, Tony Holmes and Lindsay Hunter. Not pictured is Brett Woolaston and Ian Eaves – all did a great job in difficult circumstances.
A HUGE JOB: Some of the workers (from left), Richard Ray, Geoff Hay, Matthew Inns, Mark Jones, Tony Holmes and Lindsay Hunter. Not pictured is Brett Woolaston and Ian Eaves – all did a great job in difficult circumstances.

Five giant skip bins of rubbish, eight sets of hands, and countless buckets of sweat.

That’s the official tally from Campbelltown Catholic Club’s clean-up last week of the historic Kendall’s Mill House site in Queen Street (also known as “old Fisher’s Ghost Restaurant”).

That means heritage experts and club staff can now safely access the site – previously a vandalised, overgrown ruin, described by the club as a “meth house”.

CLEARING WORK: An overgrown forest of weeds had to be removed. “The grounds so far have taken five people two full days."

CLEARING WORK: An overgrown forest of weeds had to be removed. “The grounds so far have taken five people two full days."

Tony Holmes, the club’s operations manager, had his sleeves rolled up as part of the clean-up team.

“The internal work took three people two days to clean,” he said. “The grounds so far have taken five people two full days.

“The team did a great job in difficult circumstances.”

The Catholic Club hasn't got a firm plan for future use of the site yet, but hopes to fully restore the heritage building.

Kendall’s Mill is where the industrial revolution began in Macarthur – the first local mill powered by steam, not wind. Built in 1844, the mill dominated the southern end of Campbelltown as a symbol of hope and prosperity until rust-devastated wheat farms began to be replaced by dairy farms in the 1880s.

The main building was demolished in the 1920s, but the attached Mill House – this building – was redeveloped by Dr William Mawson (namesake of Mawson Park) as Milby Maternity Hospital, before becoming a restaurant. It has been a ruin since a fire swept through in 2005.