The Appin Historical Society has a new place to call home – and it’s appropriately historic.
The community group had been searching for a new home since their old base – the notable Appin cottage known to locals as the Bourke house – was set to be sold last year.
Luckily, the society has now set up shop in the recently-restored Appin Inn.
Walker Corporation owns the 200-year-old cottage, and spent $1.2 million restoring the local gem.
The company has allowed the Appin Historical Society and local crochet group the Appin Hookers to use the site for free while archaeological and construction work is under way on the outbuildings and rear yard of the inn site.
Historical society founder Nola Douglas said the group was thrilled to move into the historic venue.
“We started to move in November and Walker got permission to open to the public in January, so now we’re all set,” she said.
“It’s wonderful to be here. Fantastic.
“This inn is so much bigger than anywhere we’ve been located before.”
Ms Douglas said many people in the community feared the Appin Inn would the torn down given its state of disrepair since the early 2000s.
But the restoration has allowed the historic inn’s life to be extended.
Walker’s executive planner Gerry Beasley said the company was proud to have saved the Appin Inn.
“We are incredibly proud of the restoration work on the Appin Inn, which has transformed the property from a derelict wreck to a beautiful, historic asset to the community,” he said.
“The community has really gotten behind this project with volunteers assisting in archaeological work on site and we are pleased to help these community groups now.
“When we heard the historical society were going to be without a home, we looked at how we could help them on short notice.
“The historical society members have also been great advocates for our restoration work and we have appreciated their input.”
Historical society president Denise Phillips praised the restoration works.
“The Appin Inn had fallen into total disrepair since the early 2000s and was at real risk of demolition by neglect,” she said.
“We are thrilled that it has been rebuilt to such a high standard.
“It is a wonderful asset for Appin and it is great to see it back in usable condition.”
Records for the Inn date to 1819, when the land was granted to Thomas Davis.
It has had 18 owners and a number of different liquor licenses since, dating back to 1833 when it was known as the Union Revived.
The Appin Inn was an important stopping point for travellers making the arduous journey by horse between Wollongong and Sydney.
Wollondilly Council has zoned the site for commercial use.
Future uses could include professional service offices, a restaurant, health services or tourism related businesses.
The Appin Historical Society and Appin Hookers will be able to use the building at no cost until all final construction work is complete on site.