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Silverton is a semi-ghost town located about 24 km from Broken Hill, far western New South Wales.
The site of Silverton was occupied by Aborigines for many thousands of years. The first European to see the Silverton area was the explorer Charles Sturt in 1844.
Pastoralists soon followed and in 1875 silver was discovered that Thackaringa Station (ranch), south of the present site of Silverton.The Day Dream Mine was established in 1883.
The population of Silverton rose to 5,000 at its height, most being miners and people proving services to the miners.
An abandonned church (St Carthage Catholic Church), in Silverton, New South Wales
The high quality ore began to run out, and then the discovery in Broken Hill of one of the world's largest loads of silver, lead and zinc began to cause the population to move away to Broken Hill. By 1900 the population of Silverton was less than 300.
All that remained of the buildings of the once-flourishing mining town was a collection of historical buildings, including a Methodist and a Catholic church, a Masonic lodge, a public school, municipal chambers, a jail, and a surveyor's cottage.
These days the population hovers around 50, most of whom cater to visiting tourists coming to see the historical buildings and local crafts shops, all located in the eerie emptiness of the treeless outback.
A recent help for Silverton's economy came from film makers using Silverton's moonlike arid landscape and the town's collection of historical buildings to shoot many movies such as Mad Max II.
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Author: David Paul Wagner
(David Paul Wagner on Google+)