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Work uncovers window to the past


History has been unearthed on a Lake Macquarie worksite, with hopes the local community might help shed light on the story behind the discovery.

Crews undertaking excavation work this week as part of a shared pathway construction project in Argenton uncovered a quaint cobblestone road, curving around Queen Street and heading towards what is now a very busy Lake Road.

Lake Macquarie City Council’s Manager Assets Management, Brendan Callander, said work was immediately stopped once the discovery was made, with surrounding cobblestones then carefully excavated.

“This road isn’t on any plans so it came as quite a surprise to the crew working on this project,” Mr Callander said.

“It’s always exciting uncovering something like this – it provides a window into our past and stirs the imagination about what life might have been like back then.”

An archaeologist from environmental consultants Umwelt visited the site to take photographs, samples of the roadway material, and GPS coordinates of its location.

Mr Callander said the stone material used in the old road’s construction was extremely solid and heavy, with parts appearing to display leaf fossils.

Working out the type of rock might reveal where and when it was quarried.

The earliest land grants in Argenton date back to 1838, when the area was known as ‘Hampton’.

The area was subdivided in 1841, but took off after the Sulphide Corporation was established in 1896.

Lake Road in Argenton hosted steam trams in the early 1900s, but Mr Callander said the cobblestone road might pre-date that era.

Mr Callander urged anyone with information about the road and its history to contact the council on 4921 0333.

Crews installed a protective layer of material on the road on Friday morning before backfilling it and continuing work on the shared pathway.

The project will provide an off-road shared pathway linking Wallsend in Newcastle to an existing shared pathway stretching from Boolaroo around the lake to Eleebana.

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