If you’ve recently driven past Inspired Home Living at 404 Crystal Street, you might assume the establishment is closed for renovations.
However, business continues as usual while the 92-year-old fire-damaged trusses are being replaced to support a long-overdue new roof, which was damaged by hail seven years ago.
During these renovations, some relics of the past have been unearthed. In 2016, a hailstorm inflicted severe damage on Inspired Home Living’s roof.
Owners Wayne and Alison Lee soon learned that a complete truss replacement—originally burned in a 1931 fire—was necessary before installing a new roof. A mammoth task, it has taken until now to commence.
Despite the ongoing work, the Lees want the community to know that they remain open for business via the east-end entrance.
Similar to many renovation projects in Silver City, the construction has revealed hidden relics from the past, including a 1950s red chair, a 1939 Australian Women’s Weekly with an accompanying novel—Wind on the Water—inside, a 1956 dance competition entry card, an Alaska Milk carton, a Hall’s soft drink bottle, a Turf Virginia cigarette packet, and a packet of Pass Out Checks from past events held in the building.
Alison Lee guided us through a selection of special finds. “The magazine was in remarkable condition, as was the novel inside it. We found them in the Crystal Theatre, concealed within a wall,” she said, leading us to a small red chair displayed in the dining suite area. “This chair was discovered atop our strong room. It’s so tiny; I’ve nicknamed it the ‘one-cheek-chair’,” she chuckled. “It’s delightful when you stumble upon items that transport you back in time.”
Wayne Lee offered a tour of the extensive site, pointing out the location of the old roller-skating rink, the former projector room, and camera boxes of the Crystal Theatre, as well as the dance floor where community events like the Marist Brother’s Ball were held at the Palais.
For those interested in the July 1931 Barrier Miner story about the fire at the Crystal Theatre, visit: trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/46615727.