Destroyed church last building standing

Destroyed church last building standing

The fire-ravaged former Avenue church and school remains a forlorn site almost three years after it was almost totally destroyed by fire.

The 120-year-old stone and iron structure was gutted on January 11, 2021 by the bushfire which burned 17,000 hectares of farmland in the area of Lucindale and Avenue Range.

The fire also claimed the adjacent one-time Avenue general store and residence.

These buildings have since been demolished and the site cleared with the exception of the petrol pumps.

In the wake of the fire, the owner of the former school/church immediately sought to restore the structure to its former glory.

The ex-local had bought the Avenue landmark in 1988 at auction and began a public appeal for funds for its restoration work.

As well as its use as a church and school, the Red Cross operated a not-for-profit arts and crafts community gallery.

It was called the By the Way gallery but it had not traded for several years prior to the bushfire.

Locals and the Blaze Aid Lucindale group have since replaced the boundary fences and the burned and fallen trees have also been cleared.

In its heyday, Avenue was a railway siding on the branch line between Naracoorte and Kingston but this closed almost 40 years ago.

The only public facilities at Avenue nowadays are unused tennis courts, an unmanned postal agency, toilets and the CFS shed.

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