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Frontier Town

Tennant Creek, 1930sTennant Creek was, and some would say still is, a frontier town where fortunes were made and often lost, over the bar at the Tennant Creek Hotel. It was a town of hard drinking and single men.

Len Kittle remembered the early days:

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Nobody was more surprised than me when I saw Tennant Creek for the first time. It was a very small town in those days, virtually only a main street. The two most prominent buildings of course were the two hotels and several smaller stores like Harold Williams and George Williams and Armstrong’s baker shop which in those days used to be alongside the Anglican Church in the northern end of the town. The main road went right through the centre of the town. The Overland Telegraph Station went right through the centre of the town. One of the landmarks in Tennant Creek in those days in the main street was a bullet hole just about opposite the Tennant Creek Hotel in the middle of the street which had been fired by a person whom I am not going to name. I am not sure whether it was him but he took the blame for it anyway, and this bullet hole went right through the telegraph pole and came out the other side. The hole was there as a landmark for many years until during the war when the bitumen of course was put down through Tennant Creek. I think that was around about 1944, and that old landmark disappeared.

[Northern Territory Archives Service NTRS 226, TS254 and NTRS 219 TP 189, Len Kittle]
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