The Discovery Centre (previous known as the CWA Hall) sits on Lot 14 of Section 20 of the Village of Hill End. In 1872 this lot appears to have been occupied by Monie’s Hill End Hotel.
The Lot was purchased by William Charles Ackland, clerk of Hill End for £15 on 25th February 1896. Subsequent ownership of the property is as follows:-
- 16th September 1920, sale to Arthur Cook, miner of Hill End.
- 18th November 1940, sale to Ruby Ivy Davison, widow of Hill End.
- 18th November 1940, sale to Gertrude Elizabeth Eyre, wife of Oswald Forbes Eyre, hotel proprietor of Hill End.
- 6th November 1951, sale to Devon Gold No Liability.
- 15th December 1953, sale to Thomas Richard Hodgson, factory manager, Port Macquarie.
- 28th June 1956, sale to County Women’s Association of New South Wales.
The style and construction of the hall suggest that it may have been built in the 1920s, possibly as a modest cottage. The Salvation Army officers used the cottage as a residence in the early 20th century. The cottage is adjacent to the former Salvation Army Barracks which is now part of the Hill End general store.
The hall was used by the Country Womens Association from 1956 to 1999. The property on which the hall stands was purchased from the Country Womens Association of New South Wales by the National Parks and Wildlife Service on 1st September 1972. It was added to the Hill End Historic site on 15th December 1972. After acquisition by the National Parks and Wildlife Service it continued to be used by the CWA.
In 1999 the CWA notified the National Parks and Wildlife Service that they wished to terminate their lease on the hall. The lease was officially surrendered on 31st March 1999. A lease for a tourism related business was subsequently taken up by Mrs Anne Scales of Turondale in 2000. The lease was transferred to Mrs K Waters of Turondale in the same year and subsequently relinquished.