Seedy history: Real reason why Alstonville needed cop shop
The village of Alstonville is renowned for its beautiful and historic buildings.
One of them is the police station, on the corner of Main and Perry Sts.
According to research by the Alstonville Plateau Historical Society, the station was completed in October 1903.
“It seems that after the opening of the Federal Hotel 1901 it became common that ‘disgusting language’ and ‘bouts of fisticuffs’ occurred in the Main Street,” the society explains on its website.
“So the local Progress Association urged their local Member, Mr Perry, to establish a police presence.
“Their representations were successful and the police station was completed in October 1903.
“It was not until 1910 that the courthouse was used.
“Today the building is still the local police station but the courthouse section of the building has reverted to a police residence and the courtroom is now a residence.”
Paul Parrington was the Plateau’s longest serving police officer, from 1981 until 1995, and he was interviewed for a digital history project done through the Northern Rivers Community Gallery.
The project was by Monty and Jack from Alstonville High School, Elaine from the Alstonville Plateau Historical Society and Susie Forster, in collaboration with Mr Parrington.
“Not many people like to go and live in a town that is riddled with crime,” Mr Parrington explains in the video.
“But because Alstonville became more populated, and a butter factory was built … they built a police station.”
“The police station is a very special place. They are really are a crux, a foundation part of town, and then everything builds on that.”