Joseph Archer arrived in Van Diemens Land in 1821 aboard the ship 'Emerald'. With a land grant on Lake River in the Longford area, he began farming and built a 'small but handsome cottage'. As his wealth grew, he expanded his land holdings and added to his house, creating a home that is known today as one of the finest colonial examples of Greek Revival architecture in Australia.
The original cottage forms part of an enclosed courtyard. The acres of parks and gardens feature stable yards, a water tower, horse-operated pump house, remains of a cider press, and a gardener’s cottage. Hawthorn hedges, oaks, elms, laurels, lindens, maritime pines and sweeping lawns all create an atmosphere of serenity from an earlier era.
After two generations of Archers the property was sold in 1908 to Thomas Mills, a gold miner from Charters Towers in Queensland. It was purchased as a wedding gift for his son, Charles. Today this six-thousand acre property is still run by the Mills family, producing a range of irrigated crops, sheep and cattle.