There are several lanes along Katoomba Street. They vary from narrow footpaths to short streets and offer quick access around the town.
Froma Lane is between Katoomba Village and Katoomba Street. Froma was one of the first private permanent houses in Katoomba, built by James Henry Neale in 1867. The house was near the present TAFE campus on Parke Street. It was part of a large landholding that included the site of the Carrington Hotel, one of Katoomba’s landmark destinations.
Froma Lane was established as a right of way between Parke and Katoomba streets. The Blue Mountains Echo, a local newspaper, described it as a ‘very crooked alley that follows the tortuous plotting of various allotments’.
In the early 1900s there was a group of houses in this short section. One of these was Froma Lodge, a Federation arts and crafts style house built around 1908. It was built by George James, a prominent butcher who was also a local alderman and mayor. A few years later, the Postmaster General bought nearby land for a new post office. Froma Lodge was also acquired for use as the postmaster’s residence. It remained in use for this purpose for over fifty years, and is now a dental surgery.
The lane has brightened lately thanks to the appearance of some bird murals. This includes a rosella, kingfisher, cockatoo and a pair of superb fairy wrens. The addition of these murals have brightened this historic laneway. The murals are the work of local artists Scott Nagy and Janne Birkner, also known as Krimsone. Another Krimsone mural features in the Katoomba Street Art Walk. They also created the stunning lyrebird mural on the water tank at Wentworth Falls, passed by thousands of vehicles every day.
When was the last time you saw a fresh take on a familiar place?
[Photo: old sign for Froma Lane on Katoomba Street]