Benjamin (Bill) SpargoPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Chris McLaughlin

The monument, erected by the Alpine Club of Victoria, commemorates Benjamin (Bill) Spargo who was a pioneer Hotham skier, Alpine Road Officer, the first manager of Hotham Chalet and a gold prospector. The first Hotham Ski Lodge was built in 1946 on a site advised by him. 

In his twenties he worked on the roads between Omeo and Mount Beauty. Norwegian miners in the area taught him to ski and he probably did some prospecting.

By the 1920s Spargo was employed with the Victorian Country Roads Board. In 1923 the board took responsibility for the Alpine Road between Harrietville and Omeo, and appointed him supervisor. Based at Hotham Heights, he lived in a stone cottage which served as his depot. At his request, the building was enlarged to accommodate up to twenty visiting skiers. From 1925 the C.R.B. allowed him (when he was not engaged on road patrols) to use the premises as a guest-house, Hotham Cottage (Hotham Heights Chalet).

He ran it in partnership with a ski instructor for a short period, then brought in his brother Cecil to assist him. Within a few years the chalet became a favourite stopover for skiers, and Bill was a well-known and popular identity. The C.R.B. decided in 1933 to discontinue the operation of the joint road depot and guest-house, and handed the chalet to the Victorian Railways. Spargo was deeply disappointed, but stayed on as the chalet's handyman and did a bit of prospecting for gold. After he survived the 1939 bushfire (Hotham Heights Chalet did not), he turned to prospecting virtually full time. He died in 1959. 



Address:Great Alpine Road, Hotham Heights, 3741
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -36.988655
Long: 147.148792
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:January-2001
Front Inscription



Left Side Inscription

In memory of `Bill` Benjamin Spargo

1888 - 1962

Pioneer Hotham skier
Alpine Road officer 1924
First Manager Hotham Chalet 1926
Gold Prospector  `Red Robin` Mine Mt. Loch 1941 - 1952

Erected by the Alpine Club of Victoria

The first Hotham ski lodge built in 1946, on a site advised by `Bill` Spargo in 1945 

January 2001

Right Side Inscription

The Huts Walk

Officially opened on 16th April 2011 by Mr Len Spargo

Son of Mr Cecil Spargo and nephew of Mr Bill Spargo 

Pioneers of the Mount Hotham Ski Resort

This walking track links three of Mt Hotham`s significant historic huts, each represents an important role in the development of the Mt Hotham Ski Resort.

Spargo`s Hut
Derrick Hut
Silver Brumby Hut

This project was jointly funded by the Australian Government under the Australian Tourism Development Program and the Mt Hotham Resort Management Board

Source: MA,ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au