The Annis and George Bills horse trough at the Blacksmith’s Cottage is a survivor of a series of troughs donated by the estate of Annis and George Bills. When he died in 1927, George Bills left his estate of 80,000 pounds to ‘construct and erect and pay for horse troughs wherever they……..are desirable for the relief of horses and other dumb animals.’
The Annis and George Bills Bequest donated over 500 troughs throughout Australia. They were built during the late 1920s and 1930s. No troughs were built after the Second World War.
There are two Bills troughs in Bacchus Marsh, one outside the hotel on the corner of Young and Main Streets, and this one. It was moved to the grounds of the cottage from the Racecourse Reserve in 2000. Both troughs are now used as flower beds. The trough at the cottage is planted with geraniums, lavender, epiphyllum and santolina (cotton lavender).
Source: Bacchus Marsh Heritage Guide. Bacchus Marsh and District Historical Society Inc. 2003. P.28.