sawmill

Reclothing fertile acres – a history of Parrawe

Soon the haunting atmosphere of these forgotten farms will be a thing of the past and stately forests will reclothe these fertile acres”. Cath Lott

Introduction

Parrawe is located on the basaltic plateau immediately west of Surrey Hills, north of the Wandle River, and south of the Hellyer Gorge. This tongue of land ranges from 500 metres to 640 metres above sea level.

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The truth behind the rainforest battles in NSW (part 2) – a growing awareness of rainforests

Introduction

Earlier this month, I outlined a historical account of the utilisation of rainforest timbers in New South Wales (NSW) and the challenges foresters faced to ensure the cut was sustainable. Rainforest timbers were in high demand for various purposes, such as fine furniture and cabinet work crafted from red cedar and rosewood or boats planked and decked with white beech, decorative veneer, furniture, sports gear, craft use and specialist military purposes. … Read more

A bushman and his dogs

Herbert Illichmann has provided some bits and pieces about a gentleman called Harry Fisher. Unfortunately, information about Harry is scant, but there are references to him in Kim McDermott’s excellent book Last of the Wildcats and the memoirs of Herbert’s father-in-law, Lindsay Wilson.

There are also a couple of newspaper articles about Harry, but because Lindsay didn’t provide specific dates, I cannot find them.

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The pastoralist’s scourge

While researching for my book “Fires, Farms and Forests”, I came across quite a few caterpillar references in the correspondence of the Chief Agents of the Van Diemen’s Land Company (VDL Co.). The caterpillars were killing off improved pastures planted after clearing or logging and scrubbing operations.

The caterpillar problem was not unique to the VDL Co.… Read more

What does a forester do? (Part 2)

Because the forestry profession is far from simple and the work highly variable, I have tried to describe what a forester does by outlining the development of the profession in Australia. In Part 1, I outlined the broad principles of forestry and the development of the forestry profession up until WWII.… Read more

Living on the buttongrass plain – a history of Bulgobac

I grew up in a sawmill town on the edge of the buttongrass plain
Beside a railway track in the town of Bulgobac
Where the locos stop for water from the water tank
It also fed the sawmill and the town of Bulgobac

Gravel roads were twenty miles away and people very few
With mountains all around us with panoramic views
At night we sat at the table to a meal of wallaby stew
And mother read the bible at night by the kerosene light its true

Drivers wait from the loco as it headed south to Boco
On the way north they passed our shack in the town of Bulgobac
I was part of a big family with no power to our home
The times are gone but memories live on living on the buttongrass plain

Mother cooked from a wood fired oven Anzac biscuits she baked by the dozen
Life was tough but we never complained living on the buttongrass plain

I still recall the good old days and how we lived back then
In the sawmill town called Bulgobac growing up on a buttongrass plain
I’ll never forget with no regrets of life way back then
The times are gone but memories live on living on the buttongrass plain
 
The times are gone but memories live on growing up on a buttongrass plain

Mott Ryan “Buttongrass plains” from his CD “The Boy from the Buttongrass Plains”

Introduction

Bulgobac is a small siding on the Emu Bay Railway at the 55 Mile.… Read more

Morris “Mort” Bloom – my career with AFH

This month is a guest blog from Morris “Mort” Bloom.

Some of my most memorable days in the bush were marking road lines with Mort. My role was to source timber mostly from private property for the logging contractors under my supervision. Some were easily accessible across grass paddocks in the summer.… Read more

Picking the eyes out of Surrey Hills

This blog has involved many hours researching historical deeds and has taken a long time to put together. It has been challenging to access information while travelling full-time, well away from Tasmania.

I have called upon others to assist me in completing this story. Thank you to Brian Rollins for his patience and kindly sharing information on how to work through the historical Tasmanian title index cards and historical deeds, all found online.… Read more