Hut is now history
A CARDWELL hut that was an important link to the North’s pioneering past was erased from the face of the earth by Cyclone Yasi.
Hubinger’s Hut, a bush timber and corrugated iron structure which has stood defiant for decades in the face of cyclones, the march of time, and armies of determined termites, finally met its match on February 2.
The building, which has b e e n p h o t o g r a p h e d a n d painted by thousands of highway travellers, has been looking as though it could be blown over by a ‘‘ huff and a puff’’ for the past 30 years. It finally succumbed to the elements and now its pieces lie scattered to the four winds.
Anne Mealing f rom t he Cardwell and District Historical Society said the hut was originally built at the old Five Mile Creek meatworks site just south of the seaside town, which itself was torn asunder in Yasi. THEN, NOW: Cardwell and District Historical Society’s Anne Mealing at Hubinger’s Hut pre
Cyclone Yasi; the ‘‘ hut’’ after Yasi tore through the region
Ms Mealing said the hut was moved to its present site at Sunbeam Creek, 4km north of Cardwell, by the pioneering Hubinger family early last century.
‘‘ It used to be the tongue house at the meatworks at Five Mile Creek,’’ she said.
‘ ‘ T h e y w o u l d s a l t t h e tongues of the slaughtered cattle and then hang them in the hut to cure.’’
Ms Mealing said that in the early part of the 1900s, North Queensland was hit simultaneously by a long drought and a tick plague. She said cattle died in their thousands, resulting in the closure of the Five Mile Creek meatworks.
M s M e a l i n g s a i d t h e Hubinger family bought the tongue house and moved it to Sunbeam Creek, about 15km away.
The refusal of the National Trust of Queensland to take some responsibility for the mai n t e n a n c e o f t h e t r a - dit i onal t i mber and i r on structure is something which has always rankled those who wanted the hut restored.
Ms Mealing said the trust refused to take any part in its maintenance or restoration because it had been moved from its original site.
‘ ‘ T h e N a t i o n a l T r u s t wouldn’t do anything with it because they said it had been moved,’’ she said.
Ms Mealing said the historical society had managed to salvage a door and a front wall of the hut after the cyclone. She said the society hoped to display them in its museum in Cardwell. She said the old timber museum had also fallen victim to the cyclone.
‘‘ The old hut was such a landmark. So many people wanted to do something, but it was too much for our little historical society,’’ she said.