Rich tim­ber his­tory

Gatton Star - - News -

A RICH his­tory of log­ging lives in the hills south of Lai­d­ley.

Sawmilling in the head­wa­ters of the Lai­d­ley Creek and Mis­take Moun­tains dates from the 1880s.

Af­ter Al­fred Doorey se­lected land at Main Camp Creek on Oc­to­ber 7, 1879, he started by pit saw­ing.

He soon built a steam sawmill on the se­lec­tion, bring­ing tim­ber to it down from the plateau by a chute.

The mill was large and pow­ered by two por­ta­ble steam en­gines. It had a ver­ti­cal saw frame to cut cedar, main saw bench, two cir­cu­lar saw benches and smaller saws.

Doorey was killed in June, 1881, af­ter be­ing hit by a rock dis­lodged by de­scend­ing cedar logs.

Ho­ra­tio John Hodges took on the tim­ber yard in Lai­d­ley and in 1885 de­vel­oped it, as­sisted by James-Wal­ton, into a sawmill.

Fil­shie and Broad­foot, of Toowoomba, built a sawmill at Town­son at the head of Lai­d­ley Creek in 1897 and used a bul­lock team to haul tim­ber on the Mis­take Plateau and from their mill to Lai­d­ley. The mill closed in 1902.

There was no log­ging from 1902 un­til 1938 when Hansen and Bam­bling be­gan haul­ing hoop pine to Han­cock’s mill in Ip­swich.

In the early 1940s Linn trac­tors were in­tro­duced haul­ing down the steep moun­tain roads, one now be­ing pre­served at Lai­d­ley His­tor­i­cal Vil­lage.

Han­cocks erected a sawmill in early 1940s near the site of the orig­i­nal Broad­foot mill at the head of Lai­d­ley Creek, truck­ing the out­put to Mul­go­wie.

The mill closed in the credit squeeze and build­ing slump in the early 1960s.

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