Rich timber history
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.