Kyabram Free Press
Quarry started with pick, shovel
Mt Scobie quarry — part one
This photograph of workmen at Mt Scobie quarry is believed to have been taken in the mid 1950s.
Mt Scobie, west of Kyabram, had been named after Mitchell Forbes Scobie who was the original squatter and pastoralist of the Wyuna run from 1842 to 1849.
In 1920, John Ball purchased a square mile of land which included the mount where there was a lot of gravel on the surface. This was in veins about eight feet wide between the rocks.
The first gravel was sold for beaching the channels throughout the district. This was done by ploughing an area of the surface and then men dug it with pick and shovel and loaded it on horse-drawn drays.
During the 1920s a small quarry about eight feet deep was dug into the north side of the hill. A side-loader was set up and drays backed in.
In the early 1930s a contractor from Violet Town brought a crushing plant and paid royalties per yard of rock to John Ball.
Later during the 1940s Ted Eckberg took over the contracting and the first main quarry was started. Some of the early carters were Nunns, Grangers, George Lee, Eddie Doolan, J Parker, Les Crilly, Ron Baker and Digger Wickham.
Arthur Ball purchased the property from his father’s estate in 1948 and in the early 1950s the Shire of Deakin commenced a small quarry operation on the highest part of the Mt Scobie property.
• Compiled by Eileen Sullivan, Kyabram Historical Society voluntary librarian