While the towns of Kurrawang and Lakewood were the main headquarters of the firewood companies, the heart of their operations were the bush camps where the timber was cut, carted, stacked, loaded onto trains and the trains made up for the long haul back.

    On each line was a Main Camp where the bush operations were based. Main Camps were usually identified by their distance in miles from Kurrawang or  Lakewood although some, such as Burra Rock and Cave Hill, were named after local landmarks. Managers, surveyors, train staff, storekeepers, carters and loaders and their families generally lived in the Main Camps as did the policeman and the schoolteacher. Some of these camps would be occupied for several years before they were moved on.

    Branching out from the Main Camps were spur lines to the cutting areas. Here were smaller camps where the firewood cutters lived along with a number of  carters and loaders. These camps were genarally indentified in company jargon as No 1, No 3 or No5 camps depending on when they were established. Generally these camps were moved every three or four months as the timber in that area was cut out.

    These pics are of some of the debris to be found around the sites of these camps.

A family returns to the woodlines. A sign in a tree at the 59 mile Main Camp.

The remains of a gangers troller at the 59 mile Main Camp.

A corrugated iron water tank at the 59 mile Main Camp. These tanks were left close to the tracks and were filled by the passing trains. The same type of tank were used for water for both people and horses.

Beer bottle dump near an old camp.

I wonder what the original owner of this kerosene lantern would think of this digital photo being viewed on a computer connected to the Internet.

Old water tanks were used to make a chook house at the 96 mile Main Camp.

Among all the rubbish at the 96 mile Main Camp is this rotten wheelbarrow.

The remains of a portable house at at unnamed camp.

More portable house remains. The white pieces in the centre are remnants of the white-washed hessian wall covering.

This International truck at a Main Camp was probably used by a contractor to cart firewood to the railway after the horses and drays had been phased out about 1953.

A shovel head adorns a long dead mallee root.


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