No history of Warrimoo in the 1920’s would be complete without reference to the main industry carried out on the northern side during this time, “Timbergetting” or “Logging”.
The area covered by logging activities ran from the rear of
Cross Street and
Warrimoo Oval across Long Angle Gully to Sun Valley
and Singles Ridge Road,
which contains rich volcanic soils. The combination of soil fertility, moisture
from water sources and sunbeam direction gives this part of Warrimoo some very
unique and impressive vegetation, most especially tall, straight timbers.
Trees most prized were the ‘Mountain Blue Gum’ (Eucalyptus Deanei—so named after the Railways Engineer who designed much of the
Blue Mountains railroad, including the Newnes tunnels,
Henry Deane); the ‘Cabbage Gum’ (Eucalyptus Amplifolia), and the turpentine
(Syncarpia Glomulifera), a row of which now grows on the Great Western Highway between Warrimoo
|Henry Deane (1847-1924)--the tree was named after him in 1904, when he was Engineer-in-Chief of construction for the NSW Railways, and a keen amateur botanist|
At the turn of the century government institutions required such timber for products like railway sleepers and telegraph/electricity poles. Thus evolved the enterprises of two timbergetting families, the Goddard and Baxter brothers, the latter of whom lived on
Singles Ridge Road.
The Loggers cut trails down into the valleys and hauled logs out by bullock teams. Bruce Cameron provides some details:
‘At one stage the Baxters used a light rail system to remove logs to a ridge-top saw mill driven by a boiler, near
Warrimoo. They also operated a bush saw mill built by the Goddard brothers (c.
1918), near the present day Springwood Golf Course. This was close to their
home in Singles Ridge Road,
where another sawmill operated. A mill was also located in the vicinity of the
(old) Sun Valley Nursery, near the highway.
When the Baxters were cutting timber they tapped into all the principle stands around Long Angle Gully. The main product was used for power poles. When the Mountains were first hooked up to the electricity grid, the Baxters supplied poles to the
Blue Mountains Council. Other timber was cut primarily
for firewood consumption.
The local market was supplemented with orders from other areas. Poles were cut and then loaded onto steam trains for transport to the required location.
The Baxters often camped overnight in make-shift timber camps. Signs of crude bush huts and relics can still be found in the bush near
Old trucks, machinery and watertanks are rusty reminders of the days when the
valleys echoed with the sound of the logger’s axe. Numerous slot marks where loggers
could place cutting boards in tree trunks can also still be seen. An old
dug-out saw-pit is located on private property not far from Long Angle Gully.
|This picture reveals the combined usage of both Bullock and 'Blitz' power to haul logs up to the mill and/or station at the top of the ridge|
In later years the Baxters used an ex-army ‘Blitz’ four wheel drive to assist the bullock teams remove logs from the gullies around Long Angle. In the Depression they would save petrol tokens so the Blitz could be used to remove timber. Both the bullocks and the Blitz would tow a large log trailer or ‘jinker’. In the disastrous fires of 1936 the trailer was destroyed by fire near
Yellowrock Road. The old loggers road
that ran off Singles Ridge Road
is now known as Long Angle Gully
The Baxters were fine axemen and often entered woodchops at shows and competitions. They also cut timber near Glenbrook Creek and along
, at Winmalee. Blue Gum Swamp
For the most part, today, the impact of the logging industry on Warrimoo is largely obscured by the intensive forest growth of the past two decades. It is hard to envisage the thin bush landscape that prevailed at that end of Warrimoo during the 1920’s and 30’s.
If, however, you are game to do the ‘Sun Valley Trail’ either from the Rosenthal Lane entry (Sun Valley) or the Warrimoo Oval side—if you are game to enough to endure the cacophony of birdcalls along the route, and you keep your eyes peeled, you just may come across some of those evidential remnants and relics of that bygone era.