Inside the Elgin Vale sawmill, west of Gympie. Its listing was announced yesterday by Queensland Heritage Council chairman David Eades.
Inside the Elgin Vale sawmill, west of Gympie. Its listing was announced yesterday by Queensland Heritage Council chairman David Eades. Contributed

Heritage listing for sawmill

THE Elgin Vale Sawmill, built in 1944 and located about 80km from Gympie, is one of the newest entries in the Queensland Heritage Register.

Thought to be one of Queensland’s largest sawmills in its day (one of Queensland’s many steam-driven mills), was one of about 40 of its kind in the Wide Bay-Burnett district.

“There are no known sawmills in Queensland comparable to the Elgin Vale sawmill in terms of retention of original layout, fabric and operating ability,” Queensland Heritage Council chair David Eades said yesterday.

Mr Eades said the Wide-Bay Burnett region was an important area for Queensland’s timber industry.

“Through its original fabric and layout, the Elgin Vale sawmill is exceptional in Queensland for demonstrating the process of using steam technology to mill hoop pine, which was one of the state’s principal building materials,” he said.

“The place is also important in demonstrating the pattern of establishing softwood sawmills in close proximity to naturally occurring stands of hoop pine.

“The remains of the Elgin Vale township, constructed from 1927 to accommodate workers and their families, help us to understand the organisation and domestic life of timber settlements that existed in twentieth century Queensland.”

Mr Eades said the Elgin Vale sawmill site was also important because of its aesthetic significance.

“The place possesses evocative qualities generated by the strong visual impact of its tough industrial look. The remains of the township evoke a sense of isolation and the decline of a self-contained way of life that has largely vanished in Queensland.”

Gympie Times


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