Bellbrakes, Bullocks & Bushmen
A Sawmilling and Tramway History of Gembrook 1885-1985
by Mike McCarthy
ISBN 0 909340 33 1
Following the opening of the 2 ft 6 in gauge railway to Gembrook (64 km east of Melbourne) in 1900 timber milling became an important industry in the forest to the east of Gembrook. At least sixty sawmill sites were worked in the region, and for some time sawmilling was the largest single employer in the area. Together they produced a huge volume of timber, not only to satisfy the needs of metropolitan Melbourne, but also to provide fruit cases for the district’s orchard industry.
A fascinating network of tramways, providing the vital transport link to the railhead, fanned to the east and north of the town. The construction and operation of these lines is covered in detail but it is integrated with the history of the mills that led to their existence, and the people that worked in the industry or lived in the bush at the mills.
Bellbrakes, Bullocks and Bushmen is a reprint of the book first published in 1987, which has been out of print for many years.
Soft cover, 104 pages, A4 size, 71 photographs, 17 maps and diagrams.