Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mungo Woolshed


I've shown quite a lot of shearing sheds in this blog over the past year ... here's a chance to look inside one. This one was built in 1869 from locally harvested cypress pine and used until 1978 when Mungo Station was taken over for the National Park. Mungo Station, by the way, was a mere 16,000 hectares (40,000 acres).

More below because this was another photgrapher's paridise. And it doesn't stop here!



10 comments:

  1. Firstly, what a joy it was to open this post and see the colours and they blended with the colours of the blog itself.

    Then, the details of the shed. It is a magnifique builing, and so well preserved. It must have someone onsite looking after it. Not many cobwebs, just one I could see. But not full of blown sand or vegetation. Not looking like it was being taken back by nature at its most wilful.

    I think I would love this place.

    How much does it cost to visit Lake Mungo? Can you go as an individual or only in tours? I guess you guys went as individuals, yes?

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  2. You're right, it is a photographer's paradise in that woolshed. Sometimes I forget that pastoral or industrial scenes like these are just as interesting as landscapes.

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  3. I love to see building posts where you can tell they were once trees.
    We have a couple of old fence posts at Pendlebury Hill that are real tree posts. I wonder when we decided perfectly square tree posts were the way to go.
    My dad's father and a couple of his brothers when they were young men were shearers (not dad though - he was a "collar and tie" man)and in some sheds around the country you can still see their marks in the shed walls. My grandfather was a gun shearer. I'm pretty sure they never sheared at Mungo though.
    We also have lots of shearers around Ararat and the western districts but a lot are blow ins from NZ and usually Maori - they usually spend the 6 cooler months over here then go back to NZ.
    The photos remind me of the steam boats on the Murray.

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  4. Julie, the Parks and Wildlife office is right near this woolshed so it's very much maintained.

    As it happens, tomorrow's post answers your questions so I'll leave it to then.

    Letty, how cool having shearing heritage ... mine is dairy farmers, bullockies and gold miners. The steam boats are coming up later in the trip.

    Everyone, you would love this place your cameras would go mad like mine did! I'd love to go back in cooler weather but I suspect that it wouldn't be quite as "empty" then.

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  5. BTW, all this timber is locally harvested Cypress (which is white ant resistant) pretty much wiped them out.

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  6. The old wood and the amazing metal contraptions make for great photos.

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  7. Wood, metal, rust, some subtle colours - what else can one wish for? ;-)
    I found freefalling's comment very interesting - and now I am wondering what a gun shearer might be. And shearers put their marks on the walls in the sheds like mediaeval stonemasons put their marks on the walls of cathedrals etc?

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  8. I am enjoying your blog very much. This is a different world that I know little about and find very interesting. In Oklahoma we are cattle country and sheep an oddity. I remember belt driven machinery when I was a kid 60 years ago. Your shearing shed looks like it used a little steam engine for power. This ia great stuff, thanks.

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  9. Martina, a gun shearer is top shearer ... one who can shear a lot of sheep quickly without marking them. As for marks on the shed walls, I don't really know mucn about shearing so this information was also new to me.

    Bill, I'm glad you are enjoying the trip. I actually live in a wilderness area where there are neither cattle or sheep but love to go west where both are.

    The shearing was originally done with hand shears, there is a photo of one of those in the collage. As I understand it they moved onto the steam engine and later to a deisel engine. I missed getting a photo of the deisel engine ... I guess I will have to go back in fill in the gaps ... shame i have to drive 1000kms to get there.

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  10. When I see these massive structures I'm struck by the devotion the must require and the fact that once gone they can't be replicated. that probably no amount of money could round up the resources.

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