The Forests of Warburton - a Pictorial Heritage - 1853 to 2012

1889 to 1919 - Mills in the Wesburn and Old Warburton area

1853 - Beginnings
1885 to present day - Dee Valley Mills
1889 to 1919 - Mills in the Wesburn and Old Warburton area
1890 - Roads to the Forests
1901 to 1964 - The Warburton Railway
1902 to 1906 - Anderson's Mill
1902 to 1939 - East Warburton and Onwards
1903 to 1907- Robinson's Mill No. 1
1905 to 1949 - Tramways of the Mills
1905 to 1928 - Parbury's Brookfield Mill
1906 - Wondwondah Estate and the Adventist Church
1907 to 1913 - Richards Mill
1907 to 1922 - Robinson's Mill No. 1
1908 to 1922 - Robinson's No 2 Mill (Cement Creek)
1909 to 1916 - Hermon's Mill (La La Estate)
1909 to 1949 - The Warburton Steam Railway
1911 to 1915 -The O'Shannassy Aqueduct and Weir
1915 to 1973 - Brimbonga Seasoning Works - East Warburton
1918 to 1925 - Sunnydale Mill, East Warburton
1919 to 1920 - Slocum and Walker's Mill
1920 - From the Bush to the Bungalow
1922 to 1932 - Enterprise Mill (La La)
1925 - Family Snow Trip to Mt Donna Buang
1932 to 1937 - Horner's Mill
1938 to 2000 - Tuckman's Mills
1950 - Welcome Back to Warburton
The Donna Buang Range
The Author's Personal Websites

1920s - Wesburn - main road

1911 - Yankee Jim's Creek tramway

1902 - Tramway along Yankee Jim's Creek

Mills in the Wesburn Area
In 1859 gold was discovered at Britannia Creek, near the present village of Wesburn, (formerly known as West Warburton).

A small township provided miners with relief from carrying provisions on their back. Several stores and a warden's office existed at  the junction of Britannia Creek and the Little Yarra River.

There is no trace of the former township, which is believed to have been sited on rising ground now in private property near the present day bridge over the Little Yarra River on Warburton Highway.

When the gold ran out, several mills started in the Wesburn area and on the slopes of Mts Littlejoe, Bride, Myrtalia and Tugwell, in the district known as Old Warburton, in the Yankee Jim's Creek Gully and along the Britannia Creek.

These included some of the earliest mills in the region, dating back to 1889, and endured until the timber ran out around 1919.
The main tramways were from Mt Bride, in Yankee Jim's Creek Gully, and along the Britannia Creek Rd, carrying timber to the railhead at Wesburn.

The principal mills were:

Cameron and Co. "Warburton Sawmills", (1889-1900) later owned by Laudher  and Gillis and Ewart (1924-1929) - sited on Yankee Jim's Creek, on Old Warburton Rd

Laudher "Pioneer Sawmills" (1900-1910) - sited on Cemetery Creek

Laudher (1910-1911), later taken over by R. Platt and Co 1900-1913 - sited on Mt Bride  Rd

R. Platt and Co (1913-1916) - sited on Mt Bride Rd, near the Distillation Works

Herman (1901-19
10) - near the summit of Mt Bride

Cuming and Smith Distillation Works - early records show that this company was operating in 1913, and worked until its closure in 1930. The site was located on the Britannia Creek Rd, opposite the present day Britannia Creek Guide Camp, Wesburn. The site is now owned by an industrial company - some crumbling iron relics remain. It is listed as a Heritage Site.

1950 - Wesburn - main Rd - same vantage point as the 1920s image above!

August 2012 - relics of distilling works and mill, Britannia Creek Rd (author's photo)

1908 - Wesburn, showing Hermon and Laudehr's tramway

August 2012 - Wesburn streetview

1917 - Watermill and house at Old Warburton

Wesburn Heritage

Wesburn Park Reserve (then ‘The Warburton Park’) was gazetted in 1886 and a Committee of Management was formed to manage the area as a ‘Public Park and 'Recreation Reserve’. Regulations included the requirement that ‘No person shall put in the Reserve any cattle, goats or pigs.’

Interesting heritage features of the reserve include:

The alignment of the dismantled ‘Old Warburton’ timber tramway near the creek.

Wesburn Racetrack which operated as early as 1902, and closed in 1963

Wesburn Hall, now relocated onto the south east corner of the Reserve and currently used by the netball club.

The Wesburn Pool thought to have been dug by hand in the 1920s.

(Source: ‘The Wesburn Park and Recreation Reserve’, leaflet compiled by Ellena Biggs and Gitta Peterson, 1998 – Upper Yarra Conservation Society)

The Sam Knott Hotel

Previously known as The Warburton Hotel, The Sam Knott Hotel is a heritage listed, important, part of the Wesburn community.It is said that during the decline of the goldmining era, Edward John Buller (1840-1908) moved his hotel to West Warburton (Known as Wesburn from 1925) in 1885.

One of 19 shanty hotels in the Yarra Valley and the only one to have survived. It is said that he moved the Hotel by bullock dray.

An 1886 advertisment in the Lilydale Express offered "Good Accomodation for families" at Bullers hotel with coaches to and from Lilydale each day, prompt mail delivery, and "saddle horses and buggies for hire".

Cobb and Co operated from the Hotel in the same year and Buller also ran a general store from the main bar. Clunings Taxi Service and a dentist also operated from the hotel in the 1920's/1930's.

The Sam Knott Hotel is situated along the Warburton Highway.

Open 7 days, the hotel is famous for its unique history including that of Sam Knott. Hearty, country meals are served daily in the bistro or enjoy a counter meal in the public bar with a replica statue of Sam Knott himself! The Hotel is heritage listed and filled with memorabilia from days gone by.

August 2012 - Sam Knott Hotel (author's pic)

2012 - Location map

1920 - Main Street, Wesburn

Contact Bob Padula