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 - Copyright Tweed Shire Council

Two men in front of large cedar log, one holding axe and the other a crosscut saw. c.1880

Tweed Regional Museum Collection. TH74-08

Cedar getters were the first Europeans to exploit the richness of the Tweed Valley rainforest, opening up the land to the rudiments of settlement. In their wake followed boat builders, timber dealers, hotels, mills, the law and farmers. Later forest workers supplied hoop pine for butter boxes and hardwood for housing, wharves, railway sleepers and banana cases.

From crude mills at Taranora in the 1850’s, the industry expanded rapidly. Every village and virtually every creek had a mill filling local needs and supplying a hungry export market. Larger mills were established at Tyalgum, Byangum, Uki, Terragon and on the coast. Bullockies were an essential part of the industry with 24 teams on the South Arm alone hauling between Byrrill Creek and Byangum.

 - Copyright Tweed Shire Council

Cedar logs on riverbank at Stotts Island ready for loading c. 1905

Tweed Regional Museum Collection. No: K480

In 1917 Mebbin State Forest was declared, followed by Nullum, Mooball, and Wollumbin in an attempt to manage the supply. As yields declined and environmental awareness grew many of the State Forests have been declared National Parks and are a draw card for the tourism industry. One mill operating on Smith’s Creek and a processing plant in Murwillumbah is all that remains in 2005.

 - Copyright Tweed Shire Council

Bullock team towing cedar logs upper reaches of Tweed River, Uki.Hector Hall in the foreground;
Jim Harper standing in the water;
Bunny Rabjones on the far bank;

Tweed Regional Museum Collection. No: TH74-03

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