The opening article for this Blog is clearly still being developed.
The intention is a series of articles that describe at least some of our forests through time - Mt Cole, Wombat, Otways etc
(from a paper written in 2006)
While Aboriginal demands on the forests and woodlands of the region were for shelter, implements and food, early European settlers sought local building materials and fuelwood. This meant when the intensity of settlement and the development of infrastructure increases, so too did the demand for timbers.
The tough, strong wood of river red gum is durable in the ground, resistant to white ants and borers and, when mature, fairly resistant to ship-worm and thus has a wide range of uses. For this reason, large quantities of round river red gum piles were used to underpin road and rail bridges around the state and the wharves and piers of Melbourne and Geelong’s harbour infrastructure. River red gum was used for house stumps, road paving blocks, mining and fencing timbers and culverts, and to build the river steamers and barges that plied the Murray. Red gum poles were used to carry telegraph lines from the early 1900s and power transmission lines from about 1920. While used mostly for the south-eastern Australia’s burgeoning infrastructure, significant volumes of the heavy timbers and railway sleepers were also exported, particularly to India.