1 spring creek mill & kilns mt samaria seasoning kilns
Statement of Significance
What is significant?
The Spring Creek sawmill and seasoning works consists of substantial mill foundations, concrete seasoning kilns, outlet tramway and lowering gear foundations. The site was worked by D J McClelland from 1923-1926, to exploite the messmate and peppermint forests of Mount Samaria. The sawmill itself is represented by substantial timber uprights, foundation logs, sawdust trench and a low sawdust heap. An outlet tramway extends from the mill to the edge of the plateau, where a substantial three-railed incline controlled the lowering of log trucks down to Spring Creek. The braking machinery at the top of the incline was set in massive reinforced concrete foundations. Both the timber tramline and machinery foundations are exceptionally well preserved, with the tramline represented by remnants of wooden rails, packing, culverts, bridges, and loading ramps. The discovery of the eucalypt hardwood seasoning process at Warburton in 1919 prompted the installation of a reconditioning kiln and two drying kilns at the mill site in 1924, to meet the demand for kiln dried flooring timber in metropolitan Melbourne. Although lacking doors and the rail system for positioning timber, the kilns are in excellent condition.
How is it significant?
The Spring Creek sawmill and seasoning works are of historical and scientific significance to the State of Victoria.
Why is it significant?
The Spring Creek sawmill and seasoning works are scientifically significant as a remarkably intact example of an integrated timber production operation. The seasoning kilns demonstrate the timber reconditioning process in its most readily understood form. The tramway systems are very well constructed, and the lowering gear foundations at the top of the incline are probably the best engineered of their type ever constructed in Victoria.
The Spring Creek sawmill and seasoning works are historically significant as the oldest extant demonstration of the kiln drying and reconditioning process in Victoria, a process which transformed the production of seasoned eucalypt hardwoods, and one which remains the first and most essential value-adding process in the Australian timber industry.
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