Big Timber Country
by Mary Calder
Rigby, 1980, ISBN 0727011634, black and white photographic plates, hardcover, dustjacket
Very Good Condition, minor edge and shelf wear, minor rubbing and bumping to edges and corners, no inscriptions, dustjacket shows a little edge and shelf wear with a little rubbing and bumping to edges and corners, (see photographs)
“The Big Timber Country of Australia’s South West is noted world-wide for its tough, enduring hardwood. The tall forests of Karri and Jarrah, with trees reaching almost to the height of Victoria’s Mountain Ash and California’s Redwood, are a valuable resource on a continent with so little forest cover. In this book the author presents the fascinating story of these forests and of man’s impact upon them.
From the symbolic cutting-down of a tree at the 1829 foundation of the city of Perth to the present-day destruction of vast forest areas for bauxite mining, man’s relationship with the forest has too often been that of user rather than conservator. It took many decades before the government recognised the need to control timber cutting, and for the slow growing hardwoods such control was only just in time. By the turn of the century Western Australian timbers were being used around the world as paving blocks, railway sleepers, in ship building and jetty construction, and for many other purposes.
However, the story of the Big Timber Country is also one of people, from hard-working fallers and pit-sawers to the mill owners, and their families who can claim many generations of involvement in this primary industry. The workers living in the mill towns formed a close-knit community, for the remoteness and lack of transport forced them to provide their own entertainment as well as schooling and religious life for their families.
The story of these people and their work makes compelling reading and is a well-researched account of an era of Australian life now almost forgotten – the vigorous days of the Big Timber Country.”