Wednesday 9 October 2019
Photos by Erika, Joan and Lesley
We were privileged to be invited by Lee and Tim to join their new walk near Mogo, which was partly in State Forest and partly on their property. The history of Mogo includes a gold rush period, when thousands of people lived and worked in the boom town, both mining and supplying miners. Many were the needs, from stores and equipment to pubs and brothels, and 5 police stations….
We considered the lot of the miners, as many would have trudged from afar, carrying or carting their meagre belongings, to toil with pick and shovel, on poor rations and in poor conditions, often to fail to find their riches and sometimes suffer cholera and typhoid, only to end in pauper’s graves. But the chance of a strike drove them on.
At its peak, with the rapid deforestation and removal of over a metre of topsoil, with many mines like rabbit warrens, the area would have resembled a lunar landscape. More recently, large quantities of gravel and road-base were taken to rebuild and upgrade the highway.
There was considerable variation in parts of the forest, between the parts that had been ravaged by deforestation and soil removal, and the parts near watercourses where better soil & moisture had allowed healthier forests and magnificent Spotted Gums to thrive.
Another point was the difference in mining methods, between the higher ground which allowed shafts and tunnelling, and the lower parts where excavation by trenching was used, as tunnels filled with water from soakage.
A very interesting tour, thanks to Lee and Tim, rich in history and interest.