Above: A sketch of the Grubb & Tyson sawmill at Piper's River, Underwood. This mill was the harbinger of settlement of the Lilydale region,

This is the home page for history exhibitions prepared by Lilydale Arts for the Lilydale Festival of Wood.

The North East - sheer hard slog.

Tasmania's north east remained unexplored by Europeans until long after settlement. By the time the north east started to open up to settlement, convict transportation had ceased.

The people who made the north east what it is today did this work without convict labour or government support. Sheer hard slog.


Land had been granted in the Turners Marsh and Bangor areas. Timber splitters were starting to walk east into thick bushland from Fingerpost Hill. As they ventured further east from Launceston, they found fine stands of timber, perfect for milling.

In 1849 there were 3 sawmills in Tasmania and all of these were in the south. Exports of timber from Hobart were starting with most being sent to the rapidly growing settlement of Melbourne.  


 Gold was discovered in Central Victoria. Everyone flocked to the goldfields which needed timber to shore up the diggings and create buildings to service the activities.


By 1854, the sale price of timber had increased over 400% since 1849. Launceston businessmen William Grubb and William Tyson saw a guaranteed business opportunit - a sawmill in the north exporting timber straight over Bass Strait to Melbourne and the Victorian goldfields.


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Our sincere thanks to: 

Betty Viney, author of "The Arnolds of Lilydale" for her phenomenal knowledge, advice and support.

Ross Smithof QV Museum Community History, an extraordinary resource. 

Margaret Tassell, author of authoratitive report "The xxxxxxx" and Chris Tassell of the National Trust.

Tony Scott, Community Liaison Officer at Forestry Tasmania for information and support.

Jayne Saddington, from Lilydale's Online Access Centre for advice, connections, technical support and energy.  
























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