Restoration project begins on historical bush hut

A 113-year-old hut that has cemented its place into Clermont’s colourful history is set to undergo a meticulous restoration.

The Coomburragee Hut will be carefully dismantled and rebuilt at a different location at the Clermont Historical Centre, Gregory Highway.

The project will begin on April 15 with major works to remove the slab hut’s roof using a crane on April 29-30. During these two days the centre’s access road will be closed. As Council will be rebuilding the hut as historically accurate as possible a date of completion has not been set.

Division 6 Councillor Lyn Jones said the Coomburragee Hut was built in 1906 by Billy Manuel on Coomburragee in Capella, originally donated by the Seymour Family.

“The Seymour Family lived in the hut until the new homestead was built in late 1961,” Cr Jones said.

“Early settlers made use of materials readily to hand and this slab hut is a typical example of the vernacular horizontal slab construction. Where straight pieces of timber could be split off, they were erected vertically, fitting into a chiselled groove in a base plate or sleeper and held in position with horizontal wall plates.

Clay was plugged in between the joins and splits of the cladding to impede draughts. Internal wall linings may have been plastered with clay and straw, hessian lined, white washed or simply left as split timber.”

Division 1 Councillor Greg Austen said ashes from the wood fire peppered with water and brushed smooth over time would have created imitation concrete.

“Roofs were pitched using saplings straight from the bush and clad with a variety of materials,” Cr Austen said.

“Gum rush was used as thatch or shingles split from trees, sometimes bark was used, a technique borrowed from Aborigines. Large sheets of bark could be cut and peeled off a variety of trees and used as sheets to clad the roof.

“Eventually the invention of corrugated iron replaced them all. It was dismantled and rebuilt at the Clermont Historical Centre in the late 1980s.”

Clermont Historical Centre is located on Gregory Highway and is open Wednesdays to Saturdays from 9am to 3pm. Admission prices are $6 for adults, $4 for pensioners, $3 children under 12 years and $15 per family with two or more children. The Towns and Minerals and Metals and 100 Object Exhibition runs from March 6, 2019 to December 20, 2019. For more details visit or call 1300 ISAACS (1300 47 22 27).

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