Sawmilling in Woodford from 1923 to present day.
From Mick Duggan
After Anders Fredin’s sawmill burnt down that was above the One Mile creek (see Fredin) Fredin built a sawmill at 7 Sawmill Road Woodford. In 1959 the sawmill was sold to Bill Grant and has been operation almost continuously to this date. Making it over 90 years in operation. It would be good to see it operate for a few more years at least to celebrate 100 years of service.
Photo 1 Fredin’s Sawmill workers. Dates unknown.
Photo 2 Clyde Miller, Myles Becker, Arthur Brooks, Tom Becker, Victor Carmichael, Harry Mitchell, Walter Michel.
Photo 3 Jim Ranson, Gordon Palmer, Charlie Becker, Tom Becker, Rick Pichett, George Osmond, Bill Swartz, Harry Mitchell, Bill Vahry, Arthur Mitchell.
The Grant family’s involvement in the timber industry dates back to the early 1890’s and their involvement in sawmilling dates back to 1945 when a sawmill was established at Kedron in Brisbane. In 1951 the mill at Geebung was purchased, followed in 1959 by the sawmill at Woodford.
The original steam driven sawmill was built in approximately 1911 on a site half a mile away on the bank of the creek, which runs behind the present mill. (see Fredin & Lovf) This mill was partly destroyed by fire after a few years and was moved to its present site in approximately 1922.
The rebuilt mill was also driven by steam power until 1940 when it was converted to electric power, the machinery being driven from a series of counter shafts which were originally driven by the steam engines. This was considered a big improvement at the time.
In January 1971 the Woodford Mill was amalgamated with Brandon Timbers and subsequently when Brandon’s was taken over by the NSW Company Robb & Brown, the Grant family bought back the Woodford mill together with the company’s substantial landholdings in the Bellthorpe area. The Bellthorpe Forest is now considered one of the finest Hardwood producing areas in this country.