John Andrew Harper and his Sawmill.
In 1907 John Andrew Harper (Jack) was in partnership with Mick Monett in a sawmilling operation at Macedon. Having married Ellen Christina Hammond at St Georges Church Trentham on the 4th of June 1906, the couple continued to live in the area welcoming their first child Nellie on the 22nd March 1907. Onthe 16th July 1908 a son, Charles was born and by the end of the following year Jack had moved his operation to Wandong.
The first mill established was about three miles east of Wandong and Jack was able to utilise some of the existing tram lines left from the operations of the Australian Seasoned Timber Company although he used horses only to bring the logs to the mill and the timber to Wandong. He also made use of the White Elephant bridge built by Robertson the largest bridge on his tramway system.
Jack continued sawmilling in the area, shifting his mill three times as timber became scarce, this was common practice as it was easier to bring the mill to the timber rather than the timber to the mill due to rough terrain and distance.
After fire burnt out his mill, Jack managed to obtain the rights to a small parcel of virgin forest, this was Mountain Ash which although affected by fire if harvested quickly enough is still viable timber. Jack had not long moved to Sunday Creek and was planning a move to Erica when he was struck down with Pneumonia and heart failure and sadly passed away in 1929. His mill was purchased by local William Jenkins who was to later lose his life when transporting a load of logs in his truck through the forest a brake failure caused the truck to career out of control, killing William and injuring his friend.
Click the link below to read the Harper family History as recollected by Nellie Pearce nee Harper.
A lifetime of recollections. Nellie Isabel Pearce nee Harper