Reunited War relic – Bunya Mountains

2 min read

Reunited War relic – Bunya Mountains

We had a nice little story sent in from one of our regular customers that we thought we’d share:
Metal Detecting an old saw mill site in the Bunya Mountains
The Bunya Mountains is situated about 200 kilometres northwest of Brisbane. It sits roughly half way between Dalby and Kingaroy.
During the late 1800s and into the early 1900s the timber industry in the Bunyas was in full swing. Just after WW1 the Queensland Government introduced a tax on standing trees. Can you believe this???? A property owner was taxed on the number of trees standing on their property. What a huge difference time makes when clearing any vegetation at all now can land you in court and a hefty fine.

So, the early 1920s saw a number of saw mills popping up all over and around the Bunya Mountains in order to process the large number of trees being felled. After doing a little research I found a saw mill site near the foot of the Bunyas which was on private property and looked like it might be a good place to metal detect. Permission was granted by the property owner and away I went metal detecting with my trusty AT pro in a cow paddock that showed few signs of what had been here 100 years ago. The first day netted some pennies and half pennies including one 1910 British Penny. Excited about my finds, I did some further research and managed to obtain a mud map of the small town which was attached to the saw mill. A couple of weeks later I am back finding coins and relics in the areas marked roughly on that map.

It was then decided that an area as rich as this in coins and relics needed more than just a random search. A two metre grid pattern search area was set up (see photos) in an area where 4 houses once stood. Lots of coins including a one shilling piece were dug up. Further relics which included a Boomerang Mouth Organ from the late 1920s, two Australian military buttons and one rising sun badge from the collar of an AMF uniform were also found. (See photos)

After notifying the property owner of my unusual finds as it turns out, the buttons and badge most likely belonged to his great Uncle, who had worked at the saw mill and lived in one of the houses at the end of WW2. There were 26 houses attached to the saw mill and the house site that I was searching that day, happened to be the exact one his great Uncle had lived in !!! . How lucky was that ???

Why the buttons and badge were lost can only be speculated at this stage.

Thanks to the team at Lost Treasures and my trusty AT Pro some very important family heirlooms have been returned to their relatives.

Peter Taylor
Bunya Mountains Natural History Association.

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