Concerned citizens have banded together with a plan to save an almost 140-year-old drover’s hut from potentially being destroyed in a bushfire and losing a piece of the region’s history.
The Bolghinup Hut was built by the Giblett family in 1880 and is located in dense scrub and trees about 30km south-west of Pemberton near the Yeagarup Dunes.
About 30 Friends of the Hut members, as well as Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, Manjimup Shire Council and Manjimup Rotary Club representatives met at the Timber Park on Saturday to come up with a plan to save the historic structure.
A majority of the people voted to lobby to move the hut to the Timber Park — rather than retain its location and do land clearing.Rotary Club member Doug Moyle said
it was important to build up renewed interest in the hut to show the community cared about its future.
“A squeaky wheel gets the oil and so the more we make noise, the more it demonstrates to DBCA there are people who want it preserved,” he said.
“This hut should have been preserved for its historic value.”
Mr Moyle said while no costings had been done to move the hut, he believed it would be at least $100,000.
Hut relocation coordinator and former DBCA employee John Evans said while he wanted the hut to stay in its location, he was a realist.
“It is only a matter of time until it is burnt so it should be moved,”
“Embers from a fire close by will result in the hut being burnt because the timbers are tinder dry.
“Over the years so much of our heritage has been lost.”
At the meeting, Mr Evans also said the Heritage Commission’s normal policy is for heritage-listed structures to stay in situe.
People voted to write to the Manjimup Shire Council for official support to move the hut and letters also be written to the Heritage Commission and other relevant authorities to request support for the group’s work.
Manjimup Shire President, Paul Omodei encouraged the Friends of the Hut to seek support from the council for consideration in the upcoming budget deliberations.
One of the comments at the meeting was it was not just about moving a building, but about capturing the region’s history and culture.
Since the commencement of the ‘Friends of the Hut’ in 2018 we’ve been successful in preservation of the hut.
The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) have been outstanding in acknowledging the historical significance and now presented an action and preservation plan for the of the hut.
- The access tracks to the hut are now maintained by DBCA including widening these as fire-breaks
- The land area around the hut has been cleared.
- The original stock-yards have now been cleared with remaining fence posts / strainers clearly visible
Moving forward in early 2022 we’re excited for the following plans;
- In 2022 DBCA will be completing low-level burn to clear the ground after the mulching/slashing completed prior.
- There are currently members creating a plan for re-instating the stockyard and hut fence
- We want to bring our Friends together to create our next action plan;
- Investigate local signage of all key-infrastructure (Hut, stockyards, water well, etc)
- Create an action plan for strengthing / straightening and preserving the hut to minimise any further deterioration of the structure.
The State Heritage Council assessed the hut in July 1997 as a Category C listed building.
Retain and conserve if possible: endeavour to conserve the significance of the place through the provisions of the Shire of Manjimup Town Planning Scheme; a more detailed Heritage Assessment may be required prior to approval being given for any major redevelopment or demolition; photographically record the place prior to any major redevelopment or demolition.State Heritage Office – Bolghinup Hut Record
In 1908 brothers Jesse and George Giblett and their sister Emma Clarke applied for the pastoral lease No. 1923/23 (later known as Bolgannup) at Donnelly River mouth which was approved. The area of the lease was 7500 acres and the rent was ₤1.0.0 per 1000 acres per annum.
In 1929 the renewal of lease No. 1923/93 was applied for in just the names of Jesse and George Giblett but because the lease was registered in the names of Jesse and George Giblett and Emma Clarke the new lease was issued in those names.The term of this lease extends from 1/01/1929 till 31/12/1948.
(Lease No.1923/93 became Lease No. 4004/93)
A statutory declaration made by George Giblett about the lease in 1932 states –
Number of large stock in possession – 170 head
Improvements on Lease
– Stockyards – 4 yards, 2 and 3 rail fence (timber carted 7 miles) – value ₤100 – Buildings – 1 Dwelling, 3 rooms Value ₤50
In 1934, a statutory declaration made by George Giblett about the lease states –
Number of large stock in possession – 200 head (remarks column – worked in conjunction with Lease no. 4005/93 Total stock on both leases 400.
Improvements on Lease
– Stockyards – three
– Buildings – Dwelling
– Other Improvements – Horseyards ₤150 total
Lease no. 4005/93 is leased by George Giblett and Wheatley Bros
In 1934, under the provisions of ‘The Land Act 1933’ any lessee holding a pastoral lease with a term expiring on 31st December, 1948 could apply to surrender such lease and for the grant in lieu of a new lease with a term to expire on 31st December, 1982. Final receipt of such applications was 5th March, 1935.
The lease of Pastoral lease 4004/93 was surrendered for a new lease of Crown Land (same run) in the names of Jesse and George Giblett and Emma Clarke and it was approved on 9th December, 1937. Rent per 100 acres was still ₤1.0.0 per acre. The new lease no. was 392/487
In July, 1953 a statutory declaration by Jesse Thomas Giblett (son of Jesse Giblett who
died in 1925) stated –
No of large stock in possession – approx 70
– Fencing (miles and description) – approx 100 acres fenced with 3 plain wires valued at about ₤100
– Wells and windmills (number) 1 well valued at ₤20
– Dams – nil
– Tanks – nil
– Stockyards – 3 yards for large stock Post and rail, value ₤115 – Buildings 3 room slab hut, slab walls, ????? roof ₤90
Total value – ₤325
After George Giblett died in 1939 correspondence regarding lease was sent to his son Hubert Giblett. (Jesse Giblett and Emma Clarke d.1932 had already died) Lease still remained in their names.
In 1959 Edward and William Waugh of Glenoran, Manjimup wanted to take over the lease.They took over payment of the lease of 392/487 in 1959 through their solicitor Brett Asplin in Bridgetown, but lease remained in name of J and G Giblett and Emma Clarke.
In 1964 Waughs wanted to surrender lease and have a new lease issued to them/or transferred.
In March, 1965 the Waughs were advised it was not possible to surrender current lease and register a new lease to expire on 30th June, 2015 in their names without prior registration of a transfer to them. They were unable to register a transfer of the lease under the Transfer of Land Act as document would need to be signed by the person legally authorised under the terms of the estate of the deceased. ie executor etc. However only one of the executors of George Giblett was still living ( EJ Giblett), none of Emma Clarke or Jesse Giblett.
Inspection of the above lease in 1972 disclosed that the lease was not stocked in accordance with the conditions of the lease. It was forfeited to the crown for non- compliance with conditions on 2nd May, 1972. Edward Waugh wrote to the Under Secretary of Land pointing out that he had removed the cattle from the pastoral lease until the position on the lease was clear. Because of the condition of the land (erosion etc)it was decided that no further leasing of the area should be considered.
The Hut is located in the D’Entrecasteau National Park. There is no camping or facilities at the hut.
The access track to the hut is not well-maintained or utilised at the moment.
There are two direct access tracks
It cannot be accessed via the popular tourist location Yeagarup Dunes.
Access via Boat Landing Rd (if seasonally open) or Charley Rd.