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(3797, 70 km E, Yarra Ranges Shire)

One of Australia's greatest sawmilling towns between the economic depressions of the 1890s and the 1930s, Powelltown was named after a new process of wood preservation, the 'Powell' method. It was a company town, on land owned by the Forests Commission, which until the 1950s was subdivided and leased mostly to the Victorian Hardwood Co. A timber tramway, built by the company in 1913, was the only one in Victoria licensed to take passengers. It went through the timber and farming localities of Gilderoy, Three Bridges and Gladysdale to Yarra Junction. After the devastating 1939 bushfires, sawmills moved near towns, and roads were cut into the forest for logging trucks. In 1944 the Yarra Junction-Powelltown tramway closed. The Ada Tree, an enormous Mountain Ash probably over 300 years old, discovered north-east of Powelltown in 1986, can be reached by a walking track.

Jenny Keating