Extract from Gooandra Conservation Study, prepared for the Kosciusko Huts Association by Matthew Higgins and David Scott, November 1991
Special acknowledgment is made to various members of the Lampe family (specifically Meg, Hector, David, Malcolm and Joanie) who consented to interviews and/or made available valuable written records, photographs and other information. Thanks also to Herb Hain, Jim Pattinson and Greg Day who made information available.
The nineteenth century: miners
The European history of Gooandra (pronounced Goandra) has its origins in the Kiandra gold rush. Gold was discovered at Kiandra in 1859 and during the following year the field's population exceeded 10 000; during Kiandra's first year of mining the field produced more than 67 000 ounces of gold. Kiandra was a major Australian gold rush. Diggers worked not only at Kiandra itself but also in adjacent areas, many of them named in accordance with their distance from Kiandra itself - Nine Mile, Four Mile and Six Mile being primary examples. The rush, however, was short-lived, for as 1860 proceeded the numbers of miners decreased so that by 1861 only a very small population remained, most of the diggers having made off for the new field of Lambing Flat, near present-day Young.(1)
Yet mining did continue on Australia's near-alpine goldfield and on the satellite digging areas surrounding Kiandra. In September 1864 it was written that small parties had apparently settled down at the Six Mile (located to the north of Kiandra), as they had done at Nine Mile and elsewhere. Sometime during this period (the exact date is impossible to determine) some of the Six Mile diggers prospected a new area near Gooandra Creek to the north-east. On a ridge nearby (which became known as Yankee Ridge - perhaps one of the miners was an American) the group built a hut. Later photographic and oral evidence suggests that the structure consisted of horizontal slab walls (with vertical boards in the gables), shingle roof, timber floor and a wide rubble fireplace with a timber-framed and iron-clad chimney (the rubble fireplace was lined on the outside with vertical timber). The hut also had a verandah which had a dirt floor. While it is not possible to be certain about the date of construction of the hut, the 1860s period is certainly possible; by the turn of the century the structure was coming to be regarded as "old". Diggers (presumably by virtue of their Miners Rights, which carried certain landholding rights) remained in occupation of the hut for the rest of the century (whether it was continuously occupied is not known), only giving up the hut in around 1903. (It is of interest to note that hydraulic sluicing was still being carried out on Gooandra Creek in 1912 - this was probably the last mining on the creek. Much mining also took place along Tantangara Creek. In fact, some sources seem to have referred to the latter creek as "Gooandra".) As well as its position vis a vis the claims being worked, the hut site was probably chosen on account of its sheltered nature and also the spot's relatively good soil which had potential for a vegetable garden.(2)
The nineteenth century: pastoralists
While Dr Andrew Gibson is known to have taken stock into the Kiandra region in the 1830s, grazing on any sort of formalised basis around the Gooandra area probably began in the 1860s. In April 1864 the 32 000 acre leasehold Long Plain Run was up for auction. Although no plan of the run has been located, evidence from other leases in the area together with oral information supports the fact that this run stretched south from Long Plain and included Gooandra. The purchaser of the run was George Peppin of the famous merino stud 'Wanganella' near Deniliquin. In 1867 10 500 sheep were taken up to the run for summer grazing, while in the drought year that followed 20 000 were taken up for the summer. Following Peppin's death, in 1878 'Wanganella' together with the Long Plain lease were sold to Albert Austin and Thomas Millear (both of whom lived in Victoria's western district; they placed a manager in charge of 'Wanganella'). By 1889 the Long Plain lease had become officially known as Long Plain Pastoral Holding No. 95.(3)
It is understood that gradually foot rot became a problem with the sheep sent up to the lease, and the owners were forced to abandon at least part of it in the 1890s. In 1891 various parcels of land around Gooandra were put up for auction as snow leases (this may well have been the period of the inauguration of the 'snow lease' as a particular type of lease in the high country). The site of the miners' hut was now in 4400 acre Snow Lease 20 and this lease was taken up by Alex McKeahnie of 'Rosedale', Adaminaby; improvements on the lease were valued at 76 pounds at the time of purchase; these improvements were most probably in the form of clearing, for no fencing had yet been done at Gooandra. This ownership did not last long for by 1897 the lease had passed to the Scottish Australian Investment Company Limited which, owing to non-payment of rent, forfeited the lease. Meanwhile, gold miners continued in occupation of the hut.(4)
Fred Lampe takes over Gooandra
The Gooandra site is most strongly associated with the Lampe family, and in particular Henry Frederick (Fred) Lampe (1865-1945). Fred was a son of Oltmann Lampe (1816-1875), of Bremen, Germany, who migrated to Australia in 1841. Oltmann worked at Wambrook near Cooma and in 1850 married Sarah Bridle. In 1866 he purchased 'Talbingo' from his father-in-law William; Oltmann, Sarah and their young family moved to the new property. Fred was one of seven children born to Oltmann and Sarah (the eldest, Susannah, married John Franklin and became the mother of famous author Miles Franklin). In 1897 Fred married Eliza Ann Wilkinson of 'Springfield', near Tumut, and they had six children: Hector, Carl, Jack, Bruce, Joan and Oscar. At one time Fred worked at a tin mine near Yarrangobilly, but it was in grazing and property sales that he found success.(5)
From 1903 to 1915 Fred Lampe conducted numerous land purchases in the Wyalong, Cobar, Grenfell and Condobolin areas, buying properties and then later selling them at a profit. In 1914 he bought 'Nebea' near Coonamble and the following year the family left Talbingo and moved to the new property. From here Lampe continued buying and selling property. Stock deals were also engaged in. In those regions where Lampe had property he was a not insignificant NSW grazier. While still living at Talbingo Lampe had been appointed a councillor of Tumut Shire Council upon the council's inception. The family's prominence in the Tumut area is today reflected by the fact that one of the Bogong Peaks bears the Lampe name, and a place adjacent to Talbingo township is known as Lampe's Corner.(6)
Some of the foundations of this career path were laid in the 1890s when, usually in partnership with other local men (some of them his relations), Lampe took up various snow leases in the Talbingo, Yarrangobilly and Long Plain areas. While several of these leases were later forfeited through non-payment of rents, Lampe was determined to stake a hold on the high country leases. In November 1903 he obtained (by ballot) the 13 828 acre Scrub Lease No.179 - which included Snow Lease 20 and much else besides. By 1907 he had also taken up leases on Boggy Plain to the south (Snow Leases 25 and 26), and by 1914 he had acquired more leases to the east of Gooandra, across Tantangara Creek and towards Nungar (particularly the 13 170 acre Scrub Lease No.189). Leases held by Lampe ran virtually from the Murrumbidgee River in the north to Tantangara Mountain in the south; in addition, Lampe was also managing the Peak Back lease (across the Murrumbidgee) for NSW sheep 'king' A.B.Triggs.(7)
A.W.Austin and Fred Lampe
A.W.Austin (relative of Albert Austin and thus also a member of a significant NSW & Victorian grazing family) owned 'Lake Midgeon' property at Narranderra and he and Fred Lampe were firm friends (Lampe's son Carl in fact at one time was overseer on Lake Midgeon). In 1909 Lampe agreed to agist Austin's sheep at Gooandra for the next five years for 1250 pounds; in 1914 when this agreement expired, Lampe transferred the lease to Austin and Austin held the lease through to about 1940. Yet while Fred Lampe no longer owned the Gooandra lease, his role was no less diminished in the area, for he went on to supervise Gooandra each summer for Austin. Equally importantly, he used Gooandra as a base from which to work the leases across Tantangara Creek, or as son Hector puts it, Gooandra was "the depot for the two places". In 1929 Hector too got a snow lease nearby (running between the old 'Racecourse' area, near Wild Horse Plain, and Tantangara Creek) while brother Carl obtained the lease to the Blanket Hill area (this lease included the old Tantangara Homestead - now Witses Hut - but it was then uninhabitable and no use was made of it for accommodation). Such was the nature of the relationship between Austin and Lampe that Lampe did not take payment for his management of Gooandra; he considered the opportunity to use the site each summer as his base sufficient recompense.(8)
Buildings go up at Gooandra(9)
When Fred Lampe first obtained the Gooandra lease in 1903, the only building on the site was the miners' hut. Lampe purchased the hut from the diggers (for 20 pounds) and designated it the kitchen and eating area (which it remained for the rest of the site's pastoral history; as will shortly be seen it was also used to provide a small degree of accommodation). Fred, wife Eliza (who accompanied her husband up to the lease for a number of summers), those of their children who were at that time old enough to do the trip, and the men working for Lampe all slept in "two large tents".
This situation continued until about 1913 or 1914 when it was decided to build more comfortable and permanent accommodation. A weatherboard house, until then standing at the Lobbs Hole-Yarrangobilly road junction and formerly occupied by the Chave family, was moved to Gooandra. While it was Lampe who had this job done, just who did the actual moving of the building cannot now be known, but it seems that a bullock wagon would have been used. Lined with baltic pine, roofed with corrugated iron, having generally six-pane windows, and consisting of three main rooms together with a hallway and a verandah with two small rooms, this cottage became the sleeping area for the Lampes, Austin (when he visited the lease) and some of the other workers. A brick and stone fireplace was built onto the cottage (the chimney is remembered as being "fairly rough"). About the same time another weatherboard hut was built for extra accommodation; sited approximately 25 metres north-west of the cottage and roofed with iron, this one or two room hut accommodated three to four men (usually shearers). As mentioned above, the miners' hut was primarily the cooking and eating area. It did not have a stove - cooking was done in camp ovens and billies over the open fire. (Some time after 1917 a brick oven was built for baking bread.) A second room within the hut was utilised as the cook's room and it housed as well another of the workers. A pit toilet (apparently a two-holer) was constructed (clad with weatherboards and having a gabled iron roof), and a vegetable garden was put in towards the yards. In November 1914 the cottage was linked by telephone with Kiandra, the line following the existing fence lines and being attached to high strainer posts spaced about 100 metres apart. Lighting was, and remained, kerosene lamps. Water came from the gully just to the south-west of the complex, and was carried up in buckets. Although A.W.Austin once suggested that a windmill be built, Fred Lampe (known for his thrift) felt that it would be a waste of money; buckets continued to be used for the rest of the place's history.
Just after all this construction work, in 1916 a woolshed was built to the north-west of the rest of the complex (it should not be referred to as a shearing shed for its main function was crutching). Consisting of a sawn timber frame, and clad with iron, the six-stand shed was constructed by W.Justice of Austin's Lake Midgeon property. (Although it has been written elsewhere that the iron came from the burnt-out remains of the Kiandra Hotel, the hotel was not burned down until 1937.) The profile of the building differed slightly from the traditional appearance of Australian woolsheds by having an assymetrical gable roof; there were also lean-tos at each end. A Tange 7hp kerosene engine drove the Burgan and Bull brand shearing plant; handpieces were Lister. For some years there was no woolpress and a shovel had to be resorted to for pressing the wool; a press was put in some time later. Hector Lampe recalls that the woolshed may not have been built all that well, for the corner posts were only nailed to the bottom plates. Adjacent to the shed were substantial yards capable of holding ten to twelve thousand sheep.
The existence of a crutching facility in the high country was quite rare, with only Currango having a comparable facility in its large shearing shed.
Work and life at Gooandra
Among the first tasks undertaken at Gooandra upon Lampe's acquisition of the lease in 1903 were fencing and ringbarking. Many miles of fence were erected, the major contractors including E.and J.Higgins of Blowering and Bill and John Cahill; Lampe paid them about 22 pounds per mile. A requirement of the lease was that dog-proof fences also be built; these too were erected and one, of 14 wires, located on the Tantangara-Triggs boundary, at one point crossed the Murrumbidgee River.(10)
Although some of Gooandra, like much of the high plains area, was naturally treeless due to the 'frost? hollow' effect, there were extensive timbered areas and under the lease requirements Lampe had to ringbark a certain proportion of his country. By May 1904, contractors Bridle brothers and Russell had rung 2603 acres (at 10 shillings per acre).(11)
Gooandra ran some cattle and also horses (the horses were in fact left on the lease each year for the winter - they must have been pretty hardy!). But it was primarily a sheep property. Following A.W.Austin's purchase of the lease, the sheep driven to the lease each summer included stock from Lake Midgeon and also other Austin Riverina properties, like Bringagee. Stock also came from Yoorooga station (owned by Taylor and Culley - the Lampes were related to the Culleys by marriage). Once Carl and Bruce Lampe had purchased Caringal station in the Riverina in 1923, they brought sheep up to the Tantangara leases via Gooandra (Carl's daughter Meg recalls today how at the end of summer "Dad used to always come back with a water bag of spring water for us to taste").(12)
At Nebea from 1915, Fred Lampe sent his sheep down to his leases by train to Tumut. The 400 mile trip from Coonamble took about 24 hours and usually 30 trucks would be used, each carrying about 100 shorn sheep (on the return trip two extra trucks would be needed due to the fleeces now being carried by the sheep). From Tumut the sheep were walked up to Gooandra; the drovers included local Tumut men like Bill Oddy and son Alvy, Artie Cley, Dick Beck and others.
Yet the leases were used by Lampe for stock other than his own (the Nebea sheep were in fact only sent down during especially dry seasons). He also agisted other graziers' sheep, and he speculated in sheep, buying sheep in order to fatten them on the leases and then sell them at a profit at the end of the season.(13)
At Gooandra one of the major jobs each summer was crutching. This task took about three weeks, which gives an idea of sheep numbers on the Lampe and Austin leases. On 22 February 1925 Fred wrote to son Carl: "finished crutching on Thursday, put nearly 28 000 through including 2300 wethers wigged". Of course wet weather could delay things and this resulted in some boredom for the workers; in another letter written around the same time Fred stated that rain had interrupted crutching and "being poor accommodation for shearers is a great humbug when raining". This gives the impression that despite the building work done on Gooandra, accommodation was pretty basic, at least for the shearers.(14)
Other tasks on the run included controlling rabbits and dingoes (though the latter were not a big problem). Some attempts were also made to keep wombat numbers down because of the damage they did to fencing; a fire would be lit in the burrow entrance and the animals would be asphyxiated. Burning of the snow grass (to bring on new growth) was another job, as was checking of the fences. These sorts of tasks were carried out on leases throughout the high country.
Fly-strike was one problem for the sheep, another was 'black disease' (a blood disease) which claimed a number of sheep at Gooandra. Of course one thing that could easily become a major threat on the high country leases was the weather. A sudden snow storm could claim many head, and snow could come at any time - two days after Christmas 1924 Fred Lampe wrote "snowed heavily for about 2 hours this morning", and the following February he noted "very cold here yesterday, like mid-winter". In 1915 sheep from the big riverina station Tubbo, which had been grazing on another Lampe lease near Kosciusko, were caught on their way down from the mountains and many died. At the same time on Gooandra the sheep were snowed in. Lampe called on Kiandra bullocky Charlie Wertz to yoke up his bullocks and use them to consolidate a path through the snow which the sheep were capable of following. Three thousand sheep, strung out for over a mile, were brought out in single file (though not without loss). It was a memorable experience for 15-year-old Carl Lampe who assisted his father and the other men in the dramatic event.(15)
While Tumut men were employed to drive stock to Gooandra, other men from Tumut, Kiandra and towards Adaminaby also gained employment on the lease. One of the longest serving workers was Arthur Shelley of Kiandra. Arthur was employed on 22 September 1913 at 30 shillings per week. He was normally the first man to be contacted when the grazing season started each spring and summer. The Russells were a family who found employment with Lampe and Austin. Bill Russell started at Gooandra in November 1913 at 35 shillings per week, and his sons Percy and Fred worked at the property for a considerable time (in the 1920s it was Bill who was accommodated with the cook in the miners' hut). Stanfields were other workers; Bert Stanfield, who was a rabbiter, in fact died at Gooandra in the 1930s. The Kells, from Lacmalac near Tumut, were shearers at Gooandra (Fred Lampe and Bill Kell were close friends - in 1910 they took up a snow lease at Nungar together).(16)
A number of cooks worked at Gooandra at different times. Sanderson (his first name has been forgotten) was there in the 1920s. In the mid-twenties problems arose with the then cook; Fred wrote to Carl "Our old cook turned dog for no reason at all except want of liquor when starting to crutch and we had to fall back on an old miner from Kiandra. He's getting along fairly well". This "old miner" may well have been Fred Bernhardt who is known to have cooked at Gooandra (Fred is better remembered for his hut in Pig Gully, near Mt Selwyn, the remains of which can still be seen today). The food at Gooandra would have consisted of mutton, and vegetables from the vegetable patch (which is remembered especially for the good potatoes grown there; a site visit in May 1991 revealed remnant rhubarb and strawberry plants in the old garden). Also the odd trout from Tantangara Creek added variety to the menu; Eliza Lampe wrote one January morning that son Oscar and another of the Gooandra workers had caught a dozen fish the previous evening, "enough for breakfast". (The drawings of several trout on the living room wall of the cottage date from a little later - 1949.) (17)
In addition to the workers listed above, there were of course the Lampes and the Austins. Fred Lampe put in just about every summer at Gooandra and all of his sons worked there at different times, some of them putting in quite a number of seasons. A.W.Austin was present less frequently, although he was often in the region during summertime (he made many trips to Yarrangobilly Caves and was keen on fishing). Of his sons, Frank (who was killed at Tarakan during the second world war) worked for a number of summers at Gooandra during the latter 1930s.(18)
While the local area supplied many of the workers at Gooandra, the link to the local region went beyond the simple question of employment. There was a quite distinct interrelationship between the Lampes and the locals. Fred Lampe is remembered today by at least one former Kiandra resident for the way he would slaughter a sheep for Kiandra households at special times of the year like Easter and Christmas. The Lampes also found some of their entertainment in Kiandra and other spots around the area. On 21 January one year, for example, Fred and son Oscar and daughter Joan together with Percy Russell and Doug Waugh went into Kiandra to attend a play. The Lampes arrived home at 10pm, while Percy and Doug stayed on for a dance and didn't get back until 3am. Eliza did not go, partly because of the cold evening and partly because of the difficulties of negotiating at night the rough track into Gooandra from the main road (the current fire trail to the site follows this original route; the Eucumbene River crossing was formerly spanned by a small bridge). Her husband's difficulties with the gearbox were another problem! (before acquiring a vehicle of his own, Fred had gone to Gooandra via the Kiandra mail car and then a horse and buggy). Local shows, like those at Adaminaby, were another diversion when time was available. Rules Point Hotel was a well known social centre. Fred wrote how Christmas 1924 was spent: "W.Kell and his son were up and we went over to Rules Point for dinner. Was very quiet, there was no one even drunk to cause any commotion." At another time Eliza wrote how the men had gone to the sports day "at the Point" and how she and Joan "thought we'd be better at home". Two of the workers were planning to attend the subsequent dance at the hotel, "and it will be a rough turn out too", wrote Eliza. Although Eliza (who did not put in that many summers at Gooandra) refrained from engaging in the sorts of entertainments that attracted the men, she too had her social outlets. Tea in Kiandra with "Mrs Patterson" was one such occasion.(19)
End of the Lampe-Austin period
The early 1940s were a period of great change in the high country. Dramatic alterations to the leases were brought in by the government; leases were now to be much smaller and stock numbers too had to be reduced. Department of Lands rangers, like Tom Taylor and Glady Quinn and others, were appointed to police the new rules. Coinciding with this new environment was the establishment of Kosciusko State Park.(20)
The changes were not tolerated by A.W.Austin nor the Lampes, nor did the other big graziers who held snow leases survive; the new rules saw large numbers of smaller local graziers obtain leases. Before pulling out, A.W.Austin disposed of some of his property at Gooandra. The shearing plant was one thing known to have gone; most of it went to Greg Day (a brother of George Day who for many years ran The Chalet at Charlottes Pass; Greg and other brother Alan later also got many of the materials from the Rules Point Hotel when it was demolished in the 1960s). The precise date of departure of the Lampes and of Austin remains difficult to determine; oral history suggests 1940 - the new lessees officially began their leases in 1943.(21)
A new and final grazing era
One of the constants in the administrative history of the snow leases was the inconstancy of the official titles of the leases. In 1929 the Gooandra block had become Snow Lease No. 29.1. Now, in 1943, the Gooandra complex was located on what was called block Q10; it, together with adjacent blocks A and R10, now were held under Snow Lease No.43.11. The holders of the lease were a syndicate of Monaro graziers mainly from around Bombala: Henry Austin Caldwell, J.B.and M.B.Sautelle (the records are not totally clear, but they do indicate that J.B.Sautelle died and that others of the group were acting in his estate), C.H.S.Walsh and Charles Joseph Massey (who was from Berridale). Some of the men who worked for the syndicate were Frank Rawson and Stan Venables who did stock and fence work, Bill Patterick, Harry Waterson from Bombala and 'Squeaky' Dan McGregor.(22)
Meanwhile the former Lampe lease areas over Tantangara Creek had also been taken up by new people, including Caldwell's brother Alan, Fred Dulhunty and Herb Hain. In 1947 Herb Hain built a hut on his lease and used Gooandra as a base during the project. Materials were transported to Gooandra by lorry and then carted from there to the site on a five-horse wagon; the carting took a week, with the cart often getting bogged. Both Hain and Dulhunty regularly left their vehicles at Gooandra while doing stockwork on their leases.(23)
In April 1944 (as in 1915) the snow came in early. An estimated 100 000 sheep were trapped in the Kiandra region, and of course the Gooandra stock were snowbound. It was impossible to get Gooandra's sheep out via the usual route, and so Herb Hain, Harry Waterson and Dan McGregor brought them out through a lower route, via Blanket Plain and on through Nungar Creek.(24)
With the removal of the shearing plant from the Woolshed following the departure of the Lampes and Austins, the new lessees had to bring in their own portable crutching plant.
The snow leases were now of seven years duration and so in 1950 a new lease was taken out at Gooandra. The lease (No.50.1) was held by essentially the same syndicate, though there were two new names, Neville Newbound and Charles Smith.(25)
Grazing by now had already been closed down in the higher parts of the Kosciusko State Park and its days were numbered elsewhere in the high country, not only due to the Park's declaration but also because of fears of erosion having an impact on the reservoirs being constructed by the Snowy Mountains Hydro? Electric Scheme. Grazing at Gooandra now came to an end. A 1962 snow lease map shows the Gooandra area as being prohibited to grazing.(26)
Since the end of grazing
Since the end of grazing the buildings at Gooandra have been used by numbers (the actual number is difficult to determine, though it is probably not high) of fishermen, walkers, skiers, horseriders and four? wheel-drive visitors (vehicle access to the hut is not legal yet vehicle visits are known to be fairly frequent). Some brumby-running was done in the area a few decades ago as well - and it still continues illegally today to some extent. The buildings themselves have gradually deteriorated. The floor of the miners' hut apparently rotted due to salt (for use with stock) having been stored underneath. The verandah of the cottage was smashed by a falling tree (a fate that has more recently befallen part of Cooinbil at Long Plain). During the 1960s brumbies, having got into the cottage, are thought to have kicked out the walls at the northern end. The floorboards of the woolshed were used by Stan Venables for - of all things - a boat (the vessel is apparently still to be found at Bermagui).(27)
Known NPWS reports on Gooandra's condition date from 1971. In the 1971 report all buildings other than the cottage were described as ruins, while at the cottage the roof was said to be weatherproof, the verandah roof had collapsed and some interior wall boarding had been removed. In 1975 the report described the building as being in poor condition with iron sheets missing from the roof and floor boards also missing. The 1980 report noted that the walls were unstable due to the building's sinking foundations. In 1982 the report noted the sunken foundations, stated that the fireplace had collapsed and called for these problems to be fixed, and for missing materials (like wall cladding, floor boards, weatherboards, roofing iron, doors, barge boards and windows) to be replaced.
No known maintenance work has been carried out at Gooandra except for some emergency stabilisation by KHA in 1990.(28)
It is worthwhile to place the Gooandra site within the wider context of cultural heritage sites within this part of Kosciusko National Park. Due to the range of structures built at Gooandra the place belongs to the group of homestead complexes (as opposed to simply huts) found in the northern high plains area of the Park. 'Huts' built in this area include places like Long Plain, Big and Little Peppercorn, Pockets, Circuits, Harris and Oldfields, and later (i.e. post-1940) structures like Millers, Bill Jones, Hains, Schofields and Hainsworth. These places consisted usually of a main hut (kitchen,living and sleeping area) and some of the earlier ones had a separate kitchen at one time as well. The 'homestead complexes' on the other hand had a range of buildings, and Gooandra with its two accommodation buildings, kitchen (i.e. the miners' hut), outhouse and woolshed belongs here. The other homesteads (actually few in number) consist of Coolamine (complex built between 1882 and about 1905), Old Currango (dating from the 1860s/1870s), Tantangara (complex built between 1880s and 1910) and Currango (dating from 1892 onwards).
Gooandra is unlike the other homesteads in that it was the only one centred on a building constructed not for grazing but for mining. The miners' hut also makes Gooandra (at least in terms of this single element) one of the oldest sites in the Park. Development of the place into a homestead centre for grazing purposes, however, took place here later than at most of the other homesteads. Gooandra was used only during the non-winter months, unlike Currango and others of the homesteads which were occupied year? round. Compared to Coolamine and especially Currango, both of which have an extensive range of buildings, Gooandra does not rank highly. On the other hand, when compared to the remains at Tantangara (now in essence the single rebuilt structure Witses Hut) and the single building at Old Currango, Gooandra in terms of the number of surviving structures/ruins rates well, even though the cottage at Gooandra is in such a poor state of repair (if the cottage was restored, the ruins stabilised and the whole site properly interpreted, Gooandra could well better reflect the 'homestead complex' type of site than Old Currango or Tantangara). Structural comparisons with the other homesteads is commented upon in the next section.
The site consists of the partially collapsed weatherboard homestead building, the collapsed remains of the original Miners' Cottage, some minor remains from the Woolshed and the shearers' Accommodation Shed, plus kennel and associated yards & fencelines. The Woolshed and holding yards are situated on a clear, flat knoll which is elevated some 30 metres above Tantangara Plain. The Homestead and other structures are slightly offset to the south of the knoll in a copse of Eucalypts along the creek watershed. The site was probably selected for the protection from the prevailing weather afforded by Yankee Ridge and for the commanding view of Tantangara Plain which would have been a feature prior to the Eucalypt regrowth of the last 50 years.
Weatherboard Cottage: the main building at the site is a simple weatherboard house with a corrugated iron gable roof and a lean? to extension to the western side. The lean-to portion of the building, which is now collapsed, originally comprised a storeroom at each end of a covered verandah. Enough fabric remains to determine the size of these rooms and the locations of windows and doors.
Along the eastern side, there is evidence which suggests the presence of a covered verandah at an earlier date. The stumps which support the eastern wall have been notched, possibly to support joists for a verandah floor, whilst up near the top of the wall there remains a horizontal batten which could possibly have been used to support the rafters of a verandah roof. However, no documentary or oral evidence to support the existence of a verandah along the eastern side has been uncovered. Indeed, the location of an external door with stairs at the south-eastern corner of the building which would have served as access between the main room of the cottage and the Miners' hut (which was being used as the kitchen), suggests the absence of a verandah. A possible explanation for the occurrence of this evidence is that there may have been a verandah on the building prior to its relocation; the initial intention was to reconstruct it however events - perhaps a shortage of materials - led to it never being completed
The building fabric reveals evidence of its relocation from a different site. There is uncertainty as to whether the building was dismantled into small panels (approx size 4m x 3m) that could fit into a bullock wagon prior to being transported to Gooandra, or whether the building was dismantled to the point of being individual pieces of timber prior to transportation. Most likely, the homestead was constructed utilising a combination of panels and loose timber; the south wall of the main room appears to be constructed of two large panels with an infill panel between of miscellaneous short timber sections. Within the building can be found chalk numbering on parts of the stud framing and lining boards - initially believed to have been associated with the relocation of the building and only recently exposed by the removal of some lining boards, this is now suspected of being made very recently for an unknown purpose.
Notching in the wall plates indicates previous changes to the positions of studs, doorways, etc. Together with the composite top plate on the eastern wall and the customised location of the external door on the south side of the living room, this evidence suggests that it is unlikely that the building was reconstructed at Gooandra exactly to its original appearance; it is possible that it bears little or no resemblance at all.
The origin of the sawn horizontal slabs which form part of the wall to the west bedroom is unknown. Herb Hain believed them to be original. Perhaps they were used because of a shortage of lining boards, or required by a special function which was undertaken in the bedroom or the adjacent store.
Internal furnishings are limited to a table, shelves and a few bed frames.
Miners' Hut: was a two-roomed horizontal slab building with a gable roof of shingles and a verandah along the eastern side. The south wall of the building was occupied by a full-width open fireplace with a corrugated iron chimney.
Only the chimney and parts of the fireplace remain upright. The badly decayed remains of a large proportion of the timber structure and floor lie on the ground adjacent to the chimney. Few of the wall slabs can be found; these may have been removed for reuse during the 1960s or perhaps burnt as firewood. The remains of a meat safe are clearly evident. The relatively modern type of roofing nails used to fix the steel cladding would certainly not date from the 1800s - it is likely that the chimney/fireplace was rebuilt when the building was being used solely as a kitchen (c.1915) and possibly as late as the 1930s.
The Woolshed: has totally collapsed and the majority of the fabric which has remained at the site is decayed to the point of disintegrating into the soil. Sufficient remnants exist to identify sections of 100 x 75mm wall framing, claddings of corrugated iron, flattened corrugated iron and flat steel sheets, and sections of slatted floor where the internal pens were located. The only upright part of the structure are the supports for the drive to the overhead shearing plant.
The severely corroded nature of the corrugated iron suggests that the iron may have been salvaged from a burnt-down building, but not the Kiandra Hotel as initially believed (refer 2.2.5).
The Accommodation Shed: has also collapsed with the majority of the fabric missing or badly decayed. Sufficient evidence remains to determine its size as being approximately 6 x 3.6m, with a 75 x 50mm stud frame, corrugated galvanised steel roof with a profiled ridge capping. No traces of wall claddings and linings, or details of windows and doors are discernible. Oral sources state the cladding as weatherboard, including the gable ends, with space to park a vehicle under the roof at the southern end.
Outhouse: a small pile of earth, iron and timber mark the position of the pit toilet which served the homestead.
Baking oven: located immediately to the west of the Miners' Cottage chimney, the baking oven is defined by an overgrown pile of stones and bricks.
Kennel: a simple kennel utilising a fallen log, a few boards and scraps of galvanised steel is located 40 metres southwest of the Homestead.
Vegetable garden: at the base of Yankee Ridge, 40 m west of the shearing shed, can be found an invasive cluster of strawberries and a rhubarb plant - remnants of the large vegetable garden.
Sheep yards: remnants of yards constructed of timber posts and rails wired together surround the Shearing Shed ruin. The majority are in an advanced state of decay.
Holding paddock: located 70 metres north of the Homestead, east of the Shearing Shed, the holding paddocks are readily discernible by the change in the appearance of the grass/ground cover and by traces of the encircling wire fence and timber posts.
Horse spelling paddock: a small clearing 150m southwest of the cottage through which one of the vehicle access tracks pass, was used for horses. Weeds are abundant. Oral sources suggest the location of some associated yards on top of Yankee Ridge and south of the access track, and these require investigation.
Access to the site is via a four wheel drive management trail from the Snowy Mountains Highway. The turn off the highway is a bit discrete, but leads to concealed parking down at Kiandra Creek beside the Six Mile diggings. For the most part, this track follows an old road or bullock track from Kiandra to Gooandra, offering 4-5 km of easy walking on gentle grades although a bit swampy around Kiandra Creek. Good skiing access in good seasons from summit of Gooandra Hill or gully to northeast.
Excellent sheltered camping for large numbers and readily available firewood (note that there is no fireplace or stoves within the homestead). In the dry summer of 1990/1991, no water could be had from the creek 50 metres south of the hut. Gooandra Creek, 700 metres to the west, was the nearest supply.
Cultural significance statement
Gooandra is highly significant for its close association with two of the major themes in the European history of Kosciusko National Park, gold-mining and pastoralism. (Criterion 1).
The Miners' Hut ruin at Gooandra is one of the oldest structures within the Kosciusko National Park, probably dating back to the 1860s. It is associated with the extension of the Kiandra Goldfields area during the years following the initial Kiandra goldrush. It is believed to represent the only structural remains of a miners' hut on the Kiandra Goldfields dating back to last century. Several ruins in the Kiandra area date from a more recent phase of mining during the 1920s & 1930s including Pig Gully Hut, Elaine Mine and Lorna Doone, whilst the only intact miners' hut on the Kiandra Goldfields - Four Mile Hut - was built in 1937 during the final phase of mining. Consequently the Gooandra Miners' Hut ruin is a very significant link with the early history of an important Australian goldfield. (Criteria 1, 3, 6).
Regarding the pastoral theme, Gooandra was closely associated with high country grazing (a way of life no longer found in NSW) for an extensive period. Equally importantly, Gooandra was used during two of the most salient phases of grazing in the high country - the period when leases were predominantly held by big graziers and companies from areas away from the mountains, and the subsequent period when leases were held by smaller concerns based essentially in the local region. (Criteria 1, 3, 6).
Gooandra has added significance in being one of the few surviving alpine pastoral homesteads. (Criterion 3).
Gooandra has a close association with significant grazing families of New South Wales and Victoria: the Austins and Lampes. Certain mountain families, such as the Kells and Russells, who have occupied a notable place within the history of the local region, are also strongly associated with Gooandra. (Criterion 2).
Gooandra is distinctive in that it was initially centred around a miners' hut, reflecting the changing use of the area by Europeans, and whereas other homesteads tended to be constructed at new sites or as upgraded replacements of primitive stockmens' huts. It also represents the only one of the homestead "complexes" which was not occupied permanently. (Criterion 3).
The Weatherboard Cottage is an example of the adaptive re-use of buildings by the relocation of an existing building to a new site and possibly incorporating modifications to suit the new site or owners' requirements. Examples of relocated buildings are uncommon within the Kosciusko National Park, although Broken Dam Hut is another example. Through this adaptive re-use Gooandra differs from the other homestead complexes within the Park for their main buildings are not known to have been moved from other sites. (Criteria 3, 4).
With the exception of the unusual floor structure, the Weatherboard Cottage is of relatively low architectural and aesthetic value due to the poor physical condition of the structure and the relatively common occurrence of weatherboard homesteads in the northern half of the KNP and the surrounding region. (Criteria 4, 5, 7).
Gooandra is valued by a variety of recreational Park users for its historical value, the aesthetic value of its setting within the landscape, and for its shelter value - which is considerably reduced by the poor condition of all buildings. (Criteria 7, 8).
The Gooandra Woolshed is believed to be one of only two facilities on the high plains around Kiandra where crutching of sheep could be undertaken. The other facility was the shearing shed at Currango, a permanently occupied homestead. The ruins of the Woolshed and its associated yards along with the fence enclosing the holding paddock and the intact kennel, reflect the site's association with grazing and particularly the grazing of sheep in the high country now contained within the Kosciusko National Park. (Criteria 1, 3).
- D.G.Moye, Historic Kiandra, chapters 2,4.
- Perkins Papers, p.811; Gatis Gregors 'A Survey of the Southern NSW Alpine Architecture', p.86; Lampe family photographs; Hector Lampe interview, Nebea South, 27-28 March 1991; NPWS records, Gooandra Homestead sheet.
- Charles Massy, The Australian Merino, pp.242, 271; Klaus Hueneke, Kiandra to Kosciusko, p.270; Pastoral Possessions of NSW, p.92; NSW Government Gazette, 1864 p.430, and also later notices for Scrub Leases 190 and 194.
- Hector Lampe interview; NSW Government Gazette, 1891 pp.43, 896, and 1895 p.4169, and 1897 p.8247, and 1901 pp.1997, 3384, 9503.
- Lampe family tree; Perkins Papers p.333; Jack Bridle, Talbingo, pp.13-18.
- Oscar Lampe, family history notes; Natmap map Yarrangobilly 8526.
- NSW Government Gazette, 1892 p.3971, and 1895 pp.262, 4169, and 1897 pp.7334, 8247, and 1903 p.8579; Land Titles Office, snow lease and scrub lease records; Jim Pattinson interview, Canberra, 13 March 1991; Gooandra Parish Maps; Oscar Lampe, family history notes; Hector Lampe interview.
- Hector Lampe interview; Meg Lampe interview, Sydney, 20 March 1991; Fred Lampe, business ledgers; Land Titles Office, snow lease and scrub lease records; NSW Government Gazette, 1929 p.3727; Tantangara Parish Map 1930.
- Oscar Lampe, family history notes; Hector Lampe interview; Gatis Gregors, p.86; NPWS records, Gooandra Homestead sheet; Jim Pattinson interview; Greg Day discussion, 7 April 1991; Herb Hain interview, Harlowe, 19 March 1991.
- Fred Lampe, business ledgers.
- Ibid, and Oscar Lampe family history notes.
- Meg Lampe interview; Lampe family letters; Hector Lampe interview.
- Hector Lampe interview.
- Lampe family letters.
- Oscar Lampe, family history notes; Lampe family letters; Hector Lampe interview.
- Fred Lampe, business ledgers; Jim Pattinson interview and site visit; NPWS records, Gooandra Homestead sheet.
- Lampe family letters; Jim Pattinson interview; Hector Lampe interview; Herb Hain, site visit.
- Hector Lampe interview.
- Lampe family letters; Jim Pattinson interview.
- Herb Hain interview; Klaus Hueneke, Kiandra to Kosciusko, p.200.
- Greg Day discussion; Hector Lampe interview; Land Titles Office, snow lease records.
- Land Titles Office, snow lease records; Herb Hain interview; Snow Lease Map, lithograph 1, undated.
- Ibid, and Herb Hain, site visit.
- Herb Hain interview.
- Land Titles Office, snow lease records; Snow Lease Map, lithograph 1, 1952, 1955; Herb Hain, site visit.
- Snow Lease Map, lithograph 1, 1962.
- NPWS records; Jim Pattinson and Herb Hain, site visit.
- NPWS records.
Primary reference sources:
- Perkins papers (National Library of Australia)
- Oscar Lampe, family history notes (Lampe family)
- Lampe family letters (Lampe family)
- Lampe family tree (Lampe family)
- Fred Lampe, business ledgers (Lampe family)
- Snow lease and scrub lease records (Land Titles Office)
- NPWS records (Sawpit Creek)
- NSW Government Gazette, 1864 to 1903
- Pastoral Possessions of NSW, (Sydney 1889)
- Maps: Gooandra Parish, 1898, 1922, 1937 (NSW State Archives, and Mitchell Library,)
- Tantangara Parish, 1883, 1898, 1919, 1930 (NSW State Archives, and Mitchell Library)
- County Wallace, 1966 (National Library of Australia)
- County Buccleuch (National Library of Australia)
- Snow Leases, Lithograph 1, undated, 1952, 1955, 1962 (National Library of Australia)
- Various unreferenced maps from the NSW Dept of Lands
- Interviews/discussions: Greg Day, Herb Hain*, Hector Lampe, Meg Lampe, Jim Pattinson*, Kevin Primmer.
(* participated in site visit, May 1991)
Secondary reference sources:
- Jack Bridle, Talbingo, (Talbingo, n.d.)
- Gatis Gregors, "A Survey of the Southern NSW Alpine Architecture 1840-1910", BSc(Arch)Hons Thesis, University of Sydney, 1979
- Klaus Hueneke, Huts Of The High Country, (Canberra 1983)
- Klaus Hueneke, Kiandra to Kosciusko, (Canberra 1987)
- Kosciusko Huts Association, Kosciusko Huts and Ruins, (Canberra 1989)
- Charles Massy, The Australian Merino, (Melbourne 1990)
- D.G.Moye, Historic Kiandra, (Cooma 1959)
- David Scott, "Currango Homestead Conservation Study", BArch Thesis, Canberra CAE, 1988