Selector’s hut, Camp MountainI first saw this small timber hut at Camp Mountain, near Samford, in 1998 when Dr Elizabeth Marks asked for advice about its care. Her family had owned the property since the 1880s. After Dr Marks died in 2002 her executors, in accordance with her wishes, made the property available for use as an ecological research facility by the Institute for Sustainable Resources, part of the Queensland University of Technology.
The hut was built in the early 1870s, using timber slabs split from locally cut trees, by George Atthow who selected several adjacent portions of land. Dr Charles Marks bought the land in 1887, and the house was renovated for his younger brother Dr Keighly Marks to live in—the shingle roof was replaced with corrugated iron, and the rooms were lined with dressed pine boards. There were various residents afterwards, and the house has been unoccupied since the mid 1940s.
It is typical of the small dwellings erected by selectors around that time. During a state-wide survey of heritage places in Queensland the Department of Environment and Heritage proposed it for entry in the Queensland Heritage Register. The Queensland Heritage Council agreed.
The university asked for my advice on the listing proposal. I confirmed that the place was significant for the reasons put forward by the heritage council; I thought that the proposed register boundary was reasonable; and I advised the university to not object to the entry.
I prepared a short conservation plan for the site. A state government heritage grant funded the university to make essential repairs to the roof and timber structure, and to set up a program of termite baiting and monitoring. I also prepared a brochure to explain the significance of the hut, with guidelines for people who use the site.