Last updated 19Oct19
Bushfold Hut (rebuilt)
Bushfold Hut is a rebuilt structure at the southern end of Bushfold Flats in the Namadgi National Park.
Location: GR 55H FA 83666-63225 (MGA94), Williamsdale 8726-4N 1:25000
• KHA web site: Also known as Dr Pearsons or Reads Hut. There is much debate over the correct naming of this hut. “Reads” is generally considered the historically correct name, but local farmers and personalities more commonly refer to it as “Dr Pearsons”. Bushwalkers tend to call it Bushfold. The hut is in good shape but needs a log book. Bushfold sections 110, 111, 112 and 113 were first selected in the 1880s by members of the McKeahnie Family, who held Booroomba Station nearby. The original hut was built in 1884 and sat at GR834648 where only stones remain today. McKeahnies later built a tin hut at 830647 but stones from the chimney have not been re-located since the 1970s. After 1902, Martin and Tom McMahon took up some sections and Martin built a slab hut at 835654. There blocks became part of Booromba until John Hyles bought the station in 1952. Hyles then sold Bushfold to George Read in 1953. George’s son Russell paid off the northern section, known then as McMahons. In 1954, George and Russell built the hut at 835630. In about 1965, this section and hut were sold to Dr Hugh Pearson and his wife, Peg. Pearson later died in a car accident near by and the property passed to Brian McCormack until the lease expired in March 1994. The hut was built in two sections. The southern end had a concrete floor and the northern end, added by Pearson, was left as a garage wtih dirt floor. Subsequently, the hut was slightly damaged by the 2003 bushfires. (It is shown below in January 2003 following this damage). The Parks Service and NPA volunteers subsequently pulled the building down and cleared this site and Reeds. On September 19, 2003, the Namadgi Park Board agreed to allow KHA to rebuild the hut on the same site. Rebuilding commenced in May 2004 and three workparties, one during light snow, had completed it to “enclosed state” by September 2004. The new hut is identical in size, but the timber framing is slightly heavier. Construction – Iron walls and roof, over a concrete slab. Two rooms with a brick fireplace. The chimney is unusual in that it was made from a ships boiler in welded steel.
• KHA Namadgi database (private source). Site 289. The most recently used of all grazier’s huts in Namadgi (lease expired March 1994) this hut was built in 1954. Yards constructed of bush timber stand approx 100m to the south.
• Signage in the hut says: Bushfold Hut. The original hut that stood on this site was built in 1954 by George Reed and his son Russell. They built the section which is now the Southern end of the hut. In the mid 1960s, this parcel of land was acquired by Dr Hugh Pearson. He added the northern end which comprises two vehicle bays. Depending on who you ask, the hut is known as Bushfold, Reed’s or Pearson’s.
Bushfold Flat was added to Namadgi National Park in 1991 along with Mt Tennent. It is a natural grassland that has been extended by past grazing and clearing. Bushfold hut has [sic] was badly damaged by the 2003 bushfires (see below) and was subsequently demolished by parks staff and NPA volunteers. The hut you are now standing in was built on the original site by the Kosciusko Huts Association in 2004. Many original materials were used during rebuilding.
Originally the hut had a frame of locally milled bush timber clad in corrugated iron with a skillion roof. The northern part of the building was an open shed that could house machinery or vehicles. The southern end was a fully enclosed shelter for accommodation. A fireplace was located at the southern end with the main firebox made from part of an old ship’s tank and a chimney made of 20l drums welded together. The floor was a mixture of bare earth and a concrete slab which is still intact and defines the building footprint. Structural stability was achieved using vertical framing posts set into the ground. South of the hut are the ruins of old sheep yards and to the northeast is the remnants of an old sheep pen or hayshed.
• NPA Bulletin article here by Matthew Higgins.
• Gudgenby: A register of archaeological sites in the proposed Gudgenby National Park, J H Winston-Gregson MA thesis, ANU, 1978. Site TH5 1-2. See extracts of the relevant pages in the photos above.