Last updated 30Mar24

The House That Jack Built site

The House That Jack Built site is located around 1.7km south of Poppet Hill and 2km west of Amungula Trig in the Kowen Pine Forest, ACT Forests.

Site 1 – Location: GR 55H GA 09079-92725 (MGA94), Bungendore 8727-2N 1:25000
Site 2 – Location: GR 55H GA 09090-92677 (MGA94), Bungendore 8727-2N 1:25000
Site 3 – Location: GR 55H GA 09080-92616 (MGA94), Bungendore 8727-2N 1:25000.

The House That Jack Built – site 1, June 2008

Visits: 30 Mar 24, 28 May 13, 10 Jun 08

Photographs are available.


• Peter B from ACT Forests kindly provided: “We have no record of anyone living in the house but apparently it was a government dwelling during the era of plantation establishment in the early 1900’s. Phil Munnings (forestry overseer) sold the house for $25 in the early 1980’s, but most of the property was destroyed soon after for undetermined reasons. It was not a heritage site on the ACT Heritage Register. Its main use in recent decades was simply as a landmark to get your bearing when travelling in the pine forest. Sorry I have no other info on the site.”
And, on 18 Jan 09, I received an email from Phil Munnings, saying: “A friend recently told me my name had come up in a google search in a story of yours about the House that Jack Built at Kowen Forest. For what it’s worth here’s what I know about the house (slightly edited by me): It was built by Jack E who was a forestry worker, ganger and overseer at Kowen from the 20s through to the 60s. He ruled eastern ACT with an iron fist and a really weird local dialect. I was the Forester-in-Charge at Kowen in the mid to late 70s. Jack’s legacy remained there then, with most of the workforce being descendants or relatives of his, typically born and raised in the house. The house was probably built in the 30s. It was a very basic 2 beddy cypress pine weatherboard with very simple facilities. By 1975 when I arrived it had been derelict for many years, used by the local lads for drinking sessions and who knows what. It wasn’t pretty. By 1979 or 1980 it was starting to collapse. A local owner builder approached me for permission to salvage the timber from the house but by the time approval came through from ACT Forests the house disappeared completely.”