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Explorer tree

Blazed tree on the Douglas Creek - H. Dowd 1885

Explorers, surveyors and prospectors all left marks of their travels as they explored new country. One of the most popular ways of doing this was by cutting the outer bark layers away from a tree trunk and engraving their initials and message on the inner wood. This process was called blazing.

This tree was blazed by a prospector named H. Dowd in 1885. We have never been able to read anything in this blaze other than "DOW" but in March 1985 the Surveyor General supposedly read "H. Dowd 1885". David Lindsay reported a "H. Dowd prospector" blaze in December 1891 near Mt Kenneth (WA) so it is quite possible there is a connection and some accuracy in the Surveyor General's reading of this blaze.

The Dowd Tree is located on the Douglas Creek immediately north of William Creek. The fresh axe marks on the left of the blaze are an unfortunate example of ill-considered heritage vandalism.

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Explorer tree
Douglas Creek blazed tree - H. Dowd 1885


The same tree in 2006. Note the almost total degredation of the blaze 18 years on. In the top photo the letters "D" and "O" are clearly visible. Photos - Philip Gee (1988 and 2006)

 

 

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