Lorne Sugar Mill

1872 - 1876

Arthur Vandeleur Robinson acquired land on the north bank of Baker's Creek east of Walkerston. It consisted of portions 96, 97, 98 and 99.  Crushing began on 24th October 1872.  The first cane crushed was from a neighbouring farm and then 25 acres of Robinson's cane.  The mill was a small steam operated plant, powered by a nine horsepower engine.  The mill rollers were 2 feet long and it could produce 1 tons of sugar per day.  The Lorne mill was built by Walkers foundry in Maryborough and erected by the foundry's engineer, Patterson. Total production for the 1872 season was 38 tons of sugar and 3,300 gallons of molasses from 27 acres of cane.  More cane was planted on Lorne Estate and Robinson estimated there would be 140 acres the second season.  

In February 1874 a distillery began producing rum.  That year Lorne produced 1,427 proof gallons of rum, which was 3% of Mackay's total rum production.

In 1875 Lorne "Bourbon" variety cane was badly affected by rust, causing financial problems.  This led to its closure in 1876.  Lorne continued as a plantation, managed by the Donaldson brothers from "Cassada" over the other side of Bakers Creek and Andrew Tidemann. 

Copy of Greenmount Parish map showing the location of the Lorne plantation selection.  The mill was located somewhere near the southern part of the plantation.

References -

Hamilton, Pat. (1994). Sugar from the Scrub. Moorooka, QLD: Boolarong Press. p. 28-30.

Kerr, John. (1980).  Pioneer Pageant. Mackay, QLD: Pioneer Shire Council. p. 46, 53.

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Glen Hall

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created 27 October 2003.
last updated  18 July, 2017 .
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