Anderson’s Monbulk Timber Mill

In 1919, JE ‘Ted’ Anderson moved to Monbulk and by 1923 had acquired a small saw-bench producing timber for boxes for the local berry growers.

In 1926 he purchased his first truck, 1930 he installed a petrol bowser and in 1932 built a garage on the main road, a timber yard, office and hardware shop.

Two more bowsers were installed, a different petrol company’s name appearing on each.

After the 1939 bushfires, Ted salvaged the large Mountain Ash trees which had been burnt in the Cumberland Valley.

Anderson’s timber milling business became one of the biggest employers in the area and during World War II, employing 30 men.

By 1946 a joinery shop was added and in 1952 Ted’s house was moved to make way for the new garage on the corner of Main and Silvan roads.

The Anderson family continued to operate a hardware shop, timber mill, produce store, a garage with a Holden agency on the site with a used car lot across the road.

Timber from the mill was sold to a couple of Melbourne wholesalers and to local builders.

By 1953 there were three bowsers, eight trucks and up to 33 employees.

Of Ted’s three sons, Ned was in charge of the mill, Frank the bush crew, and Jack the hardware and produce stores.

Frank later took over the garage after Ned died in 1954.

The 1950s saw the Anderson brothers buying mills at Cockatoo and at Silvan.

This gave them the log licence to get timber from Beenak Forest.

In 1956, Albert Crerar built a sawdust burner behind the mill.

The business was split between the families and in 1979 Frank’s family moved the hardware to the garage site on the corner and was run by Frank’s son Alan.

During the early 1980s the hardware joined the Mitre 10 Group.

Jack’s family moved the produce store to the old hardware site and Jack’s son Bruce and his nephew Graeme Rankin ran the produce store and timber mill.

As time went by, logging timber became more distant, which led to the closure of Anderson’s Monbulk mill in 1992.

At the same time the produce store was sold to Eddie Anderson, youngest son of Frank, and was operated with the hardware store.

In 2000 the Monbulk Mitre 10 Hardware, Anderson’s Hardware and Produce Store, was sold to Paul Murphy and continues to operate.