Lees Paddocks Diaries (1940–71) Published

In the mid 1980s when I was researching my book Snarers and Cattlemen of the Mersey High Country: The Lees of Lees Paddocks, I spent considerable time with Lewis Lee both at Mole Creek and Lees Paddocks. During our discussions he showed me a collection of little notebooks, dating from 1940, that he had used as diaries in his hut at Lees Paddocks. Each time he came to the Paddocks he recorded certain details in the diaries such as th date, who was with him, the number of cattle he drove in and where they were placed. Often, the entries contain additional data. I copied these documents and used excerpts from them in the latter part of Snarers and Cattlemen.  The diaries, however, have an independent value. Seen in their totality, they provide a rare picture of the use and management of a Tasmanian high country grazing run in the mid 1900s. They provide information, for example, on when cattle were brought in and taken out, stocking rates, when the annual burning took place, the people who were involved, the frequency of visits and so on. This is of great value in developing an understanding of how Tasmanian transhumant grazing systems worked. The families of those mentioned in the diairies might also find them interesting. My grandfather, Reg Cubit, for example, had a visit in 1966! For these reasons, I have published the diaries in the ‘Resources’ section of this website so that the information within them can become more widely available.

Read the diaries