Zumsteins, Grampians National Park, Victoria
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member bucketeer
S 37° 05.759 E 142° 23.367
54H E 623475 N 5893577
Quick Description: Zumsteins was a popular holiday destination in the mid 20th century, ans is now a popular picnic area, within the Grampians National Park.
Location: Victoria, Australia
Date Posted: 4/7/2010 5:02:34 AM
Waymark Code: WM8HZP
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Lord Elwood
Views: 7

Long Description:
In 1910, Walter Zumstein resigned his position as bee keeper for the firm W.J. & F. Barnes and applied to the State Forest Department for his own bee range on the eastern bank of the MacKenzie River.
Zumstein cleared the site and established his hives which he transported to
the Crossing with the aid of a wheelbarrow.
In March 1911, Zumstein sought permission to establish a residence in a corner of his lease.
A weatherboard and stone cottage (now demolished) was completed in the following
year. As a builder, Zumstein demonstrated a keen appreciation for improvised materials. He later used this skill to good effect in the construction of pisé
cottages on the site.

In 1915, at the age of 29, Zumstein enlisted as a private in the Australian Imperial Force (A.I.F.). He embarked for overseas service with the 5th Battalion, landing on Gallipoli in May 1915. In the bitter conditions he developed enteric fever, and was evacuated to the County of London War Hospital. On leave in Scotland
he met Jean Brooks. The pair were married on Anzac Day, 1916.

Walter returned to Melbourne with his wife in September 1919.
He was discharged from the A.I.F. and by November had returned to his
bee range and cottage.
During the 1920s, Walter and Jean worked together to develop the area as a tourist destination, planting the European trees that are a feature of the Crossing.

In 1930, Zumstein commenced construction of the first of the pisé cottages, the ‘Red’ Shack (now demolished), to provide holiday accommodation for tourists.
After 1934, he built the cottages, which remain on the site today - the ‘Green’, ‘Blue’, and ‘Orange’ Shacks. Zumstein identified each cottage by the colour of the painted timber lintels over the windows and doors. Jean Zumstein was responsible for all of the internal painting and the interior decoration.

The sequence of construction - ‘Green’, then ‘Blue’ and ‘Orange’ - was determined by the availability of money and building materials.
Zumstein collected second-hand materials, including doors and windows, then
constructed the walls of the cottages which were made using pise construction, a method of building walls compressing soil from the site into formwork using a hand-held rammer. This method is considered to be superior to mud brick with
respect to weather resistance due to its high density and hardness.

The potential of the Grampians as a tourist destination was recognised in 1917 when the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria and the Government Tourist Bureau combined to promote the natural attractions of the Grampians through annual springtime
excursions.

Walter Zumstein benefited from the popularity of the Grampians and the growing enthusiasm for nature. In the early 1930s, he opened a walking track to the Fish Falls with the aid of unemployed workers. During 1935 he commenced excavation by hand of a concrete swimming pool, a project which took him 5 years to complete. On completion he charged visitors a six pence for a swim.
Later, he was granted an additional quarter acre of land for the construction of a tennis court. So popular was the resort that it was common for hundreds of campers to converge on the area for the Christmas holidays. Walter supplied campers with milk and honey and transported the mail in an ageing Model T Ford.

The sale of the 3 pisé cottages in 1958 (One family had camped at the Crossing since the 1920s and had helped cart materials for the construction of the cottages), paid for Walter and Jean to visit their daughter in the United States.
The couple returned to the Crossing in 1959, and then moved to Horsham.
Walter died on October 17, 1963, his body was cremated and his ashes scattered at the Crossing.

The area is now a popular shady picnic spot with good shelters, gas barbeques, toilets and the Fish Falls walking track built by Walter is still there. Kangaroos & wallabies frequent the lawns at the picnic area also.

Information was taken from the Parks Victoria Zumstein's Crossing Heritage Information Sheet
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themd visited Zumsteins, Grampians National Park, Victoria 11/5/2012 themd visited it