The archaeological excavation (‘dig’) at the old Mons Station site on the Telco Rd tramway walking track was carried out on Friday 15th March. Sunshine Coast Regional Council assisted the Buderim-Palmwoods Heritage Tramway Inc (BPHTI) volunteers by taking equipment down the track in a Council vehicle at 7.30am, and returning in the afternoon to take the gear back to Telco Rd.
The ‘finds’ discovered during the excavation covered a range of small objects including the top part of a coloured glass bottle, and many other small pieces of glass. Numerous small pieces of an interesting flat-section rock were found, but are not yet definitely identified. (Some passers-by thought the pieces resembled broken tile, about 5mm thick, with light/white surfaces and dark internal material). Evidence of fire, perhaps from bush-fires, was found at the intersection of the lower soil strata and the topmost leaf mould/soil layer. Gary and Dorothy Flanigan are cleaning and analysing all the found items.
Rather unexpectedly, no definite metal remains were found. This could indicate that the building was removed in one piece after the 1935 tramway closure. No evidence of any corner foundation stump hole was found, so possibly the building was mounted on flat horizontal timber/sleepers.
Many local people who had seen the Chronicle article about the planned ‘dig’ came to observe the process. One helpful local man assisted with the sieving process all day. Two archaeologists from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection visited during the marking out of the 2m x 1m trench site on Thursday March 14th and then stayed on Friday to assist the other volunteers. BPHTI thanks all those who helped.
The excavation trench reached ‘rock-bottom’ at the original sandstone base for the tramway cutting, it being an average of about 130mm below the original ground surface. The ‘spoil’ from the trench, after sieving, close examination and removal of ‘finds’, was returned to the same excavated area it came from. The investigated Mons Station site now looks much the same as before, although still free of leaf cover.
The BPHTI members now have much more information about the small shed that was Mons Station during the 1914-1935 life of the tramway. The analysis of the ‘finds’ could produce even further detail.
The dig was organised by Neil McGarvie, with valuable input from Gary & Dorothy Flanagan, both of whom have extensive experience with archaeological excavations bothe in Australia and overseas.
The dig was supervised by