Rotary Park Myrtleford
Rotary Park is located at the junction of two creeks, Happy Valley Creek and Barwidgee Creek. The park is located at the northern or Wangaratta end of Myrtleford, and is on the Great Alpine Road, on the right hand side when entering Myrtleford from Wangaratta.
The park has barbeque and toilet facilities, shaded tables and seats, a large children's playground, and a log tobacco kiln on display.
There is also a swing bridge, pictured above, which allows you to walk over the Happy Valley Creek. From the bridge you can see the Happy Valley Creek flow into the Barwidgee Creek, about 30 metres to the north.
On crossing the bridge and veering right, just 150 metres along, the Barwidgee Creek joins the Ovens River.
There is good fishing at the junction of these three waterways.
Upstream about 800 metres on the Ovens River, the Buffalo Creek flows into the Ovens, and about 200 metres further downstream from Rotary Park, the Buffalo River joins the Ovens River, in an area named Clearwater.
So five waterways join together to form a larger Ovens River, which flows downstream to Wangaratta, where the King River joins it, and then the Ovens flows to the Murray River, just above Yarrawonga in a town called Bundalong, which is aboriginal for joined together.
When driving around Myrtleford, especially in Summer, you cannot help but notice the fields full of the rich tobacco crops, and the tall corrugated iron tobacco kilns. ( See the picture on Myrtleford's home page for such a scene ).
This log kiln was built by the Pizzini Brothers of Eurobin in 1957 and was typical of the kilns built during the 1930's to early 1960's.
Tobacco leaves are tied onto a stick using string and approximately 500 of these sticks are hung on the racks in the kiln.
The kiln is heated by wood burnt in one or two furnaces located outside the rear of the kiln.
The heat from the furnace is piped by flue pipes into the kiln. The temperature starts at 30 degrees centigrade, and finishes at 74 degrees.
Humidity is manually controlled by the size of the fire, and the opening of exhaust vents in the roof, and fresh air vents at floor level.
Above some tobacco leaves tied to sticks and hung in the kiln.
The leaf takes approximately 7 days to cure, and would yield about 500 kg, and be worth about $3000 ( in the year 2000 ).
The kiln was kindly donated by Alf Pizzini of Eurobin and was relocated to Rotary Park in Myrtleford in 2000.
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