Unlike the larger, better-known Batesford Quarry which for many years supplied limestone to the Fyansford Cement Works, these two smaller quarries excavated an outcrop of bluestone (basalt) dating back to the Pliocene Epoch which is believed to be around 2 million years old. The flow extends from the basalt plains to the west.
|Map of the Geelong region showing the geological composition. Map created|
by the University of Melbourne, Department of Geology, 1925. Image held by
the State Library of Victoria
Ludwig was born in South Australia and moved with his family to Natimuk in Western Victoria, before settling in Fyansford where in 1913, he was elected as both secretary and treasurer of the local branch of the People's Liberal Party. By 1916 he was a committee member at the Fyansford School, however he does not appear to have married until late in life and had no children. More controversially, Ludwig was also a shareholder in the Fyansford Cement Works which came under heavy criticism in parliament during World War 1 for the fact that nearly half of the company's shares were owned by people of German birth or who were born in Australia to German-born parents.
Despite this, Ludwig was able to establish himself in the quarrying business during the 1920s and was joined in partnership by Frederick Kayler-Thomson who also acted as manager of the quarry. The following notice in the Daily Commercial News and Shipping List of 26th November, 1936 may reflect the beginning of the partnership:
Fyansford Quarries Pty.Ltd., Regd. 17th Nov., to take over as a going concern the business of Fyansford Quarries. Capital £5000. Regd. Office, Fyansford. Subscribers: Ludwig Carl Wilhelm Nichterlein, Frederick Kayler-ThomsonAs far as I can tell, the quarry supplied crushed stone products such as screenings, road metal and sand, employing upwards of 20 men, 14 of whom were "spallers" whose job was to break the stone into pieces small enough for crushing. The following webpage shows two photos of Nichterlein's quarry, taken before 1970, but towards the end of the quarry's lifetime.
The quarry remained in family hands until the 1980s with Bill Kayler-Thomson taking over from his father Frederick who died in 1956 and was buried at the Western Cemetery. Ludwig died in 1942 at the age of 74 and was buried, in the Grovedale (originally Germantown) Cemetery with many other German immigrants and descendants who settled in the area.
|The grave of Ludwig and Dorothea Nichterlein, Grovedale Cemetery|
In 1994 a license was obtained to operate the defunct quarry as a landfill site, with an estimated capacity of 1,000,000 cubic metres and a lifespan of 30 years. Today, it continues to operate in this capacity as the Fyansford Waste Disposal & Recycling Centre.
|Looking south west across the site of Nichterlein's quarry, now landfill site|
(compare this photo to one of those in the link above, taken from the same position)
|An aerial view of the Fyansford Cement Works with the as yet untouched|
Mobile Quarry site in the foreground. Photograph taken by Charles Daniel
Pratt, 1926, Image held by the State Library of Victoria
|The former Mobile Quarries, later CSR Limited Quarry north of the Hamilton|
Highway at Fyansford
Following the eventual closure of the quarry, plans were drawn up for the redevelopment of the site as a residential community as per the 2008 Fyansford Quarry Masterplan. A description of the requirements for developers looking to implement the plan can be found here whilst the illustration of the intended development of the quarry as per the Fyansford Quarry Masterplan is shown below:
|Fyansford Quarry Masterplan from the Urbanplan website|
|View from Fyansford Hill looking over the Gen Fyansford housing development.|
The bluestone quarry on the west bank can be seen in the far distance
|A panoramic view of the former Mobile Quarries site. Click to enlarge|