Tanjil Bren

Tanjil Bren is a rural locality and former timber town in eastern Victoria, west of the Baw Baw ranges and 60 km north of Moe. It is situated in eucalyptus forests where trees exceeding 100 m in height have been recorded.

In 1936 a local timber- milling firm, Saxton Timber and Trading Pty Ltd, acquired a logging lease on the Eastern Tanjil River. In 1938 the firm selected a sawmill site around which Tanjil Bren was to grow. The name arose from the Tangel pastoral run (1844) and the word Bren was a play on the milling operation being at the speed of a Bren gun.

In January 1939, the Black Friday bushfire destroyed the mill and infant township, and nine persons died at Tanjil Bren. The fires provoked an intense timber-salvage operation, it being estimated that much timber could be milled if the charred trees were felled within two years. Within 15 months a rebuilt Tanjil Bren had a school, four shops, a cafe and a garage. Six mills were operating in and around Tanjil Bren. By 1948 1177 million super feet of timber had been milled and nearly all salvageable timber had been taken by 1950. Mills moved out of the district and the school closed in 1954.

During the 1950s and 1960s Tanjil became a stopping place for travellers to the developing Baw Baw snowfield. There are two accommodation lodges and a ski-season store at Tanjil Bren.

The Tanjil Bren Community Plan 2008-13 was released in 2008 reflecting community wishes to slow traffic through the town, halt further development and install walking tracks.

Tanil Bren’s census populations have been:

census date population
1947 346
2011 15

Further Reading

M. Ferguson, Saxtons Road: the story of Tanjil Bren, a sawmill town, the author, 1995

Tanjil and Tanjil South entries