The Paddocks is a particularly beautiful area consisting of a large open plain, dotted with native trees, including myrtle, sassafras and leatherwood, and watered by the Mersey River, which continues on to Lake Rowallan. The picturesque valley is nestled beneath towering mountains and has been the realm of the Lee family from the late 1880s. George Lee first saw the potential for grazing cattle in the area and, with his four sons, Oliver, Basil, Oxley and Lewis, made regular trips to The Paddocks with cattle for summer grazing.
During the winter months, from the early 1900s through to the 1930s, all four Lee Brothers would also spend time snaring in the nearby forests, making The Paddocks their home away from home. Oxley Lee was still snaring at The Paddocks in the 1960s when he was almost into his seventies. and Lewis Lee was still taking cattle into The Paddocks in the 1980s.
A couple of earlier huts pre-dated the present Lees Paddocks Hut, which was built in 1933 as a skin drying shed. However, it proved unsuitable for winter accommodation, having a dirt floor which turned muddy and a fire which smoked heavily, and in 1940 Lewis Lee decided to build a hut with improved living conditions.
About 1954, a burning-off fire got out of control, burning the skin shed to the ground and narrowly missing the accommodation hut, but coming close enough to scorch the timber palings on one wall. During 1972/73, a skin shed was once again added to the end of the hut and an extension made. In 1974 roofing iron was replaced and a verandah added, as well as subsequent work to the fireplace.
Visitors to Lee’s Hut – and the Reg Wadley Memorial Hut situated at the far end of the Paddocks – are reminded that these huts and the land is privately owned. It is a privilege to be able to visit these areas. Please seek permission from the owners before visiting and pay due respect to the facilities.