Laurie the Sheep in Commercial St West marks the spot of the former home of Laurie Roger's Wood Yard. Laurie took great pride in the neatness of his wood-heaps, attracting frequent stops from travellers and tour buses. In 1994 his wood yard received recognition in the Tidy Towns Awards.
Laurence Rogers (known as Laurie) was born in Dalby, Queensland on the 7th March 1913. The family moved to Nhill Vic in his early years. In 1939 Laurie moved with his wife Hilda to Kaniva where he started the business L. E. Rogers Licensed Carrier Wood Merchant which continued for 60 years. Carting small bales and sheaved hay as well as bags of grain was part of the business for many years. Starting out with a crosscut saw, axe and a 1.5 ton truck, then upgrading to a swing saw and later chainsaws and bigger trucks, Laurie and his workers cut and carted wood from surrounding areas into the yard in lengths. Up to 1000 ton of wood per year was brought into the yard, stacked and then sawn up during the winter months into 9 inch and 12 inch blocks which was sold and delivered locally. Many tons of wood was also stacked into rail trucks and sent to Melbourne for sale. All wood was handled manually.
Laurie was interviewed in 1995 asa wood merchant and grazier, for the People's forest oral history project. He speaks of being part of a family in Victoria's Wimmera district producing three generations of woodmen. The in depth interview can be found on the national library data base, Trove. Laurie Rogers interview
Kaniva, first and last highway town in Victoria. Gateway to the Wimmera Mallee Silo Art Trail. Home of Sheep Art.
Visitor Information Centre, 41 Commercial St, Kaniva, Vic. Ph (03) 5314 9083 Open Weekdays 8am - 4pm, Saturdays & selected public holidays 9am - 2pm.