In the early years at Cape Otway furniture and utensils used by the Keepers & their families were Government Issue and chargeable against the Keeper’s pay.
Certainly by the 1860’s the Keepers & their families were bringing their own furniture with them on appointment to the Station, or new items, if already established at the Cape.
However bringing furniture created its own problems; how to organise shipment to the Cape.
At certain times of the year it could go overland along a track through the Otway Ranges, or it could be landed along with their supplies, 6kms away, and then brought along a track to the Station. Both methods were difficult.
When Assistant Keeper William Evans & family arrived at Cape Otway having travelled overland from Apollo Bay in 1862, Bayles Ford wrote of the hardship endured by them bringing such heavy items through the forest. Ford notes it took until July 1862, 3 months, to bring Evans’ belongings to the Cape.
He sought assurance that in future, heavy items would not be brought to The Cape via Apollo Bay.
Sometimes heavy items had to be left in the forest for retrieval the next day. Fallen timber, wicked winds and the endless mud were amongst the many challenges they had to endure.
In October 1863, the Ford’s received a delivery of furniture; landed at Parker River and then brought to the station by Bullock dray. The delivery consisted of; 2 tables, 12 chairs, 2 chest of drawers, 2 iron bedsteads & 2 fenders.
Given the difficulty of transportation, it is likely that the Keepers & families often made their own furniture.