Hidden between the whorling branches and leaves of the bush, the Mount Paris Dam stands like a sentinel to another time and an industry that shaped the economy of Tasmania in the early 20th century.
This year marks the 80th anniversary of the dam, which is a part of the rich mining heritage of the region.
The old dam squats on the Cascade River near Weldborough and heralds from the early 1900s when the area was still a vibrant tin mining centre.
The dam was built for the Mount Paris Tin Mining Company and was originally called the Morning Star Dam.
Construction of the dam began in 1935, and was completed less than a year later, in 1936. The towering concrete megalith was almost entirely built by hand.
Workers, no doubt with sweat heavy on their brow, mixed the concrete off site before transporting it in wheelbarrows to the wooden formwork to be poured.
At the peak of construction 70 men were working on the dam. During construction single men were accommodated on site, while married gents were offered camping at a nearby picnic site with their families.
The dam is the only one of a buttress and slab construction in Tasmania, and one of just handful of that construction in the country.
This rarity has earned it a place on the Tasmanian Heritage Register, recognising its significance.
Once construction was completed, the water held in the dam was used to supply the Mount Paris Tin Mine with water for hydraulic tin mining via a water race that ran 11 kilometres from dam to operations.
When full the dam held about 1300 megalitres and covered almost 21 hectares, or 52 acres.
The dam wall extends 250 metres and has a maximum height of 16 metres. Hidden as it now is in the bush that slowly reclaims it, the dam is reminiscent of an ancient Inca temple.
A range of organisations oversaw the maintenance of the dam. The Mount Paris Tin Mining Company sold the dam to Consolidated NL, who maintained it until the close of operations in 1947.
Following that it was owned by the state government and managed by the Ringarooma-Cascade Water Board.
The dam was empty from the 1970’s and finally in 1985 holes were blasted in the dam wall to allow for the natural flow of the Cascade River.
These holes are now like great doorways, which provide access to the area behind the dam wall.
Where tonnes of dark, icy water once lay bush has now taken root, offering a picturesque view across to the hills of the North East.
Late in the 20th century there was a suggestion to dismantle the dam, causing public outcry.
It remains standing as a monument to the important mining history of the area, and the community recognises its value.
The community has banded together to ensure the dam continues to stand as a marker of the area’s history, earlier this year holding a celebration of it’s 80 years and fundraiser for maintenance.