||Dux Hut was erected c1930, on Oyster Camp Reserve R.638 on South Stradbroke Island, in conjunction with oysterman Augie Dux's working of the oyster bank directly opposite, in Tippler's Passage.
Oyster cultivation in Moreton Bay has been regulated since 1863, and exploitation of the Bay's oyster banks as a food source by the indigenous population dates many thousands of years. In the mid-1820s, British convicts employed in establishing a penal settlement at Moreton Bay collected and burned oyster shells to produce lime, and during the first two decades after the opening of the district to free settlement in 1842, oyster shells [often including the live oysters] were collected by the schooner-load for the same purpose. This exploitative practice was prohibited under the Queensland colonial government's Oyster Act of 1863, which introduced a licensing system for oyster cultivation. The Oyster Act of 1874 implemented further controls: a system of annual licenses regulated the collection and cultivation of bank oysters [oysters found or cultivated between high-water mark and two feet below the level of low-water mark], and seven-year leases were made available for dredge oyster sections within the Bay. [Dredge oysters were identified as those found below the level of two feet below low-water mark]. These leases were offered at public auction, and attracted high prices during the late 19th century.
By 1886, oyster fisheries in Moreton Bay extended for nearly 100 miles, from Southport to Caloundra. 178 oyster banks, comprising over 5,000 acres, were being worked, and 40 dredge sections were available for lease. Moreton Bay and Sandy Straits were considered the great nurseries and breeding-grounds for oysters on the eastern seaboard of the Australian Continent, with an estimated 40,000 oyster cultivation bags in Moreton Bay, and scope for many times this number. The principal export market for Moreton Bay oysters was Melbourne, but periodic glutting of that market by New Zealand oysters was problematic for the Queensland industry. The industry was plagued also by operators who denuded oyster banks, and made little or no effort at replenishing the stock.
The Oyster Act of 1886 was introduced to encourage sustainable oyster culture [the cultivation of oysters and the taking of oysters for sale]. The Act offered transferable, 14 year leases over identified oyster grounds [which could comprise both an oyster dredge section and oyster banks]. Licenses were still available for working oyster banks not within a dredge section. A penalty for selling under-sized oysters was introduced, and lessees and licensees were required to register a brand, which had to appear on all oyster bags. Importantly, lessees had to reserve some cultivation on each bank, and to constantly renew the oyster stock.
To encourage the oyster industry further, and to regulate the practice of oystermen 'squatting' on Crown land, the Queensland government in 1889 proclaimed 26 oyster camp reserves, varying from 5 to 40 acres, in Moreton Bay and Sandy Straits. On these reserves, licensed oystermen were permitted to camp, build houses, fence in small allotments, and carry out activities associated with oyster farming. Further oyster camp reserves were proclaimed in the 1890s and early 20th century, as the need arose. Oyster Camp Reserve R.638, a five acre reserve at Jurim, south of Tippler's Landing, was gazetted in 1896 under the provisions of the Crown Lands Act of 1884, following application by the Inspector of Oyster Fisheries that a camping ground for oyster bank licensees was required urgently near Swan Bay.
The largest leaseholder of oyster dredge sections and oyster banks in Moreton Bay from the late 1870s to the 1920s was The Moreton Bay Oyster Company, established in 1876. The Company operated leaseholds near Stradbroke and Bribie islands and at Hervey Bay, employing a small community of workers. In the southern Bay a camp was established on the mainland at Coombabah, north of Southport. In 1881 the Company took over the lease of Currigee run on South Stradbroke Island, and a small settlement of oystermen and their families was established there as well.
Oyster cultivation in Moreton Bay peaked in the period 1880-1910. The breaking through of the ocean at Jumpinpin in May 1898, separating Stradbroke Island into north and south, decimated the oyster banks of southern Moreton Bay; this, combined with mud worm infestations, competition in the market place from New Zealand oysters, increased labour costs, and over exploitation of the oyster banks, culminated in the industry declining after 1910. However, The Moreton Bay Oyster Company continued its operations until 1965, and after the company was wound down, a number of its oyster leaseholds were taken up by previous employees. By the mid-1980s, there were no longer any dredge oyster sections in Moreton Bay, and Queensland wide, oyster production had fallen to 10% of peak period [1880-1910] output. Labour-intensive oyster cultivation is now rare in Queensland, and most oyster bank licensees harvest naturally occurring oysters.
Dux Hut on South Stradbroke Island was erected c1930 on Oyster Camp Reserve R.638, opposite Oyster Bank 122 in Tippler's Passage, by Augie Dux of Labrador, who had taken up the licence of this oyster bank in 1928, under the provisions of The Fish and Oyster Act of 1914. From early maps, this bank appears to co-incide with Oyster Bank 122 worked from at least 1884 by Henry Tippler, a pioneer of oyster farming in southern Moreton Bay.
Freidrich Carl August [Augie] Dux, born in 1878, was the son of German immigrants who settled at Nundah in the early 1870s. In the 1880s the family moved to Caboolture, where Augie's father, Johann Dux, took up fishing, crabbing and oyster culling at Pumistone Passage and Bribie Island. Dux Street and Dux Creek at Caboolture were named after this family. As a youth, Augie worked with his father on the oyster banks, and in the early 1900s, moved to southern Moreton Bay where he worked as an oysterman, eventually gaining employment with the Moreton Bay Oyster Company based at Currigee. He married Lillian O'Connell of Currigee in 1905, and c1910 the family moved to Southport.
Augie Dux later took up several oyster bank licenses in southern Moreton Bay, including Oyster Bank 122 in Tippler's Passage . His sons helped him to develop the oyster banks, obtaining timber and shell bedding from Crusoe and Rat islands nearby. On Oyster Camp Reserve R.638, directly opposite Oyster Bank 122, Augie Dux and his son Stanley erected a one-roomed hut, for use when working their oyster lease in Tippler's Passage. It is understood they re-used timbers initially cut by Augie in 1918, when the family moved to Broad Street, Labrador, where they erected a house of saplings and bark, with a hardwood floor. About 1929 this house was demolished and replaced with a new house of milled-timber, the timbers of the 1918 building being re-cycled in the hut on South Stradbroke Island. The stumps of this hut are understood to be of Bloodwood, the framing of Ti-tree saplings, and the floor and some of the wall linings of hardwood, all of which was cut by Augie Dux and his sons in the Labrador area. Oyster farming at this period was still highly labour intensive, and poaching was a continual problem. Stanley Dux recalls spending from Monday to Saturday each week at the hut, working and guarding the oyster bank.
About the same time as the hut was erected, the Dux family also constructed a jetty of cypress pine, immediately in front of the hut. This jetty survived for many decades, but now only a few stumps remain in the foreshore to indicate the location.
The Dux family retained the license to Oyster Bank 122 until August 1957. They were well known in southern Moreton Bay - the reserve in front of their Labrador home was named Dux Oval, and the foreshore in front of their South Stradbroke Island hut became known as Dux Anchorage. Since their time, the hut has been extended with a skillion-roofed kitchen, the window openings have been changed, the corrugated iron sheeting has been replaced, and a number of introduced shade trees have been planted.
Subsequent licensees of Oyster Bank 122 used the hut in association with working the oyster bank until two new sheds were erected about 50 metres to the south, in the 1980s. From the early 1970s, Dux Hut has been used also as a recreational venue - and exclusively so since the 1980s. In 1995, R.638 was repealed, and Dux Hut currently (February 1998) sits on Unallocated State Land.