Before tourism, and before Ford, the wool industry brought wealth and identity to Geelong. Proximity to farmlands and an excellent port helped establish the industry and in the 1900s woolstores lined the foreshore – although these days those red brick woolstores house university campuses and shopping centres. The Federal Woollen Mills building is a little way north of town and was built around 1915 for the Department of Defence as a textile mill. The tall metal letters are still intact, but all the more appealing for their stains and rust and evidence of birds nests poking out from corroded corners.

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