Museums and history

THE Scenic Rim region is rich in history and is home to a number of fascinating and well-resourced museums. These museums chart the progress and development of architecture, farming techniques, living arrangements, politics and major events throughout the region since the mid 1800s.

Most of the museums and staffed and maintained by volunteers, who generously donate their time in order to preserve the past. Please find an overview of Scenic Rim museums following.


Beaudesert Historical Museum

54 Brisbane St, Beaudesert
07 55413740
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Open daily 10am, to 2pm, except Christmas Day and Good Friday or by appointment for groups.
Admission fees: $7.50 for adults, $6 concession, $2 for children of school age, children under 5 free.

THE Beaudesert Historical Museum was established and maintained by family and friends of the area's pioneering families.
Therefore it is home to more than 12,000 pieces of historically-significant memorabilia, including parts of the Stinson Plane which crashed into the McPherson Range in 1937.

Neville Shipley, Honorary Curato,r says the museum's Stinson display is popular with visitors who can see a wing and a crankshaft from the downed plane, as well as the original telephone exchange which was used to relay calls to the many local search volunteers who helped rescue the survivors.
The flask carried by crash victim Jim Westray when he went in search of help and water is also on display.

"We have an original slab hut which was built during the settlement of the Kerry Valley in 1875," says Mr Shipley.
"It is in its original condition and was first moved to the site of the Council in 1961 and later moved to our present site in 1975.
"It features handcut slabs of ironbark for the floors and walls and is in good condition."

The slab hut has been furnished with pieces from the time, including an iron bedstead and also features the original hearth which was used by occupants for cooking and warmth.

The Beaudesert Historical Museum's collection includes thousands of photographs donated by local families, depicting all aspects of life in the Beaudesert area through the ages.

The original building used by the Tabragalba Divisional Board from 1880 is also located on site and was donated to the Museum by the Beaudesert Shire Council.

The Beaudesert Historical Museum is staffed entirely by volunteers The Museum attracts some Council and Government grants but is otherwise funded through admission fees.


Canungra Information and Historical Centre

12/14 Kidston St, Canungra.
07 5543 5156
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The Information and Historical Centre is open every day from 9.30am to 4pm except Christmas Day and Good Friday.
Admission is free.

CANUNGRA'S history is closely tied to the timber industry and so many of the artifacts and memorabilia housed at the Canungra Historical Centre are focused on these times.
The historical centre is located within the Canungra Visitor Information Centre and features a small collection of historical pieces, as well as a number of photo albums documenting the past.
The Centre also manages and maintains the historical Lahey Tramway Tunnel, a 90-metre tunnel constructed by the Lahey family in order to bring timber from the mountain to the Canungra Railway Centre.
Visitors to the area can walk down to the tunnel, which is located about 1km from the Historical Centre.


Rathdowney Information Centre and Historical Museum

82 Mt Lindesay Highway, Rathdowney
07 5544 1222
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Open 9am to 2pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm weekends, school holidays and public holidays. Other times by appointment.
Closed Christmas Day, Good Friday and Anzac Day.
Admission by gold coin donation. Children are free.

THE Rathdowney Historical Museum pays tribute to the pioneering men and women of the area.
The Museum, which is staffed by volunteers, recently won a Q150 grant which has been used to create a permanent exhibition profiling the women who from the 1850s onwards worked hard and overcame adversity to make a life in this rural area.

They had travelled from England, Ireland and Scotland to take up land in this new, rugged home.
Catherine Drynan, Secretary of the Rathdowney Area Development and Historical Association says the women's stories are full of hope, dreams and hard times.

"One woman died of heat exhaustion as she rode her horse from Rathdowney to visit her brother at Tamrookum, leaving behind a young family," she says.
"Others had trouble raising children; often they were left to give birth at home as the nearest doctors were at Boonah and Beaudesert."

The town of Rathdowney really took off in the early 1900s when the tramway was opened, linking it to Beaudesert. The tramway, which operated from 1911 to 1944, enabled produce, people, mail, supplies and timber to be carted between the two towns.
"It was the lifeblood of the area before public transport," says Ms Drynan.
The Museum features a diorama of the tramway, as well as displays of the local hardwood timber gathered from the area.

Information on the local historical homes is displayed as well as a range of photographs from the different eras.

The Museum is connected to the Visitor Information Centre.

Tamborine Mountain:

Tamborine Mountain Heritage Centre

55-57 Wongawallan Rd, Eagle Heights.
07 55452596 / 55453939
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The Heritage Centre is staffed by volunteers and is open on Sundays and public holidays from 11am to 3pm, or by appointment.

Step back in time when you enter the Tamborine Mountain Heritage Centre.
It is run by the Mountain's Historical Society and features a small historic village, depicting life on the mountain during the late 1800s and early 1900s.
There is a general store, complete with a barber's chair and a haberdashery. Next door is the blacksmith's shop which adjoins the original Jenyn's family dairy, one of the earliest on the mountain. A slab cottage has been rebuilt on the site and features original furniture from the era.
One of the first churches to be erected on the mountain has also been moved in and restored within the centre's grounds. It contains dioramas of the mountain's history as well as extensive displays of fashions from the early 1900s.
A large working model of the Curtis Water Wheel reveals to visitors how the early sawmills were powered.

Boonah area:

Templin Historical Village

Boonah Fassifern Rd, Templin
5463 1970
Open Sunday from 9.30am to 3.30pm, or by appointment.
Bus groups are welcome. Toilets, wheelchair accessible.
Entry to the Village costs $7 for adults, $3 for children and $15 for families.

TEMPLIN Historical Village may be a country museum but don't be fooled into thinking you'll be done in minutes.
For a rural museum Templin houses a whole lot of history.
There are 14 historic buildings in the precinct and each one displays local artifacts. There are fashions of the 1900s, irons, meat safes, cameras, medical memorabilia, war memorabilia and farming history.
Templin is after all set amidst a thriving rural community which over the years has produced milk, vegetables, grain and meat for local, national and international markets.

Once a Queensland State School, the Village has been open to the public since 1977 and over that time has been buoyed by generous donations from local families. After the school closed due to declining enrolments in the 1970s, ownership of the site passed to the Boonah Shire Council. The local Historical Society has been the caretaker since then.

While the original school and playshed were the first buildings, slowly over the years, more and more buildings were moved to the site and used to display a wide range of artifacts. There's an 1879 slab hut, built by Carl Stumer at Milford for his wife and seven children. There's the Cannon Creek Church of England, built in 1911 for a cost of 75 pounds. The Goolman Shire Council building has been moved to Templin, as has the Fraserview School, which is now set up with war memorabilia and as an early ward of the Boonah Hospital.
An old farm dairy features wooden butter boxes and an early separator.


The Harrisville Museum

Elanda, Queen St, Harrisville
07 5464 6518
Open the first and third Sunday of the month from 1pm to 4pm or for groups by appointment.

THE Harrisville Museum was established in the 1960s in Elanda, a circa 1800s house once owned by the Mackaway Family.
It's located between the fire brigade and the Catholic Church and is home to a rich selection of Harrisville's historical memorabilia.
The site also houses the old Carney's Creek school, complete with desks and chairs. The museum features an extensive war section, a display of aboriginal artefacts from the region, some historic farm machinery, as well as women's clothing and furniture from times gone by.
The old Harrisville Police station bench and court dock have also been preserved at the museum.
A rain gun – one of only two in Queensland – is displayed. It was used by locals in 1902 in a bid to break the drought by seeding clouds. A number of attempts were made but they were all unsuccessful.
A selection of precious stones, collected by a member of the Mandelkow family from the Stanthorpe area, is displayed.