The first thing that struck me about this museum is the friendly and knowledgeable staff. The second thing is the slab Pioneer Cottage dating from 1875 built by Patrick Milbanks. From a plaque next to the front door we learned that the frame timbers and slab are of split ironbark, battens of pit sawn cedar and shingles of split spotted gum.
There are more than 10 000 artifacts covering the area’s history, from farm tools and machinery to typewriters and early computers. Some of the more interesting things that caught our eyes were the large red fire engine, an early printer press, Aboriginal artifacts and a huge wasp nest!
I also like to tell you about a beautifully decorated carriage in which the queen mother herself rode – apparently the duke had a dairy farm in the area.
Another interesting exhibition is objects from the Stinson Plane Disaster. In 1937 a stinson airliner on a routine flight from Brisbane to Sydney went missing. On hearing reports of sightings of this plane over the McPherson Range, Bernard O’Reilly decided to investigate.
It was a week after the plane’s disappearance that he took on this mission. After forging his way through dense forest to the top of Mt Throakban, he spotted a burnt tree 8km away. Three hours later he found the wreck and to his amazement two survivors. He heard that a third man went looking for help, but his body was later discovered by Bernard on his way to get help for the survivors.
The victims of the plane crash were buried in a common grave at the crash site in Lamington National Park. On display in the museum you will find the pilot’s watch as well as the thermos used by the two survivors.
- Admission is $5 per adult and 50c per student.
- Address: 54 Brisbane Street, Beaudesert.