Opened in 1971, The Miles and District Historical Village is classified as one of the best in Queensland.
We stopped for a look this time, have been past before and never called in.
Well, I can tell you, it is worth stopping for, was very interesting, but made me feel old when I could remember using some of the exhibits on display.
A lot of the exhibits are from the early pioneering days such as the dairy, church, school and police cells. Other displays include, Aboriginal artefacts, mementos from both World Wars, semi-precious stones and a large shell collection.
Take a stroll into history down the main street of this Village, visiting a variety of stores including the blacksmith's shop, bakery, hotel, bank and cafe along the way.
There are now over 30 original & replica buildings and lots of different displays, so allow yourself some time for a good look around. The Artesian Basin Centre happened to be closed when we were there, so can't comment on this.
A festival day is held each year on the 2nd weekend in September. Lunches, morning and afternoon teas are available at the kiosk.
So, take a step back in time to the "Olden days" in Australia!
ADMISSION IN 2012....$14 Adults Family $35 School Students $6 Concession $12
Opening hours are from 8am to 5pm everyday except Christmas Day.
Dogwood Crossing @ Miles is a little further up the road heading towards Roma.
Located on the R/H side of the road, you shouldn't miss it, as it is quite a big building and has an unusual entrance of Bottle Trees made in metal. [ see photo]
Miles was originally called Dogwood Crossing, by Prussian explorer Ludwig Leichhardt, after the Dogwood shrub that grew on the creek banks.
There is an art gallery, where local Artist's work is on display, a library and museum which features different exhibitions, so each time you come, you may be lucky enough to see a different display. [we didn't re-visit this time, so photo is scanned]
It's a place where you can read about local life stories, about the floods & droughts, and about the characters that have made this an interesting Town.
Of interest, is the story of the prickly pear, this played havoc in this area, and caused many a farmer to leave his land in dispare.
Inside, there are tall steel bottle trees running down the centre of the building, these are lit at night. Bottle Trees grow well in the area.
The public have access to computers at this centre.
Outside is a nice landscaped picnic area with native plants, and a children's playground.
OPEN....Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 5pm
weekends and public holidays 9am to 4pm.
Closed Christmas Day.
FREE.....but donations are appreciated.
COLLECTION OF IRONS
The Museum had one of the best collections of old Irons that you could see.
The 1st photo is of.........
Irons that were heated by red hot coals in the body that were fanned by small bellows.
Photo 2 is of.................
FLAT IRONS [Mother Potts Iron] were also called "sad irons" or "smoothing irons"
Metal handles had to be gripped with a thick rag so you didn't burn yourself. Some irons had cool wooden handles, and in 1870, a detachable handle was invented. This stayed cool while the metal bases were heated.
These Irons were heated on the wood stove, then had to be wiped clean before use otherwise the Clothes would be stained.
Photo 3 is of.............
Invented in1858, these Irons caused a bit of fuss, they were called "The wonderful, new, self-heating Iron" that will make life much easier.
The self-heating irons used either Petrol or Gas, which was stored in the spherical container.
Anybody want to go back to ironing with these Irons? Not me!
THE PUB [Hotel]
I wonder how much has changed here? Well, I know we don't have a fancy Cash Register like in photo2 anymore, Nor....The batwing doors to enter through!
I didn't think this had changed as much as other areas, but the ceiling in it, is now a thing of the past.
It is called a "Pressed Metal" ceiling. This type of material was invented in 1888, and used up until the 1920's, when zinc aluminium took over. It was said to be rust-proof & durable [see photo 5]
Another area of historical villages that I enjoy is the GROCERY STORE which has all the old packets and jars of what my Mother and Grandmother used to buy.
It is a chance to see old name brands, and to see how the packaging has changed in modern times. No plastic back then!
This Village had another different shop to others I had been to.....
THE CHEMIST SHOP [Pharmacy]
Interesting, that major medical treatments of years gone by, were based on the surgeon's knife or by letting people bleed, sweat, vomit their way to good health, the use of drugs was very limited.
By 1840, Australia had" dispensing shops" where Doctors could be consulted and medicine given.
Really, even these days, the Chemist still has bottles like back then, that has not changed. Not very often I should think, but sometimes, the Chemist still has to mix to make a special medicine. I know the Chemist has done this for me just a couple of times.
Another interesting piece of history!
THE SHELL HOUSE
The Shell collection at the Village should not be missed.
It is said to contain one of the largest private collections of shells in Australia.
I don't know anything about Shells, but I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed looking at the most beautiful & different shells in this collection. There were allsorts, in all colours and shapes, it really is an amazing collection. The Shells are from all parts of the World.
They were presented to the Village by Mrs. Morgan, a former Miles resident.
A Hospital in a historical village, is something you don't usually see.
This one was really interesting, and how glad I was that health care and equipment has greatly improved!...I really would not have wanted to be in Hospital in "The good old days!"
Of interest, was an "Iron Lung" made by E. Both, from Adelaide, South Australia. In 1940, he was awared an OBE [order of the British Empire] for his work on the Iron lung. He loved inventing, and was lovingly called "The Edison of Australia."
His other inventions were the world’s first portable electrocardiograph, which became standard equipment in military hospitals during World War 2.
1st of all, an Iron Lung is......
"an airtight metal tank that encloses all of the body except the head, and forces the lungs to inhale and exhale through regulated changes in air pressure."
The iron lung was a saviour for poliomyelitis patients as it gave the patient assistance they needed to survive. I have seen photos of Hospital rooms filled with iron lungs, not a pleasant sight or memory.
The Iron Lung in the photo was used in the care of Polio patients at nearby Chinchilla Hospital in the 1930's.
Thankgoodness, Polio has been conquered!
The Miles Historical Village has so much to see, that I have just scratched the surface on here.
It has displays of all sorts, some others that Overseas Tourist's would probably be interested in are like the Water Buffalo horns, it makes you realize not to get into a quarrel with a Buffalo.....You most probably will be the loser!
What about the Dingo trap! These steel-jaw traps don't kill, but instead inflict excruciating pain on many animals that are not meant to be caught, these include kangaroos, wombats, possums, birds and even reptiles, poor things! Not a nice death dying slowly of dehydration, starvation or infection.
Another display I had not seen elsewhere, were the greeting cards, so different to the ones of today.
Carpet Beaters, thank goodness we have the modern day Vacuum Cleaner!
It also is a chance to see what different stones we have in Australia. One that appealed, was the Chrysoprase stone which is found around Alice Springs in the Northern Territory of Australia. It is a green stone that looked very nice when cut and polished and made into a necklace.
There is so much to see here, way to numerous for me to mention, and all is not listed on their website.
If you are out this way, then I will say....PAY A VISIT, IT IS A MUST SEE
Open 8 - 5pm daily
Admission in 2010 $12
Located in the Shell Collection, is a giant Worm called Kupthus Arenaea.
I had never heard of it, or ever seen such a large Worm, and on display was a part of it!
The giant sand boring ship worm on display, came from the Indo - Pacific. Very little is known about this worm, but they do know, it is one that does not eat Timber, but burrows in sand and lives on Plankton is siphons from the water.
Nothing so far has been recorded about its lifestyle.
Looks like it could grow quite big!
CREATIVE EARLY FURNITURE
Days gone by, and people really utilized everything they had, hardly anything was wasted.
I was surprised to see the Chest of Drawers that was made out of empty Kerosene tins, what a clever idea this was!
Then the Safe [our modern Fridge].............
Made out of wood, it was thick and sturdy. The walls of the Safe were double so that charcoal could be put between the wood, then it was kept wet so the circulating air kept the contents cool, clever!
I have put together some tips on what you can expect to see at the Historical village, I hope you find them interesting.
After paying the admission fee, we were given a map showing how to walk the village.
Following the map, the 1st area had a Shoe maker and his shop, with many different Womens and Men's shoes in the window.
Next, was to the Horse & Sulky [see photo's for description], and an old Car, a Bottle collection.
After looking at these, it was time to head inside to have a look at the Museum.
Many differrent items on display, from Rocks found in the area, to old Clocks.
It's easy to spend an hour or three here at the museum. There are about 30 original and replica buildings and some great collections to see. One of my favourites was the Condamine Bell collection'with some great bells from the 1800's which are old for Australia.
There is a shell collection which seemed a bit strange so far inland but very interesting. As in most of these museums there is also a collection of World War memorabilia and a tribute to local men and women involved in both World Wars, Boer War and Vietnam War.
There is a cafe, Lapidary display with fossil woods, ferns, agates and lots more. The buildings are wonderful and really reflect early Australian lifestyle.
This is the best village I have seen on my travels in rural Queensland and well worth a visit if you are in the area.
Open every day from 8am - 5pm. $12.00 entrance fee.
Miles Historical Village gives a good idea of how life was in the Darling Downs before and during the World Wars. They have a whole town complete with banks, bakery, restaurant, jail (gaol), railroad station, hotel, church, school, hospital etc... well preserved with donated collections from generous folk around Queensland.