Laidley Pioneer Village and Museum

Laidley Pioneer Village and Museum

Laidley Pioneer Village and Museum
4.5
About
Pioneer Village and Museum - Step back in time with over 100,000 exhibits to see! Book a Group Tour, for a school, a nursing home, a car club, even a photo shoot. OPEN SEVEN DAYS!
Duration: 1-2 hours
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles17 reviews
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grannygoanna
Melbourne, Australia21 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Couples
Great little village and not expensive to get in. Learnt some local history. The staff at the village very knowledable and friendly
Written 4 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

OrderintheHouse
Brisbane3,548 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
July 2021
The Laidley Historical Village and Museum has to be one of the best historical villages anywhere in Australia. It is so comprehensive and there are so many interesting, re-enacted buildings to enter, displaying so many fascinating examples of life in a previous era.

Established in 1972 as the first Historical Village of its type in Queensland, it boasts a good number of dedicated local volunteers committed to maintaining the history of yesteryear for today’s generation, through its outstanding collection of artefacts and memorabilia.

My visit to this wonderful, not so well advertised attraction, took place in July 2021, accompanied by my two adult sons. On this day we travelled to and from the Pioneer Village by train and bus- a delightful experience in itself. Our Museum visit was of 2 hours duration; however we could have easily stayed much longer.

From Brisbane we took the train to Rosewood, 62 kilometres west of Brisbane. From Rosewood Station we transferred to a Rail Bus, alighting at the bus stop right outside the Pioneer Village in Drayton Street, on the outskirts of Laidley (27 kilometres further west from Rosewood).

Entry to the Village is from Pioneer Street and the first port of call is the Office building to purchase admission tickets for a modest admission fee. The Office is the former Laidley Shire Council Chambers, last used as Laidley’s administration building in the 1900s. A highlight behind the large front counter is the original Coat of Arms that was mounted on the train used by the Duke of Gloucester on his Royal Tour in 1934. This building also houses an interesting Armed Forces display.

Next door to the Office building is the impressive Pioneer Memorial Chapel, originally the Blenheim Methodist Church, Blenheim being approximately 9 kilometres further west. It is not only open for display but can be hired for weddings, christenings and funerals. There is an excellent old Windsor pump organ on display inside the Chapel.

From the Chapel we headed to the very extensive Tractor Shed displaying a wonderful display of tractors through the ages as well as classic motors and vehicles.

Next we made sure we entered all the rest of the buildings on offer leading eventually to the old Schoolhouse and the Old Mortuary Museum. In all we visited over twenty buildings, all with comprehensive displays, including but not limited to a post office/grocery shop, a dairy/cream shed, a blacksmith’s shop, an extensive wagon and machinery display, an agricultural display, a building devoted to medical history, a police cells building and a wonderful example of an old slab hut. At the Machinery Shop I was able to work a fascinating lathe dating back to 1925 which is powered by a crude but effective wooden foot pedal. Also demonstrated was a wooden, foot pedal -powered wood turning apparatus.

What is very pleasing is that we were able to enter all the buildings and view a re-enactment of what was typically inside each of them in days gone by. There were great interior displays particularly in the butcher's shop and the post office/grocery shop and the police cell buildings..

The wagon and machinery display was excellent with lots of interesting examples on display with the highlights being a fully restored horse drawn hearse complete with coffin and a fully restored horse drawn buggy, circa 1895.

The “Jewels in the Crown” in this Historical Village however, from my point of view, have to be the Old Schoolhouse, the Timber History Display, the old Mortuary Museum and the Slab Hut.

The Old Schoolhouse was originally situated at Blantyre, near Boonah (63 kilometres south east of Laidley). It was a one teacher school built in 1896 and accommodated 58 children with ages ranging from five to fourteen years. Impressive were the excellent examples of old school desks complete with writing slates (used well before the advent of biros and paper). Also, the Good Manners Chart on the wall and the cane for corporal punishment gave a good insight into the stricter life of a school student during these early days. A key feature is the large, prominent School Bell located at the front of the Schoolhouse.

The Timber History Display houses many items of interest, none better than the 1928 Linn logging tractor made in New York State in the USA. What a truly magnificent machine which reached a top speed is 7 mph (11.2 km/h). This was 7 times faster than the bullock teams it replaced. The machine has been so well restored and maintained that for special public events it takes people on a drive down the streets of Laidley showing off its capability. Another great display was the 1924 Jinker, based on a bullock wagon design driven by a steam traction engine and delivering logs to the local sawmills.

The Old Mortuary Museum, which had many uses over the years including being the town’s mortuary, houses an awesome collection of just about every aspect of how our pioneers lived decades ago. Their very extensive display of musical instruments was just one of many highlights. If time is on your side, you could easily while away a good hour in this Museum alone.

The excellent Slab Hut is known as Desjardins Cottage. This was the original home of the Desjardins, a pioneering family from Gervale (Mt Mort), 9 kilometres south of Laidley. Visitors are able to walk through the slab hut viewing various rooms including a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, laundry and living area – it offers an excellent example of how people lived in these basic homes so long ago.

Another great exhibit was the well restored Ant Oven, built in 1931 and used by Charles Schultz from Blenheim to bake bread until 1945. It was made from a termite mound – quite fascinating.

There is a School Shelter Shed which is used for visitors and the working volunteers to enjoy morning or afternoon tea or lunch, with tables and seats. My sons and I had morning tea here which while very basic, was very well appreciated.

The volunteer staff at this place are so friendly and helpful and also very knowledgeable. They made sure our visit was memorable.

This is a fantastic tourist attraction and a great asset to the Laidley district. If you are in the area you must make sure to include a visit to the place and give yourself at least a couple of hours to enjoy a truly wonderful voyage of historical discovery.

Our day was made complete by visiting the nearby imposing Suspension Bridge across the very scenic Narda Lagoon, 5 minutes walk from the Museum, and then taking a bus on to Gatton ( 24 kilometres north west) to have a pub lunch at the Royal Hotel and then making the bus and train trip back home. It was a most satisfying day out with my sons.
Written 16 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LAC0449
Brisbane, Australia15 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2021 • Family
It was great to see a journey back in time. Staff were friendly. The artefacts room was really interesting and I wish I had more time as there was so much in there. Well worth a visit.
Written 14 February 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

RSJTD
Sydney, Australia56 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
A must visit when in Laidley. It is just a few km's out of Laidley town. On the corner of Drayton St & Pioneer St, Laidley. Ron took us through some of the displays and his knowledge and personality brought it all to life. My favourite parts were the Ant Bed Clay Bakers Oven - would love to cook my scones in there, the gorgeous 1896 School House with the beautifully written arithmetic books on display, the Pioneer Slab Hut and the Buggies. You need plenty of time to see everything. Many places in Laidley seem to close by 3pm - so go early.
During August 2020 the hours were 9 AM to 2.30 PM.
Written 14 August 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

geographyguy_11
Brisbane, Queensland515 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019 • Solo
The highlights of this historical village are the schoolhouse and the slab hut. Both are a wonderful window on the past; the slab hut in particular filled me with awe at the ability and endurance of the early European settlers to make a life for themselves in this amazing but harsh country. There was also a good display of restored carts and vehicles and a building packed with display cases featuring every kind of household item imaginable. It is worth a visit if in the area and makes a good stop on the way to/from Toowoomba from/to Brisbane on a weekend drive.
Written 11 May 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ray B
Laidley, Australia21 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2018 • Family
Not only visitors to the region but locals need to visit the village. Great friendly staff and a good look back in time. Well worth the visit. We visited and entry fee was a donation.
Written 25 June 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

trisha d
Southern Queensland, Australia50 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2018 • Family
We explored the entire village and loved every minute of it. The village is in very pretty grounds and all the village buildings are in great condition thanks I am sure to the many volunteers. So stop here, you won't regret it.
Written 14 March 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Aren2
Scotland, UK222 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2017 • Couples
Went here today, as we had some spare time on our hands and hadn't been before.

A lot of the exhibits on display reminded me of the house where I grew up, stationary engines, tractors, motorbikes, and various kitchen and other tools and equipment my parents kept as a hobby.

Quite an interesting couple of hours, the office to go and pay for tickets was closed when we arrived, but there didn't seem to be any problem going around anyway and paying on trust as we were leaving.
Written 9 November 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Wendy B
Brisbane, Australia125 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2016 • Couples
Saw the sign and an open gate as we were out on a country drive. What a delightful little museum and village of a by-gone era re-created to teach new generations and recreate memories for the not-so-young. One of the best we've been through ...
Written 29 July 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DanandLisa2016
Brisbane, Australia600 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2017 • Family
Great old village setup, from butcher and baker shops to a blacksmith workshop, it really is worth a poke around if you are in the area.

The school was our favourite. Check out the old school rules, so funny.

It can be done in 1 hour or 4 hours, depending on you level of interest. The cost is very low, almost negligible.
Written 1 May 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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