Rural Life Museum
Robinvale’s Rural Life Museum is situated on Bromley Road, adjacent to the Railway Station and the Visitor Information Centre. The Museum is open Saturdays from 9am and will open at other times by appointment.
The Rural Life Museum started from very humble beginnings in 1991. A very small group of vintage machinery enthusiasts decided to ban together so they could meet and share their passion.
They were concerned that too much of the area’s rural history had already been lost or destroyed, and decided to save and preserve as much as they could – so that future generations would appreciate what difficult conditions the original settlers in this region endured.
Their first interest was small engines but they soon realised there were many other farming tools and implements in this area that needed to be rescued and preserved so that future generations could see and appreciate just how hard life on the land was for their ancestors. Too many wonderful old pieces of machinery had already been lost and the Members wanted to save what they could.
The Museum has evolved to incorporate not just an extensive display of olden day tractors, the majority of which are in working order, including a 1935 Lanz Bulldog.
The collection also contains small engines, including a working 1897 Hercules Gas Engine (one of only 3 in the world!) and also farming tools and equipment, signs, Depression-era hand-made tools and implements, photographs of the area’s World War 2 Soldier Settlers, as well as household utensils and gadgets relating to that time.
Many hours were spend travelling many miles around the Robinvale and Euston areas, visiting farms and fruit blocks, asking owners if there were any items – big or small – that they might wish to donate. The response was fantastic. Those members are still involved with the Museum today and are very proud of their achievements.
The Rural Life Museum now has a wonderful collection of memorabilia from the early days of settlement in are region. Display items date from the 1860s and include:
- Restored (working) 1890s Hercules gas engine
- Petters engine (our next item to be restored)
- Mallee Roler, used to clear much of the area around Bannerton, Manangatang, Carwarp and Morkalla from 1920 to 1952.
- Set of bellows and other blacksmith equipment
- Horse-drawn grain crop farming equipment
- Depression era hand-made tools and implements
- Early grape dipping tanks and grape block implements
- Tractors, including McCormick Deering (the first rubber-tyred tractor to be used in this area), 1923 Emerson Brantingham, Lanz Bulldog, Massey Harris, 1938 Allis Chalmers, 1955 B250 International, 1956 petrol/kero David Brown, International Farmall A and International Farmall Super A, 1952 David Brown Crop Master, 1951 Grey Ferguson TAE 20
- 90 hp Blackstone Engine used by the State Rivers and Water Supply Commission, to pump water at Wemen
- 50 hp Blackstone Engine used by Members of the Italian community in Euston to pump irrigation water
- Original dried fruit weighing scales from Robinvale Producers Co-operative Co.
- The punch time-clock from Robinvale Producers
- Post WWI Laundry Mangles
- 100 year old red gum planks from the Riverboat Canally
- Household items, dating from the early settlement days of this area…and lots more!
As well as the display of machinery, tools, household items etc., the Museum also boasts a wonderful display of photographs of all the original World War II Soldier Settlers who were granted dried fruit flocks in the Robinvale Solder Settlement Scheme of 1947.
This is a very well maintained, delightfully presented
collection of treasures from Robinvale’s past.
The Museum welcomes group visits and encourages visits by school, community groups, bus tours and other groups.
You don’t have to be a tractor buff to enjoy this well exhibited Museum. Group visits of bus tours, school and community groups are welcome.
The Museum is open Thursdays and Saturdays, or arrangements can be made to open by appointment at any other time.
Contact numbers are listed on the Museum door or call (03) 5026 4045.