A small group of enthusiasts began building the Village in 1978. Over the years since it has become a 'must visit' attraction for the town of Wagin and is the recipient of Tourism and Volunteer Awards.
The Wagin Historical Village offers visitors the opportunity to step back in time in a village setting that replicates the development of a typical rural Australian community over the last two hundred years.
Nowhere else in Western Australia is there a more comprehensive collection of fully restored and replica rural buildings, machinery and equipment that is open 7 days a week all year round. The village exists today through the efforts of an entirely volunteer organization.
The interiors of the 24 buildings contain original furniture and equipment gathered by their volunteer workforce from many local rural communities. All are displayed in realistic settings with audio commentaries available in many of the major displays.
Not only is the Wagin Historical Village a major tourist attraction, but it also serves to profile the social history of their community with displays featuring local families, pioneers and their lifestyles.
The Village is also a valuable resource for researchers and is frequently visited by school groups seeking to educate and inform their younger generation of the pioneering lifestyle of the early local families.
The Wagin Historical Village also functions as their Tourist Information Centre, offers morning and afternoon teas, pioneer lunches, souvenir and book sales and is entirely staffed and run by volunteers.
The Kiosk was built of local stone by volunteers in 1980.
The Village Church... ring the bell! Plaques on the jarrah honor boards list the names of many of their pioneer families. The first church to be built in Wagin was the Catholic Church, which was finished in 1894. Prior to that religious services were conducted in homes or in the local hotel. Now head across the bridge.
Mrs Stevens Cottage is a replica of the 1880’s cottage shown in the photograph near the door. Called wattle and daub this form of building used materials at hand – posts, wattle for the roof and mud for the cracks. Mrs Stevens, the owner, was a laundress. Go through the cottage and out the back.
The Mia Mia or Wurley was a temporary shelter that Aborigines built near food or water. The local Aborigines were Nyoongars.
The Bag Tent was often the first “house” of settlers and was made by stitching together hessian bags and throwing them over a frame. The photograph (1907) at the entry shows Fred Black and his bag tent. Walk thru tent to the Woolshed.
The Woolshed houses a fleecing table and a worm screw press. A boy would sit on top of the press and turn the screw to press the wool into the bale. Sheep were washed in a creek to remove vegetable matter from the wool before shearing which was done with blades.
The Stables and Cowshed house a variety of saddles and implements including a chaff cutter for making stock food from hay and a cow bale where a cow could be held secure while it was milked. Note the loading ramp, the bone crusher and the mechanism for powering the chaff cutter.
The Chook Yard a feature of most early backyards is home to their silky bantam hens.
The Machinery Shed houses all sorts of farm machinery from the past. Note the oldest tractor here a 1927 Fordson, and the horse drawn Mellors Mite harvester.
The Orderly’s Cottage, moved here from the Wagin hospital in 2001, has been restored and houses artifacts from the hospital. Built as the hospitals quarantine room in 1911, it was used as an X-ray room and a storeroom in the ‘30’s and ‘40’s, as an orderly’s room in the ‘50’s and in the 1990’s as a garden shed. Now move across to..
The Norring Hall was moved to the Village in 1986 from near Lake Norring where it was a school, a church and a community hall. It houses a large collection of bottles, some fascinating early household machinery and stories of pioneer women. Its time to do some milking…
The Farm Dairy built of wattle thatch, houses separators which separated cream from milk. Most people made their own butter until after WW2. Many women made a little extra money buy selling their butter at the Wagin Co-op. There is a grain grister, used to grist grain for porridge and a Coolgardie Safe, which was invented in the WA Goldfields to provide cool storage. The water dripped onto the hessian from the tray at the top and cooled the air within the safe. The hanging safe was for the storage of meat.
The Mallee Root Shed shows early settler recycling. Roots of trees were hand picked after clearing and burning paddocks so they would be clean enough to crop. The roots were used for firewood but also to make a variety of buildings, which were then thatched with wattle. This shed stores an old wagon. Mallee roots are in short supply now. Your horse needs shoeing so move to….
Prossers Blacksmiths. A blacksmith began working in Wagin in 1891. In this blacksmith’s shop everything still works. The large hand bellow was used to fire the forge before mechanized blowers became available. Now head across the yard via the shed housing the stationary engines to…
The Village Hall. Note the rock collection, the dolls (oldest rag doll, 1870) & the marvelous collection of photographs, which include those of the tallest radio antennae in Australia – 6 WF, Wagin, built in 1936. Cross the lawn to…
The Dunny – an outside toilet, lavatory, outhouse or loo used well into the 1950’s.
The Boyerine School House is an original, which was moved to this site from Boyerine, 30kms south of Wagin, in 1982. This sort of school was usually in a paddock and quite isolated. Teachers and children came to school on foot, by horse, horse and cart or bicycle. Horses were “parked” under a tree with a nosebag to feed from. Note the desks with their inkwells and the manuscripts books in which children practiced writing. And right next door....
The National Bank building was transported here from Woodanilling where it was in use till 1981. You can read the news...
The Wagin Newspaper 1905 houses early printing equipment still in working order. The first “Argus” was printed in Wagin in 1905 and is still issued weekly.
Jack’s Mud Bat Cottage is made from 1000 bats (bricks). The mud for such buildings would have come from a nearby creek. The form, or mould, for making the bricks is outside the door. Cross over the lawn to make a phone call…
The Wagin Post Office houses early telephone equipment. Wagin’s first post office (1890) was on the site of the present post office. A telegraph office was added in 1901 and a house mail delivery service began in 1907. You can see lots next door in …
Piesse’s Trading Post or General Store houses many artifacts which would have been in the first trading post in Wagin which was established in 1889 by F & C Piesse whose descendants still live in the area. Note the pharmacy “booth”. Need a new hat?…
Miss Lizar’s Dressmakers Shop has examples of clothing from the last 100 years. Need a shave or shampoo?…
Norm’s Thompsons Barber’s Shop was for men only. Here you see examples of furniture used – and photos of early Wagin football teams. The first barber’s shop in Wagin opened in 1898 and did a brisk business, as the rail became established and new settlers moved to the district. Maybe today is the day for a Devonshire?…
The Glenalbyn Tea Rooms was a feature of country towns and was a social center for people who were in town to shop and conduct business. Devonshire teas are served on weekends.
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