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21 That’s Entertainment

I’m joining Becky in her October Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word Past. Look for #PastSquares. This month we’re travelling back in time in the western Queensland town of Miles and surrounds. We’ll explore the local area and join in the festivities at the Miles Back to the Bush Festival.

Miles Historical Village

This beautiful organ must surely have been considered a luxury item in a 19th century western Queensland home. Its entertainment value, in such a remote region, would have been priceless.

20 In The Kitchen

I’m joining Becky in her October Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word Past. Look for #PastSquares. This month we’re travelling back in time in the western Queensland town of Miles and surrounds. We’ll explore the local area and join in the festivities at the Miles Back to the Bush Festival.

Miles Historical Village

In a time when buildings were made of slabs of timber hewn from felled trees, the kitchen was always a separate structure. If a fire broke out, the kitchen might be lost but the rest of the house could be saved.

With a corrugated iron roof, dirt floor and unsealed walls, the kitchen would have been an uncomfortable place to work – boiling hot in summer and bitterly cold in winter.

When people reminisce about the “good old days” they probably don’t think about using a kitchen like this.

19 In The Dairy

I’m joining Becky in her October Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word Past. Look for #PastSquares. This month we’re travelling back in time in the western Queensland town of Miles and surrounds. We’ll explore the local area and join in the festivities at the Miles Back to the Bush Festival.

Miles Historical Village

I’ve been told my great grandfather’s milk cans, with his name printed on the labels, are included in this collection of old dairy equipment. Which cans are his? I’ll never know, because the gate on the doorway of the dairy was locked. It is nice to know a part of my ancestry is preserved here.

18 School Rules

I’m joining Becky in her October Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word Past. Look for #PastSquares. This month we’re travelling back in time in the western Queensland town of Miles and surrounds. We’ll explore the local area and join in the festivities at the Miles Back to the Bush Festival.

Miles Historical Village

The one room school building at the historical village was transported 20 kilometres from the tiny settlement of Drillham.

In 1886, it wasn’t just unruly students who were expected to obey the rules at school.

17 Longevity

I’m joining Becky in her October Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word Past. Look for #PastSquares. This month we’re travelling back in time in the western Queensland town of Miles and surrounds. We’ll explore the local area and join in the festivities at the Miles Back to the Bush Festival.

Miles Historical Village

The General Store, like all the other buildings along the main street of the village, dates from the 19th century.

The containers on the shelves inside are also vintage. They might be old fashioned and their contents long gone, but many of these brands can still be found on our modern supermarket shelves.

How many do you recognise?

16 On Main Street

I’m joining Becky in her October Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word Past. Look for #PastSquares. This month we’re travelling back in time in the western Queensland town of Miles and surrounds. We’ll explore the local area and join in the festivities at the Miles Back to the Bush Festival.

Miles Historical Village

The Main Event at the Back to the Bush Festival 2021 is underway on the arena behind the village. Before we join in, let’s take some time to explore the Historical Village.

The buildings on the main street date from the late 19th century. All are original to the Miles area and were relocated to the museum where they have been beautifully restored.

With the grocer, bakery and chemist all in a row, the shopping might be done in a flash…

leaving time for a visit to the local hotel!

4 Tradition

I’m joining Becky in her October Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word Past. Look for #PastSquares. This month we’re travelling back in time in the western Queensland town of Miles and surrounds. We’ll explore the local area and join in the festivities at the Miles Back to the Bush Festival.

Dogwood Crossing@Miles

Miles may be a small town but its community spirit is strong. The local community centre DogwoodCrossing@Miles stands on the corner of Dawson and Murilla Streets, right in the middle of town. The building includes a library, IT centre, art gallery and a small museum.

A beautiful mural depicting Dogwood Creek covers the outside wall along Murilla Street. Painted using indigenous techniques and motifs, the work was in part created by local school students and tells the story of the creek from an traditional point of view.

2 Beside the Water

I’m joining Becky in her October Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word Past. Look for #PastSquares. This month we’re travelling back in time in the western Queensland town of Miles and surrounds. We’ll explore the local area and join in the festivities at the Miles Back to the Bush Festival.

Dogwood Cemetery

In the soft light of late afternoon it’s beautiful down beside Dogwood Creek. Tall trees cast long shadows across the water and birdsong fills the air. It’s easy to understand why the first residents of Dogwood Crossing chose this peaceful spot as the final resting place for their departed loved ones.

The information sign at the old cemetery tells another story. People had no way of knowing how high the creek would rise in heavy rains and, despite its location up the hill, the cemetery was regularly flooded.

It’s a long time since anyone was buried at Dogwood Cemetery. Those who lie here are left in peace and solitude, surrounded by the bush – until the rains come again.

25 Made Out Of Trees

I’m joining Becky in her July Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B.  The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word tree. Look for #treesquare. Come with me on a Central Queensland road trip starring trees and the beautiful landscapes of my home state.

Rainworth Station, Springsure

Three historic buildings stand on a corner block on Rainworth Station, not far from Springsure. While one is on its original site the others were relocated in 1987 from an adjoining family property. All three are time capsules, telling stories of the people who used them.

The largest is the stone storehouse, constructed in 1862 from hand quarried basalt blocks. The corrugated galvanised iron roof, extending beyond the building to create a wide shady veranda, is supported by posts made from solid tree trunks. With an internal temperature much lower than that outside, the storehouse was designed to keep food fresh in a time when everything had to be stored for long periods.

With its thick stone walls and sturdy timber door, the building gained a reputation as a place of safety in case of attack. Even though it was never used for that purpose, it became known as Old Rainworth Fort. It has also been used as a magistrate’s office and a post office.

The two relocated buildings are Cairdbeign Homestead and Cardbeign School.

Cairdbeign Homestead, built between 1878 and 1880, is an excellent example of a slab hut construction typical of this period. Large slabs of timber were hand split and pieced together to create the walls and floor. With its seven rooms, this sturdy homestead was larger than most pioneer homes.

Cairdbeign School is the newest of the buildings. Dating from 1897, it was built by the local community because the school in Springsure was too far away. It is also a slab construction, although the neatly cut planks are a little more refined.

After the school closed the building became a community centre, frequently used for parties, dances and as a polling booth.

Even the old outside “dunnies” are built with timber slabs. Surrounded by a traditional post and rail fence, they probably have stories of their own to tell.

15 Ghosts of the Past

I’m joining Becky in her July Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B.  The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word tree. Look for #treesquare. Come with me on a Central Queensland road trip starring trees and the beautiful landscapes of my home state.

Copperfield

In 1862 a solid wall of copper ore more than three metres high was discovered at a site just south of Clermont. Within months Queensland’s first copper mine opened and the township of Copperfield was established. At its peak more than 2000 people lived in the town, which was serviced by many businesses including six hotels.

Copperfield’s rapid development was followed almost as quickly by decline. In the mid 1880s copper prices in London plunged, demand slumped and the population dwindled as opportunities elsewhere beckoned.

Three lonely sites are all that survive of this once thriving township. The General Store, long ago closed, sits right beside Rubyvale Road. At one time it housed a small museum dedicated to the story of Copperfield and its residents.

A few kilometres further south, a brick chimney stack is all that remains of the Peak Downs Copper Mine. At the height of the boom, 22 chimneys like this stood sentinel over the minefield. Built of bricks handmade in Clermont and finished with a layer of powdered glass, the chimney shimmers in the sunlight.

The most moving of the three sites is the Copperfield Cemetery, where dozens of inhabitants were laid to rest from the 1870s to the early 1900s. Many of the historic graves are no longer identifiable but the cemetery is still maintained by the local shire council.

Imagine the stories these people could tell about their lives in the once prosperous town of Copperfield.