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Published July 15th 2012
Have you ever wondered what life was like for your Grandparents, or even your Great-Grandparents? Ever wondered what life would have been like before running taps were a common thing in houses? Before televisions, before every man and his dog had a car? And, are you looking to take the kids somewhere on the weekend or school holidays where it's not going to cost you the earth to get in the gate and you know everyone's going to have a great time?
The Kalamunda History Village, tucked away on Railway Road in Kalamunda, is a fabulous place to while away a few hours and let the kids see what life was like before everything went digital. We practically stumbled upon this place, and being people who love to delve into historic stuff, we wandered over to have a look.
After paying our very reasonable entry fee at the Zig Zag Cultural Centre right next door, we walked in to what appeared to be a little village, all set up as it would have been in the 1800's. The kids ran like mad things to the old steam locomotive parked next to the old station.
They climbed into the cab where sound effects make it seem like the old black engine is about to choof off and the kids were squealing with delight while we walked through the waiting room and checked out the old documents and photos from the area. Dotted around the 'station' are old houses, brought to the site from various places in Kalamunda, but made up so authentically that you think the family have just stepped out for a moment and you've wandered in unannounced.
Period furniture, old radios and clothes placed out on the bed made the individual houses seem so ghostly real, you half expect someone to float inside and ask you what you're doing in their home. My favourite was the dining room of the Chamber's Guest House, all set out ready for tea, with the day's menu displayed so you can see what they would have eaten at the guest house when it was at its most popular in the 1920's.
There are fourteen buildings set out over one hectare, amongst them; a blacksmith's shop, a fruit grader shed, an old school and post office, all set up as it would have been in the old days. There's an education programme for schools where they can get a real hands-on experience and find out what school was like a few generations ago.
Keep an eye on the time, we weren't told when the place closed and didn't realise we had less than an hour there before the dedicated volunteers came in and started closing down the houses and ushering us towards the exit gates. We left a bit sad, having not seen it all, but now we know the opening hours (they're posted as you go out – strange way to do it) and will definitely be making the trip there again.
Please note that the opening hours for the Kalamunda History Village should be Open 10 to 4pm on Mon,Tues,Wed,and Friday. Closed Thursdays. Open Sat 10 to 4pm and Sundays 11 to 4pm. Please correct. Thanks for your super support with this site Tony Crowder. Museum Officer.