Too much tertiary education... Former performer/wrestler, teacher, scientist; Published author & Father... Want to be a writer if I grow up...
Published March 1st 2019
A small museum about a big area - Minlaton
Yorke Peninsula is dotted with a number of small, out of the way places that are well worth your time to visit. Some, like the Ardrossan Historical Museum, are reasonably well-known in the area. Others, however, are often passed by.
Minlaton is a reasonably sized town in the middle of York Peninsula. It is best known for its links to famed early aviator Harry Butler, but it is a beautiful town, very clean, and quite vibrant and colourful, with many of its historical buildings still intact.
As you enter the town from the north, one of the first things you come across is the Captain Harry Butler Memorial.
However, along the main road of the town, you will find the Minlaton Museum. It is a small place, but it is packed full of artefacts from Minlaton and its surrounding areas, all donated by the people and families of the district. There are old goods, household appliances, farm implements, musical instruments, electronics and even arts and crafts.
Some highlights include a home-made mouse-trap, one of the most ornate marriage certificates I have ever seen and an absolutely stunning carved bird cage made by a twelve year old in 1877.
The bird cage
But, as well as the displays, it is easy to lose yourself in the display posters, filled with information. I had the impression they had been done by students from the local area school (where I had the pleasure of working back in the early 2000s); however, that does not take away from the sheer volume of information on show. There is also a large number of books, including family histories, genealogies, local histories, etc., and a number of honour rolls from old churches have also been donated.
And, finally, there is a room dedicated to Harry Butler himself, giving details of his life, his connections to the local area, some artefacts from the crash about a kilometre out of town (marked by a cairn which you can also visit) which marked his second to last flight, and further equipment from his days as an airmail pilot. Again, the amount to read is huge, so make sure you have plenty of time to spend inside.
Portrait of Harry Butler
It is priced reasonably – $5.00 for adults, $4.00 concession, children 6 to 12 $1.00 – which is standard for National trust Museums. It is open Tuesday to Saturday mornings (subject to volunteer availability), but is closed when the temperature rises above 36 degrees Celsius. There is also a shop attached, which I guess makes sense as the whole is housed in what was once a general store.
But the museum is well worth your time; to get the full experience, though, don't rush through, but spend your time reading the information available. Minlaton has had a fascinating history, and it is here for all to see.