The Qantilda folk museum was opened in 1972 and is a part of the Waltzing Matilda Centre complex on 50 Elderslie Street Winton. This museum is dedicated to Winton and the pioneering history of the Shire and also to honour some of the country's great outback pioneers, including the amazing women who faced the harsh outback and raised their huge families, many in their own. The Winton and District Historical Society has operated the Qantilda Museum since it was opened. The members of the society are volunteers who donate their time to collect a huge amount of outback memorabilia and artworks drawn almost exclusively from the Winton region then set out in such a way into an enjoyable showcase of an extensive and diverse collection.
One thing that you won't miss at Qantilda Museum is a big green locomotive, A BB 18 class steam locomotive resting at the original Chorregon Station. This display is just amazing. The Corregon siding was one of the principal sidings situated on the Winton - Longreach Railway Line which operated from 1927 until 1987. The siding was dismantled and moved to the museum in 1994. You can sit inside one of the carriages. This first-class carriage was restored by carpenters from the railway workshop in Townsville. There are some old photos hanging on the carriage wall, some old suitcases, even a toilet and hand basin inside this carriage. For sure, this old restored carriage will bring back memories of early train travel to many people.
As you walk off from the train station, you can see quite a few tools for working the land in the Machinery Shed and Vehicle Shed. A machinery and tool exhibit depict the transition from toil by hand to mechanised assisted labour. It was a quite vast display providing a picture of the ingenuity of people in those early pioneering days. This shed also has an interesting display of vintage horse-drawn vehicles, early model motor vehicles and even a horse or tractor-drawn grader. Many of the old horse-drawn vehicles were used by drovers, not only to go around town but also for business, such as a wagonette that was used in the 1920s to do mail runs between Dajarra and Urandangie. A Model Ford and Chev can be seen amongst the display in this shed too.
There are some other outdoor displays that also very interesting to browse through, such as Winton in WWI and WWII, Winton and horse race industry, exhibit about how Winton rode 'the sheep's back' in the Shearing Shed and many more to learn and be fascinated about.
There is one display in the bottle room that really caught my eyes. Hundreds of bottles, big and small, with different colours and for every occasion. From drink bottles, perfume bottles, water filtering and ornamental bottles, all can found in this display. A group of dedicated volunteers spent a lot of time travelling all around the district, rummaging in dump sites on properties to collect them. Some of the bottles that on display were used by Winton Cordial Manufacturers. There are no Cordial Works left in Winton so these bottles are very precious.
Don't forget to step inside the Christina Macpherson Cottage to find a treasure trove of history within. There are household items, such as a wide range of mincers, separators, butter churns and other domestic items dating from the 1900s. You can also see photographs from 1870 onwards that contain a lot of interesting history.
In 2015, fire ripped through the Waltzing Matilda centre and also affected Qantilda Museum. A lot of historic items, among them the contents of a cottage lived in by Christina Macpherson, were affected. With endless work of a lot of people including volunteers, Qantilda Museum is now open again and impressing visitors with their old world charm.