STUART Hunt says he's never surprised when he finds an item of historical significance left at the main doors of the Booringa Heritage Museum in Mitchell.
Stuart, who heads a team of about a dozen dedicated volunteers, said the museum had become the developed as the proud custodian of the region's diverse and rich history.
"It is great to see people wanting to share the history of the Booringa Shire," Stuart said.
"Usually we have plenty of advance warning about people wanting to donate an item, but sometimes a piece is left without an explanation at all. Of course, we really need to know the background of all the pieces on display, so we have to do a bit of detective work and find out the back story, so we can appreciate what it means to the collection."
Connected to Mitchell's extremely popular Great Artesian Spa Pools alongside the mighty Maranoa River, the heritage museum is housed in the old Booringa Shire Workshop and its expansive grounds.
The museum was opened in 2009 and is a collection of stories of the former Booringa Shire, its people, properties, schools, organisations, businesses and employees.
Included are comprehensive, categorised displays on all that was Booringa: life in the shire, the people, schools, churches, the beef, wool and timber industries, old equipment and machinery and of course the role of the council all feature.
Assisted by the Booringa Shire Council prior to the creation of the amalgamated Maranoa Regional Council in 2008, a small group of willing locals set themselves the task of establishing the museum; cleaning and painting the building, and started fundraising, and looking for objects for display from the 27,793 square kilometre shire.
The imposing old workshop is perfect for the task. The building had been extended many times over the decades as the shire grew and needed more space to service the equipment needed to maintain the shire.
"Come and take a look," Stuart said. "We're always very pleased to show off our collection."
Booringa Heritage Museum at Mitchell will once again open its doors to visitors during Easter, this year on April 16.
Staffed entirely by volunteers, the museum is open from 9am to noon every day, providing visitors with the opportunity for hours of examination and plenty of opportunity to read about the development of the shire.
The well laid-out, artifact packed displays are easily accessed and provide a comprehensive look at the rich history of the diverse region.
One section, which attracts its fair share of attention is the display dedicated to the region's infamous bushrangers, brothers James and Patrick Kenniff. Particularly well known for their skills with horses and duffing cattle, the region is also known as Kenniff Country. Centrepiece of the display is an old revolver.
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