Settler’s museums can provide a wealth of information about the way our ancestors used to live. A recent visit to the Central Hawkes Bay Settlers Museum provided a fascinating glimpse into what life would have been like for my ancestors when they first settled in New Zealand in the mid-1800s.
Located in Waipawa, one of New Zealand’s oldest inland towns, the museum has rooms set up as a colonial cottage in the style of the 1890s, with a dining room, kitchen, bedroom, nursery, and washhouse.
The dining room table is set for dinner. I love the old spinning wheel – I have one of my own, although mine is not as old.
The kitchen is set up to show butter having just been made.
The nursery with the wonderful old toys.
The washhouse. I remember wooden pegs from my childhood, and Mum having to put the washing through a wringer before the days of spin dry washing machines.
The museum also has a display of small shops depicting a Waipawa street around the turn of the 19th century, and a shed full of old engines and farming equipment. It has a large collection of old photographs and newspapers, as well as archives, historical records and local history books – a treasure trove for the genealogist.
Visiting the museum truly was like stepping back into a bygone era.