A veritable treasure trove of relics from nearly 200 years of European settlement in Young is hiding away at the Lambing Flat Folk Museum.
Wandering around the Young Folk Museum feels, at times, like when you would creep into your grandfather’s shed and marvel at the mountains of dusty old tools and archaic workshop equipment you had no idea how he used. At other times, it feels like privileged entry into the ‘locked room’ where your grandmother kept her unused wedding gifts and hand-me-downs from her mother that she never looks at nor thinks about but keeps ‘just in case’, the way older generations are want to do.
It’s a glorious mishmash of unrelated ‘stuff’ outlaid in no particular order for your perusal across three rooms like the world’s coolest garage sale. Collection of prams from across the 20th Century? Tick. Hairdressing equipment from the 1950s? Tick. Wine making machinery from the early 1900s? Tick. Old dentist’s chair and cabinet? Tick. Deformed piglet pickled in a jar? Tick.
Comprised of items donated by locals across the years, this eclectic array of clothing, bric-a-brac, tools and equipment provides a fascinating insight into the personal lives of locals in and around Young throughout the 20th Century. It’s a visual feast and sure to set your imagination alight as you read the hand written notes attached to items as personal as wedding dresses, christening gowns and mourning jewellery. It’s like people watching, but with objects; tangible links between the past and the present.
In addition to the aforementioned ‘stuff’, there is an excellent display detailing both the gold mining history of Young and the Chinese presence in the town at that time. Most notably, the collection tells the dark history of the Lambing Flat Riots of the 1860s, and is complete with significant memorabilia from that event, including the infamous flag around which the dissenters rallied, reading, “Roll Up – No Chinese”, which is on display in a glass cabinet in the centre of the room. There are also personal items of Chinese migrants here; beautiful Chinese vases, cooking equipment and clothing, to name a few.
Entry into the museum is just $5 per adult, and for that you will have the opportunity to wander through a giant time-capsule commemorating the lives and times of the people who built and developed the town of Young.
The Lambing Flat Folk Museum is located at 2 Campbell St, Young, NSW. Click here for more information.