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Tucked away on Aberafon Street is one of Middlemarch's best kept secrets. History buff or not, this fantastic little museum has a lot to offer.
The social history of this farming community is illustrated through an eclectic collection and the recreation of scenes from the past.
One of our most interesting objects is a unique submarine named Platypus, designed and built in 1873 to prospect for gold. Our research has uncovered new information about this piece of historic technology and we look forward to giving Platypus the pride of place it deserves in the near future.
From Labour Weekend 2015 we feature an exhibition “At Home in Middlemarch during WW1.” This exhibition shifts the focus from the 106 men, who left local farms and businesses to serve overseas during the Great War. We look at life in the Strath Taieri during wartime through the memorabilia from 100 years ago.
We also have a new display in the historic Guards Van featuring local railway history.
In the barn is an equestrian display of wartime saddles and other horse gear. Here you will also find an extensive collection of horse-drawn implements and farming tools.
A recent addition is a restored railway wagon illustrating the significant contribution the Otago Central Railway made to the local community through photographs, story and a timeline.
The Museum’s extensive photographic collection will be of interest to people retracing their family’s history. Also significant are the cemetery transcripts, death notices, obituaries and unique catalogue of newspaper articles about people who lived in or had association with the Strath Taieri.
Learn more about the Platypus:
» NZ Listener article 7 May 2015: "Sub of the day" by Sally Blundell:
New Zealand’s first and only submarine was based on an idea far ahead of its time. This article reveals new exciting information about the Platypus: "The Auguste – the new-fangled 'bateau plongeur” designed by French doctor and scientist Antoine-Prosper Payerne and inspected by Dickens in France in 1852 – is now considered one of the earliest successful submersible craft, part of a pioneering legacy that inspired ..."
Take a virtual tour as seen through the eyes of Mandy McGuire
This slideshow tells the story of Mandy McGuire's astonishing visit to the Middlemarch Museum. By Liz Keast, local storyteller.
Click here to see Liz' latest story: Let's tale Lizzie