Oberon District Museum Society opens Forest and Timber display to share history

TIMBER DISPLAY: Oberon District Museum Soceity secretary Pam Dellow and president Col Roberts in the display room. Picture: ALANNA TOMAZIN
TIMBER DISPLAY: Oberon District Museum Soceity secretary Pam Dellow and president Col Roberts in the display room. Picture: ALANNA TOMAZIN

Oberon District Museum Society has made it their mission to tell the story of the town's timber industry through its recently opened Forest and Timber display.

President Col Roberts said there was a need for someone to tell the story because Oberon has planted timber for 90 years and it continues to be a big part of the economy.

"Our town is pretty bright because of the timber industry and there's a lot of history," he said.

He said Oberon has a lot of factories and a lot of forests but there was nowhere for visitors to "find out more" when coming to town.

"You can go the Visitor Information Centre, but they haven't got the time or the knowledge or the display area to tell more about the timber industry and it's a long story to tell," he said.

To close that gap, the museum members were motivated to have somewhere visitors and locals could go to experience and relish in that story.

"You know what they say, you can't go forward without looking back," Mr Roberts said. "We do have some history which is an important part of our culture and if someone doesn't archive it, it's lost."

The timber display was formed with the help of partners in the Forestry Corporation, Borg Panels and the Mangan family, who have four generations of haulage and harvesting.

"A lot of the history in the museum has come from the Forestry Corporation's records which I've documented in a booklet that we've drawn on to present the sort of last 100 years of harvesting and logging in the Oberon area," Mr Robert said.

"So we've put them all together and we hope that people are able to come in here, see what goes on in the factory and see what goes on in the forests."

The museum also has audio visual displays to show people mechanical harvesting operations.

"Mike Mangan participated in that and it's a brilliant video worth watching," Mr Roberts said. "It's something that people can't see unless they were an employee."

Mr Roberts said there was also a small railway exhibit as part of the display.

"The railway was actually an important part of the timber industry for nearly 40 years, because it carted hardwood timber props to Broken Hill and it's an important part of the story," he said.

The display project had been in the works for just over a year and Mr Roberts said he was glad to finally be open to the public.

"We're hoping to build another shed, reliant on funding, to display machinery that should be undercover so we can preserve what we've got to last another 100 years."

"The display is finally open, we're just waiting on some finishing touches but we've got a great little museum here and I encourage people to come and look."