The Historic Village owes its existence firstly to Herberton’s pioneers and then to a long list of dedicated residents who followed them. It exists today because of two couples – collector Harry Skennar and his wife Ellen and owners Craig and Connie Kimberley who continue the tradition of preservation and restoration with the support of the local Herberton community.
Craig and Connie Kimberley’s relationship with this unique village began by chance. Driving past in 2008, the couple caught a glimpse of the then closed historical village. Curious, they drove into Herberton and made enquiries about the collection of lovely old buildings they could see behind the locked gate.
This encounter was to see the rebirth of the Historic Village. Located on the outskirts of the town and closed since 2002, Craig and Connie fell in love with the old museum the moment they set eyes on it.
Since taking on what they call “custodianship” of this incredible museum, the pair along with the dedicated team at the Village, haven’t stopped, transforming the Historic Village into one of the most highly respected heritage museums in Australia and an invaluable part of Far North Queensland’s fascinating heritage..
There has been no project too big or too small, and today their dream of breathing new life into this wonderful attraction is now realised. With more than 60 original buildings dating from Herberton’s foundations years as a tin mining town, everything at the museum has been lovingly collected and restored. While the major restoration work has now been completed, the buildings and the thousands of original items displayed in and around the Village, require ongoing maintenance and care.
It is their hope that visitors will spend an entire day here absorbing it all, rediscovering a treasure or two in the many unique and wonderful collections on display at the Village. They also hope you enjoy your visit as much as they appreciate having you here.
Below they share some photos from their family album.