• Nimbin Museum

    Nimbin Museum

Pioneer Room

How do you make God laugh?
Tell him your plans for the future!

Leaving the Bundjalung room, the Rainbow Serpent path loses its colour as it enters the sepia world of the settlers. Visitors step over the crosscut saw and find themselves in a tiny room (symbolising the tiny amount of time it took the new settlers to completely change the environment!) 



Central to the Pioneer Room is a colonial couple cutting down a tree. The antique 1950’s mannequin dressed in a genuine century old costume looked noble for the first half a dozen years of the museums life until she met amphetamine on a teenage rampage one afternoon. She’s regularly been used as a punching bag ever since and today looks her age!

The hippie view of history includes displays on the appalling ignorance and massive sudden impact of the white-sugar-flour colonisation of the area. We are persecuted for our smoking of natural herbs while the nation is addicted to money and white sugar- the superficial short term spurt of energy that collapses quickly leaving the soil depleted and poisoned. The bum end of the kombi we cut in half, symbolises the dirty end of industrialisation, the age of petroleum and its synthetic byproducts which contributed significantly, by the way, to getting the cannabis plant made illegal.

The Nimbin Shooters Club is a great photo from the Richmond River Historical Society in Lismore, as is the early cricket match down on the Bora Ring. The cricketers are surrounded by ring barked giant trees. Elspeth painted the homemade cricket bat inspired by this photo.



The Pioneer Room is a hippy view of history and pointedly features hippy thinking and alternative philosophy, like the stupidity of refined foods, the devastation of the forests and the land, racism, consumerism and so-on…..the monopoly game had begun!

Disease was the first sign of change brought to this area by aboriginals who had contact with whiteman further south. That probably wiped out half the Bundjalung Nation before they actually ever saw a European! Early adventurers and runaway convicts arrived with the timber cutters chasing the precious red cedar, “rainforest gold”. They shipped thousands of tonnes of cedar back to the UK.

Remaining forests were stripped and burnt in a remarkably short time to make way for cattle. The first house was built in Nimbin in 1851 In this short history Nimbin farmers have had eras dominated by bananas and dairy as well as beef and timber.

By the 1970’s the village was a ghost town with most of the shops closing when the butter factory down by the creek folded, with the introduction of bulk milk carriers. Along with many other empty buildings it was bought by hippies in the early days and now houses the Bush Theatre and movie house and other art and craft enterprises including the candle factory.

Largely from the old museum days when it was a second hand shop, many of the old tools have been painted with the religion of the settlers keeping in tune with the spiritual theme throughout the museum.

The journey along the Rainbow Serpent path now enters the hippie room after the traveller eats magic goldtop mushrooms growing from the pioneers cow manure!

Click on the serpent to continue.


Social Networks