About us

Our Mission Statement

Laidley District Historical Society Inc is a non-profit organisation that is dedicated to collecting, preserving, researching, exhibiting and interpreting objects that best serve to illustrate past human habitation, the settlement and development of the Laidley district for current and future generations to enjoy.

The Laidley Pioneer Village and Museum is a historic open-air museum located in the town of Laidley, Lockyer Valley Region, Queensland, Australia, on the corner of Drayton Street and Pioneer Street. It portrays rural life in Queensland from the early 19th century.

Our Vision

Laidley District Historical Society Inc aims to grow as a viable and vibrant group of people with an interest in preserving and sharing the history of Laidley. It aims to add to the happiness, wisdom and comfort of members of the community; learn what the community needs and fit the museum to those needs.

Creation of Laidley Pioneer Village and Museum

Written by Cheryl Qualischefski

The Laidley Pioneer Village came about through one man's dream -and that man was Eb Cook. He wanted to create a village where visitors could come and experience life as it had been many years earlier. So, on the 10th of June 1969, he met with a few friends at the local hotel and there they decided to make this dream a reality.

First, they needed a block of land, and Eb approached Jean Capner about a block of land she owned on the corner of Drayton and Pioneer Streets. This had been in the Faulkner family for many years. The idea was explained and Eb obtained this block for the token amount of $40. Eb then donated this land to the Pioneer Village. The back block on the comer of Po neer and Frome Streets was later bought from Albert Laidley Milne (fondly known as Bert).

There is a saying, 'Build it and they will come", and they did. These volunteers came from far and wide sometimes with their children. I know my brother Shayne would have spent many hours there with my father. These people gave freely of their time every weekend with Mrs Cook and her band of helpers keeping them fed. Looking back, I don't think they would have been too popular with their wives at times.

Volunteers were; Amdt, Blake, Capner, Cook, Crack, Gunn, Jensen, Lyne, Peters, Pitt, Qualischefski, Schafferius, Stokes, Squres and Weier. And of course Eb's night hand man Vic Hermansen who loved to paint everything dark green. If I have missed any families I apologise. To my knowledge, only two of these are still alive (as of July 2022) -Trevor Stokes known as Snow, and Ron Weer. The first President was Jim Crack, Secretary was William Blake and Treasurer was Hugh Peters.

Why it was named Laidley?

Laidley, 51 miles west of Brisbane, was named after the son of an early settler in Australia.

James Laidley arrived in Australia from England in 1814. One of his sons moved to Queensland and it was after him that Laidley was named.

Laidley is in the centre of a rich farming district, five miles south of the Brisbane-Toowoomba high- way.

Farmers in the district mainly are involved in dairying, or growing potatoes, onions, lucerne and other intensive crops. Sawmilling is another important activity in the district, but one of Laidley's most unusual industries began as a hobby. This is the broom-making factory started by Enoch Sempf in 1958.

A glut of millet started Mr. Sempf's broom plant, which eventually could not meet the demand, and was expanded. Although Laidley is an up-to-date farming town, its by-laws were not so modern up to 1968. Councillors were urged to make some changes when it was found that the official speed limit in the main street was 15 mph and that by-laws stated all bullock wagons had to have wheels of at least 4in. wide.

But Laidley has other assets, such as a public hospital, nine-hole golf course, bowling club and swimming pool, which testify to its progress.

Volunteer Opportunities

Without the selfless assistance of our volunteers, the village could not run.

We appreciate everyone who volunteers their time to keep The Village running all year. If you are interested in giving some of your time to The Village, we are constantly looking for new volunteers and would love to speak with you.

Interested in becoming a volunteer? Please contact us