The land on which The Australiana Pioneer Village is situated was farmland recognised as essential to the survival of colonial New South Wales being one of the earliest grants made in Australia. Located in the District of Mulgrave Place, the third mainland settlement of the colony, the 30 acre grant was registered to William MacKay on 1 May 1797, but by 1809 at least part of it was in the possession of Joshua Rose. John Rose, the final Rose descendant to live on the rich farmland after continuous occupation by the family for over 150 years, died only in 1961. Rose Cottage is the oldest timber dwelling, still on its original site, in Australia being built in 1811.
Dugald Andrew (Bill) McLachlan, an industrial chemist bought the property on his friend’s death. A man who relished challenges, he fashioned a vision: to save part of the Hawkesbury’s historical legacy, and to demonstrate its pioneering accomplishments.
In an era before New South Wales heritage legislation, such an enterprise had to be carried out privately, and resiting endangered buildings was one of few options open. By 1967 McLachlan had begun to plan a ‘Pioneer Village’. Ready response from the owners of many buildings endangered in the district, meant that from the end of 1969 and throughout 1970 he engaged Silvio Biancotti of Kurrajong, to bring by low loader to the ‘Pioneer Village’, twelve of the resited buildings. Brian Bushell, who worked for Bill McLachlan, was part of a team which included many local families who all helped with the removals, which were all undertaken keeping the buildings structurally intact, and with their relocation on their planned sites. Brian Bushell brought the small Bee House shop from McGraths Hill and others transported the Riverstone General Store and Jack Greentree’s garage which became the ‘Bank of Australasia’. On 29 November 1970 The Village was officially declared open by the Hon. Mr Eric Willis, Minister for Education.
Experience the lifestyle of the early years of Australian History.