REFLECTIONS OF THE PAST: Volunteer Wilma Towells with some of the Glenreagh museum's collection of green Depression-era glass.
REFLECTIONS OF THE PAST: Volunteer Wilma Towells with some of the Glenreagh museum's collection of green Depression-era glass. Belinda Scott

Look back at the way we once lived at Orara Museum

GLENREAGH is one of those communities that is bigger on the inside than on the outside and that is true of its museum as well.

The Orara Valley village is poised halfway between Grafton and Coffs Harbour and its museum fronts the Orara Way.

Many travellers glancing at the sign on Glenreagh's tiny Post Office Museum must wonder how the district's history fits into the postage stamp-sized building.

The answer is - it doesn't.

The collections of historic objects mapping the evolution of the area - from gold mining, through timber getting, dairying, railway construction and changing methods of communication - actually occupy two rooms in the adjoining Glenreagh School of Arts as well as the post office, which displays telephone memorabilia.

This little timber building was moved on to the community site after the local post office closed in 2003 after 90 years of operation.

The museum is open to the public from 9am to 1pm on the first Saturday each month to coincide with the Glenreagh Markets, which take over the School of Arts from 8.30am on that day each month.

The next two markets will be held on February 5 and March 5.

The museum has some surprises for visitors. One of its features is a large collection of green Depression-era glass.

This type of moulded glass was produced cheaply in the 1920s and 1930s for people who had little money to spare.

The majority of true Depression glass contains very small quantities of uranium, which causes it to glow fluorescent green under ultraviolet light (black light).

By the 1960s Depression glass had become popular with collectors.

One of the museum's most touching pieces of Depression glass is a pretty green vase presented to Mrs Tom Holder by a sleeper-cutter "for cooking his corn meat".

One Second World War wedding dress on display was worn in 1944 by Glenreagh's own historian, 94-year-old Bessie Webb.

Visitors to the market and museum are likely to meet its wearer. Mrs Webb keeps a close eye on community activities as well as writing up its history in books and articles.

Other long-term local School of Arts members include Wilma Towells who has lived in Glenreagh for 54 years.


Meghan, Harry ‘struggling to cope’ in LA

Meghan, Harry ‘struggling to cope’ in LA

Dream of a blissful new life has quickly turned into a nightmare

Fresh confusion over virus 'detention'

Fresh confusion over virus 'detention'

Thousands of Melbourne public housing residents have been provided with "detention...

Man in iconic 9/11 photo dies from virus

Man in iconic 9/11 photo dies from virus

This man miraculously survived the 9/11 terror attacks