Cobb & Co Museum
The Cobb and Co Museum is located in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia. The museum was opened in 1987 when the Queensland Museum was looking for space to display its catalogue of horse-drawn vehicles. Instead of taking up the huge amount of space required to display the collection properly at its Brisbane campus, the museum decided to open up a new campus in Toowoomba. In 2001, a second stage was built onto the existing museum to create a space to display the history of Toowoomba and the Darling Downs. This extension brought the entire museum space to over 2000 square metres. The refurbished Cobb & Co Museum also allowed space to house the Museum Resource Centre for Southern Queensland. An $8 million redevelopment of the Museum was undertaken in 2010. This included the construction of a custom designed 'Factory' area to house facilities for a range of heritage trades. Several additional galleries were also added at this point. The museum now houses over fifty horse-drawn vehicles, including sturdy drays and farm wagons, that tell the story of European settlement on the Darling Downs, while sulkies and buggies demonstrate transportation imported to Australia during the 1880s. Elaborate Phaetons, Victoria and Landau carriages give a glimpse of the grandeur of times when life's pace was a little slower. The original Cobb and Co coaches, including the last coach which ran from Yuleba to Surat in 1924, are the pride of the collection. New galleries house a range of temporary exhibitions. One- and two-day workshops in heritage trades including blacksmithing, silversmithing, stonemasonry, millinery, leathercrafting, felting, glass art, calligraphy, leatherplaiting and creative bookmaking are conducted throughout the year. Both the museum's name and its location in Toowoomba rather than Brisbane, derive from the fact that Toowoomba was the first stop of the Cobb & Co coach service that ran in from the southern cities to Queensland from 1866 until 1924. The Cobb and Co Museum is part of the Queensland Heritage Trails Network and today is claimed to be home of Australia's finest collection of horse-drawn vehicles.