The Sheep's Back Museum

History of Wool on the Limestone Coast

Author

Shakira Elmer

The wool industry and the environment

This gallery contains information about the industry’s impact on the environment. Footprints is found on the third floor of the Simpson’s Flour Mill Building. Sections include: The pastoralists The government steps In Barely time Living the extreme A time of… Continue Reading →

The changing living and working patterns of farming families

In Gallery 3, you will find information about how people lived. A living from the land is found on the second floor of the Simpson’s Flour Mill Building. Sections include: The heart of the farm Self sufficiency If you haven’t… Continue Reading →

The Baitlayer

The ‘water burner’, ‘cookoo’, ‘silly look’, ‘baitlayer’, and ‘babbling brook’, … all names used to describe, not always kindly, the long-suffering shearer’s cook. In the smaller southern woolsheds the property owner’s wife usually cooked for shearers. Women would bake for… Continue Reading →

Pioneering days in western Victoria

In general in this district, the choice was to wash the sheep, and a number of sheep washes were constucted. James Hamilton of Bringalbert, in this border country, wrote of the process. He was about 16 at the time, and… Continue Reading →

Why the woolwash was needed

Wool grown in this region in pastoral times was shorn in Spring, and carried the Summer’s dust and the Winter’s mud in the fleece. Once shorn. it was transported to a port, then shipped by weight to the woollen mills… Continue Reading →

The boss of the board

The imposing figure of the boss of the board, or overseer, was once a familiar sight in the large old sheds of the South Eastern region. The owner employed him to run the shed, to hire and fire the men,… Continue Reading →

The Hynam Woolshed

The Hynam Woolshed was built in the early 1850s, and was one of the first big stone sheds in the Limestone Coast region. The shed is T-shaped, with the shearing board and the pens forming the cross of the T,… Continue Reading →

The Rouseabouts

Rouseabouts work to remove the shorn wool from the shearer’s work space. The first wool to be removed from each sheep is the stained and matted wool of the belly. The shearer pushes it to one side and the rouseabout… Continue Reading →

The Classers

Generations of wool classers have worked to ensure that the clips of the properties they service present their wool consistently in a way that meets market demand. In Australia’s early years, the most famous and influential of these were often… Continue Reading →

Skirting

This section shows wool being sorted on the skirting table. Skirting is a long process, and is the removal of any undesirable parts of the clippings. This process increases the quality of the product. Then foreign materials (like manure, sweat locks, seeds, thistles, insects,… Continue Reading →

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