In September 1965, Mr William (Bill) Bolton opened a private museum in James Street, Toowoomba that housed his collection of horse-drawn vehicles and carriages. Mr Bolton was inspired by the great stage coaching company Cobb & Co, with its technically innovative vehicles and skilled drivers that were the lifeblood of many a country towns in 19th century Australia.
Unfortunately in March 1981 a fire ravaged the building, however quick-thinking local residents saved all of the vehicles with only some of the large ones sustaining any damage.
In 1982 a collection of 28 vehicles was donated to Queensland Museum Network by the family of Mr Bolton and the floriculture building of the old Toowoomba Showgrounds was selected to permanently house the Queensland Museum Network’s collection of horse-drawn carts, carriages and wagons.
Following extensive renovations, Cobb+Co Museum was opened to the public in December 1987. The National Carriage Collection has since grown to include more than 50 vehicles.
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