Mill Heritage - Onkaparinga

Onkaparinga Woollen Mill Museum Inc.

Have you ever wondered what happened to the looms when the Onkaparinga Woollen Mill closed.

If you ever had a blanket made at the Mill you have probably still got it.

Wouldn't it be interesting to find out how it was made and why it has been so durable?

120 Years of History - 1872 - 1993

When the Onkaparinga Woollen Mill closed in 1993 a small selection of Mill machinery and associated pieces were left to the people of Lobethal. The collection also includes paperwork and samples of fabric, some dating back over one hundred years. The collection became the Onkaparinga Woollen Mill Museum and regularly opened to the public. View Open Days.

The Onkaparinga Woollen Mill Museum Inc (OWMMI) are the custodians of the collection which is housed in Building 26 at the Old Woollen Mill in Lobethal. The Adelaide Hills Council allocated the building which was once the blanket storage room at the rear of the complex on the South side.

Early Blanket Ad

OWMMI received two grants from the National Library of Australia through their Community Heritage Grants and History SA grants for the preservation of historical material.

The Museum is managed by volunteers, most of whom are ex mill workers. Management of the collection is undertaken by a committee. A curator overseas the significance of each item and a massive catalogue is continuously being updated. Dr Pauline Payne undertook a Significance Assessment and declared that every piece in the collection is significant and had to be preserved at all cost.

Tours are also conducted by our enthusiastic volunteers. Having all worked at the mill when it was operational, some for many years, our volunteer tour guides are very knowledgeable. Why not visit us and find out how a Dobcross Loom worked, the role the Mill played in WWII and why the iconic Onkaparinga Mill closed down. Spend some time immersed in local history. We may even be able to tell you the name of the pattern on that old Onkaparinga blanket in your cupboard at home!