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The Apple Shed

When I first moved to Tasmania, I was struck by the number of beautiful old timber apple sheds that dotted the valley.  Ramshackle wooden sheds that butt right up against the road, relics from the once thriving apple industry.   Some of them are still in use, some dilapidated and abandoned and a very small number converted into charming rustic homes.  

I remember thinking how special and unique they were, but also feeling a little sad that more of them weren't loved and cared for. That they should be preserved and celebrated as a unique feature of the valley.

One such fine specimen of a shed sits proudly on a stretch of highway locally known as the Grove Straight, and for years has been home to the Apple Museum.  I'm sorry to say I had never been inside the museum.  It just looked a bit sad to me.  Even the lure of the fabled shrunken apple heads wasn't enough to entice me inside.

That is until this week.  Those clever cider makers at Willie Smiths have bought the museum with a vision to turn the space into a museum, cider tasting cellar door and cafe.  I couldn't be happier.  A place to celebrate the now thriving cider industry, while remembering the valley's apple heritage.

Work has already started to strip the building back to its historical bare bones.   Painted windows have been scrapped back to let in the light, carpets ripped up to reveal smooth, perfectly sound century-old floorboards and fake walls knocked down to reveal beautiful industrial architectural details.

This summer, I can't wait to sit in the garden, sipping cider with friends while the children play in the gardens. Or we might follow one of the paths to be carved through the surrounding paddocks and walk through the gorgeous fields under the shadow of Sleeping Beauty, the mountain range to the north.

In the meantime, I finally made it to the museum this week, to get a look at the vast collection of treasures and keepsakes.  I thought about all those hardworking apple pioneers and I felt thankful that at least one of these special buildings, and the stories it contains, will continue to be relevant, preserved and loved. Cheers!

PS I have a new facebook page. Come and say hi!


  1. So much goodness here Michelle, I am fascinated by this history too. The museum sounds amazing and it is wonderful to hear about a new life for it. I just adore those old stencils.

    I often feel the same about abandoned woolsheds, shearer's quarters and horse stables that I see around the place. It seems sad that they just slowly fall apart as people move on.

  2. its great to see that the shed is being restored, like you i pass it frequently and have never been inside.
    I have one of those sheds on my property, unfortunately the previous owners decided to paint the outside Green !!! Hubby loves his man cave and doesn't care that its green or i would have had him out there with a sander.

  3. Isn't it funny how we can live in a place so long but still have new discoveries?!
    I am obsessed with old buildings & hold on to the hope that one day I'll either live in one or be running a business out of one...dreams :)

  4. I'm always intrigued by old buildings and find it sad when I see them neglected and falling down.
    It's lovely to see this apple shed being brought back to life. x

  5. History is one of my favourite kinds of mirrors... how did I love before my pod, my telly, my kettle?? how did survive winter without toes socks, how did I manage to pay bills before the internet? how did i grow my veg, catch my fish, build my home? I think a museum is as sacred as a church... thanks for sharing Xx

  6. ooh I love the Huon Factory Butter paper!

  7. So chuffed to hear that Willie Smith's will be taking this building under their wing! Looking forward to checking it out one day myself :)

  8. I blog-hopped here in a spare few minutes - what a beautiful blog you have. And how special to see those quaint old apple sheds. When my parents first moved to the Apple Isle in the early eighties (because it reminded them so much of Wales), we lived in an apple shed. It was cold and it was leaky, but as a kid it was so much fun! That old apple shed was built upon (and up by my father) and is now a quaint little house in the Huon Valley. I have such fond memories of my childhood there and hope to visit one day with my own children.

  9. Its great to see that the shed is being restored.Here we can benefit from farm sheds and industrial sheds.I like you're apple sheds, Your Shed supply high quality steel buildings that are designed to your personal specifications.