Exterior of the Family MuseumAt the same time as restoring the buildings, the Clark family also created a private museum to display artifacts from both the convict and post-convict eras of "Cascades". The images on this page show the museum building and some of the displays (including one of the first cool-store compressors used in Tasmania).

1915 - Belmost Moses Clark, grandfather of the present owner, bought the land from James Lacey and the property has been owned by the Clark family ever since.

The basic income for the family had been from fruit (mainly apples and pears), the farm having supported four families full time, living in cottages on the place, with up to 20 people working during harvest and packing (Feb to May). At its peak during the 1950s and 1960s up to 22,000 bushels of fruit was pcked from about 45 acres (18 hectares). With the decline of export markets during the 1970s most of the orchard was bulldozed out, another 200 acres (80 hectares) of joining land was brought to supplement the declining income of fruit by raising fat cattle and lamb for the local market.

For the Clarks, the opportunity to diversify beyond traditional farming brought with it a challenge... and one that needed a long-term vision. The convict heritage, so much a part of the property, would not be denied and the commitment was made to restore as much of the settlement as possible and to make it available as a totally integrated accommodation experience.

An interesting note of the post convict era is contained in an article about Koonya that appeared in The Hobart Mercury in 1930's:

“The brick walled enclosure, which formed part of the model prison, is now owned by Mr E Brown, and used as a cowyard ... The old rectory, officers’ quarters etc are not useless, being occupied as dwellings ... Interior of the Museum

“Much of the land during this century was used for orcharding and dairying. Indeed about 1930 one of the first cool stores in Tasmania was built in an old convict buildings that once had been a cheese factory when James Lacey ran the property.

And as a final touch even the cascade - the waterfall - has its share of historical significance for Belmost Clark built his own hydro-electric system there to provide electric light for the residents of Koonya. When it came time for lights out he simply leaned out of the window of his bedroom and pulled a rope which switched off the power to everyone at the same time!

Cascades Colonial Accommodation