Established in 1972, in a small area of parkland on the Lincoln Highway (en route to Whyalla, on corner of North Terrace), this museum gives a glimpse into the past farming practices of this district. It consists of an outdoor collection of agricultural equipment – an extensive array of tractors, horse drawn ploughs and harvesters but its centre piece is a fully restored c1910 Ruston Proctor Steam Traction Engine, housed in its own covered enclosure.
The Ruston Proctor Steam Traction Engine was originally purchased in early 1911 for around $200 paid in gold sovereigns by Asa Fairbank, a farmer at Miltalie, one of the oldest residents in the Franklin Harbour district having first arrived in 1885.
The traction engine was imported from England, from the Ruston Proctor & Co factory in Lincolnshire, by their agents in Australia, HV McKay, manufacturers of the Sunshine Harvesters. It arrived in Cowell by steamer, partly assembled and was used for several years on the farm logging scrub and ploughing. However although it functioned successfully for many years using mallee stumps for fuel, doing the work of around 8 horses, it proved uneconomical as to get up steam it used 600 gallons of water per day which was a scarce commodity. So it was exchanged for a Ford buckboard and sold to George Nicholson of Roopena Station who used it for dam sinking and cleaning out silt. It changed hands again, being sold to Les Hudson of Lock who eventually donated it to the Franklin Harbor branch of the National Trust. It was transported to Cowell in 1969 and after many months of work, Ross Guthleben restored it to working order for its official run in November 1972.