About us

A brief history

The Yass and District Historical Society Inc is a organisation conducted entirely by volunteers with a strong sense of commitment to the heritage and the future of their community.

On 15 July 1961 seven people met in the Hume Café, Comur Street to discuss whether it was possible to form a local historical society. A committee, led by the president Bill Kirkham, was duly elected, with Dr RAG Holmes being invited to be the patron.

Initially without a home and progress limited by a lack of funds and resources, the society gratefully accepted the use of an upstairs room in the Yass Soldiers' Memorial Hall as a temporary museum, which opened to the public on 20 September 1964. The search for more spacious and accessible premises began and in 1971 the society successfully negotiated with the Yass Municipal Council for the occupancy of Cobblestone Cottage (c1841) near the Hume Bridge.

The Hamilton Hume Museum was officially opened by Stuart Hume, a collateral descendant of the explorer, on 19 April 1972, with the new premises providing much needed space for the growing collection. However the new location came at a price. In September 1974 the Yass River flooded sending water five feet deep into the building. Members worked feverishly to remove the exhibits. This and further subsequent flooding hastened the need for premises on higher ground and the search for a suitable building began.

The first permanent museum, Cobblestone Cottage, during the flood of 1959.
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In the mid 1980s the Society established its archive in a former office space on the first floor of the Yass Solders' Memorial Hall in Comur Street, providing a valuable service to family and local historians, students, community organisations, local council, academics and a broad range of professional consultants.

In December 1983 the present museum, formerly a garage was purchased with the aid of a grant and a bank loan. Several years of intensive planning, fundraising, extensive refurbishment and the physical labour of a dedicated group, led by the then president Robin Butt, came to fruition with the official opening in December of the bicentennial year. The ongoing fundraising efforts of the multi-skilled members ensured that the loan was repaid several years before it was due.

Since its official opening in 1988 further refurbishment has been carried out with new storage facilities, carpeting and lighting being installed. In 2001 members voted to change the name of the museum to the Yass and District Museum to better reflect the content of the exhibits.

Our current home, two doors from the Yass Valley Visitor's Centre in Coronation Park.
[YDHS Inc]

Our aims

Our society aims to encourage, study and preserve the history of Yass and district, by actively collecting information, photographs and relics associated with the area and its landmarks. It also seeks to awaken a sense of responsibility within the community and to co-operate with other organisations in pursuance of the promotion of Australian history. The society conducts the Yass and District Museum, an archive and carries out a significant educational role through seminars, workshops, tours, discussions and other activities directed towards the history of Yass and the wider community. The social importance of our activities are not forgotten with convivial surroundings, hospitality and friendship.

Talks with a Fork @ Claremount, Yass, 2006.
[YDHS Inc]

Our committee

The current Office Bearers were elected at the Annual General Meeting held on 9 October 2017

Patron Mrs Marion McCarthy
President Ms Cheryl Mongan
Vice-Presidents Mrs Diana MacQuillan Mr Adrian Cameron
Secretary Mrs Maureen Collins
Treasurer Mrs Anne Pigram
Publicity Officer Ms Susan O'Leary
Public Officer Mrs Rosalie Bush

Life members

In recognition of their dedication to the work of the society life membership has been bestowed upon the following members

William Kirkham* Adela La Combe* Doris Bourke*
Gwenneth Burton* Emma McAllister* Mavis Robertson*
Freda Crocker* Dora Storey* Thomas Walmsley*
Jessie Walmsley* Bert Thompson* Nora Thompson*
Adrian Roche* Dorothea Roche* Agnes Skillen*
Robin Butt* Marion McCarthy Russel Whitehurst*
Rosalie Bush Gloria Carlos Jane Nauta
Cheryl Mongan Richard Reid Maureen Collins
Roma Longley Diana MacQuillan Bill Pigram


All images on this website are the property of the Yass & District Historical Society Inc and must not be used for any purpose without the express permission of the Society.

This page last updated:20 December 20187