Visitors should be aware that the Yass and District Historical Society museum and archival collections contains the names, images and voices of people who have died.
The Model of Yass Courthouse. [YDHS Inc]
The Yass & District Historical Society is an inclusive community group dedicated to preserving the built and natural heritage of the Yass Valley and is registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission as a charity.
What we do
Our society encourages the study and preservation of the history of Yass and district, by actively collecting information, photographs and relics associated with the area, landmarks and people.
Colourful post card featuring the Court House and a view of the Yass River, c1950s, [YDHS Inc]
- The Society conducts the Yass and District Museum, an archive of historical records, and carries out a significant educational role.
- We promote a sense of responsibility within the community and co-operate with other organizations in the promotion of local and Australian history.
Our Society safeguards the records of community organizations.
- We play an active role in heritage matters working closely with the council on the Local Environmental Plan, consultants, and individuals; with particular interests in the Soldiers Memorial Hall and Crago’s Mill precinct.
- The society has representatives on council’s Main Street Masterplan and Soldier’s Memorial Hall Committees.
- We encourage owners of historic buildings and properties to consult our archives for information to assist them in making informed decisions before removing or making alterations
- Community engagement is promoted through our weekly articles of historical and current interest in the local press
Reunion Ball for ex-student of St Joseph’s High School, Mount Carmel at Yass Soldiers Memorial Hall, 1929. [YDHS Inc]
We warmly welcome new members who have an interest in preserving the history of the Yass district and contributing to an important community group. Volunteers are encouraged to participate in activities and assist with various projects as they arise.
The current Office Bearers were elected at the Annual General Meeting held on 10 October 2022
Yass men who worked on the Sydney wharves during the General Strike of 1917.[YDHS Inc]
Day out on the government launch, Burrinjuck, c1920 [YDHS Inc]
In recognition of their dedication to the work of the society, life membership has been bestowed upon the following members
A brief history
The Yass and District Historical Society Inc is an 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 first permanent museum, Cobblestone Cottage, during the flood of 1959.
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 an alternative building began. 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 organizations, local council, academics, and a broad range of professional consultants.
In December 1983 the present museum (a former 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.
The recent installation of solar power at the museum funded by a grant from the Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources will enable the museum to operate more efficiently and reduce our energy costs.
In February 2023 the society’s archives had to vacate premises in the Soldiers’ Memorial Hall that it had occupied for forty years and is now temporarily located in the former ambulance station at 88 Meehan Street. Meanwhile the search goes on to find a permanent home for this unique and valuable collection that documents Yass Valley’s past two hundred years.
Some of our
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