YASS & DISTRICT HISTORICAL SOCIETY INC.

Keeping our stories alive

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we meet and pay our respects to their Elders, past and present, and emerging

Stay Connected

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.

Museum

Location

247A Comur Street Yass
(two doors from the Yass Visitor's Centre)

Opening Times

Closed for winter break
June long weekend to October long weekend
Groups and tours by arrangement. Please contact Yass Visitors Information Centre -02 6226 2557

Admission fees

Adults $5.00. Childern free

Location

Soldiers' Memorial Hall, Comur Street with the entrance located in the laneway between the hall and the NRMA.

Opening times

Opening times Tuesdays 2pm to 5pm. Only by appointment - email yassarchives@gmail.com

Records Held

The area represented in the archival collection approximates that of the area covered by Yass Valley Shire

The Model of Yass Courthouse. [YDHS Inc]

Welcome

About us

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 and its landmarks

Colourful post card featuring the Court House and a view of the Yass River, c1950s, [YDHS Inc]

  • 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.
  • 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
    to buildings.
  • 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]

Welcome

Our members

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.

Our committee

The current Office Bearers were elected at the Annual General Meeting held on 4 November 2021.

PatronMarion McCarthy
PresidentAdrian Cameron
 Vice- PresidentCheryl Mongan
SecretaryTanya Cullen
TreasurerMaureen Collins
Publicity Officer

Judith Davidson

Public OfficerRosalie Bush

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]

Life members

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.
[YDHS Inc]

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.

Our current home is two doors from the Yass Valley Visitor’s Centre. [YDHS Inc]

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.

Some of our

Gallery

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

View from near the Hume bridge looking south, during the July, 1922 flood. [YDHS Inc]
View at the intersection of Comur and Meehan Streets, Yass with the Post Office, Royal Hotel and the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney, c1878. [YDHS Inc]
Manchester Unity Lodge building, with T P Williamson's Times Bakery on the ground floor, c1895. [YDHS Inc]