Come visit our
From its formation in 1961 the Society has actively collected objects of historical interest related to Yass and the surrounding district. The museum was officially opened in its present location in December 1988 after extensive refurbishments were made to a former garage over a period of some five years.
The collection is varied to say the least – everything from a Koertz wool press to a tiny trouser button stamped ‘Bracken’, used by a local tailor, who personalised his garments with custom-made buttons. Currently on display are selected objects and documents from the collection covering a broad slice of local history so there is plenty for all the family to see!
Movers and Shakers: They made a difference
Our latest exhibition was opened by Mayor Allan McGrath on 11 March.
In all communities there are individuals that stand out as leaders and pioneers though perhaps not recognised as such within their lifetime. The twenty-seven Yass Valley residents profiled in this exhibition are representative of those who made a difference to the lives of others whether it be locally, nationally, or further afield. None started life from a position of wealth or privilege, and many were impacted by wars – either in the field or on the home front.
Health care and education are fundamental to any society as is good governance and cultural pursuits, all of which are abundantly evident in the profiles featured. The earliest birthdate of those featured is 1780 and the latest date of death is 2015, spanning a remarkable 235 years. Their life spans were diverse – the oldest an incredible 103 years and the youngest a mere 33 years in a war torn and newly emerging nation.
This exhibition is based on objects and documents in our collections that have been used to give a window into the lives of these locals.
A J Shearsby: Renaissance Man of Yass
Alfred James Shearsby (1872-1962) was a man of many talents, a competent photographer, geologist, artist, astronomer, palaeontologist, writer, and administrator. A community minded citizen he was instrumental in advancing various local associations through his secretarial, photographic, and artistic capabilities. As well as numerous objects related to his life and interests the exhibition features dozens of images that he made during his time as an amateur and professional photographer. The subjects that he is best known for were his photographic record of the construction of Burrinjuck Dam over a period of some twenty years and a collection of some four hundred images of local men and women who enlisted during the Great War 1914-1918
A series of postcards mostly featuring images from the Shearsby Collection are available for purchase. Single postcards $2.00 each or 3 for $5.00.
Hamilton Hume: The Explorer
The life and explorations of Hamilton Hume (1797 – 1873) told through objects, images, and documents from our collections. A significant collection of Hume furniture owned by Hume is on loan to the National Trust (NSW) and displayed at Cooma Cottage, his home from 1839 until his death.
Comur Street 1890’s.
Our popular model streetscape shows how our main street looked well before the days of motor vehicles, street and traffic lights, paved footpaths, and trees. The models provide a snapshot of what the buildings in Comur Street looked like in the 1890s – quite a contrast to twenty-first century Yass and well worth a visit. There is a digital collection of historic images available for viewing.
Barren Jack: The Lost City
A photographic look at the early construction phase of Burrinjuck Dam. A small township of temporary buildings and tents developed during that time but nearly all evidence of it disappeared under the rising waters. The images featured were captured on glass negatives by local photographer A J Shearsby.
Under the Sign
Take an effortless pub crawl of the twenty-two known sites in Yass town where the thirst of travellers and residents were quenched. The earliest, the Shamrock Inn dates from the 1830s (before there was a town) patronised by travellers heading south to Port Phillip. Pubs changed licensees and names frequently as fortunes were made and lost. Today the town has just three hotels, but drinkers enjoy greater opportunities with three licenced clubs, a bar and numerous licenced outlets.
Cornerstones of Faith
An overview of the development of the churches within the vast Yass parishes, harking back to the days after ‘Sunday crossed the Razorback’.
Wool and Wealth
A salute to the wool industry can be seen in the objects related to the fine wool production that has become synonymous with Yass. See the mighty Koerstz wool press, a collection of shearing equipment, the shearer’s bicycle and a miniature farm.
Research and copies of archival material and images related to local and family history should be directed to our Archive.
Photography or videotaping are not permitted within the museum without prior permission.
The museum is conveniently located just two doors from the Yass Visitors’ Centre and adjoining Coronation Park with its playground and toilet facilities.
Enquiries for school and group visits to the museum should be directed to email@example.com