Great Lakes Historical Society Museum

Great Lakes Historical Society Museum

The Great Lakes Historical Museum has a fine display of historic buildings from the Great Lakes area including the original National Bank at Forster (a 1940's cottage); the Tuncurry Public school, built in 1886; the Cheers family cottage, built in the 1940s; and the original Tuncurry police station lock-up which was used from 1948-59. In the grounds of the museum there is a typical 1960's fishing boat, a working windmill which pumps water for our lawns and various artefacts relating to the local history. The buildings have all been fully refurbished and contain interesting displays. The completion of a covered walkway along with the landscaping of our grounds, provides the visitors with an enjoyable venue to view the local history.

We have an electronic version of our book "The History of Tuncurry" by Elva Carmichael. The book tells the story of the Aboriginal people coming to Australia, some of their customs, European exploration and settlement, timber, shipbuilding, fishing, shipwrecks and the lives of some of the people that make up the history of the town of Tancurry. Also included in the book is some history of the villages of Darawank, Failford, Nabiac, Wang Wauk, Coolongolook and Krambach.

The web address is:
http://greatlakeshistorical.museum.com/welcome.htm

Address: 
Capel Street, Tuncurry, NSW
Tel: 
0265543012
Hours: 
Wednesday 10.00am - 2.00pm, Sunday 1.00pm - 4.00pm.
Admission: 
Adults $2.00, children 50c, families $5
Facilities: 
Wheelchair access, research library, toilets, BBQ and picnic area, gifts, local history publications, photocopying, tours by appointment
Collection: 
5,000 objects, 3000 photographs, 120 family history folders. The Tuncurry Museum houses a collection of artefacts relating to the history of the Great Lakes area. The collection includes tools for blacksmithing, shipbuilding and agricultural industries which were the pioneering industries in the area. Our research library houses a large collection of families histories, photographs and newspapers pertaining to the local history. We have a collection of domestic, industrial and farming machinery as well as a collection of domestic items, including textiles, ceramics and furniture.
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Items

Ship model

Eldorado II

Eldorado II
Creator:
Lyn Nicholson
Description:
Wooden model of 54ft fishing boat which worked at Tuncurry harbour 1946-1977.
Date:
circa 1940
Item Id Number:
1413

The model was built by Lynn Nicholson in memory of his father and brothers who worked the fishing boat out of Wallis Lake. The fishing industry was established by Italian families in 1890s. Fish was washed in cane baskets from the fishing boats at the wharf in Tuncurry and then carried up the wharf and packed in wooden boxes and taken to Sydney by ships. Once the railway came to Taree in 1913 fish was transported by trucks to the trains. Fish is now transported to the Sydney Fish Markets by large transport trucks.

Butter slicing machine

Creator:
Upper Wallamba River Co-Operative Dairy Society
Description:
Wooden butter box used by Upper Wallamba River Co-Operative Society to make small blocks of butter.
Date:
circa 1920

The Upper Wallamba River Dairy Co-op was started in 1904 at Dyers crossing, which at the time was the centre of the Wallamba farming district. It produced average of one ton per week. It was the first Transported by boats to loading wharfs at Forster and Tuncurry then sent by ship to Sydney. The names of the first directors are names of families still, living in the area - Messrs. Lynch, Holstein, Newell, Weller, Wright, Deer and Paff.

Corn planter

Creator:
Unknown, Tasmanian origin
Description:
Hand planter filled with grain, and as operator walked the metal ends were dug into earth, which opened to release grain into each hole.
Date:
circa 1920
Item Id Number:
236

The corn planter was used by early settlers who settled in areas along the Wallamba River at Darawank, Nabiac and Failford. Many were timber-getters, as there was a great demand for timber. Forest oak was used for shingles in homes, both locally and in Sydney. Dairying also became an important industry and milk was sent to the dairy factories in cream boats which travelled along the river systems.

Wedding dress

Dr. Joan Redshaw's Wedding Dress

Creator:
Unknown
Description:
Cream silk and lace wedding dress and veil.
Date:
circa 1940
Item Id Number:
1644

Dr. Joan Redshaw set up practice in Nabiac in 1952. She attended the Nabiac Community Hospital which was officially opened in 1909 when Nabiac was a well established town with three churches, police station, school, post office, bookmaker, blacksmith, hotel and several general stores. Dr Redshaw graduated from Sydney University Medical School with homours in 1944. She stayed in Nabiac for many years before moving to Tuncurry. She was an active and interested member of the Hospital Association until her death in 1994.

Flagpole

Description:
Wooden flagpole, which was originally a mast in a tug boat, then in a fishing boat, built at Tinonee in 1889.
Date:
circa 1889

Shipbuilding in the Wallis Lake area was one of the main industries and one of the first was started by John Wright, the founder of Tuncurry. He set up a timber mill and shipyard on the Northern Shore at Tuncurry. Henry Miles had a timber mill and shipyard on the Southern Shore of Wallis Lake at Forster. They both built log punts to carry the timber down the rivers to the mills. They also built sailing ships, steam ships and during World War II the Wright Shipyards built over 30, 45ft. Wooden tow boats for the United States Army.