Port Macquarie Historical Society
The Historical Society was established in 1956 and the museum officially opened at its present site in 1960. The guiding misson of the Society is to collect, conserve, research and interpret the history and heritage of Port Macquarie and the Hastings region, and to provide opportunities for its volunteer members to participate in pursing this mission.
The Society operates the Port Macquarie Historical Museum, which comprises 14 rooms and galleries across three buildings. The NSW Heritage listed front building c1836, is one of only a few surviving commerical buildings with attached dwelling from this period in the town, which was settled by the British as a penal establishment for secondary offenders in 1821. Port Macquarie was thrown open to free settlers in 1830.
The collection includes items of local, state and national significance. It comprises archives, objects, books ephemera, artwork and photographs. Displayed across 14 rooms and galleries in a series of themes including Port Macquarie's Beginnings, Free Settlement, Crafts and Textiles Local Trades, Industries and Agriculture. The museum tells the story of Port Macquarie and its place in Australia's History. Displays are regularly updated and temporary exhibitions about local themes and events are also featured from time to time. The heritage buiding c1836 is displayed in part as a house museum.