Wollombi Endeavour Museum
Housed in the historic stone Wollombi Courthouse (circa 1866), Wollombi Endeavour Museum contains an interesting collection from the rich colonial past of the Wollombi and Cessnock districts.
Souvenirs, walking maps, local and family history literature are available.
The museum is in Wollombi Village opposite Wollombi Tavern, a tourist information board is located in front of the museum on the main road and there is a shaded picnic table in grounds.
Entry fee to the Museum: Adults $2, Children free.
Wollombi Courthouse is a listed historic building. The Museum Committee is responsible for its maintenance, not an inexpensive task with an 1866 building. Many maintenance projects have been undertaken. Funding for these is usually through grants, but most grants are given on a dollar for dollar basis. The Museum must, and does, undertake fundraising. Some completed projects are:
- Painting of the Courtroom
- Painting outside structures
- An ongoing programme of replacing the wooden windows, one at a time, as funds permit
- Inspecting the roof and repairing and clearing guttering
- Ramps for wheelchair access
The collection is varied in interest (agricultural, industrial and social history) and time (from colonial times to today). The collection is regularly inspected . We seek conservation advice from museum experts. Clearer, informative labeling is an ongoing project.
The area for display, and especially storage, is limited because of the design and size of the building. The Management Committee is currently reviewing displays to best utilize space and to show the courtroom and the collection to best advantage. The matter of storage is being addressed, so that proper conservation practice can be implemented in terms of a display/rest cycle.
Displays and Programs for the Local and Regional Communities
Displays relevant to the local area include:
- Objects from local pioneering families e.g. the Wyndham family, whose 1850's Broadwood square piano is unique because of the detailed family records of its history.
- Items relevant to industries of the area.
- Agriculture. In 2007 we opened an exhibition featuring an 1894 stripper and winnower that had spent their working lives on a Valley farm, 'Byora'.
- Forestry. A steam winch from a recently closed sawmill has been donated. Material such as photos and tools are being sourced to add to the display.
- Coal Mining became important after 1900. Besides tools and equipment, there are also personal items such as funeral tags from the miners killed in the Bellbird Mine Disaster.
- Items relevant to the community's social history, including
- The pack saddle bags used by the local midwife.
- Clothing and linen from the women of the area. Two school samplers from the 1880's and a cotton farm worker's bonnet are among the highlights.
- The convict era is of wider regional interest. We are members of the Convict Trail Project, and display artifacts from and information about the Great North Road and the convicts who built it.
Servicing Groups in the Community
Visits by special interest groups, such as Probus Clubs and retirement villages. These can be package tours which include a Museum visit and a meal at a local café, or a tailor-made tour, which includes the Museum and a guided tour of Wollombi Village or the wider district.
Visits by Senior Citizens groups. Not only do our senior citizens enjoy the Museum, the Museum often learns valuable local information from these 'experts'.
Liaison with L