First established in 1969 and located in the historic Police Sergeant’s Residence. The museum has been preserving and promoting Queanbeyan's history and heritage for 42 years.
It has a strong focus on the history of Queanbeyan and surrounding district, with a collection of over 5,000 items including furniture, textiles, technological objects, costumes, pictures, maps, and photographs.
There is currently an active programme of changing exhibitions, with regular opening hours and regular events. There are 10 galleries and an outdoor area for visitors to explore.
Exhibits & Displays
- Queanbeyan's Story Begins - the Ngambri people, exploration and early settlement
- Bushrangers, Villains and Larrikins - local bushranging, the convict and gold rush era
- Phonographs and Photographs - spotlight on local businessman & entrepreneur Theo Cooper
- Queanbeyan Medical Practices - see an original Iron Booth used during the 1950’s poliomyelitis epidemic in this display on the history of health care in the Queanbeyan region
- The Old Blacksmith's Shop - see a blacksmith's shop as it was in the early 1900s
- That's Entertainment! - see a fiddle, squeezebox and early radios in this exhibit about home entertainment
- Museum Treasures - see Wright's Store Journal from the 1860s and William Farrer’s parlour piano
- The Main Street Room - see an original neon sign from Tick Tock Clockmakers
- Gallery Space - see a great collection of historic photos of people and places and times gone by
- The Kitchen - see how Grandma collected eggs and made butter.
The Museum Building & Society
Built in 1876, this building replaced the former police barracks in Antill Street and served as the Police Sergeant’s Residence for almost 100 years. It was built for £1,000 by John Kealman, a well-known local builder. The bricks for the building, laid in English bond, were made at his own brickworks in nearby Garryowen. This is the residential area directly across from Queanbeyan Park, bordering on Campbell Street.
The building is a good example of the Victorian Regency style of the late 19th Century and originally formed part of a complex of official Government buildings, including the courthouse and post office, now replaced by more modern buildings. The rear section of the building, constructed around 1910, contained the kitchens. These later became quarters for the local detectives. The constructions on either side were added in the late 1950s.
The Queanbeyan Museum, first established in 1969 by the Queanbeyan and District Historical Museum Society, was originally located in the Caretaker’s Cottage in nearby Queanbeyan Park. In 1979 the Police Sergeants’ building was designated for use as a Museum by the State Government and was officially opened to the public in January 1981. The Museum has been operated since then by members of the Historical Society. Since 2003 it has been assisted by the Queanbeyan City Council.