Senior Constable Kilfoyle and his family in front of the second Courthouse, Police Station and Residence (circa 1906).
History of the Museum
The Old Courthouse Museum is operated by volunteer members of the Clyde River and Batemans Bay Historical Society, and now forms an historic precinct adjacent to the town's Water Gardens. Collection themes at the Museum include costume, education, healthcare, domestic life, forestry and timber tales, as well as crime and punishment in the district.
The Old Courthouse Museum is housed in the former Batemans Bay Courthouse and Police Residence building. The first Batemans Bay Courthouse and Police Residence was opened in 1885. The two-storey wooden structure was situated opposite the waterfront in Clyde Street. Senior Constable Kilfoyle, Officer-in-Charge from 1902-1907, was on duty in Mogo on 24 October 1903, when the building was gutted by fire and he and his family lost all their possessions.
The second Courthouse, Police Station and Residence, and the one that forms the Museum today, was built on the corner of Orient and Church Streets (now Beach Road), where the current Police Station now stands. The second building, of bungalow design, was constructed of hardwood weatherboard and roofed with galvanised iron. Local cedar was used for the door frames and mantelpieces. Built at a cost of £930 by a Mr Mudge, it was opened on 14 October 1905. The photograph above shows Senior Constable Kilfoyle and his family in front of the new building, circa 1906.
By the 1980's it was obvious that Batemans Bay had outgrown its Police Station complex, and in 1985 a new brick Courthouse was built on the adjacent block in Orient Street, and the Police Station moved to temporary premises. The Attorney-General, the Hon.Terry Sheahan, handed the old police station building to the Clyde River and Batemans Bay Historical Society. It was 10 years before the building was moved from Orient Street to its present location in Museum Place, to allow construction of the new Police Station. It was at this time that the NSW Department of Education offered Nelligen's former one-room schoolhouse to the Society. Both buildings are now housed under one roof, to form the Old Courthouse Museum. The current Police Station was built next to the new Courthouse in Orient Street, and was opened on 16 March 1995.
More details about the Museum Collections can be obatined by contacting our Curator Myf Thompson on (02) 4472 8993 or emailing her at [email protected].
As a local community organisation, the Museum acknowledges Aboriginal people as the traditional custodians of the land on which we work and live, and pay our respect to Elders, both past and present.
The Museum Collections include:
- Period Costume
- Antique Machinery and Tools
- Rural Technology
- Historic Photographs
- Domestic Life
- Crime and Gold
- Timber Tales
- Community History
At Batemans Bay circa 1900s
Batemans Bay in the 1920s
Shark Fishing circa 1920