Blackwood & District Historical Society and Police Stables Museum.

The Blackwood & District Historical Society meets on the 1st Saturday of the month at 10.30am to 12.30pm.   New members Welcome.

The Historical Museum is open to the  public on the 1st Saturday of the month from 12 noon – 2pm.  Visitors are welcome to view their items of interest and historical records.

The Historical Society and Museum is not open on the 1st Saturday in January but re-opens on the 1st Saturday in February 2017.

The Museum is also open Sunday’s on long weekends such as Australia Day, Labour Day, Easter Sunday and November Cup Weekend  on Sunday 2nd November from 10.30am – 4.30pm.  But not the June long weekend.

The Museum and meeting room is in Martin Street on the corner of Warner Street next to the Special Schools building which is next to the Fire Brigade building.

To contact members of the committee – phone Allan or Elizabeth Hall, President and  Secretary – 03 53686 537, or Historian  write C/- P.O. Box 447, Blackwood Post Office 3458.

Stop press – Historical Exhibition Open Day – 10.03am – 4.00pm. Labour Day holiday Sunday 12th March 2017.

Historical Exhibition Open Day – 10.30am – 4.00pm. Easter Sunday 16th April 2017.

All Welcome – gold coin donation entry. 

Or Margot Hitchcock, Historian at – email – margothitchcock@bigpond.com

The Blackwood & District Historical Society Museum and meeting room – Martin street, Blackwood. ©

PHOTOS ON THIS SITE ARE COPYRIGHT TO MARGOT HITCHCOCK and B.D.H.S. – PLEASE DO NOT USE WITHOUT MY PERMISSION. ©

Cornish Cousin Jack Wheelbarrow, Sluice-box, gold-pans and mining equipment on display in Museum.  ©

Historical Items on display inside Museum. Courtesy Margot Hitchcock B.D.H.S. ©

Jinker and Chaff Cutter inside original old Police stables part of Museum. Courtesy Margot Hitchcock B.D.H.S. ©

Photo of Blackwood Police Stables before renovations started on new Museum. c.1976.  (photo courtesy Margot Hitchcock B.D.H.S.)  ©

PHOTOS ON THIS SITE ARE COPYRIGHT TO MARGOT HITCHCOCK and B.D.H.S. – PLEASE DO NOT USE WITHOUT MY PERMISSION. ©

The Blackwood Historical Society’s Police Stables Museum.

The building which now houses the Blackwood Historical Society’s Museum was once the Blackwood Police Stables.   The original stables were the front of the building before the additions to the back.  The Stables stood on the old Police Reserve in Martin Street, Blackwood.  The house on the property was the Police Station, later established as the School Masters residence, and now part of the Blackwood Special Schools Education Centre.  The stables have a long history of construction, repairs, removal and conversion, which spans a period of over 153 years, since May 1855.  The original stables were removed from Golden Point in Blackwood to its present position in 1880.

The stables were constructed in a prefabricated form by “Sharp & Sons” – Timber Merchants of Melbourne, and stored at the Richmond Depot.  The stable sections were brought to Blackwood on a police wagon, and assembled in the Police paddock at Golden Point, and housed stalls for six horses, and a fodder room.  It is believed they were completed by December of 1855, as it is reported that one mounted sergeant and five constables were operating from the stables by that time.

In 1880 the Police station at Golden Point was closed, and a new station was established within the Blackwood township in Martin Street. Mr. Andrew Buchanan of Blackwood was given the task of removing the stables from Golden Point and reassembling them on the new station area, but limiting their capacity to two horse stalls only.   The Blackwood Police stables have a long history connected to law and order on the Blackwood Goldfields, including two murders in 1908.

The stables were constantly in use until 1915 when the station was closed.  The School Masters house and land was then rented out and around the 1970’s it was then handed over to the Special Schools for the use of children with special needs. An agreement was made with the Special Schools who allowed the Blackwood and District Historical Society to have full use and restoration rights of the Stables for a nominal yearly rental, for their use as a Historical Museum.

Weather, and age had taken its toll and it became the project of the Blackwood and District Historical Society to restore the stables to their 1880 condition, and to house a small museum dedicated in part to the work of the police in the district.  This work was commenced in 1976 and carried out by members of the Society together with members of the Police Re-enactment Society. Working bees were held lead by Stuart Duff and work was completed to lock-up stage in 1978.

A re-enactment of the gold-field days by members of the society in costume and assisted by mounted ‘troopers’ from the ‘Historical Pageantry Society’ over the Labour Day weekend in March 1977 with the Police Stables open to the public was a great success and added publicity to the Museum. Work was done on the interior of the stables where various donations of historical items were put on display.

In 1996 work was commenced by the President of the Society, Allan Hall, a builder, to extend the back of the Police Stables to incorporate a meeting room with storage space for records, and a computer to store archival material and photos, also a kitchen and a big area to display historical items and photographs etc.  This work was completed approx. 2003 and the Historical Society resumed in December 2004 with some original and new Members, interested in continuing the work of the Police Stables restoration so it could be an added Tourist attraction to Blackwood and show some of Blackwood’s fascinating Gold Mining history.  ©

To commemorate Blackwood’s 155 years of gold mining history Allan Hall has built a Poppet Head which was placed outside the Museum with an OPEN sign when the Museum is open to the public.

Next Open Days will be the long weekends on Sunday in January and Sunday March 2015, and Sunday day over Easter and Sunday over Cup weekend in November – other dates to be notified.

Stop press – Historical Exhibition Open Day – 10.30am – 4.00pm. Labour Day holiday Sunday 12th March 2017.

Historical Exhibition Open Day – 10.30am – 4.00pm. Easter Sunday 16th April 2017.

All Welcome – gold coin donation entry. 

Museum Not open June long-weekend 2015.

 General Historical meeting 10.30 – 1st Saturday of each month – new members welcome.

(Information, and research provided by Margot Hitchcock, Historian for the Blackwood and District Historical Society with information provided by Stuart Duff.   Grateful thanks also to Allan Hall, President of the B.D.H.S. for his time and dedication in the building of the new extension and Museum to the Blackwood Police stables.)  ©