Canowindra Historical Society and Museum Inc

Located at 117 Gaskill Street (adjacent to the Age of Fishes Museum), our society and museum was founded in 1967 and has since then been entirely run and operated by volunteers. We collect, preserve, display and document objects assocated with the district's history.

Over the years we have built up what is a unique collection which ranges from a hot air balloon to buttons and pins. Photographs and information on just a fraction of what we hold has been uploaded to our eHive catalogue.

We also record and archive today's events as they will be part of our history in the future. An example of this sort of work is our listing of the derivation of local street names which can be accessed here.

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Opening Hours

In 2024 the museum will be open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 10.00am and 1.00pm (subject to volunteer availability). The museum can be opened for visitors at other times (with some notice). Admission is free, although a donation is appreciated. Please use this form to contact us to make arrangements.

Click here for Google Map and directions to the museum at 117 Gaskill Street, Canowindra.

Calling for Community Support:

Celebrating 150 Years of Public Education in Canowindra NSW
October 2025 marks a significant milestone: 150 years of public education in Canowindra, NSW—a momentous occasion worthy of celebration!

In collaboration with Canowindra Public and High Schools, the Canowindra Historical Society & Museum is set to publish a commemorative book titled "The Next Fifty Years – 1975 to 2025"

This book, coordinated by Mim Loomes and Fran French, will serve as a companion to the original volume produced in 1975, highlighting the evolution of our community's educational journey. It will be available for sale around April 2025.

To ensure the thoroughness and richness of this historical account, we invite current and former staff, students, support personnel, canteen operators, bus drivers, and P&C members to contribute their memories and insights. Research and preparation will take place during Terms 3 and 4 at each Canowindra School.

We request your assistance in sharing this endeavour.

Meeting Dates:
• Canowindra Public School: Monday, 29th July 2024 at 1:30 PM
• Canowindra High School: Wednesday, 24th July 2024 at 1:30 PM

For more information or to volunteer, please contact:

• Mim Loomes at mcloomes@bigpond.com
• Fran French at frfr@westnet.com.au

Football in Canowindra

Many of our town's population's minds have turned to football training and eagerly anticipating renewing acquaintances with the members of rival teams both on and off the field.

Canowindra has a long and proud history on the football field having been winners of the Monaghan Cup (played under Union rules) three times between 1909 and 1913. When football got going again after World War 1, the town switched to Rugby League in 1920. In 2024 the town has both a senior Rugby League club ("The Tigers") and a re-constituted senior Rugby Union club, ("The Pythons"). There are also strong and active seperate Junior clubs for both codes catering for younger players.

Cemeteries and Memorials in the District

Cabonne Council Information
Wikitree - Free to access:
1. Canowindra Cemetery
2. Cowra Cemetery
3. Cowra War Cemetery

The Ryerson Index is a comprehensive listing (over 9 million records) of death notices and obituaries in Australian newspapers. Free to use. Search for "Canowindra" in the Location field or "Canowindra Star" (to 1969) or "Canowindra News" in the Newspaper pull down field.

Local Newspapers

In the early 1970s, the Society was able rescue and preserve most of the weekly issues of the Canowindra Star newspaper starting with some of the earliest issues published in 1900 through to 1969. The newspapers to 1959 were originally microfilmed and then bound in year volumes (by the book binding workshop at Bathurst Gaol - which is how we came by the gallows which is a whole other story). The existence of the microfilms made the task of digitising the newspapers fairly straight forward and this was completed in 2021. The papers from the 1960s were recently scanned and digitised thanks to a grant from Museums and Galleries NSW.

The archive represents a unique social history record over 70 years of life in a country town and surrounding districts in the Central West of New South Wales. The Star faithfully documented deaths, marriages, births, the impact of several wars, politics, social events, the ups and downs of the economy, changes in fashions, sporting triumphs and losses and much more. Most of our newspaper archive is not available on Trove.

The searchable digitised versions have all been uploaded to "the Cloud" and can be accessed by members and researchers on request.

The "Mother of Canowindra"
honoured with a Blue Plaque at Old Vic Inn, Canowindra

We reproduce here the "OBITUARY A PIONEER PASSES (originally published in the Canowindra Star, 3rd February 1922)

There passed away at the residence of her daughter, Mrs. Eugene Finn, "Riverview," Canowindra, on Wednesday last, a very old and respected pioneer of the district in the person of Mrs. J. H. Marshall, after an illness extending over a week. Born at Carcoar in 1844, the late Mrs. Marshall arrived at Canowindra in 1852 at the age of eight years, and resided continuously in the town up to the time of her death. The deceased lady was the eldest daughter of the late Wm. Robinson, senr., and was married three times.
The first husband was the late John Flanagan, two sons (Mr. Vince Flanagan, postmaster of Ganmain, Mr. W. Flanagan) and one daughter (Mrs. E. Finn) being the surviving members of the family. Later in life the deceased married the late Thomas Clyburn. One son (Mr. J. Clyburn) and three daughters (Mrs. Bert Rice, Mrs. L. J. Preston, of Sydney, and Mrs. C. W. Judge, Greenthorpe, but late of Glen Innes) being the surviving members of this family.
Of more recent years deceased married Mr. J. H. Marshall (now residing in Sydney).
The late Mrs. Marshall was always of a charitable disposition, giving freely of her substance and helping in many ways every cause for the benefit of humanity and the welfare of the district. When in the prime of life she was ever ready to go to a sick bed, often travelling long distances on these worthy errands. In fact, it is said that in those far off early days she was reportedly doctor and nurse for the district, and always maintained her own medicine chest.
In fostering education the deceased lady was foremost. In the early sixties she engaged private tutors, built a school, and invited all the children in the surrounding district to attend gratuitously.
On the death of her brother's wife (Mrs. Wm. Robinson) the late Mrs. Marshall voluntarily took care of the four children and reared them as members of her own family. Mr. Aubrey Robinson is a surviving member of this family.
In her early days deceased was the licensee of the famous Sheet-o'-Bark Hotel, near Woodstock, now fallen into decay. While there she frequently came into contact with the bushrangers, of whom she could tell many interesting stories. She was also owner and licensee of the Victoria Hotel, Canowindra.
In her last illness Mrs. Marshall was attended by all members of the family, assisted by many friends and the Sisters of St. Joseph. The last sad rites of the Church were administered by Revs. Fathers. Searson and Bede, who were constantly in attendance.
Very general sympathy will go out to the bereaved...."
Read more at the Bessie Robinson pages

Canowindra Historical Museum volunteers will endeavour to open for visitors on Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 10.00am and 1.00pm. The museum can be opened at other times and days by prior arrangement - click here for our contact page.

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Copyright © 2024

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