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The Wangaratta Historical Society Museum is situated in the Old Fire Station building right in the town centre. The Wangaratta Historical Society was formed in 1959 by a group of mostly teachers who saw the need to preserve the heritage of Wangaratta and district before it was lost. The Museum houses over 2,000 objects and 10,000 glass plate negatives from the Thelma and Vine studios of the 1840's to the 1950's. The collection showcases the lives of the districts' peoples in peace and war, on the farms and in the towns. A specially constructed cabinet houses our Aboriginal artefacts collection.The Museum is open Sunday afternoons and at other times by appointment. The Museum has many schools and groups visit and visitors are encouraged. We enjoy support from the Rural City of Wangaratta.The Museum is a not for profit organisation and a fee is charged for membership, research, photograph printing and photocopying; they are always glad of any donations. Volunteers work at the Museum on Tuesdays and Fridays. There are no paid staff and they have a great band of volunteers and support from many quarters. The highlight of the collection is the 2011 Heritage listed Marianne Gibson Quilt; the world's finest example of a crazy patchwork quilt made by a local woman, Marianne between 1891-1896. It incorporates the story of the times and styles of the late 1800's. Amongst many finely embroidered motifs featured are local flora & fauna, Asian, European and North American influenced designs. This quilt was given to the Historical Society in 1976 by Miss Alma Gard, a housekeeper for the Gibson's who was given the quilt by the daughters of Marianne. The quilt is kept in a special temperature controlled atmospheric room in the Wangaratta Art Gallery and displayed periodically.
From the south turn off the Hume Freeway at Wangaratta, travel up the main road, Riley Street, cross two traffic lights and turn left at the first roundabout, Ford Street, and the museum is 200 metres on the left. From the north, turn off the Hume Freeway at Wangaratta, travel down the main road, Parfitt Road, pass a roundabout, pass a traffic lights, and turn right at the next roundabout and the museum is 200 metres on the left.
School groups and tour groups are welcome by appointment. Please call for more information.