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About us

Tamworth Historical Society
Our mission is to Preserve the past to enrich the future

Tamworth Historical Society (THS) is celebrating its 66th year in 2023, with 50 years at the Calala Museum site in Denison Street. The Society was formerly established in 1957 as the Peel Valley Historical Society, becoming THS in 1973.

Our Society manages the Calala Cottage Museum complex which includes ‘Calala’, townhouse of Hon. Philip Gidley King, Tamworth’s first mayor (1876-1881).  After many years of restoration work by THS members and volunteer support from local service clubs, the Museum opened to the public in 1976.

Celebrating 60th Anniversary 2017

Left to right, Jennifer Porter, current President 2016-, Rod Hobbs, Society life member (2023 Tamworth Citizen of the Year), and Audria Rogers, founding member, life member, former President 1971-1976 & 1988-1996 and former long-time Society Patron.

So beautiful, like travelling back in time.

who we are
Tamworth historical society inc.

Tamworth Historical Society is a voluntary not for profit organisation committed to the conservation, interpretation and promotion of history and heritage in the Tamworth Region.

The Society collects, preserves and archives a very large collection of fascinating objects including photographs, maps, letters, books, textiles, furniture, agricultural equipment, early cameras and communication devices, signs and various ephemera totaling over 20,000 items.

 

 

what we do
restoration of the museum buildings

Two of the main objectives of THS are to preserve our built heritage and make our collections accessible.  Founding members and others were very enthusiastic about establishing a folk museum in the old and tenanted Calala House site in West Tamworth, with its original Slab Hut (circa mid 1800s) and Calala House (1875).

Tamworth Municipal Council (now Tamworth Regional Council) – owners of the Museum site – granted trusteeship of Calala House to the Society in 1971.

Work began first on restoring the old Slab Hut on the site which was opened to the public in 1974.

The last tenants moved out of Calala House in 1974.  The Society worked with many local service groups and businesses to open Calala as a Museum in 1976.

We give guided tours

We are proud of our role in providing educational and entertaining experiences for school children, families, adults and groups who seek to learn about our history.  We love to share our stories and listen to yours.

Contributing to our community
events & activities

The Society holds monthly meetings with guest speakers, open to the public (free).

During the year Society members organise events for Heritage Week and hold an open day at the Museum – the Spring Fair in September. Check the calendar for dates.

Many other activities are held during the year. The Museum is an ideal venue for a variety of events.

Neil & Fiona

Amazing. Thanks to John for showing us around.

Lloyd

Good to see old Tamworth again.

Louise & Mark

Wonderful display and tour. We loved it.  Very interesting.

Jeremy & Tara

What a wonderful place to come visit & see all of this wonderfully presented stuff.

Paul & Erica

Very thorough walk through history – learned a lot. Thank you.

Margaret & Ken

Fabulous conducted tour by Peter.

get involved

We host over 1,100 visitors every year, maintain the Museum buildings, respond to research enquiries every week and look after over 20,000 collection items.

We welcome new members and volunteers anytime! 

Membership is open to all people interested in history, heritage and supporting the  Tamworth Historical Society. There are many active volunteer roles on our various committees for those with the time and passion. We also encourage any form of participation, from any age person. You do not have to live in the area to be a member. 

Please contact us by email or telephone and we will send a membership application to you.

  • Bi-monthly newsletter delivered to your post box or by email
  • Free entry to the Museum including events
  • New like-minded friends
  • Opportunities to undertake research, assist with collection maintenance and cataloguing
  • Become part of an active community group
  • Your support keeps our Society alive, making possible educational experiences for school children and adults.

ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP 

Adults $20.00   

Family $30.00 

Students $10.00

LIFE SUBSCRIPTIONS

Adult $154  Family $226

Parking for cars and coaches available in Denison Street, directly outside the entrance to the Museum, including designated mobility permit parking.

There are one or two shallow steps inside some of the Museum buildings and a step up or down to access a few of the buildings.  Stairs lead onto the verandah of the Moonbi Beehive Schoolhouse (see the images of the school on this site). If you have concerns about steps and stairs please get in touch.

The Museum site is a non-smoking area.

Food & drinks are not normally available at the Museum, except by prior arrangement (events and groups).

Public Toilets with wheelchair access are available.

Donations are always gratefully received.  We are a non-profit organisation dependent on fund raising through membership fees, Museum entry fees, small grants, publication sales and through special events such as the Spring Fair and Heritage Week walks. 

Please contact our President by email.

NOTE.  Information on donations of objects and material for our collections can be found here.