Queenscliffe Historical Society and Museum

Queenscliffe Historical Society and Museum


Inc. No. A0014111D

NOTE : The society is now known as the Queenscliffe Historical Museum Inc.

49 Hesse Street, Queenscliff, Victoria, Australia

Queenscliffe Historical Society and Museum

The Queenscliffe Historical Museum is set back from the road
and nestled between the classic Post Office and Library.
The main shopping area of Queenscliff is also in Hesse Street.

Hours : 2.00 - 4.00 p.m. daily

Phone : 5258 2511

Email : qhminf77@bigpond.net.au 

The Queenscliffe Historical Museum Inc. is Registered in the Museums Accreditation Program (MAP).


Historic Queenscliffe & Its Museum

The exciting and romantic history of Australia's southern coastline is no better exemplified than by the story of white settlement of the Queenscliff-Point Lonsdale area.  That story began only one year after the Port Phillip District was first surveyed for sale to settlers.  It was clear from the beginning that the entrance to Port Phillip, known as 'The Rip', was one of the most hazardous in the world and so, in 1838, a pilot service for shipping was established: four men in a whaleboat, who ventured out in all weathers.  Within just sixteen years the street plan for Queenscliff had been laid out, land sales commenced and the town's first houses built.

Among the earliest pioneers to join the pilot boatmen were health and customs officers whose task it was to monitor and check all incoming shipping.  Queenscliff's significance to the burgeoning colony soon saw the establishment of a local militia, followed by fortifications to Shortland's Bluff with large guns arriving in 1863.  Additionally, the town quickly developed as a fishing village and as a tourist resort.

Consequently, right from the earliest times, the people of Queenscliff were as varied a mix as might be found anywhere: fishermen, seamen, lighthouse keepers, army personnel, hotel and guesthouse proprietors, farmers, shopkeepers, builders, tradesmen and labourers soon joined the pilots, customs and health officials.  With such colour and diversity of people and occupations in its past, it is hardly surprising that the Queenscliffe Historical Museum can boast a wonderful and equally varied collection of approximately 20,000 items illustrating the history of the Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale region.  There are photographs, documents, diaries, newspaper cuttings, relics from shipwrecks, publications, household and personal items, artefacts, lace and other textiles.

The town's stories are as varied as its people: from buried pirate treasure to Buckley's cave, from fishermen's bravery rescuing people from wrecks, or a young seaman swimming from Portsea to Queenscliff, to races between ferries bringing day trippers and holiday makers from Melbourne.

These and other stories have been recorded and make for fascinating reading.  In the Queenscliffe Historical Museum there is much to be found on display to divert and interest even the most casual visitor, and for the researcher it can be a treasure trove.  The collection can be categorised into four main elements: photographs, recorded history, lace and textiles, and artefacts.

Did you know ... ?

Queenscliff (without an 'E' on the end) is the name of the town.

Queenscliffe (with an 'E' on the end) is the name of the Borough, which includes both Queenscliff & Point Lonsdale.

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Created by : Susie Zada
2004 Susie Zada, Ocean Grove, Victoria, Australia, for the Queenscliffe Historical Museum Inc.
Last revised : March 07, 2008.