There are 5 Major Museums in Beechworth
Please note the Carriage museum has been relocated from the old station to the Bottle Museum, and the Powder Magazine is not manned any more, but keys are available from the Information Centre.
The Robert O'Hara Burke Memorial Museum
At Beechworth, there is a Museum dedicated to Robert O'Hara Burke, which was established in 1856.
Robert O'Hara Burke was stationed at Beechworth during the Gold Rush days as a Police Superintendant, from 1854 to 1858, and later became known to all Australians as one half of the ill fated expedition into the Australian Outback, the Burke and Wills expedition in 1860 to 1861.
The Museum dates back to 1856 with the formation of the Beechworth Young Men's Association, and the cosequent establishment of an Athenaeum and Public Library.
In 1863 the Museum was added in honour of Captain Robert O' Hara Burke who lost his life in central Australia in 1861.
The first building on the present site was erected in 1857. In 1863 the museum was added to the original building and further additions were made in 1867, and a stained glass window erected in memory of Captain Burke.
In 1975-76 further extensions were made and the building given its present appearance.
Above is a fascinating project whereby the Museum has recreated a street scene as it would have been in the 1850's. There are 16 reduced size reproductions of shops which were in business during Beechworth's heyday.
They include, coaching office, medical hall, dancing salon, ironmongery, drapery, bazaar, watchmaker and jeweller and newsagent.
The shops are all properly signwritten, and the window displays are as they were then.
On the right you can see one window display, showing firearms and powder holders on the wall, a musical instrument, an old wooden rocking chair, some plates and vases, and a gramophone.
This is an excellent display for both schoolchildren and historians.
Ned Kelly and his gang were often around Beechworth. Joe Byrne and Aaron Sherrit lived near the Woolshed Falls on the road to ElDorado. It was on this road where Aaron Sherrit was gunned down by the Kelly Gang, and the plan to derail the Train at Glenrowan set.
Above you can see the Kelly Armour, and the more grotesque Ned Kelly Death Mask. There are many available documents of this time.
The museum houses an extensive library of documents, records and photographs relating to the early history of Beechworth. The main feature of the library is a set of the local newspaper, "The Ovens and Murray Advertiser" from 1855.
The library is open to researchers on request.
The other main collections of the museum relate to Gold Mining, the Chinese Community, Local Geology, Aboriginal Artifacts, Local Industries and the Town's History and Development.
The museum has an extensive collection of mounted birds, and animals, as you can see above there is a large collection of raptors, eagles, hawks, falcons and owls.
Another special feature of the museum is the preserved Tasmanian Tiger. These animals that lived in Tasmania are now extinct, yet there is an aboriginal drawing of a Tasmanian Tiger just 12 Kms from the museum at the aboriginal rock paintings at Mt Pilot.
The tiger is on display in the magnificent display case in the main room.
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