The Pioneers Museum, Gulgong known as one of the four important folk museums in New South Wales, had its beginnings in the display of objects of interest in the CWA rooms, Gulgong, in 1961.
With a most generous gift of 1000 pounds made by the late Mr. W H Lewis, a newly formed Committee was able to purchase the Old Times Bakery building in Herbert Street, Gulgong and there the Folk Museum was established.
Since then it has been renovated, extended, developed and improved through the efforts of people too numerous to mention.
A nearby block of land was donated by Mr. Harry Gudgeon, a former Mayor, with the condition that the Committee set up for display an “old time” blacksmith shop.
This museum is a means of preserving a way of life which has largely been passed beyond our ken. The difficulties and hardships under which the pioneers established civilisation in this area can be readily understood when we see for ourselves the primitive tools with which they worked and the things they used in their everyday lives.
The first visitor was admitted on Easter Sunday, 1962, while the official opening by Mr Eric Dunlop did not take place until Easter Saturday, 1964. The museum traces the history of Gulgong and surrounding districts from the pioneering days through the “roaring days” of the gold rush period to the present time.
It contains thousands of exhibits pertaining to natural history, agriculture, gold mining, business and civic affairs and has hundreds of photographs of the pioneers and the gold miners who peopled this area.
There is also an exhibit prepared by the Gulgong branch of the RSL giving history of the part played by Gulgong’s sons and daughters in defence of Australia.
The Folk Bedroom, set in the 1880’s is considered to be without equal in any other Folk museum.
Gulgong is a town of great tourist interest because of the Pioneers Museum, it’s historical links with the Gold rush era and romantic days of Cobb & Co. Coaches which provided the lifeline to such centers as Gulgong.
This Museum tells a story, the story of Men and Women, how they lived and worked in the days gone by..................................