The Museum and Research
Room is housed in Schaeffer House at
190 Fitzroy Street, Grafton. This was the home of Grafton's first Architect,
built in c. 1900.
What We Do
River Historical Society consists entirely of volunteers who maintain, develop
and promote the collections of the Museum and
the Research Room.
Read our Newsletter for
the latest information on what is happening.
The Society welcomes volunteers. If you would
like to become a volunteer, please print out a Membership
Form, and send to the address indicated on the form.
editorial in 1906 suggested that a local museum was needed in the Grafton district
but, at the time, nothing came of the proposal. Grafton had, however, been blessed
with a number of amateur, though competent, historians.
Bawden, as President of the School of Arts, gave
three lectures in 1886 on the early history of Grafton.
Having arrived on the Clarence in 1840 he was among the
first settlers and a witness to over forty years of progress.
Craigie Law, a Grafton solicitor, was another historian
who chronicled the every day life of the district. His
collection of newspaper clippings and personal notes
eventually filled 63 volumes.
1931 Sir Earle Page suggested the establishment
of a historical records museum, which was named the Clarence
River Historical Society, with R. C. Law as
1935 the society affiliated
with the Royal Australian
Historical Society, the first country historical
society to do so.
Council provided a room in the Council Chambers for meetings
and to house the collection and the incumbent Mayor held
the position of President up until 1957. R. C. Law remained
Secretary until 1946 and was librarian until his death
Society’s records and growing collection were housed
in the Council Chambers until 1966 when the Council purchased Schaeffer
House at a cost of $5300 and spent a further $7500
on repairs and renovations. Schaeffer
House was officially opened on 30th October 1967.
Room was added in 1998 and a storage facility
was rented in South Grafton to house the overflow of
the Society's collection.
1970 financial members of the society numbered 42; today
there are 147 members. In 2003 the Australian Tax Office
granted Tax Deductibility Status to the Society for donations