The Esperance Bay Historical Society Inc. was formed in 1971; initially the main objective was to find somewhere to establish their museum. In 1975 the Western Australian Government Railways (WAGR) relocated to its present site and the Esperance goods shed and marshalling yards become vacant. The Society saw its potential and secured the building (pictured above) for the museum. The Museum building (Goods Shed) was built in 1895 and, as one of the few original buildings remaining in Esperance, is a rarity and reflects the fine quality and architectural style of the era. The Museum was officially opened on 9 October 1976; it remains in the heart of the town within the period village precinct, which contains pioneer buildings currently occupied by a variety of shopkeepers, information services and a local weekend market.
The dedication of the EBHS society members since formation has resulted in a huge and varied collection of objects and archival material now housed in a museum which is a major tourist attraction for the town. The Museum is open daily between 1-30 pm to 4.30pm. The society has approximately 30 members at present, however with increased social media and technology usage our membership base is sure to strengthen.
Current & future planned projects include:- Hosting the Museums 40th anniversary/birthday November 12th 2016 – Maritime theme – highlighting the outdoor displays and space; entering the records from the pioneer graves into a database; completion of Museum exhibition “New era in Agriculture”; Relocating and restoring the small Railway Waiting Room building.
The EBHS have currently submitted an application for Royalty for regions funding to establish and develop a website in 2017. We look forward to greater participation and association with other societies in our region, and Societies affiliated with the Royal WA Historical Society in the future.