The Melville History Society (MHS) aims to promote the importance of preserving local historical information in the Melville community and to raise the awareness of the Miller Bakehouse Museum, a heritage listed building under the State Heritage Act founded in 1988.
The objectives of the Society, as stated in its constitution to promote interest in the history of Melville; to foster the collection and preservation of historical material including oral and written records, photographs and general memorabilia, artefacts, building and contents, and to provide programmes of interest to members and others. MHS also offers a service of undertaking research into local history by request and hires out a meeting room located at the Bakehouse Museum.
The Bakehouse was built in 1935 for Mr. H.T. Miller, by building contractor Mr. H.M. Gorse of McKimmie Street, Palmyra. The brickwork was done by Millington and Sons and the contract price for the completed building was 720 pounds. The Bakehouse consisted of three rooms: The Storeroom, the Ovenroom, and the Breadroom. The Ovenroom contains the original oven – a semi-scotch wood-fired peel oven of a design used since the middle to late 19th Century.
In 1951 sliced and wrapped breads was introduced to Western Australia but Millers’ continued to produce the old style bread. By 1970, without a major upgrading of production methods, baking on the premises became unviable. The business closed in 1976. In 1988 the building was restored by the Melville City Council as a Bi-centennial Project and became headquarters for the Melville History Society which built and runs a small industry based museum around the retained Baker’s Oven.
The Society is also active in holding meetings where a speaker gives a talk on any aspect of history – even British politics, and we run excursions for members