The Murray District encompasses town sites of historical significance: North Dandalup, Dwellingup, Coolup, Ravenswood and Yunderup with Pinjarra at its centre. The Murray Districts Historical Society Inc. was established in 2009 and in 2011 the Murray Shire Council approved the use of the Old Schoolmaster’s House within the Edenvale Heritage Precinct as the Society’s future home, for a small annual rent. The Schoolmaster’s House (pictured above) was built in 1896 to attract teaching staff for the nearby school. After the students and headmaster moved from Edenvale to the site of the present Pinjarra High School in 1921, the House was occupied by various community groups and caretakers until 2012 when it became the home of the Historical Society. Entry to the House is free but donations are always welcome. Opening Hours 11am – 3pm, Fri, Sat, Sun or by appointment. MDHS brochures are available at the House and regular information bulletins are emailed to members.
Assistance from the Shire of Murray has been supplemented by a number of grants, including from local businesses and corporations. Membership of the Society stands at 60, half of whom are active volunteers. Corporate Membership includes Pinjarra Senior High School and Alcoa. There is an enthusiastic committee of 10, all positions filled, who meet monthly. Bi-monthly activities are organised for the general membership. Regular photographic displays are advertised within the community and its residents are encouraged to share memories, photos and family histories.
The Local Studies Library is situated within the House and volunteers maintain the local studies collection and reference library. The Society works closely with the Friends of Edenvale in maintaining the Edenvale Homestead and promoting the history of the McLarty family. Members of this and other pioneer families including the Paterson, Beacham, Birch and Herron families are still prominent in the district. Significant places include Edenvale Homestead, Liveringa, Cooper’s Mill, Blythewood Homestead, Pinjarrah Park, Birchmont, Ravenswood Hotel, Redcliffe Farm, Fairbridge Village and heritage buildings within the town of Pinjarra.