Tinonee is a small picturesque historical village, situated on the banks of the Manning River a short distance from Taree.
Tinonee was one of the earliest settlements on the Manning, it being a busy river port with many boats offloading cargo and passengers at its large wharf. Cedar was the main timber harvested here, and it was shipped all around the world. Tinonee had numerous hotels, bakeries, a broom factory, ship building, blacksmiths, churches and the first newspaper was produced in the Manning by Dr Horace Dean, called the Manning River News.
On this site in 1880, in the original house before the Museum was built, the Hannaford Family conducted a fruit and confectionery shop. The house was later occupied by Henry Gaggin and family. During 1942 the original house was pulled down and a new building was constructed for the late Monty Williams by Ray Middlemiss and Alan ‘Snow’ Sullivan – local builders, and it became the last broom factory in Tinonee. A good millet broom with 8 rows of stitching is still prized by many households. Around 1960 broom making came to an end in Tinonee, and upon the factory closure, the premises became a private residence.
The building was purchased by Mrs Carolyn Fazio – who was a former resident, in 2003 for the Historical Society Inc. to operate as a museum.
The building was then refurbished with volunteer labour, to operate as a museum, and after advertising for donations of artefacts, these started to arrive from locals and residents in the area. In 2005/2006 we opened up to the public, with volunteer members giving their time and expertise for the upkeep of the building.
The museum operates because it is important to collect, preserve and record pieces of Tinonee’s past history so future generations are aware of their heritage and have a better understanding of how people lived, worked and survived in harsh times without the benefit of electricity and the man-made modern gadgets we use today.
The Museum had its Official Opening on Saturday, 18th October 2008, and as a consequence the Society has received more family histories, information and further items for displays from locals and former residents of the area.
The Society continues to benefit from the generous donations of these wonderful memories and items. People can come along and research family history and peruse the photographs we have collected.
We hope to have the museum grow in the future, with new members and perhaps extend the building. We are about to have the former Tinonee Police Stables re-erected in the Museum grounds. This will partner the old gaol cell we already have in residence. These came from the old Tinonee Police Station across the road. This will give us an added attraction and display area. In the grounds we have developed a Heritage Garden with plants and flowers from around the district.
The Museum receives its operating funds by admissions from the public, donations, fundraising and grants we have successfully applied for to help with equipment for the museum and grounds.
The museum won 1st place in the 2008 GTCC Biennial Heritage Awards; Category – Adaptive re use of the building. The Awards Ceremony was held in Council’s chambers along with other participants. The award recognised the members’ dedication and achievements to establish their museum. The Society members were elated with the win, and the plaque we received is placed inside the museum.
The Society is always looking for new members who have an interest in local history and are willing to assist in the continued operation of our precious asset.
Adult: $3, Children:$1, Family:$7
Contact museum on phone/fax: 6553 1571