Amelia Penhall

The Daylesford Museum Reserve has received a $280,000 grant for extensive repair works on the roof and the associated plumbing of this important heritage building.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning provided the grant for the upgrade project to help preserve a significant part of Daylesford’s history.

The roof is currently in poor condition with leaks in several locations across the building, causing it to deteriorate and giving rise to public safety issues.

The works were identified as part of a Conservation Management Plan which was recently launched by the outgoing committee of management and funded by grants from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), Bendigo Bank – Community Bank Daylesford District and the Hepburn Shire.

Regional Manager for Land and Built Environment, Grant Hull said: “The Conservation Management Plan is an important piece of work and will help provide guidance on future works and the preservation of this important community site.”

The Daylesford Museum, which is located on Vincent Street, dates back to the early 1890s when it was used by the School of Mines to teach classes on science and art. The building retains many of its original features including one of the earliest and most intact School of Mines laboratories and metallurgical laboratory interiors in Victoria.

The museum now plays an important role in the community by storing and displaying the Daylesford & District Historical Society’s large heritage collection which is open to the public on weekends and during school holidays. The museum continues to be a popular location in Daylesford, with many community groups, such as the Daylesford Brass Band, also using the space.

Mr Hull added, “We are also excited to announce the appointment of a new committee of management. The new committee is made up of both past and new members, opening a new chapter for this significant community building and supporting the delivery of this important building upgrade project. Committees of Management play an important role in the Victorian community by protecting and preserving valuable public assets such as the Daylesford Museum.”

The building is used by groups such as the Historical Society and The Brass Band. The repairs, overseen by the Daylesford Museum Reserve means these groups will have much better accommodation for their community activities.

The Daylesford and District Historical Society  is active again this year after a long recess during COVID in 2020.The Society’s May Newsletter reports on a number of initiatives. These include Christ Church records archiving, new display cabinets for the museum, and the election of the Society’s committee at the AGM in March.

The Society holds a large number of historical negatives which have been scanned and some of these are reproduced below.