Museum has its own history

The Young Historical Society was formed on February 28, 1958 following a public meeting chaired by a former Mayor of Young W.R. (Bill) Tate.

The meeting elected Christian Brother J.P. O'malley as President, Clare McDonald, Secretary and Tony Hill, Treasurer.

The Young Municipal and Burrangong Shire Councils each made donations of 25 pounds towards the establishment of the Society and the first ordinatry meeting was addressed by Alan Bax, then secretary of the Royal Australian Historical Society.

The first Annual General Meeting of the new Society was held in February 1959 when Brian Ellerman was elected as President, Charles McDonald Secretary and Clare McDonald, Treasurer.

The Society took a leading part in the Gold Centenary Celebrations in 1960 at the time Young had an Administrator in place of a Municiple Council, and received solid support from the Young Witness Ltd, Radio 2LF, Chamber of Commerce and Service Clubs.

The Young Witness donated and erected a concrete marker near the site of the discovery of gold in 1860 in Burrangong Creek. This was unveiled on October 1, 1960 by the late Alex Chisholm then President of the Royal Australian Historical Society.

Members of the Young Historical Society with Young's famous "Roll-up" Flag.
The flag is just one of the many artifacts which form a magnificent
display of the history of Young.

In November 1961 an Historic Exhibition was held at the South West Regional Library, when following an appeal by the Society many interesting items were displayed including the famous "Roll-Up Flag" obtained on loan from the owner Jack McCarthy through the good offices of Jack Giuliano.

As many people know this is the actual flag carried in the anti-Chinese marches in 1861 at Lambing Flat. Arrangements were subsequently made to retain the flag at Young subject to it being enclosed in a theft proof case and later on with the assistance of the young Services and Citizens Club this flag was purchased and can be seen in the Lambing Flat Museum as the Museum's most valuable exhibit.


Other valuable items received about this time were the brass "King Plate" given to the Aboriginal leader Coborn Jackey by James White, our first white settler, and the film the "Birth of White Australia" filmed at Young about 1928.

The Society continued to collect and display historic items and material at the Regional Library whilst planning for the time it could open a museum.

In 1963 a former Presbyterian Church in Lynch Street was purchased by the Services and Citzens Club and made availbale free of charge to the Society in which the then President of the Club, Eric Smith, played a significant role.

The brass "King Plate" given to the
Aboriginal leader Coborn Jackey
by white settler, James White
in the early 1800's.

Following necessary repairs to the building funded by the Society, the Apex Club, Lions Club and Rotary Club, the Museum was opened on November 13, 1967 by Stuart Hume of Goulburn a descendant of Hamilton Hume, the explorer. At this time Niall Hogan was President and Brian Ellerman Secretary.

A grant of $2,000 from Cherry Festival profits in 1967, donations of display cabinets from Service Clubs and local shops assisted in furnishing the museum for the official opening.

In 1969 discussions between the late Vin Giuliano, the Secretary and the late Gus Long with regard to an area of land known as Blackguard Gully off the Boorowa Road led to Gus Long donating some of this land to the Soeciety and surrendering a lease of adjoining Crown Land. The freehold land contained the outlines of a Pug Mill, mining shafts and water races.

Arrangements were subsequently made with the Department of Lands to set this area apart for Public Recreation under the control of the Municiple Council, where there are now walking tracks, a picnic area and facilities for gold panning.

Brian Ellerman was President for eight years with Vin Giuliano Secretary for four years. Vin was of great assistance in the gold Centenary celebrations, the discussions on the "Roll-up" Flag and the historic gold site.

Niall Hogan was President in 1967, Clarence Webb from 1968 to 1971, Bill Kavanagh 1972 - 73, Arthur Mychael 1974.

In 1975 Lyster Holland became the President and the Society entered its period of greatest progress with Brian Ellerman continuing as Secretary.

About this time both the Historical Society and the Art and Craft Club were seeking larger accommodation and in 1978 when the Young Primary School took over a new school, moves were made to obtain the old school for cultural purposes.

The then Member for Young, George Freudenstein, was of great assistance in the long negotiations and eventually the Department of Lands appointed Trustees to be responsible for Reserve No. 91145 for the Preservation of Historic Sites and Buildings.

Unfortunately between the vacation of the site by the school and the appointment of Trustees the building was vandalised and many windows broken. Some opinion was in favour of demolition.

The Lambing Flat Folk Museum in Campbell Street is now the home of the Young Historical Society's
wonderful collection of historic items from the past and is well worth a visit..

The Trustees delegated authority to the Young Community Arts Centre representing the Cultural Groups interested and fund raising commenced. The Society and the Art and Craft Club each contributed $2,000, other groups smaller amounts, there was a public appeal and assistance from Radio 2LF and a Fete.

A total of $10,000 was raised to be matched by a Government Cultural Grant of a similar amount and restoration began.

The "in house" groups pay a rental to the Trustees who care for the exterior of the building with groups caring for the interiors. Trees and shrubs have been planted to beautify the area.

In November 1978 the Museum was moved to the former Primary School and since then additional items have been donated and improvements made to both exterior and interior.

In 1990 Lyster Holland stepped down as President after 15 years sterling service to the Museum and district of Young.

During this time he taught many school classes giving children an insight into our history, conducted coach tours round the town and district, was instrumental in collecting funds to erect the Big Cherry, was on the committee form creek beautification for the Bi-centernary as well as countless other projects.

Lyster is still a member of the Executive Committee.

In 1993 the Historical Society obtained the use of an additional former classroom and spent approximately $6,000 on access and renovations. It is now part of the museum.

The Society has no income except for entrance fees, membership fees and sales of historic publications and souvenirs and relies entirely on the voluntary help of members to keep the museum open 360 days each year. We owe a debt of gratitude to Margorie Dawe, Nancy Stonestreet and Doris McGlynn for many years of service, all now retired from active duty.

A stalwart of the Young Historical
Society, Lyster Holland.

The Society is a member of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Museums Australia and its South West Chapter.

The Lambing Flat Folk Museum has established itself as one of the most interesting and best kept Museums in the country and is open daily from 10am to 4pm for the inspection of tourists, visitors and the public of Young and District at moderate charge. Well worth a look to gain an insight into the history of Young.

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