Set amongst picturesque bush land, Griffith Pioneer Park Museum is dedicated to preserving the history of the City of Griffith. You will find original buildings, machinery, vehicles, antiques and even Churches amongst our collections.
The Wine & Irrigation Building offers a glimpse into Griffith’s irrigation and proud wine making history.
The Italian Museum & Cultural Centre houses an incredible collection of artefacts from the earliest Italian settlers, from machinery to kitchenware and beautiful handmade garments.
When you visit Pioneer Park Museum, you are taken back through time and will discover the true history of our rich, vibrant city.
In early 1967 a committee consisting of a number of prominent citizens got together to discuss the idea of creating a museum that could be used to house historically significant items that helped make Griffith a thriving modern community. The instigator and also the committee’s first chairperson was Mr Charles Sharam.
The committee’s idea to first acquire a large block of land close the town that could be used to house the collection. The committee decided that the museum was to be built in three stages. Stage one was to be the nucleus that could be enlarged at a later date, stage two was to be the development of a botanical gardens and stage three was to be the establishment of a zoological park featuring native animals. Also included in the original plans was a miniature Snowy Mountains Scheme consisting of two small gullies complete with miniature dams and ponds.
The area chosen was a parcel of land comprising 44 1/2 acres (approximately 18 hectares) located on the southern end of the McPhersons Ranges approximately 2 Km from the centre of the town, 22 acres of the original site was formally a TRIG (survey) station owned by the Lands Department with the remaining 22 1/2 acres being made available by the then Lands Commission.
Work first started on the museum in late 1969 with the assistance of grants from the State Governments Captain Cook Bicentenary fund as well as some funds from Wade Shire Council, now Griffith City Council. Many local companies also made donations towards the development of the Museum including Colla Bros of Griffith, who designed and built the original gates to the Museum. The gates are still in use and are an integral part of the Museum.
Some of the earliest buildings to be relocated to the park included a drop log homestead 'Fairview Cottage' which was originally constructed on what was part of Groongal Station in the early 1880's by Mr. Alfred Hill. Rathbone Selection is a conglomerate of buildings including Rathbone Cottage, Stables, the Cellar and Blacksmith Shop.
The Museum was officially opened at 3pm on April 12, 1971 (Easter Monday).
Pioneer Park Museum has a small kiosk with snacks and souvenirs, large grassed areas with children’s play equipment, disabled access, toilets and a baby change room.
Here at the Museum we understand that your dogs are often a travelling companion. As the area is expansive with outdoor space, dogs are permitted inside the Museum but must be on a lead at all times. It is the owner’s responsibility to have them secured and to carry pick up bags and clean up if necessary. Animals are not to go into the children’s playground area.
ENTRANCE AND SHOP
Our wonderful volunteers will welcome you and assist you with finding your way around the Museum. Being locals they also may able to answer any questions you may have about the area or to help you with your visit. The kiosk has a small selection of snack foods such as ice-creams, drinks and lollies. Catering for bus groups and other groups is available upon prior request. The Museum shop offer sales of local produce and hand made goods as well as a small selection of souvenirs.