About the Old School Museum

CLASSROOM
ROTARY ROOM
MAIN DISPLAY ROOM
HEBER PERRIN ROOM
KITCHEN
REAR VIEW OF THE MUSEUM
OLD PAINTING OF MUSEUM
OLD PAINTING OF MUSEUM

Click on each picture for a larger view.

The Merimbula Old School Museum occupies the sandstone building in Main Street that was the former teacher’s residence and classroom, all under the one roof. It is a rare example of this type of building still held in public ownership in NSW. In 1869 the Rev.William Thom, a Presbyterian minister, was appointed to the Twofold Bay charge, residing at Pambula. His wife (Clarinda Menie) was the eldest daughter of Sir Henry Parkes and both were ardent supporters of public education. Pambula already had a well established school but the Rev. and Mrs. Thom felt there was an urgent need for more schools in the district. It is known that Mrs Thom made a private approach to her father on the matter and received a sympathetic response. Formal application for a school at Merimbula was made to the Council of Education in October 1869, signed by the Rev. W. Thom, Adam K. Page and Armstrong L. Munn. Parents undertook to pay one third of the cost of a building. Sir William Montague Manning donated the land in Main Street and the school began in temporary premises on the site in 1870. The stone building was first occupied in October 1875 with an enrolment of 39 children. School fees were set by the local board within limits specified in the legislation. Initially parents paid a weekly fee of 9 pence for the first child and 6 pence for each additional child but in 1893 this was reduced to 3 pence per head per week, with a maximum of 9 pence per family. According to the Public Instruction Act of 1880, fees should have changed in 1880 to the new limits of 3 pence per child with a maximum of a shilling per family. The building was vacated at the end of 1945 and the school moved to a new site in Main Street in premises which have been enlarged over the years. The residence was repaired and leased for accommodation and the schoolroom was used for community purposes for a number of years. The building was eventually abandoned.
In 1967 the Imlay Historical Society was formed and requested permission to use the building as a museum which, after extensive repairs, was opened in 1973. This NSW National Trust classified building is leased from the BVSC and managed by the Merimbula-Imlay Historical Society.

Find old photos here