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Old Town Hall Portland

History House - Portland's Social History Museum

Portland's social history is on display in "History House", the former Portland Town Hall built in 1863.

The museum underwent refurbishment in 2007-08 and new displays were established to illustrate the story of Portland from the early 19th century.

Centrepiece of this intimate museum is the iconic Henty plough, used to turn the first sod of soil in Victoria in 1834.

The core display looks chronologically at the history of the region from the indigenous inhabitants to the arrival of Europeans and subsequent establishment of a settlement in Portland Bay.

The displays focus on various aspects of the Portland story, including the achievements of the Henty Brothers; and Portland Bay as the site of an influx of assisted immigration to Australia in the 1850's.

Other themed displays include the centenary celebrations of 1934, the various volunteer militia groups of the mid to late 19th century, and the public baths that once graced Portland's foreshore.

Content in the display is drawn from Glenelg Shire Council's Cultural Collection, and supplemented with significant objects and images on loan from the Portland Family History Group and Portland Historical Society.

Core displays in the museum are pemanent, with other exhibits changing periodically.

History House is also home to the Portland Family History Group who is custodians of the most extensive collection of genealogical research material in the western region of Victoria.

The research centre and museum is open 10am - 12noon and 1-4pm daily, except Christmas Day and Good Friday.

Admission is adults: $2.50; pensioners, primary and secondary school students: $1.50; and school groups: 50 cents per student. A research fee applies for any genealogical enquiries.

History House,
Cliff Street, Portland
Phone: (03) 5522 2266

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