top of page



page 2

I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.

Walking Group

Nov 22 walking group 1.JPG
Nov 22 walking group 4.JPG

Are you interested in historic walks around Yamba? Why not join us on a variety of Yamba walking locations offering insights into our rich history providing an opportunity to learn more about the area you live or visit. Joining our guided historic walks can enhance your experience and provide in-depth knowledge about the local heritage.

Come and enjoy the exploration of Yamba with other members !

Walking Group recommencing on Thursday April 1st , 8.30am Intending new member wlakers, please contact Anne via the museum email or mobile phone 0408738116.

  • Facebook Yamba Historical Museum
FB Screenshot.jpg

Our 'Yamba Historical Museum' Facebook page is a great way to keep up to date with the museum, activities, news, people and events. Simply like our page by clicking on the Facebook image above you will be directed to our FB page, then click on the "like thumbs up".  You will be one of the first to know about new events, exhibitions and general information!

Welcome to our New Members

Carolyn Varendorff

emma Logan

Mark Cooper

Volunteer Profile - Honey Clark

Honey Clarke, volunteer, teacher and creator with some of her art

It’s said: whatever you learn will never be wasted. That’s why I say, become a volunteer at the Yamba Museum.


For years my partner and I had a bamboo farm on the side of a mountain in the Scenic Rim. A perfect spot to do artwork and illustration at home. I was a teacher having taught for 40 years including 7 years as a teacher-librarian. We loved our life but like a lot of the locals, the call of the coast would beckon and we’d holiday in Yamba. Each time we left, it was like leaving part of ourselves behind. When it came time to sell the farm, the Clarence called – such an impressive, living thing. Our friends never doubted the wisdom of our decision but our lawyer warned us that retirees who cut ties with all they know, need a thriving community to go to. Many become isolated. We’d already made great friends. When holding art exhibitions and workshops in the Clarence Valley, we’d been impressed by the vibrancy of the communities we encountered. We’d even become members of the PYHS before we came down.  It’d be fine, we’d join in.


Within weeks of being here, Covid lockdowns came and I wondered if I’d ever meet people in a social setting again. Despite the bumpy regulations, the Yamba Museum kept going which shows the tenacity of those who make it work.


On Yamba historical walks, I met quite a few people who volunteered and was so impressed by the camaraderie and the hard work that went into everything PYHS does, I asked if there was something I could do. Luckily, I get to use my library skills again. I help catalogue and do shelf reading in the little reference library and back up my training by volunteering at the Maclean library. Magic!


For all of you, PYHS holds so much. I love catching up with the researchers and am gob-smacked by what they know. I’m fascinated by the displays - the amazing historical information on the walls and artifacts in the collection and I have benefitted in many ways by the exhibitions in the Old Kirk. If you need to remind yourself what the museum has to offer, just go to the Website – it’s specky. The PYHS museum is like the Tardis: it’s small but when you’re in it there are whole worlds of history and possibility.


None of it will happen without the dynamism of the volunteers. Collections are just things until the people who support make it all come to life. Desk duty helps introduce you to all on offer and helps you to share your knowledge with visitors. For me, I stepped out of my comfort zone and learned a new skill. Please consider it. You’ll get back so much more than you put in, and remember whatever you learn, it will never be wasted.


The museum is open to visitors and locals on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm, which constitutes a 4-hour shift.

If you are interested in spending time at the museum once a month to meet visitors and other volunteers, please contact Bev at 0499588137 at your earliest convenience to discuss how you can help keep the museum's doors open.

Celebrating Surfing - Angourie, Yamba

Surfing the bar
Baddy#2 (1)
Kate Scarett (1)
Dan Ross
Baddy#1 (1)

This exhibition is designed to showcase the importance of surfing in the Yamba region contributing to the growth and development of the area.  The categories are:

i)  Early History -a brief documentation of the early years. 

ii) Manufacturers - touching on the many surfboard designers, shapers and glassers over the years, also the early fashion industry and publication giants.

iii)  Champions - acknowledging a few of the many State, National and International Champions, male and female, that call Yamba/Angourie home. Considering how small our town is we have a huge influence on the world of surfing! 

iv) Clubs and Contests - A brief history of surfboard clubs, contests and learn of the influence Yamba has on world title events in wave ski competitions. 


This comprehensive exhibition lays the foundation for documenting our recent surfing history adding to the museum's archives.  We welcome the surfing fraternity into our museum family.

A History of Angourie Point 

John Mcnamarra, a researcher at our museum has been working on a book for the past 4 years. The book highlights Yamba between the years 1914 - 1945. This abstract from the book is avaliable for you to read and enjoy. The book will be published later this year and will be available from the museum.

The following is an historical timeline for the discovery and development of Angourie.


The derivation of the name “Angourie or Angowrie” is uncertain, although it is likely the name is of Aboriginal origin. The meaning is also unknown. “Noisy Ocean”, as signposted, was arbitrarily assigned by Many Rivers Aboriginal Language Centre to Clarence Valley Council in 2008.

The area was surveyed in 1842 by contract surveyor William Charles Borlase Wilson but not designated on his subsequent plan of the Parish of Wooli-Barri. The name was first mentioned in Sydney newspapers covering the stranding and refloating of SS Phoenix on 10 June 1851 - “… from Angowrie Beach, near the Clarence River”. Angourie Point and Angourie Bay are shown on Surveyor WAB Greaves 1863 plan of the road from South Grafton to Yamba (R362.1603) along with a track leading from the access road to the wreck of SS Phoenix.

Surveyor William Alfred Braylesford Greaves (image in gallery above)                    

Part of WAB Greaves’ 1863 road plan (image in gallery above)

Angourie was an area of bush south of Yamba until the train line and quarry opened in 1890. Between 1893 and 1899, up to two hundred people lived at Angourie in a combination of ‘calico’ tents and corrugated iron shacks with brick chimneys. Charles Phillips ran a store there from at least 1897 until late 1899. Residents made use of the quarry train to travel to Yamba for social events. The Angourie Cricket team was formed on 04 September 1897 and played its first game against a team from Yamba on 09 October 1897. A school was established in 1895 until the end of 1899 with William Watson as the teacher. The first school building was built by local parents in 1895 and replaced in 1897 with a purpose-built schoolroom by the Department of Public Instruction.   This school building was then purchased by Yamba Pilot Captain Henry McAuley in early 1900 on behalf of the Sisters of Mercy. It was relocated above Convent Beach and became part of Yamba’s first convent and school.

The only other substantial buildings were the Powder Magazine and the house of quarry superintendent James Ellis. The latter was removed to Woodford Island quarry site in 1899 when the Angourie quarry closed. The Magazine was demolished by Maclean Council in early 1971.


Auction advertisement of 01 January 1918 (image in gallery above)


On 12 October 1917 (Daily Examiner) it was reported that at a meeting of Harwood Shire Council (HSC) a letter from the District Surveyor was tabled: “It is proposed to establish a village at Angourie Point, and measure a number of allotments (about 103) for sale and auction, beside reserve for police station, post office, and public school. The road of access to these will be by the two old train lines formerly used for bringing stone from the quarry for the break waters at the Clarence Heads. This will form a good road, but two small culverts, and one of about a 12ft span, would be required. Other small works would be necessary along the road. The writer asked what the council intended to do in the matter.” The Shire Engineer estimated it would cost about £320 to make the access road trafficable and it was resolved that the Shire would approach the Government for assistance.

The village of Angourie Point was surveyed and proclaimed a village on 14 December 1917.  Ninety-three allotments were offered at an auction on 01 January 1918 with upset prices ranging from £8 to £35. Reserves were set aside for a Police Station, Post Office and Public School but were later revoked. The Public Works Department voted £200 to Harwood Shire for formation of the road from Yamba Road to Angourie in 1918. It was dedicated as a public road in August 1932, vested in Harwood Shire Council.


Photo of Angourie Road 1949 (image in gallery above)

Fifty-four blocks of land were sold at the auction, but most were eventually forfeited due to unpaid balance of payments.  The area remained deserted, apart from campers and fishermen. By 1927 there were no permanent buildings, and everything was under canvas. A camping ground was established at Green Point in 1929 and sand mining carried out on Angourie Back Beach in 1939-40.

In 1936 Sydney entrepreneur Harold Rupert Board (1897 – 1970s) applied to HSC for approval to erect a boarding house, kiosk, shelter shed, twelve log cabins, two tennis courts, dressing sheds and make the two pools suitable for swimming on a special lease of about twenty four acres at Angourie Point. Objections were received from the Yamba Chamber of Commerce and Yamba Progress Association who were averse to the granting of the proposed lease as it would result in the swimming pools and rock pools, the adjoining flats and the camping and parking grounds above the pools being taken from the general public. Approval was granted, however, with a proviso that all shade trees were to be on a defined portion reserved for the guest house and kiosk and necessary outhouses. In 1937 the eleven-year-old, two-storey Royal Hotel in Maclean, containing twenty three rooms and a large kitchen annexe, was demolished by Board and re-erected on the Angourie site.

About 9pm on 21 August 1937 the partially erected hotel caught fire and burnt to the ground. The fire was suspicious. Deliberate arson by unknown people in Yamba, who were threatened by accommodation competition from Board, was suspected. It seems that the venture was insured for £2,200, but the insurance company opposed the compensation and won the appeal. Board had a ‘clearing out sale’ on 22 January 1938, where he auctioned off the lease, and all building materials and equipment. HSC was appointed trustee of the reserve in 1938 and a management committee of Captain G Fraser, JH Cusack and JH Ford was appointed by council.

The road to Angourie was still a bush track when John Henry Cusack (1883-1960), a well-known Sydney fish commission agent and bookmaker, and his wife Sarah Jane purchased ten blocks of land on The Crescent between 1936 and 1939. He seems to have been well off, despite the Great Depression and may have been an entrepreneur with foresight, a rich speculator, or just a simple fishing tragic!

Three adjoining blocks remained in The Crescent.  Four ‘auto cabins’ (cottages with garages) and a large garage at the rear offering additional accommodation for cars were erected on these blocks. He also built a store to provide provisions and a ‘substantial’ holiday house on two other lots in The Crescent. The cabins were opened for public inspection in August 1938 and rented out that Christmas for £6/3/- per week. Captain Gordon Fraser was initially appointed by Cusack as cabin manager. Subsequent managers included Mr and Mrs Kearns, Arthur Bathgate and R Feeney.


View of Cusack’s cabins and store; Causley’s cabin in The Crescent, Angourie in 1948 (image in gallery above)

It is likely that Cusack was an associate of Board’s from Sydney, and they planned the development of Angourie with the guest house and auto cabins. Sam Causley, a farmer of Chatsworth Island, built a holiday house next to Cusack’s cabins in the mid/late 1930s.

After his wife Sarah died in 1942, Cusack lost interest in operating the cabins or living at Angourie and put his properties up for sale. The three blocks with the cabins were sold as one lot in December 1944 to John Allan Eames, from Sydney. Cusack retired to Maclean in late 1945 or early 1946 and was elected to HSC in 1949. He moved to a new residence at Palm Beach, Sydney in August 1950 after being restored to health by his stay in Maclean.

Eames sold the cabins and store to local Estate Agent Ken Apps in 1948. However, despite considerable advertising by Apps, the cabins didn’t prove as popular as expected so Eames had the four cabins moved in 1950 to No.9 Ager Street, Yamba. 

The Angourie Store (image in gallery above)


The Angourie store was also moved by Apps to 24 High Street Yamba.  Cusack's former holiday house/managers residence still exists at 21 The Crescent, Angourie Point.

AVID - Annual Volunteer Information Day 

A group of volunteers attended the very informative Annual Volunteer Information Day in the Function Room on Friday 23rd February.  A revised 'Handbook for Volunteers' was given out to each person. Lesley reminded people to look for, and acquaint themselves, with information in the Reference Box under the front desk.  Kerry explained how to correctly use the daily tally sheet showing where to write up sales of bookmarks, pens and of course visitors using cash or EFTPOS.

Brenda gave an excellent example of how to receive donations from the community using the PYHS donation and gift form.

Anne conducted a 'Where Is?' quiz with lollies for correct answers.  This was a reminder of where to put new member forms (in the green folder on the front desk tray); the nearest fire extinguisher.  Other  items of discussion included the visitor information outlet and experiences on the front desk.  Brenda's delicious little cakes were  consumed with tea/coffee and friendly chat. 

AVID 2024.jpg
yolo 2024 poster.jpg

Confronting, statistical, creative.

Myra wants to get the message out, especially to young drivers, about thinking when behind the wheel and the consequences of bad decisions.

Baddy#1 (1).jpg

David "Baddy" Treloar a well-known surfer from Angourie, who has made significant contributions to the local surfing scene. Treloar is recognized for his exceptional skills on the waves and his deep connection to the surfing culture of Angourie.

John Witzig is an Australian surfing photographer known for his iconic photographs capturing the essence of surfing culture. His work showcases the beauty and thrill of riding the waves, often highlighting the connection between surfers and the ocean. Witzig's unique perspective and artistic vision have made him a respected figure in the world of surfing photography.

David Baddy Treloar - photo by John Witzig 

Mystery Item

The two mystery items have the same purpose, but were created years apart. Which year was each item produced and what is the main difference between these items?


Mystery Item Revealed 

Tin can telephones, we probably all played with this telephone at least once in our lives ...   but how did they work?

These primitive fun phones worked based on the principle of sound transmission through a string or wire. When two tin cans are connected by a taut string or wire, sound waves produced by speaking into one can cause vibrations in the can's bottom. These vibrations travel through the string or wire to the other can, where they cause the bottom of that can to vibrate as well. This vibration creates sound waves that can be heard by the person holding the second can. The string or wire acts as a medium for transmitting the sound waves, allowing communication between the two cans.

Calling a Friend

Mystery Item - Summer 23.jpg

What's happening in Autumn 2024


Mon 4- Committee Meeting 9:30

Fri 29 - Good Friday

Sat 30 - Surfing Exhibit Opening

31 Easter Sunday


Mon 1 - Easter Monday

Mon 8- Committee Meeting

Tues 9- Coach Tour to Museum

Tues 30- Surfing Exhibition Closes


Mon 6- Committee meeting 

Thurs 16- Coach Tour to Museum

Thurs 23- Coach Tour to Museum


Mon 3- Committee meeting  - 9.30am

Wed 5-Coach Tour to Museum


Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter. We look forward to keeping you informed about new projects and stories over the next three months and creating photo galleries of pictures from events over the next few months in our Winter edition. 

bottom of page