Winchelsea & District Historical 
Society Inc.
Incorporation  A12580.       Established 1981.
"The Gateway to the Western District"
Old Shire Offices - Hesse Street Winchelsea Victoria 3241
(Postal Address 6 Worland St, Winchelsea, 3241)
President : Lindsay Schroeter.     Secretary: Di. Russell.
E-mail address: hissoc@internode.on.net 

 
Welcome to Winchelsea and District Historical Society.  We were established in 1981, for the preservation of local history.  Our Society is a non-profit organization staffed by volunteers whose aim is to research and preserve the history of  our area.  The Society's  rooms in the former Shire Office are open every Wednesday afternoon  1:30 - 5:00 pm  or by appointment.     Phone (03) 52672494. or (03) 52672363

District background
Winchelsea is a pleasant rural town by the banks of the picturesque Barwon River.  The area  (some 37 kms south west of Geelong)  is serviced by the important Princes Highway.   Significant homesteads and woolsheds such as 'Barwon Park,' 
'Wormbete' and 'Ingleby' reflecting status and success from early squatting days, are in the vicinity. 
The township was at first called 'Austin's Ford,'  then  'The Barwon' and finally officially named after an old English port. When a bridge was constructed over the river, our town was established as the gateway to the Western districts.

Research facilities
Facilities include 2 x computers, printer and scanner.  Microfiche covering Geelong and surrounding cemeteries. Early Shipping.  B.D.M.   Pioneer Index.  Microfilm of early Barrabool and Winchelsea Rate Books.  Winchelsea and surrounding area Cemetery records.  Baptism registers.  Family histories.  Marjorie Lawrence collection and audio tapes. 
Books include:   History of the Shire.   School Centenary.   Deans Marsh story. We also have Parish Plans for Winchelsea Shire.           Aboriginal artefacts.
Photo Past
Flood swept away the first Barwon Bridge in 1849.   The present bluestone bridge was opened in 1867 by the Duke of Edinburgh. (Prince of Wales.)
Beal and Trebeck built the first Barwon Inn between 1842.    It was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in 1843.   James Stirling purchased this, with a store and Blacksmith shop in 1853.
In 1880 a tender of 19 pounds was accepted for lighting the township's eight street lamps.....
It was not until 1923 that the Electricity Commission undertook the responsibility of street lighting.
'Ingleby' woolshed  was built in 1882 of bluestone to replace an earlier shed. 
It is a  "T" shaped design reflecting success and status of the grazier of that time.  The Architect of the imposing structure was A.T.Moran.
Mr. W. Stirling's store 
included the Post Office.
In 1877 the mail came 
and departed one day a month,
via the train.

Copies of early photos can be viewed and purchased at our 
Historical Society.     Please call and see our great display.

Click links below

The Anglesea & District Historical Society Inc.
Lorne Historical Society Inc.