Big turnout for Museum’s new pavilion launch

120 people attended the Oberon District Museum’s Open Day to launch the recently completed Forest and Timber display. Andrew Gee, the Local Federal member, opened the new pavilion, and Jason Molketin, the Regional Manager of the Forestry Corporation, also gave an address to the gathering, many of whom have spent their entire careers in the local timber industry.

Timber in Oberon today is a multi-million dollar industry, and a cornerstone to the town’s economy. The industry employs over 600 people, harvests and processes over 1 million tons of round wood annually and supplies timber for a flourishing house building industry in NSW. The Museum’s Forest and Timber pavilion contains much information on the history of this industry, as well as displays provided by the Forestry Corporation and Borg explaining their current operations. Visitors to the Museum are often very curious about the factory complexes in town and the displays provide answers to many of their questions. For example, did you know that Borg (now called Australian Panels) employs over 480 people in Oberon, and has 27,000 solar panels on its rooftop – the largest rooftop solar system in the country, spanning 8 hectares? When Australian Panels purchased the Oberon site in May 2010, it had a footprint of 60,000 square metres. By 2022 the company has expanded the facility to an incredible 160,000 square metres.

The Museum would like to thank all those who have assisted in this project, especially the Foundation for Regional Rural Renewal who provided financial backing.

Oberon District Museum launches new Forest and Timber Pavilion

On Sunday, October 30, the Oberon Museum will hold an Open Day to launch the recently completed Forest and Timber display. The actual pavilion was built using funds from a Foundation for Regional and Rural Renewal grant.

The display features a comprehensive history of the timber industry in Oberon with information posters, photographs, video productions, a range of timber cutting equipment, and wall displays provided by the Forestry Corporation and Borg. There are newspaper records from Timber Industry’s 50th anniversary back in 1993; John Ralls’ “saw gulleter” and Stan Rawson’s two man chain saw are on display, along with a number of older chain saws, axes and measuring equipment. Videos feature many of the local identities involved in the timber industry over the years, Mangan’s logging operations, the work done by the Forestry Corporation, and current operations at Borg’s factory.

There is so much to see! And that’s just in this one pavilion!

Visitors on the day will be able to see huge changes in the rest of the museum as well. The weatherboard cottage has been restored, the grounds have been reorganised to allow a focus on horse drawn equipment, much of which has been restored by the U3A “Rusty Restorers” working group, and the main museum near the entrance has undergone many changes.

This is an opportunity for locals to visit free of charge, participate in a free lunch, and discover what a gem your local museum is!

The official opening of the Timber pavilion will be at 11.30am and this will be followed by a BBQ lunch. Opening hours on the day will be from 10.30am to 3.30pm

For further information visit our website at
or ring the Secretary, Pam Dellow, on 0418 671 754

Fundraising continues for museum as roof restoration gets under way

Last Sunday marked the draw for the Oberon Museum’s latest fund raising initiative – a 100 club raffle with a prize of $1000.

Councillor Kerry Gibbons was invited to do the draw and the lucky winner was Roger Arrow. The Museum committee would like to thank all those who participated. It is anticipated that another 100 club will be introduced in the new year as part of the Museum’s ongoing fund raising ventures.

In some of the latest developments at the museum the slab has been laid for the new shed which will hopefully go up in the next couple of weeks.

Work has also started on the restoration of the roof of the cottage and, weather permitting, this should also finish in the coming weeks.

Blasts from the past: check out the changes at the museum

Work has commenced on the restoration of the cottage and the committee is hopeful that this will be completed well before the end of the year.

In further news, the slab has been laid for the construction of a shed which will house a workshop as well as a timber industry display. The U3A group the “Rusty Restorers” have been busy restoring small items and larger pieces of museum equipment for well over a year and the results are very impressive. To date they have been working in private garages and using their own equipment. The provision of a suitable workspace for restoration projects will be a great boost.

Museum news | AGM, an agreement and accumulated aquariums

Oberon and District Museum’s annual general meeting is coming up on Sunday September 13, at 3.00pm at the museum. Members are encouraged to attend to find out what has been happening over the past few months, as well as elect the committee for the coming year.

The photo below is one of the results of funding received from Oberon Council as part of a Museums and Markets Trail which is being co-ordinated by Councils Development Officer, Mathew Webb. Mark, from Marks Signage, has done a wonderful job enlarging two photos so that they fill a whole wall behind the 1930s streetscape. The smaller insert is an early shot of the Main Street looking east and the larger photo is looking east again, probably sometime in the 1940s.

The museum put out a call for aquariums not so long ago and was very pleased to receive donations from Horrie Lewis, Julie Anne Rowlandson and Joy Toole for which we are most grateful. These are great display cabinets particularly for ceramics and old bottles, and they provide good security as well. Another thank you must go to Billie Rowe for donating a very versatile glass display cabinet which is now housing a range of old musical instruments.

History being saved at the Oberon Museum

A NSW Government grant of $15,000 will ensure significant repairs can be made to the 1887 Oberon Museum Cottage. At present the 1887 Oberon Museum Cottage is falling into a state of disrepair and needs to be made weather proof to save it from the inclement weather. The project is quite complex because of the fragile nature of the cottage, but the planned works include the replacement and repair of damaged and rotted weatherboards, frame, roof and flashing.  The aim of the project is to render the cottage to a structurally sound state, make it weather proof, safe and accessible, protecting it for generations to come.

Farewell to Ernest Robinson, a man who did much for our museum

OBERON District Museum members were saddened to hear of the recent death of Ernest Robinson, a major benefactor of the museum.

Ernest contributed much to the development of the Oberon museum. He attended the first meeting which set up the museum in 1989 and he remained a very active member for many years.

He donated the blacksmith’s shed in its entirety, organising its removal from Melville Park and its reconstruction in the museum grounds. According to the museum’s original register he donated many items. Some standout donations include a number of pieces in the parlour and bedroom of the museum’s weatherboard cottage, for example, sewing machines, bottles, scales and handstitched patchwork quilts. Agricultural items were also donated, for example, a century old horse drawn wool wagon.

Ernest was an innovative man. If he couldn’t buy something he made his own.

Ernest’s great grandparents were William and Jane Robinson who are buried at St Barnabas’ Church, his grandparents were Edward and Mary Robinson, and his parents were Lesley and Margaret Robinson.  Melville Park was the family property.

Grants help with Museum improvements

The Oberon District Museum has been closed during the Covid-19 lockdown but much has been happening in the background.

The cottage, an important and popular display, has been in need of repair for quite some time. Museum President, Col Roberts, is pleased to announce that an application for funds under the Community Building Partnerships has been successful, and now essential maintenance repairs can be carried out on the cottage. These will be a great boost in keeping the building weatherproof and structurally sound.

Another grant application for two machinery sheds last year was also successful and hopefully construction on these will begin in the not too distant future.

And while regular working bees have been suspended over recent months, two members, Sue Roberts and Janet Gidley-Baird, have been working hard to sort, identify and re-organise the museum’s huge collection of old bottles – a mammoth task that is almost complete. To that end they are on the lookout for unused fish aquariums – of a reasonable size – which can serve as great display cabinets for things such as old bottles. If anyone is prepared to donate an aquarium, that is in good condition, the museum would be very grateful.

For more information about the museum ring the secretary, Pam Dellow, on 0418 671 754, email, visit our webpage at or follow us on Instagram under oberonmuseum

Oberon District Museum streetscape has a new border

Following a grant from Create NSW, the Oberon District Museum is happy to announce the installation of a glass protective barrier around the 1930s streetscape which was built by a group of seniors at the Oberon Day Care Centre back in 1989.

The streetscape is one of the key showpieces of the museum, and the committee is delighted with the extra “touch” added by the glass borders.

With another grant from the Foundation for Regional and Rural Renewal, the committee is planning to erect two sheds within the coming months for equipment which is outside in the weather.

The ODMS held its Annual General Meeting recently with a good turnout of members. The new committee consists of Col Roberts, as President, Laurie McMahon as Vice President, Pam Dellow, Secretary, Hamish Gidley-Baird, Treasurer, and Denise Harper, Warren Rawson and Maree Arrow as Committee members. Maree is also Publicity Officer. The members at the AGM endorsed the new Strategic Plan which aims to take the Museum in a different direction over coming years, away from duplicating artefacts that are well displayed in other Oberon museums, and towards a focus on steam and horse drawn equipment in outside displays, as well as the history of the timber industry in Oberon.