Silverton’s original gaol was cobbled together from timber and iron. The building itself was less than secure, and prisoners were secured with leg-irons to prevent their escape. Due to overcrowding, prisoners often found themselves chained to a nearby peppercorn tree.
It was these appalling conditions which led to the erection of the current Silverton Gaol in 1889.
The collection is a large one and the main displays tell the story of the town’s development describing the varied industires by which it survived. Tools of the trades of mining, transport, religion, sport, education and medicine are accompanied by a range of photographs, painting a vivid picture of Silverton’s early years.