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    Shellharbour City Museum

    Find us at the Shellharbour Civic Centre

  • 2/19

    Handmade wax cows

    These cute cows were handmade from wax and cow hide by members of the Thomas family from Shellharbour. The Thomas family first came to the area to work for Henry ...

  • 3/19

    Stone points

    These beautiful stone points were made and used by Aboriginal people in the Illawarra. Tongarra Museum has a good collection of Aboriginal cultural material which will remain in our care ...

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    This mangle was owned and used by the Couch family on their farm 'Wairanga’ at Yellow Rock. Mrs Couch would run wet clothes through the mangle on set washing days.

  • 5/19

    'Warrilla' butter wrappers and milk dipper

    'Warrilla’ brand Butter was locally made at the Illawarra Cooperative Central Dairy Factory at Albion Park Rail from 1956. The Illawarra Co-operative Central Dairy Factory was built in 1899 beside ...

  • 6/19

    Augustus Milton East war diary

    Augustus Milton East was killed in action May 1918 in France during World War One.
    He was the son of Alfred and Kate East of Shellharbour. Tongarra Museum has a ...

  • 7/19

    Handmade boot

    This child’s boot was handmade by Mr Mantell c.1900

  • 8/19

    George McDonald's schoolbag

    George was the third generation of McDonalds to live at Marshall Mount House. His great-grandfather purchased the property from the Osborne family in 1896. George contributed much to the local ...

  • 9/19

    Handmade Red Ensign flag

    This handmade flag was flown on the passenger launch 'Lady Albion’ that sailed around Lake Illawarra in the 1920s. Mr Orange had great plans to turn the areas around the ...

  • 10/19

    Steam iron

    Funky steam iron. We have a good collection of old irons from the area. Those poor women would have had to use their muscles. Thank goodness for electricity!

  • 11/19

    James Muir Auld painting

    Artists James Muir Auld spent some time in Shellharbour painting local landscapes in teh 1920s. This work is of St Paul’s Church of England at Shellharbour Village and was painted ...

  • 12/19

    Butter roller

    This butter roller was used at the Illawarra Cooperative Central Dairy Factory. The factory was built beside the railway line at Albion Park Rail in 1899 on land provided by ...

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    Bakelite radio

    Our museum has a great collection of old Bakelite radios from the area.

  • 14/19

    Ladies camisole

    We have a great collection of ladies camisoles at the museum.

  • 15/19

    Silver teapot

    This teapot was owned and used by Elizabeth Slusher of Albion Park.

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    Straw boater hat

    Boater hats were all the rage in the 1920s. This one was worn by a little girl.

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    This telescope was used at Cooby farm at Yellow Rock by members of the Ball family. The family used the telescope to check for ships coming into the harbour at ...

  • 18/19

    Town Clerks wig

    This wig is made from horse hair and was worn by the Town Clerk of Shellharbour Municipality.

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    Tape measure

    This tape measure was owned by William Thomas. William and his wife Sarah came to the area from Kent, England in 1838 to work for Henry Osborne at his Marshall ...


Shellharbour City Museum (formerly Tongarra Museum) is Shellharbour’s local history museum. We aim to share stories, past and present, of the people, places and events that make our great city what it is today.

Visit our museum to discover more about the history of Shellharbour through changing exhibitions of Aboriginal and European culture. Our collection includes artefacts, photographs, oral histories, maps, lithographs and historic documents that relate to Shellharbour City and its people.

Museum staff and volunteers provide assistance with research and local & family history. Our resources include  publications, valuation books, cemetery records, building registers, conservation reports and a selection of historical maps to help your research.

Download our free touring app 'Tread Shellharbour' on your Apple or Android device


Getting There

Corner Cygnet and College Avenue
Shellharbour City Centre, NSW 2529

Museums & Galleries of NSW helps small-medium museums, galleries and Aboriginal cultural centres create exciting experiences for visitors and, through this, thriving local NSW communities. We don't run museums, galleries and cultural centres but we care about those who do. We develop their skills, connect them with others in the industry, provide funding, point visitors their way, and give them access to ground-breaking exhibitions.

Museums & Galleries of NSW is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW.

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