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Burke Museum Beechworth, Victoria

Contact Information

location
Loch Street Beechworth Victoria 3747 (map)
phone
+61 (03) 5728 8067

Contact

Opening Hours

Open Daily 10am - 5pm

Entry Fee

Adult - $15 Concession/Student - $10 Family (2 adults, 3 children) -$40

Location

Loch Street Beechworth Victoria

View on Google Maps

The Robert O’Hara Burke Memorial Museum is one of Australia’s oldest museums, established as a memorial to Beechworth’s Superintendent of Police from 1854-1858 (and leader of the tragic Burke & Wills expedition in 1860-61). The museum site dates back to 1856, when a Young Men's Association was formed, leading to the establishment in 1857 of the Beechworth Public Library and Athenaeum, re-named as the Museum in 1863 . Collecting activities since then have created a substantial collection reflecting many aspects of the Museum’s and Beechworth’s history. The collection includes natural history specimens dating back to the 1860's (including the extinct Tasmanian tiger), a comprehensive collection of south-eastern Australian Aboriginal artefacts, many items relating to the discovery and mining of gold in Beechworth and the surrounding district, and material documenting local families and identities, including bushranger Ned Kelly. Some of the collection is exhibited in a 19th century recreation of an early Beechworth streetscape, which, together with the Museum and related buildings, form the Beechworth Historic Precinct.

Significance

The collection provides a unique perspective on Beechworth’s place in Australian History, contributing to community understanding and appreciation of the natural environment, customs, activities, historic episodes, and local identities associated with the Beechworth area.

151 items

151 items

Photograph

Burke Museum, Beechworth

Black and white rectangular photograph. Image is printed on matte photographic paper and is mounted on cardboard.

Historical information

Taken in Beechworth 1865, this photograph depicts the view of the Spring creek with the Beechworth township in the background. This photograph was taken 13 years after the discovery of Gold at Spring Creek. Within eleven months of the discovery in 1852, over 8000 hopeful prospectors had descended on the region, transforming the seemingly undisturbed land into what a visiting journalist in 1880s referred to as; "A Titan's Field". Huge mounds of earth were churned by hundreds of miners in search for gold, almost every available resource the land had to offer was used for something; even the bark off the gums were stripped to line huts and shafts. By 1857 more than 20,000 people lived in Beechworth, and with this influx the town prospered with the building of numerous churches, banks, schools, shops and hotels along with a prison and hospital.

Inscriptions & Markings

Obverse: NO INSCRIPTION Reverse: BMM6925 / BEECHWORTH FROM SPRING CREEK 1865

Photograph

Burke Museum, Beechworth

Black and white rectangular photograph. Image is printed on matte photographic paper and is mounted on cardboard.

Historical information

This image was taken in 1865 overlooking the diggings at Spring Creek, Beechworth. Gold was discovered in this area in 1852 and within eleven months of this discovery, over 8000 hopeful prospectors had descended on the region, transforming the seemingly undisturbed land into what a visiting journalist in 1880s referred to as; "A Titan's Field". Huge mounds of earth were churned by hundreds of miners in search for gold, almost every available resource the land had to offer was used for something; even the bark off the gums were stripped to line huts and shafts. By 1857 more than 20,000 people lived in Beechworth, and with this influx the town prospered with the building of numerous churches, banks, schools, shops and hotels along with a prison and hospital.

Inscriptions & Markings

Obverse: NO INSCRIPTION Reverse: 7771 / BEECHWORTH / FROM SPRING CREEK / 1865

Photograph

Burke Museum, Beechworth

Black and white rectangular photograph printed on matte photographic paper.

Inscriptions & Markings

Obverse: No inscription Reverse: 5820 Nov 58

Photograph

Burke Museum, Beechworth

Black and white rectangular photograph printed on matte photographic paper.

Historical information

Depicted is an unidentified male performer dressed in women's clothing. He is positioned on a stage and in front of a microphone. The photograph appears to have been taken by a reporter from the Ovens and Murray Advertiser; a weekly newspaper published in Beechworth.

Significance

The photograph provides insight into entertainment, performance and recreation in Beechworth during the 1950s. The item's interpretive capacity is enhanced by its strong relationship to other photographs in the catalogue. Collectively, these records enrich the community's understanding of how the arts have developed in Beechworth since the mid-twentieth century.

Inscriptions & Markings

Reverse: THE OVENS AND MURRAY ADVERTISER /

Photograph

Burke Museum, Beechworth

Black and white rectangular photograph printed on matte photographic paper.

Historical information

The photograph depicts a young man and woman dressed in formal clothing inside a hall. They are holding hands. There's a group of people dressed similarly in the background.

Significance

The photograph provides insight into entertainment, performance and recreation in Beechworth during the 1950s. The item's interpretive capacity is enhanced by its strong relationship to other photographs in the catalogue. Collectively, these records enrich the community's understanding of how the arts have developed in Beechworth since the mid-twentieth century.

Inscriptions & Markings

Reverse: J3276-1G / 5659 / TYPE 107 / POLAROID /

Photograph

Burke Museum, Beechworth

Sepia rectangular photograph printed on photographic paper and mounted on board

Historical information

Taken in 1877, this photograph features nine members of the Beechworth Volunteer Fire Brigade holding a cup that was awarded to the group for winning the double hose competition. The cup is currently on display in the Burke Museum's 'Street of Shops' display

Inscriptions & Markings

Reverse: Member of B.V.Brigade, 1877. The Trophy Cup showing in the Photo is the small cup on display in the adjacent display case./ BMM 3936

Newspaper Article

Burke Museum, Beechworth

Sepia rectangular newspaper reproduction printed on matte photographic paper

Historical information

Photograph of a group of firemen posing for newspaper article holding various fire brigade equipment

Inscriptions & Markings

Obverse: One of the any bush fire brigade units who protect the north-east of Victoria, who paraded at Beechworth on Saturday. The group includes: Messers. E. Jessup, F.Paton, G. Witherow, J. Carney, M. Sonnerman, K. Allen, G. Wald, W. Rae, W. Lee, D. Hume, J. Morrisonm J. Neary, A.D. Neary, J. Witherow, A.J Goonan, R. Hupwood and W. Shannon. Reverse: 7625.1

Photograph

Burke Museum, Beechworth

Black and white oval reproduced photograph printed on rectangular paper mounted on cardboard

Historical information

Depicted is James Ashton (also known as Jim Ashton), a circus proprietor, crouched beside a seated small girl (or a lady with dwarfism). The two are dressed in formal attire, James is wearing a wide-brimmed hat, and together with the girl holding a small bouquet of flowers.

Significance

James Ashton was the son of James Henry Ashton. James Henry Ashton founded Ashton Circus in the early 1800s, well before Federation. For over 160 years Ashton Circus has travelled to both regional towns and big cities, bringing joy to the people of Australia. Generations of the Ashtons crossed desserts and flooded rivers, drove over snow-covered mountains, fended off bushrangers, and even ventured where there were no roads to reach the communities that have loved and inspired our family of performers for over a century. People came from all around to enjoy Ashton Circus. In the 1800s, Ned Kelly watched our show on a number of occasions and even enjoyed tea with the performers after the show. The Ashton Family has grown and changed over eight generations since James Henry Ashton started his circus. Our family continues this great tradition, proud that we still bring affordable family entertainment to our fellow Australians. Today, the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th generations of the Ashton family are still on tour, operating three individual circuses throughout Australia- each of having grown from the same roots.

Inscriptions & Markings

Obverse: Jim Ashton was the first generation in Aus-/ tralia. His father came out in the 1840's and/ established a circus that toured the country. (printed)/ Reverse: 1997.2560 (in pencil)/ about 1860 (in blue pen)/ A02560 (in pencil)/

Photograph

Burke Museum, Beechworth

Black and white rectangular photograph printed on matte photographic paper.

Historical information

Taken outdoors in the early 1900s in Beechworth, depicted are twenty-two men of various ages. They are all dressed in long sleeve spotted shirts. Some members are holding sports equipment including a cricket ball and bat.

Inscriptions & Markings

Reverse: 5651 /

Photograph

Burke Museum, Beechworth

Rectangular black and white rectangular photograph, on matte photographic paper.

Inscriptions & Markings

Obverse: No inscription Reverse: 6 / BMM8717.6/ Pauline Adams- Tanswells.

Photograph

Burke Museum, Beechworth

Black and white rectangular photograph printed on matte photographic paper.

Historical information

The photograph depicts three unidentified young male theatrical performers dressed in white costumes. They are wearing animal ears, tutus, and white socks. There are rows of chairs and tables in the background.

Significance

The photograph provides insight into entertainment, performance and recreation in Beechworth during the 1950s. The item's interpretive capacity is enhanced by its strong relationship to other photographs in the catalogue. Collectively, these records enrich the community's understanding of how the arts have developed in Beechworth since the mid-twentieth century.

Inscriptions & Markings

Reverse: 5661 / K42K242

Photograph

Burke Museum, Beechworth

Black and white rectangular photograph printed on matte photographic paper and mounted on card

Historical information

Photograph of 19 members of the Beechworth Volunteer Fire Service and a you boy all wearing fire service uniforms.

Inscriptions & Markings

Obverse: Beechworth Fire Brigade Boys / Uncle Joe Hume far right / 8187 / about 1885 / G. Bridle Photo

Photograph

Burke Museum, Beechworth

Black and white rectangular postcard. The image is printed on matt photographic paper and mounted on cardboard.

Historical information

Taken in Beechworth c1870, this photograph depicts Ford Street taken from Church Street looking towards the Old Beechworth Gaol. This photograph was taken and produced by the American and Australasian Photographic Company which was founded by Beaufoy Merlin joined by his assistant, Charles Bayliss and Augustus Clinton, and operated between 1866-1873. The company traveled throughout Victoria and New South Wales before establishing a portrait studio in Sydney. There is no apparent connection to America.

Inscriptions & Markings

Obverse: NO INSCRIPTION Reverse: 5570 33 Beechworth about 1870 American & Australian Photographic Company. Victoria Branch. C. BAYLISS, Manager No. 62 Extra Copies may be had by sending Number to present Address.

Photograph

Burke Museum, Beechworth

Sepia rectangular postcard printed on gloss card.

Historical information

This photograph was taken at the Camp Street intersection in Beechworth c1910 looking at the post office on the left hand side and a row of shops on the right. The Post Office is the photograph was completed in 1859. Following a fire along Camp St in 1867 the Post Office was rebuilt with a bell and clock tower. The P.0. played an important role in communicating news in 1880 of the infamous murders of police at Stringybark Creek and the various exploits of the Kelly gang.

Inscriptions & Markings

Obverse: Camp Street, Beechworth REAL PHOTO SERIES. M5911 Reverse: BMM7734.2 VALENTINES REAL PHOTO SERIES Published by the Valentine Publishing Co.Pty.Ltd. Queen St. Melb 1906-1910?

Photograph

Burke Museum, Beechworth

Rectangular black and white rectangular photograph, on gloss photographic paper.

Inscriptions & Markings

Obverse: TANSWELLS Reverse: 2575 Back Lounge Tanswells- Commercial Hotel.

Photograph

Burke Museum, Beechworth

Black and white rectangular photo printed on matte photographic paper

Historical information

Photograph of 6 men in Beechworth fire brigade jumpers standing and sitting in front of a fire drill and holding various pieces of equipment.

Inscriptions & Markings

Reverse: BMM 8781.1 / The Ovens and Murray Advertiser / Garry Paul, Jarvis McIntosh, -, Ross Lucas, Rod Gaskett, Graeme Warner

Photograph

Burke Museum, Beechworth

Rectangular postcard in sepia

Historical information

This photograph was taken of Camp Street, Beechworth.

Inscriptions & Markings

Obverse: Camp St., Beechworth / Reverse: BMM7742 / 1997.2831 / 84-44-1 / Post Card /

Photograph

Burke Museum, Beechworth

Black and white rectangular photograph. Image is printed on gloss photographic paper and has a white unprinted border area.

Historical information

Taken in Beechworth, this photograph depicts a two storey granite stone building and five figures in the background conducting a fire drill as a young boy in the foreground watches on.

Inscriptions & Markings

Obverse: BANK OF VICTORIA Reverse: 4600 (in pencil)

Photograph

Burke Museum, Beechworth

Rectangular black and white rectangular photograph, on matte photographic paper.

Inscriptions & Markings

Obverse: WANTED/ NED KELLY/ AUSTRALIAN/ OUTLAW/ WHISKEY Reverse: 3 / BMM8717.3/ Front bar, Tanswells Commercial Hotel.

Photograph

Burke Museum, Beechworth

Black and white, rectangular photograph printed on matte photographic paper.

Historical information

A gathering of six men (one mounted on a horse) four women and two horses gather out the front of the Old Vine Hotel in Wooragee Road.

Inscriptions & Markings

Obverse: Vine Hotel Reverse: United Shire of Beechworth/ Shire Secretary/ BMM/AO3224.1/ 97.2239/ 85-182-1.

Photograph

Burke Museum, Beechworth

Black and white rectangular postcard. The image is printed on matt photographic paper and mounted on cardboard.

Historical information

Taken in Beechworth 1870, this photograph depicts the business area of Ford Street.

Inscriptions & Markings

Obverse: Beautiful Beechworth (Vic) 1800 ft. above Sea Level- Ford Street (Looking North) Copyright. F. Foxcroft Photo Reverse: A02754.2 POSTCARD

Photograph

Burke Museum, Beechworth

Rectangular black and white rectangular photograph, on gloss photographic paper.

Inscriptions & Markings

Obverse: No inscription Reverse: 10/ BMM8717.10/ Cellar- Tanswells Commercial Hotel.

Photograph

Burke Museum, Beechworth

Rectangular black and white rectangular photograph, on matte photographic paper.

Inscriptions & Markings

Obverse: O'Connor's-Post-Office Hotel/ O'Connors Stables/ Reverse: 6418.2/ Post Office Hotel-O'Connor's Camp Street/ copied from the collection of Robert O'Hara Burke Memorial Museum, Beechworth/ Digital Print- Copyright (the digital print is Copyright-the Burke Museum holds this right)/ printed on Epson Matte Heavyweight Photo Paper 167gms A4 Ink jet paper

Photograph

Burke Museum, Beechworth

Black and white rectangular photograph. Image is printed on matte photographic paper.

Historical information

Taken in Beechworth 1859, this photograph depicts Ford Street looking South West. On the left hand side is now what we know as Beechworth Historic precinct and includes The Gold Wardens office being the first building in view followed by The Chinese Protectors office, The Gold Vault and The Courthouse. The Telegraph station is out of shot in this image.his image of Ford Street is the first council chambers copy known to exist.

Inscriptions & Markings

Obverse: NO INSCRIPTION Revese: 2827 AO2827 See Tibbets 'Beechworth Historical Reconstruction page 53" FORD ST BEECHWORTH LOOKING S/WEST 1859

Photograph

Burke Museum, Beechworth

Sepia rectangular photograph printed on card.

Historical information

Photograph of The Brigidine Conven taken in 1913 featuring a group of finely groomed pupils on the balconies. The Convent was home for the Brigidine Sisters and the Boarders who attended their St. Josephs School. The Bridgine Convent is now known as 'The Old Priory' and is privately owned , it currently operates as accommodation in Beechworth.

Inscriptions & Markings

Reverse: Historic Beechworth / THE BRIGIDINE CONVENT / 2573 (in pencil)

Photograph

Burke Museum, Beechworth

Black and white rectangular photograph printed on matte photographic paper.

Historical information

The photograph depicts seven unidentified female theatrical performers. They are posing on a stage with a white picket fence and foliage.

Significance

The photograph provides insight into entertainment, performance and recreation in Beechworth during the 1950s. The item's interpretive capacity is enhanced by its strong relationship to other photographs in the catalogue. Collectively, these records enrich the community's understanding of how the arts have developed in Beechworth since the mid-twentieth century.

Inscriptions & Markings

Reverse: THE OVENS AND MURRAY / 5665 /

Photograph

Burke Museum, Beechworth

Black and white rectangular postcard. The image is printed on matt photographic paper and mounted on cardboard.

Historical information

This photograph was taken of Ford Street, Beechworth looking east.

Inscriptions & Markings

Obverse: NO INSCRIPTION Reverse: BMM7735 Beechworth

Photograph

Burke Museum, Beechworth

Three sepia rectangular photographs printed on gloss photographic paper and mounted on cardboard.

Historical information

A series of three photographs taken from within and around Beechworth.

Inscriptions & Markings

Obverse: NO INSCRIPTION Reverse: BMM7764

Photograph

Burke Museum, Beechworth

Sepia rectangular photograph. Image is printed on matte photographic paper and has a white border.

Historical information

Taken in Beechworth 1867, this photograph depicts the Bank of Victoria on the corner of Camp and Ford Street. This building was erected in 1867 to replace the former bank that was destroyed by a fire on the same site. This classical style structure was designed by architects Smith and Johnson who designed many of the public buildings in Melbourne and Victoria. Arthur Ebden Johnson, 1821–1895 and Alfred Louis Smith, 1830–1907 were appointed as the Bank of Victoria's architects who, in-conjunction with the Branch in Beechworth, also completed branches in Wangaratta and Bendigo. This photograph was taken and produced by the American and Australasian Photographic Company which was founded by Beaufoy Merlin joined by his assistant, Charles Bayliss and Augustus Clinton, and operated between 1866-1873. The company traveled throughout Victoria and New South Wales before establishing a portrait studio in Sydney. There is no apparent connection to America.

Inscriptions & Markings

Reverse: 1997.2727 (in pencil) Bank of Victoria / Beechworth / 1877 (in pen) Harvey Collection American & Australasian / Photographic Company / Victoria Branch / C. Bayless, Manager No 56

Photograph

Burke Museum, Beechworth

Black and white reproduction of a studio portrait of Hiram Crawford in fire brigade uniform, printed on gloss photographic paper and bordered with a white frame.

Historical information

This carte de visite was taken of Hiram Crawford in fire brigade uniform taken by Stewart & CO., Melbourne. Hiram Crawford was Captain of the Beechworth Volunteer Fire Brigade for twenty-five years. Hiram arrived in Australia at the age of 21 in August 1853. He mined for short time at Back Creek Bendigo, then went to the Ovens where he sought gold in Spring Creek, Buckland and 3 Mile. After moving to Albury for 18 months he married Anna, moved to Woolshed and was here for two years mining gold. After discovering his fortune he formed Crawford and Co. Coaching Lines in Beechworth in late 1856. It was this company which became the longest surviving coaching business in the State of Victoria. Hiram and Anna had two daughters. Anna died in March 1862 and in May Hiram left fromMelbourne to return to the United States on a visit. Hiram married Martha Foster during this visit and returned to Australia in March 1863. With his coach line established, and leaving it under management, he moved around the north east of Victoria establishing and building shops and the Star Hotel and Theatre in Chiltern in 1866. In 1869 he moved to Melbourne for a few years in which time he built the Eastern Arcade in Bourke Street. In 1876 the family returned to Beechworth for a few years eventually moving to Everton where Hiram grew hops, tobacco, fruit trees and established the largest lemon orchard at that time in Australia. Hiram spent a considerable amount of his time helping to develop the North East of the State not only in his private endeavours but as a public figure. Among his many achievements a few are listed - Councillor, Mayor of Chiltern and Beechworth, President of the Shire on two occasions, Director of many mining companies, Inaugural Chairman and Director of the Beechworth Gas Company roles he held for over 20 years, Foundation member of Beechworth Pottery, Committee member of the Beechworth Hospital, Captain/Superintendent of the Vol. Fire Brigade for over 20 years, Foundation, Life member of and on the State Fire Brigade Board for many years, President of the North Eastern Railway League in Chiltern On a personal level Hiram was involved in lodges including St. Johns #14, Beechworth. and had several grazing properties in the Ovens area. He had the Forest Park Hotel at Carboor, the Creamery at Carboor, and grazing land on which the Milawa Creamery was built during his ownership. He was a committee member for 3 committees duirng the 1888 International Exhibition in Melbourne. Hiram had many voyages around the world studying irrigation, hop growing, tobacco growing and drying. During his retirement in Melbourne Hiram purchased many properties in the Elsternwick area and acted as an Estate Agent. After the death of his second wife Martha, Hiram married for the third time in 1912 to Sophia Maude Heatley. Crawford and Co continued until 1933. [Taken from HighCountryHeritage.com.au]

Inscriptions & Markings

Badge on uniform sleeve reads: CAPTAIN / BVFB Obverse: AB/ Stewart & CO./ Melbourne Reverse: Hiram Collection/ BMM2435