Located in the original Portland Town Hall, History House contains a social history display from the Glenelg Shire Council Cultural Collection relating to the region's origins. The bluestone building built in 1863 is also home to the Portland Family History Group who provides a research service on family and local history.
The museum display documents the settlement of Portland from 1834 covering such themes as the original inhabitants, discovery, settlement, surveying the town, immigration, the Henty family, defending Portland, and significant events in the region?s history. Centrepiece of the museum is Edward Henty?s plough, used to turn the first sod of soil in Victoria in 1834. Other key objects include a bucket from Henty?s ship the ?Thistle?, and a fragment from a tree in which Portland?s surveyor Charles Tyers carved the township?s coordinates in 1840.