Welcome to new Toodyay Historical Society website

The Town 0f Toodyay 

Toodyay is on the Avon River, 85 km northeast of Perth, in Western Australia. It was one of the earliest inland settlements in the state.

The first Toodyay township was on the site of today's West Toodyay.














We acknowledge the Ballardong people of the Noongar Nation as the  traditional owners in the area. They gave Toodyay its name, which may mean a place of plenty or a place of mist. 



Toodyay Historical Society 

The Toodyay Historical Society, established in 1980, is a knowledgeable, friendly and active organisation within the town.

Members meet monthly and also hold regular activities including excursions, dinners and lectures.

 The Society has a substantial library of publications relating to Toodyay and a growing collection of historical photographs. Members have produced a significant body of oral histories and a number of small publications relating to aspects of the town's history.  

Experienced members provide assistance to researchers, Too

dyay businesses and local organisations in their historical research. 


Postal Address: 
PO Box 32, Toodyay, WA 6566
Drummond House,108B Stirling Terrace
Research Centre: 
Donegan's Cottage, Toodyay Showgrounds 


Drummond House, adjoining Bendigo Bank


7pm, third Wednesday of month (not December).

Also open for book sales, general information & submitting enquiries: 10am-12 noon Saturdays.



Donegan's Cottage Research Centre

Toodyay Showgrounds 

Toodyay West Rd  Toodyay WA 6566

Opening Hours:  

Thursdays 1-3pm

 (Other times by appointment)

 Driving to Donegan's Cottage: See Map below
Follow Stirling Terrace, cross Newcastle Bridge and take the first street on the left, Toodyay West Road.




Newgain Granary

Historical Society visit 2019



St Aloysius Convent  Buildings


Image from J Mensforth Collection,Toodyay Historical Society Inc.

At the June meeting, members enjoyed a fascinating slideshow of the historic buildings in the St Aloysius Convent complex at the Society's June meeting. 
Beth and Jenny provided a brief history and commentary while members viewed early images of the site followed by many slides of the buildings taken on more recent visits.



 Toodyay: a brief history

Toodyay is situated on the Avon River, 85 kilometres northeast of Perth, Western Australia. It was one of the earliest inland settlements in Western Australia. The first township was on the site of today's West Toodyay.

We acknowledge the Ballardong people of the Noongar Nation as the traditional owners in the area. They gave Toodyay its name, which may mean a place of plenty or a place of mist

From 1860, government and business activity was centred on the new townsite of Newcastle, several kilometres upstream. Newcastle's name was officially changed to Toodyay in 1910. The earlier site of Toodyay was renamed West Toodyay.

 The area's history since white settlement has included farming, timber milling, sandalwood cutting, a Convict Hiring Depot, an Immigrant Depot, a gold-rush, tannin factory and historical tourism.

The area remains a 'place of plenty' today, with a busy town, a vigorous farming community and a significant 'tree-change' population. The town features a rich collection of historical buildings.





Special Report! Documenting the 2009 Toodyay Bushfire

 Click Here




Iconic Ringa Bridge 

 THS Visit 



Coming Events



Upcoming Events 

November 2019

Sunday 24 Nov

   End-Of-Year             Open House      

6pm, Donegan's Cottage, Toodyay Showgrounds

  • Relax on the verandah, bring-a-plate to share
  • (no BBQ this year) 
  • Coffee, tea and chairs provided.
  • BYO cold drinks
  • Special Members' book sale
  • Bring your Street Party Raffle offerings 
December 2019
Friday 6 December

Toodyay Christmas Street Party

Always a fun night!


Drummond House
will be open

***Verge Raffle ***

***Roster help***



There is no monthly Society meeting 
at Stirling House in November



 THS Snapshots  

2018-2019 events
Historic Connor's Mill
THS members enjoying Beth's lively stories of  the Connor's Mill building during its period as the Powerhouse generating Toodyay's  electricity in the first half of the 20th Century.  


The Edison Phonograph returns to Toodyay
Richard Rennie entertained a capacity crowd in the Toodyay Library, speaking on Professor Archibald's remarkable demonstration of the Edison Phonograph in the Newcastle  Mechanics' Institute on Sept 3 1891. Richard also demonstrated a genuine cylinder being played on an Edison Phonograph.

E.L. Mitchell: the photographer who shaped Australia

Joanna Sassoon, special guest at our AGM in April, gave a fascinating talk on her recent book about E.L.Mitchell, the boy from Yorkshire who became a commercial photographer, much in demand. 
Mitchell moved to W.A. in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His work was often published in Western Mail features and the Battye Library holds large numbers of his works, which have tremendous value now for historians.
He was a superb photographer. Toodyay Historical Society has obtained copies of 19 wonderful images of Toodyay and surrounds, c.1920, believed to be the work of Mitchell.
These included iconic local buildings such as  Masonic Lodge, Gaol and St Stephen's,St Philip's Church and rare shots of what were probably Yock Lunn's orchard and  Coondle School.







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