Toodyay Historical Society

About Us

Foundation of the Society

In 1980 the Toodyay Tourist Centre arranged a seminar to discuss the Historic Precincts aspects of the Toodyay Town Planning.

There was considerable community interest: 

On 30th October 1980 an informal gathering was held at ‘Glen Avon’ for those interested in forming a society for the preservation and restoration of Toodyay’s historic buildings and character, and in promoting knowledge and practice of old arts and crafts. 

The gathering resolved to proceed with the formation of a society. The inaugural meeting of The Toodyay Society was held at the home of Les & Moya Hammill home in Telegraph Road, Toodyay on 25th November 1980, with thirty-seven members in attendance.

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

Activities of The Toodyay Historical Society Inc
  1. To maintain the identity of Toodyay by encouraging preservation and restoration of buildings and settings of historical significance;
  2. To encourage the use of sympathetic architectural patterns when new buildings are constructed;
  3. To discourage the disfigurement of premises, streets and open places by unsightly and inappropriate advertisements, poles, wires and unseemly structures;
  4. To promote and encourage the awareness of historical values;
  5. To encourage the study and writing of the history of the Toodyay area;
  6. To encourage and assist in the collection, classification and preservation of records relating to the history of the area;
  7. To promote lectures, readings, discussions, excursions to historical sites and exhibitions of historical material and
  8. To encourage contact with other similar associations, especially those in Western Australia.


Coming Events


Please note: Social distancing and other precautions will be observed at all events in accordance with  the government regulations in force at the time 




Sun 27 June, 2pm: Visit to Former St John the Baptist Catholic Church, Toodyay, now a private residence.

Visit and afternoon tea (please bring plate to share). Please park on the road.

The owners have given permission for us to have our afternoon tea around their enormous kitchen table, but bring a folding chair just in case! Member Adam O’Neill will speak on the building's history and launch his new booklet on this topic. 


Wed 21 July: General Meeting

7 pm, Anglican Hall Stirling Terrace, Toodyay

Feature Speaker:

Brian Wood

Sat 31 July: Visit to Yanchep Park 

Stayover an option

Sun 15 August: Annual General Meeting

Guest Speaker: Dr Margaret Pember

 2 pm, Anglican Hall

Stirling Terrace, Toodyay

Research Enquiries 
Still Operating via mail, email & telephone
Submit research enquiries via the usual email address:
Other Activities 
Drummond House Stirling Terrace
Now Open to the public, Saturdays, 10am-noon. Come in and chat, or leave an information request for our archives section. 
Research Access
Donegan's Cottage
Toodyay Showgrounds:
Thursdays 1-3pm 


 THS Snapshots  

Previous years
Some of our favourite 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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