Explore your Heritage
Now open with strict covid-19 regulations around social distancing and hygiene in place, visit this historic building located in Ellen Street in the CBD of Moonta.
Initially built as a Baptist Church in 1866 this building now houses the Moonta History Centre and display. The adjacent residence is the original Baptist Manse. The church was purchased by the government in 1891 and converted for use as a School of Mines, the first one outside of Adelaide. It was later bought by the National trust and converted to a history centre. Contained within the building is an extensive collection of historical records for Moonta and the surrounding areas.
The building houses a variety of working scale models of mining machinery as well as displays of historic mining photographs. There is an extensive collection of medical equipment from the early days of Moonta; and an apothecary display.
The Family History Centre
Along with all of these wonderful attractions the building houses the Family History Centre. The volunteers at the family history centre can assist with family history research as well as research on the history of Moonta and its residents since the establishment of the district. Included available information covers the mining history, the mining era, and information on the families of the Cornish Miners. There are copies of local newspapers, cemetery records, Moonta characters and much more. The building contains a large collection of data and resources on microfilm that can be accessed. They include:
Our Resource Material
The Yorke Peninsula Country Times
Newspapers recorded for well over 100 years
Hospital Admissions Registers
Admissions to the hospital for Wallaroo and Moonta areas
Copper Coast Newspapers
Newspapers from the region not available on Trove- this includes the Peoples Weekly – the original newspaper from the region- which has been transcribed; The Moonta Peoples Weekly, The South Australian Farmer etc
Births, Deaths & Marriages
Births from 1842-1928, Marriages from 1842-1937, Deaths from 1842-1972
Cemetery records for Moonta & Wallaroo
Research on people of significance to the area
Enlistments, Shipping lists, Churches & Businesses, Land titles, Family Histories, Photographs & School Records from both the Moonta Mines School and the Moonta School
Some lessons I have learned from my research.
Our Centre and People
The centre is staffed by volunteers. Our volunteers have a wide range of skills, some specializing in Family History research, others housing and businesses, one heritage archives and photographs and others doing the vital background work of collating and cataloguing which is a continuous undertaking. We can always add more people to our happy volunteer team. We can teach people how to go about research if they don’t have the skills, but would like to learn.
The Moonta History Centre has recently changed its name, from the Moonta Resource Centre to the Moonta History Centre, to better reflect the broad range of history information that we can access, including family history, Moonta houses/properties, historical photographs of the town, the mines and people. As part of this change, we are undergoing gradual refurbishment, with new shelving for books so that we now have a special Library Room. In the Research Room, we have new purpose built desks for the Centre’s volunteers, supplied by funds donated by the winding up of the Moonta Darts Club premises. We also have a new compactus to store and easily access archival material, photographs and files.
The Moonta History Centre is located at Ellen Street in Moonta, in the School of Mines Building and is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 1pm until 4pm (or by appointment)
Our Current Display
Our current special display in our Display Room is on Health and Welfare, Past and Present. It complements our permanent display of old medical and pharmaceutical items. It features our Chemists, Nurses, ambulance service etc. and has available to view the Wallaroo Hospital Admission register, and the Children’s deaths register, compiled by volunteer Shirley Eales from the Moonta Cemetery Records, birth death and marriage records and death certificates.