Mulgrave Shire Historical Society
A history of the former Mulgrave Shire, and a who’s who of the people who pioneered the area is kept by the Mulgrave Shire Historical Society at their Mulgrave Settlers Museum in Gordonvale

After many months of planning, the Mulgrave Shire Historical Society was formed at a meeting in Gordonvale on 17 November, 1977, and under the Chairmanship of Mr. Arthur Hesp the Society’s constitution was accepted. The Society undertook to record the history of the Shire with a bulletin to be presented to each monthly meeting.  The first bulletin, Origin of Street Names in Gordonvale, was presented in December of that year.

Mulgrave Shire encompassed the area from Palm Cove to Woopen Creek with the exclusion of the Cairns Metropolitan Area.  In 1995 the Mulgrave Shire was subsumed into the Cairns Regional Council.

The Society met monthly in Gordonvale, with the October and  May meetings held in Babinda; they also conducted field trips with Cairns and Eacham Historical Societies.

Before long so much historical information had been collected that a librarian was appointed. Keen members soon accumulated historical objects which started to take over their houses and sheds. By the late 1980s it was a case of finding a home for the items or moving house. 

Deciding on the former, the undaunted Committee set to work.  The result was Mulgrave Settlers’ Museum which was officially opened on Australia Day, 26 January, 1992.  The plaque reads: A joint project of the Mulgrave Shire Council and the Mulgrave Shire Historical Society with the assistance of the Gordonvale community and the Mulgrave Central Mill Co. Ltd.

In 2005 the Museum was awarded a trophy and $1,000 prize as the best volunteer run museum in Queensland. Society members continue to publish a monthly bulletin, to man the Museum, to collect and disseminate our local history through the production of books, and by involving school children to represent our pioneers and give a potted history of their lives to enthusiastic audiences through “Ghosts of Gordonvale” and “Ghosts of Babinda”.

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