permaneNt Display: Museum Building
The Emmott House is home to the Moruya Museum – but it is also an important heritage place in its own right.
History of the Emmott House
In 1875 Abraham Emmott built this pair of semi-detached 2-story terrace homes at 85-87 Campbell St Moruya. The homes used a standard North of England design, covered verandahs were added to keep out the hot Australian sun. The bricks were made by hand locally, and now show their age and lack of firing in their making.
An immigrant from Yorkshire, Emmott reached Moruya in 1859 and set up a general store on the verandah of his first home. From there he moved to his new Beehive Store in Vulcan Street, and the name of “Emmott’s” held good for over a century. Stepping out from his bedroom to the verandah of number 85, Abraham could get a good view of what was happening at his Beehive Store on Vulcan St, where Harris Scarfe is today.
Number 87 was occupied by Abraham’s son, John, who was famously robbed when returning home from the Gulph diggings at Nerrigundah. He was bailed up by the notorious Clarke gang who shot him as he tried to escape, and, as he lay wounded, robbed him of the money and gold he was carrying.
House Restored to Former Glory
In 1976, the Moruya & District Historical Society purchased 85 Campbell St after a period of renting. In 1979 the NSW Heritage Council issued a preservation order on the building, recognising its unique architectural qualities and largely unaltered exterior. The building survives as a legacy of one of the earliest successful business families in the region.
The Moruya Museum now occupies Abraham’s former living quarters at 85 Campbell St. The formal parlour and dining room on the ground floor are now used for special exhibitions. Behind them is the kitchen with its wood-fired stove, and the laundry with its copper and mangle. A narrow entrance hall and stairs lead to the Remembrance Room a permanent display of wartime stories and objects.
In 1988 the available space to the rear of the building was extended substantially to include a dedicated Research Library. In 1995 the Rotary Room and a machinery shed were added. And in 2010 the heritage-listed Stonemason’s Lathe was installed in an outdoor exhibit in the grounds next to the Emmott House.
For more information on the Emmott Family see The Evolution of Emmotts and Mr Emmott blasts Queen St
Leave a Reply