Charlton Golden Grains Museum

Located in the former Mechanics Institute building (1882), the award winning Charlton Golden Grains Museum showcases a diverse collection of over 3000 artefacts and photographs from Charlton district's First Peoples through to today. Open Sundays 11am - 3pm or by appointment. Family history research service available.

1 High Street, Charlton VIC 3525
0418 361 971


In the early 1970's the Charlton Chamber of Commerce was concerned that our local history was not being preserved. In 1973 a public meeting was called by the Shire President, Cr. G. J. Cadzow and the Charlton Golden Grains Museum Committee was formed. The Shire Council agreed to give the museum free tenancy of the Mechanics Institute building which had recently been vacated by the Soil Conservation Authority. An appeal was made to all residents for photographs of local historical interest, old household equipment, farming tools, heirlooms and antiques. In December that year, the committee successfully held its first display afternoon.

By 1974 the museum committee had a permanent display in two rooms with a third room being used for research and meetings. Local newspapers dating back to 1878 were donated by Charlton Tribune proprietor, Ian Cameron and the North Central News.

In 1977 the largest room of the building was made available to the Museum, significantly increasing the display area. In 1995 a separate room, previously a ladies rest room was also made available.

The Charlton Golden Grains Museum continues to thrive due to the enthusiasm of its members and its collection continues to grow through the generosity of the local community.

Mechanics Institute

The Charlton Mechanics Institute was formed in 1878 and a library based at the Court House, was up and running shortly after.  By 1880 there was a fulltime librarian to supervise the reading room. Fundraising was ongoing and a Crown grant was secured as a site. Finally the new Institute building was opened on 31 December 1882 and the library of 1000 volumes were transferred from the Court House. Charlton Shire Council became a tenant in 1895 and remained in the building until 1911. It was also used as clubrooms by the adjoining Bowls and Croquet clubs. By 1941 the library had moved to the newsagents and the reading room was closed. In 1951 the Infant Welfare Centre was relocated into renovated rooms and remained until 1962. The Soil Conservation Authority then moved in and remained there until 1973 when the building was taken over by the Charlton Golden Grains Museum.

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