About Us

Introduction

Founded in 1962, the Donald History Group works actively to record, preserve and publish all facets of our local district history.

Our aims are:

  • to identify, classify, record and preserve items of value and interest which are relevant to the history and natural history of Donald & surrounding districts;
  • to stimulate further interest in these activities and to make worthwhile information widely known;
  • to preserve such items and objects as may be collected for our district archives, museum, agricultural museum and other sites;
  • to promote the aims of the group amongst young people;
  • to  research families and individuals and provide that information to members of the public who are researching their family trees.

Our Facilities

We have several facilites in which to hold and display our assets:

The Court House Museum – Located in Woods Street, Donald (next to Post Office).  The Court House is our meeting place and houses regular displays of interest.

The Agricultural Museum

Situated within the showgrounds and fronting onto Hammill Street, our Agricultural Museum houses a large number of historical machines used in the district.  Everything is displayed under cover and is visible at all times.  Some of the machinery was  manufactured by local blacksmiths.

The Old Police Camp

This is a wonderful facility and can be viewed by appointment.  Listen to a mounted policeman instructing a recruit, view and hear the saga of a man in the cells.  Also on the grounds is a Blacksmith’s Shop, a Shepherd’s Hut, a Brick Oven, historical Wagon Sheds, wagons, chaffcutter and tip-dray.

Donald District Archives – We have two adjoining buildings in Woods Street to hold the majority of our assets.  This is your first port of call when researching your ancestors or pioneers – newspaper indexes, obituaries, school records, minute books, shire  rolls and more. Open most afternoons.

 

NATURAL  HISTORY

One of the objectives of the Donald History and Natural History Group is to preserve the natural history of the district.

The most striking features of natural history are Lake Buloke which, when it holds water, is a mecca for some of Victoria’s most interesting waterbirds and shorebirds, and the outcrop of hard rock known as Mt. Jeffcott.

On the  Mount in spring and summer can be seen a golden carpet of hoary sunray (Helipteran albicans) and many more botanical treasures, such as some of Victoria’s most interesting native orchids.  These include the rare tawny leek orchid, as well as golden moths, onion orchid, scented and blue sun-orchids, and spider orchids.

There is also a flourishing grove of native pines and of the drooping she-oak, at its northerly limit of growth; as well as cherry ballarts, beautiful grasses and other flowers – bulbine and chocolate lilies, bursaria, stackhousia, native geraniums and many others.

Kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas and several species of reptiles also enjoy a life of freedom, now that grazing has been eliminated from the Mount.

Currently Friends of Mount Jeffcott work in partnership with Parks Victoria to help maintain and protect the Mount Jeffcott Reserve.