The Bacchus Marsh and District Historical Society Inc. is a not-for-profit association incorporated in the State of Victoria. It is supported by the Mona Denny (Bacchus) Memorial Trust.

Through the activities of collecting, preserving and sharing local history our members preserve the heritage of the district.

Learning about the history of a place is a good way of bringing communities together through a shared understanding of the unique cultural identity of the common area that we share.



The Society was established on 4 October 1968, by a small group of community members concerned about the fate of the historic police cells built from local sandstone.

Sandstone Police Cells - 119 Main Street Bacchus Marsh (erected at current location 1857)

In Bacchus Marsh the Police were originally stationed at the Police Paddocks south of the Werribee River in Maddingley. The sandstone Police Cells were moved from there to 119 Main Street, around 1857. They were reassembled by the newly formed Public Works Department. Numbers on the stone blocks are evidence supporting the movement of the cells.

The two cell lock up built from dressed local sandstone with sawn plank lining are the oldest on the heritage Victoria Register

Bacchus Marsh & District Historical Society Inc collection

The Society has a simple set of Objectives, they are:

  • The object of the Society is to promote the study, collection and preservation of Bacchus Marsh and District’s history, historical places and objects.
  • To promote and support historical research and publication of the same.
  • The Society shall elect three members of the Association to administer the Mona Denny (Bacchus) Memorial Trust and the terms of their appointments will be in the accordance with the charter of the said trust.

Members conduct the following activities and projects that support our objectives:

  • Answering enquiries on our pioneering families and local history
  • Creating indexes which allow information to accessed more quickly
  • Maintaining a Collection of historical artefacts, documents and photographs
  • Publishing a periodic newsletter and books about the area, organisations and people
  • Promoting local history and heritage on our Facebook page and Blog
  • Organising historical displays and tours for the community
  • Conducting historical research

We are a volunteer organisation made up of more than 50 members, working to preserve, protect and provide historical information to the public and members. To enable us to sustain our activities and maintain research services we charge modest fees to cover our ongoing operational costs.


To join you must read and agree to be bound by the Rules of the Society.


The annual membership fee for the Bacchus Marsh and District Historical Society Inc. is:

  • AUD $20 – Individual

There is no joining fee and subscriptions are due annually from the 1st of June each year.

To apply for membership download the Membership Application form, read the information provided, complete and sign the form, then:

  • Hand in at the Archive during opening hours
  • Post it to the Society
  • Email a scanned copy to the Society

All enquiries are welcome.


The Society currently maintains annual subscriptions to the following state and national history organisations:

Royal Historical Society of Victoria

RHSV is the state body and has a set of objectives that align closely with our Society. They have a comprehensive collection and provide numerous publications, lectures, and workshops to assist regional historical societies in meeting their own aims and objectives.

Federation of Australian Historical Societies

The Federation of Australian Historical Societies was established in 1977. It has eight constituent members, one in each state and territory, and is the national peak body representing the interests of about 1,000 historical societies and about 100,000 members throughout Australia.


The Society is incredibly lucky for the support it receives from several key organisations and individuals in the pursuit of its key objectives and projects. Many projects would not have been started without this assistance. Check out our valued Supporters.


Bacchus Marsh Social History

We are always looking for information and items concerning people, families, community organisations or businesses from past years to add to the richness and diversity of our Collection.

If you do come across anything that you believe would enhance our Collection for future generations, please contact us to discuss options on donating.

Examples FROM THE Society’s Collection

In June 1903 some of the Friendly Societies in Bacchus Marsh formed an association to play Rope Quoits tournaments. The first tournament concluded after a series of matches in September 1903. The winners of the tournament were presented with a trophy in the form of an illuminated photographic portrait of the winning players. Reports of a Rope Quoits Association being formed for Friendly Societies members appeared in the Bacchus Marsh Express from 13 June 1903. Reports of the weekly tournaments subsequently appeared in the Express through June to September 1903. A detailed account of the final tournament and the illuminated photographic portrait presented to the winning players appeared in the Bacchus Marsh Express on 26 September, 1903, page 3, column 1.

Bacchus Marsh and District Historical Society Inc. Collection.

Notice of the subdivision of the Glen Pedder estate being offered for lease by public auction, by the Ballan Auctioneer M. Walsh, on Saturday 10th May 1884 at 1:00pm for Crisp, Lewis & Hedderwick of 51-53 Little Collins St. West Melbourne. The Shire Surveyor was H. E. Standfield of Bacchus Marsh and the printer was Troedel & Co. Lith..

Part of the Hamilton family collection donated by Mr. Darrell J. Waight, Bacchus Marsh and District Historical Society Inc. Collection.

Access to the Society’s Collection

The Collection can be accessed under the guidance of our members at the Archive during opening hours. There are several detailed indices available that greatly assist research by using key words or names.

Access to the Society’s Collection online

To make the Collection more accessible to the community the Society has now commenced the Cataloguing Project. Collection Items are being examined and documented to be made available for viewing at the Victorian Collections website.


The Society is staffed entirely by volunteers who provide high quality historical research services to the public and local organisations.

To cover ongoing operational costs a set of fees and charges has been established for activities such as research time, photocopying of historical documents, reproduction of photographs and postage costs.

The Bacchus Marsh and District Historical Society Inc. will endeavour to find as much information for your request as we can but we cannot guarantee a favourable result.

Schedule of Fees & Charges

Whether it’s a walk-in visit or postal/email enquiry, research conducted by Society historians is only actioned on the basis of a written request (Research Request Form) and is charged in units of one hour or part thereof. A minimum charge for one hour’s work applies and we will advise if more time is required.

The following schedule shows the Historical Society’s fees & charges for members of the Public.

Research Request$25 per hour plus copying costs (This normally represents up to five A4 plain paper copies of documents)
Photocopying onto A4 or A3 plain paper – B&W. For colour double the price.50c per copy A4
$1 per copy A3
Photograph copied onto photo copy paper, photograph paper up to A4 size or a new USB stick.Price on application
* Payment is requested in advance prior to any research being conducted. Direct Crediting is available on request.
Visit us in person

You can visit the Historical Society Archives during opening hours to make a request in person if you wish. Please note that the same schedule of fees still applies.

How to request information

If you are unable to visit the Archive then download the Research Request form. Complete the form and mail it to us with payment. To ensure that research can be undertaken in a timely and cost-effective manner, provide as much information as possible during the initial request.

If you require further information or are unsure about fees and charges please contact us via our contact page.

Other Useful sources when researching

Sometimes we may not have exactly what you want or need to assist you in your research. If this is the case – take a look at some of the other museums and historical organisations within the area at our Useful Links Webpage. They might be able to help.


Bacchus Marsh and District Historical Society Inc.

ABN: 1741 744 6188 / INCORPORATION NO: A0015500C

Postal Address

PO Box 223, Bacchus Marsh, Victoria, 3340, AUSTRALIA


0493 573 530

Contact Form