ABOUT THE MUSEUM
The Bega Pioneers’ Museum is located in the 2nd oldest building in Bega.
Located in Bega Street, the building was built in 1857 by Surveyor Spencer L Bransby, Commissioner for Lands, as one of the town’s first hotels, known as the Family Hotel, whose first proprietor was John Needham.
The Family Hotel was operated by a succession of licensees for the next 70 years before becoming the home of the Harry Scanes family, who also operated it as a boarding house.
The Bega Valley Historical Society Inc, which had been formed in 1952, bought the historic building, courtesy of a loan from the Municipal Council. The opening of the restored Family Museum took place on April 16, 1977.
Practically every organisation and resident co-operated to make the street procession, sports afternoon and colonial ball at the Bega Showground outstandingly successful.
The society’s founder, Sister Bernice Smith MBE, had a lifetime dedication to Bega and its history. She collected an enormous amount of historical artifacts and material and it is from this base that the magnificent collection of family histories and artifacts housed in the old Family Hotel began.
Today the name has been changed to the Bega Pioneers’ Museum, and the society carries on Sister Smith’s work, preserving the history of the town and its people in a building that has stood the test of time. The museum houses the largest pioneer portrait gallery of its kind in NSW, historical machinery and memorabilia from all the wars.