Home of the Clarence River Historical Society, Schaeffer House Museum in Fitzroy St, Grafton.
Home of the Clarence River Historical Society, Schaeffer House Museum in Fitzroy St, Grafton.

Historical Society celebrates 50 years in Schaeffer House

MOVING in to a new house is often an exciting experience, and on this day 50 years ago the Clarence River Historical Society celebrated moving in to their new home at Schaeffer House.

The historical home, built in the 1890s, was the perfect place for the society.

Schaeffer House is not only the home of Clarence River Historical Society but also a museum that traces the history of the Clarence Valley.

Here is how The Daily Examiner reported on the move 50 years ago:


The emerging beauty of Schaeffer House, new home for the Clarence River Historical Society, met with enthusiastic approval by members when the building was handed over to the society by the deputy mayor, Ald. R. W. Fanning, in a short ceremony last night.

Much work still remains to be done to complete the restoration of the house and gardens, which was planned and built by the first city architect, Mr. F. W. C. Schaeffer, in the 1890s.

The original Schaeffer House.
The original Schaeffer House. Adam Hourigan Photography

Mr. Schaeffer designed the present council chambers, his name appearing on the foundations.

Ald. Fanning handed over to Mrs. J. McLachlan, vice-president of the society, and a member of one of the Clarence River's pioneering families, the three rooms which have now reached such a stage of restoration that the society can begin to plan the transfer of its possessions.

The archives and relics are at present accommodated on the first floor of the council chambers.

Ald. Fanning congratulated the chief city health surveyor, Mr. Ron Jordan who, as council's building officer, had been in charge of the restoration work. he was doing a wonderful job, said the deputy mayor. He had used his knowledge to the very best advantage.


It would be a fitting place in which to preserve the memoirs and history of the past for coming generations.

Ald. Fanning said the house was a credit to the skill and art of the man after whom it was named. He was confident that as it became established as the historic centre it would create much interest from the community and visitors.

Mrs. McLachlan expressed the thanks of the society to the city council, and those who had made it possible for the society to gain a permanent home.

The secretary of the society, Mr. J. W. Johnson, said it was a great pleasure for him, as well as the other members of the society, to inspect the house.

It would be a fit place to house their relics and archives.

As well as being an historical and educational place for the future, it would be a fine tourist attraction.

Mr. Johnson said the society was small numerically, but most enthusiastic.

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