The El Dorado Museum is housed in the old red brick school building: Number 246. Built in 1869, at a cost of 750 pounds, by the mid 1870s the school had 450 students enrolled with 9 teachers. There are records of earlier El Dorado schools dating back to 1861. In the 1890s, half of the school was converted into a residence which was used until 1963 and demolished in 1965.
In the early days, the school was the centre of the town’s social activities, prior to the hall being built, with dances, Christmas trees and Euchre parties (card nights) all held here.
The El Dorado Museum Trust, now known as El Dorado Museum Association Inc., was formed in 1966 to save the old school building from further demolition and the Education Department agreed to hand over the building to the Museum. Members of the Trust began the collecting of artefacts in 1967 and opened the museum to the public in 1969 with an official opening taking place in 1971. The museum is entirely managed by volunteers. It is self-funded through door takings, donations and grants. Most of the items at the Museum have been donated with some items on loan from residents of the town and district. The collection is quite large with over 3,000 items, with many items currently being catalogued and stored to support in the preservation and conservation of the collection.
The El Dorado Museum collection features: Mining history, Cock’s El Dorado Gold and Tin Dredge information, War memorabilia, Household and farming tools, clothing, utensils, ornaments and books, Transport for farming, mining and general use.
Also available for viewing
some school, cemetery and church records, photos and books.
DVD of “El Dorado Gold a 100 years of mining history”, “El Dorado Gold – An Australian Story” edited by Sandra Buchan – a book about the life and times of El Dorado and its families.