The ‘Emmott House’

The ‘Emmott House’
85 Campbell St Moruya

The Moruya and District Historical Museum is located at 85 Campbell Street Moruya in an 1875 heritage-listed terrace house built by Abraham Emmott, an early settler to the area.

An immigrant from Yorkshire, Emmott reached Moruya in 1859 and set up a general store on the verandah of his first home. From there he moved to his new Beehive Store in Vulcan Street, and the name of “Emmott’s” held good for over a century.

In 1875, Abraham built a pair of semi-detached houses at 85-7 Campbell St Moruya, using a standard North of England design. The bricks were made locally and now show their age and the lack of firing in their making. As a concession to the Australian climate, good roofed verandahs were added to the English design.

Stepping out from his bedroom to the verandah of number 85, Abraham could see what was happening down the street at his Beehive Stores. Abraham’s house is now home to the Moruya Museum.

The other half of the pair was occupied by Abraham’s son, John, who achieved some renown from an incident that occurred when he was returning to Moruya from the Gulph diggings at Nerrigundah. He was bailed up by the notorious Clarke gang who shot him as he tried to escape, and, as he lay wounded, robbed him of the money and gold he was carrying.

In 1976, the Moruya & District Historical Society purchased 85 Campbell St after a period of renting. In 1979 the NSW Heritage Council issued a preservation order on the building, when a plan to demolish it was being considered. Numerous rennovations have been undertaken over the years, always paying respective to the building’s heritage value.

The Moruya Museum now occupies Abraham’s living quarters at 85 Campbell St. The formal parlour and dining room on the ground floor are now used for special exhibitions. Behind them is the kitchen with its wood-fired stove, and the laundry with its copper and mangle. A narrow entrance hall and stairs lead to the Remembrance Room a permant exhbitiion of wartime stories and objects.

In 1988 the available space to the rear of the building was extended substantially to include a dedicated Research Library. In 1995 the Rotary Room and a machinery shed were built.

We invite you to step into Abraham Emmott’s house and imagine how life must have been more than a century ago.

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