The Packout Room is the first phase in the development of the Museum of Fishing and the Sea in Port Denison. The Packout Room opened to the public on 11…

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  • Book Shop

    BOOK SALES We can mail a copy of any book on our publication list to any address, postage charge as per book size, available on request. In the first instance…

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  • Library and Archives Search

    Please read the IDHS disclaimer before using this search. Our free archives search can find albums, books, documents, catalogues, family trees, maps etc. from the IDHS collection. For more information…

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  • Russ Cottage

    Russ Cottage was built about 1869 and was purchased by the Shire of Irwin from the Russ family 100 years later. The cottage was leased to the Irwin District Historical…

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  • Irwin District Museum

    The Irwin District Museum is housed in the former Dongara Police Station, Courthouse and Gaol. The building also served as a ticket of leave hiring depot, and police quarters. The…

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Welcome to IDHS

The IDHS was founded in 1964 and is dedicated to preserving the history of the Irwin Districts of Western Australia through our research office and three museums located at the Old Dongara Police Station, Russ Cottage and The Packout Room.
The IDHS is a non-profit organisation entirely staffed by volunteers.

The Society acknowledges the traditional owners of the Irwin Districts, their continuing connection to land, sea and community and pays its respects to elders and their cultures, past and present.

The Irwin Districts Historical Society is an association of people voluntarily working together in a spirit of stewardship to advance the history, culture and natural heritage of the Irwin Shire as a vital force in the development of a sustainable present and future for the Shire and its people.

Our five year Strategic Plan 2019-2024 is available for download.
You can view the objectives of the IDHS here.

You are cordially invited to become a member, see the ‘Join Us’ page!

The Irwin District Museum and Research office is located in the former Dongara Police Station which operated from 1871 to 1982. Permanent exhibits of local history, Lost Trades, Convicts of the Irwin Districts and the story of the Rabbit Invasion of Australia. You are welcome to visit our Research Office located at the Museum.
Learn more about the Westralian Red Ensign.

Our archives are free to search.

Russ Cottage is a house museum, set out to recreate a late 19th century worker’s cottage. It contains items donated by the Russ family as well as other items relating to the Irwin Districts.

Port Denison c1890s
Thomas Reynolds (1865-1939)
Oil on tin | IROB0211

This delightful painting is one of a pair which have recently been conserved and framed with the help of tax deductible gift.
For more information on making a Tax Deductible Donation to IDHS please contact us

Read the recent IDHS Committee minutes here

You can view the content and download our quarterly magazine THE SEA LION from here.

Our PRIVACY POLICY can be viewed here.

Content Links

Our Location

Museum Location

5 Waldeck Street
(PO Box 347)
Dongara WA 6525
08 9927 1323
Open to the public 10am - 12pm Monday to Saturday, or by appointment
Entrance by Donation

Irwin Districts Museum
5 Waldeck Street
Dongara (next to Public Library)
Russ Cottage House Museum
1 St Dominics Road
Dongara (next to Denison bridge)
The Packout Room
3 Macintyre Cove
Port Denison Waterfront
(Fishermen's Co-op building)
5 Waldeck Street
10am - 12pm Monday to Wednesday, or by appointment.
Contact us for current fees and charges
is currently limited. Please contact us if you are planning a visit to any of our museums or research centre so we can provide any particular assistance that would enhance your experience.
We have one universally accessible toilet, available for museum visitors, at Russ Cottage.
is available off-street at Russ Cottage and The Packout Room, and on-street at the Irwin Districts Museum (Waldeck Street).

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