Geraldton Historical Society - Bluff Point Lighthouse Cottage Museum
Phone: 08 9921 3790
Phone: 08 9924 3217
Address: 355 Chapman Road, Geraldton, Western Australia 6530 Australia
Tuesday—Thursday—Friday between 10am—3.30pm
Anyone wishing to have access to research material outside these hours may telephone one of the following numbers and arrangements can be made to open the Cottage.
Historian— 9921 2845
COTTAGE BECOMES A MUSEUM
The Geraldton Historical Society has occupied the Lighthouse Keepers Cottage since 1971 and it is their archival centre with an extensive collection of historic photographs, members lending library, research and reference material and among the displays are heritage lifestyle objects, costumes, textiles, lace and china. Displays are changed and added to on a rotational basis.
A booklet written by historian Mr. Stan Gratte OAM which gives a more comprehensive history of the Lighthouse Keepers Cottage may be purchase for $4.00. A range of books on the history of the Geraldton region are also available for sale.
ABOUT THE COTTAGE
Geraldton’s first Lighthouse, built by Mr. William Trigg, of local limestone is still structurally the same as when constructed in 1876. Sarking timber of the shingle roof can be seen and has been covered with iron to preserve it. The original building consisted of two bedrooms, kitchen, living room, light tower and oil room.
The steps to the tower are original and as can be seen are well worn over the years from the passage of many feet. In later years the back section of the cottage was added and includes an inside toilet and bathroom.
The Fresnel prism lens on display in the living room is from the original light from the Cottage tower and four bolt holes can be seen in the ceiling of the tower where it was bolted.
Two fixed lights shone out to sea, one in the Cottage tower and one in the tower on the beach, and to come into harbor ships and small craft had to find the gap in the reef by lining up the two lights and sail towards them. Leading Lights” is the term used for the lights. The light was a simple oil-burning lamp with a Fresnel prism lens and in clear conditions it could be seen about 8 miles (20 km) out to sea. The towers were whitewashed which made it easier for ships and small craft to see during daylight hours.
The two Bluff Point lights remained in use until the early 1950’s. Vandals tried to burn the woodwork of the tower and it became structurally unsound and was demolished.
On the beach where the tower stood a memorial seat, built from stone from the tower, marks the place and a plaque shows the positions of some of the many wrecks along this coastline.
The old toilet, “dunny”, at the back of the cottage, and in working order, is Heritage listed and one of only a few of the original ones left. A painting in the cottage depicts how the toilets were built in lanes at the back of houses.
A Rotunda is located in the spacious grounds at the back of the Cottage and is available for hire for weddings and other functions. Blinds have been installed to make the Rotunda an all weather facility.
It is a very pleasant picnic stop for travelers who wish to break their journey and it is possible to bring caravans into the Cottage grounds. Toilet and water is available.