Irwin Districts Historical Society and Russ Cottage

Old prison protects pioneering history

Wander through the old police house and court rooms which today house the vast Irwin Districts Historical Society collection and you can almost hear the click of chains which once bound prisoners here. So imposing is the building that Dongara continues to hold court here every second month in the hope of deterring would-be offenders. Be sure to peer into the depths of the well out the back, check out the historical artefacts in the old stables and walk the outline of a cell which was once crammed with Indigenous prisoners. These men had been marched to the tiny cell to await transport and horrendous conditions at the Rottnest Island Prison on Wadjemup. While you are in Dongara, you can also visit Russ Cottage Historic House Museum at 1 St Dominics Road, Dongara, and The Packout Room Pop-up Museum at 3 Macintyre Cove, Port Denison.




5 Waldeck St
Dongara WA 6525

Opening Hours

Mon to Sat 10am to 12pm

Stepping out in style

In May 1927 a Muriel Henning, wife of WA politician Charles Harriott Henning joined the country’s upper echelons for the opening of Parliament House in Canberra, wrapped in the velvety embrace of this...

Wildflower tourism emerges

While locals had long admired the profusion of dazzling wildflowers which erupted around Dongara each spring, it wasn’t until the 1960s that wildflower tourism emerged. The Midland Railway Company...

Ticket to life

This scrap of paper is one of just two remaining Western Australian tickets of leave which permitted convicts to travel for work. It belonged to a fellow by the name of Ben ‘Taffy’ Jones, who was...

More Coral Coast collections

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More than a country courthouse collection

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Relocating Koobabbie Farm, kitchen sink and all.

This collection was saved by Coorow Heritage Group, after it was gifted three buildings and the farming equipment from a historically significant farm. Find out about the history of Samuel Rudduck and...

The men behind the medals

The Geraldton RSL Birdwood House features a collection of military artefacts within the Birdwood Military Museum. The items reveal something of the men behind the medals and the characters behind the...

While you're in the area

Seaspray Beach Holiday Park
Seaspray Beach Holiday Park
Spoil yourself when next you stay in Dongara at the only place that offers...
79-81 Church Street, Dongara, WA 6525
Irwin River Nature Trail
Irwin River Nature Trail
Take a riverbank walk from the heart of historic Dongara, on the Thungara...
Church Street, Dongara, WA 6525
Dongara Heritage Walk
Dongara Heritage Walk
The Dongara Heritage Trail is a pleasant 1 hour self-guided walk through...
Waldeck Street, Dongara, WA 6525
Dongara Tourist Park
Dongara Tourist Park
Dongara Tourist Park offers cabin accommodation. Powered and unpowered...
8 George Street, Port Denison, WA 6525