West Coast Heritage Centre

West Coast Heritage Centre

Contact details

114 Main Street, Zeehan, TAS, Australia, Tasmania
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(03) 6471 6225
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One of the most notable buildings in the town was the Zeehan School of Mines and Metallurgy built in 1903. This was a school for the instruction of ambitious young men of the mining fields of Western Tasmania with organised training in courses such as metallurgical chemistry and assaying. The school obtained for itself one of the best collections of mineral specimens in Australia.

With the downturn in the 1960’s the School of Mines was forced to close. Zeehan and the West Coast mining companies argued that the School of Mines collection should be preserved for, and on, the West Coast, and they had the support of then Premier and Minister for Mines, Eric Reece. To justify local retention of the collection it needed to be available for public inspection. Thus the concept of the conversion of the old Zeehan School of Mines and Metallurgy to the West Coast Pioneers’ Memorial Museum was born.

The West Coast Pioneers’ Memorial Museum was officially opened by the Premier, Mr E E Reece on Saturday 30th November 1963.

The Museum was managed by a voluntary committee chaired by Mr George Smith and overseen by the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG). Steady development occurred over the next 30 years with additional galleries and buildings added, as well as mining equipment and artefacts sourced from various mining sites around the west coast.

Today the museum has been continuously operating for over 50 years and a large amount of expansion and development has occurred in that time, including a name change to West Coast Heritage Centre to better reflect the business operation. The Centre incorporates four historic buildings fronting the main street of Zeehan, including 30 themed exhibition spaces providing visitors with an insight into the cultural heritage and history of the region. The comprehensive collection details how the west coast has evolved from the time of aboriginal inhabitation to the present day and adds significant value to your visit of our region.