Our History

Photograph of Money's Motor Garage, The Biz, Wheatley's General Store and the bay tree at the Vintage Village

Established in 1983, Fairfield City Museum & Gallery consists of a heritage museum, an art gallery and an exquisite heritage Vintage Village.

The Museum

The Edwardian style museum building has been around since long before the museum was established, with the building being erected in 1913 in Smithfield, Fairfield City's oldest township. Until 1920, the building was used as the Council Chambers of the then Smithfield and Fairfield Municipality. That year the Council found a new home in the commercial centre of Fairfield and the building found new landlords, James and Florence Morris and their daughter Maisie. The house was in their hands until 1980 when the last of the Morris family - Maisie - passed away. Before she died, Maisie made sure her wishes were fulfilled. The house would be transformed into a museum.

After some successful lobbying by the Fairfield Historical Society, Fairfield City Council bought the property in 1980. Three years later, in 1983 the Fairfield City Museum was a reality. In the next few years, the place grew with the addition of buildings at the rear of the site. Nowadays, the Fairfield City Museum & Gallery comprises three different sections. Apart from the 1913 museum building, the place has experienced a major development with the addition of the Stein Gallery and the nostalgic Vintage Village.

The Stein Gallery

The Stein Gallery, built in 1995 was designed and positioned to compliment the style of the former Council Chambers building and has since provided quality exhibitions inspired by local, state and national contributors. The gallery is named after the pioneering family that settled in the area and whose descendants are our foundation members.

Vintage Village

Among visitors, the Vintage Village is one of the favourite areas. A real excursion to the past, the village recreates local businesses and residences from the 1880s to the 1930s. The Vintage Village is comprised of both original heritage-listed and reconstructed buildings.

One of the most significant buildings found in the Vintage Village is the 1880s Slab Hut. Classified as a heritage item, the Slab Hut was built with roughly cut Australian hardwood. It is one of the oldest surviving buildings in the Fairfield area and it's the best locally preserved example of a Victorian vernacular cottage. The house may have been constructed as early as 1836, the year that the township of Smithfield was first settled.

Caversham Cottage is another notable piece of history. Built in 1880 on Smart Street in Fairfield it was dismantled and rebuilt at Fairfield City Museum & Gallery. Caversham is a fine example of a late Australian Victorian period Georgian style weatherboard cottage.

Visit the Vintage Village page here