Mary Boulton Pioneer Cottage and Museum

38 Gumma Rd Macksville NSW 2447

Mary Boulton lived and worked in the Nambucca district all her life. Her grandfather, Thomas Boulton owned the first hotel in town which was situated on the site where the Pioneer Cottage now stands.


38 Gumma Road



To preserve and promote the history and heritage of Macksville and district.


1.00 pm- 4.00 pm Wednesdays & Saturdays, other days or special occasions by prior arrangement.


President: Leanne Welsh Ph: 0407 682 179 E:

Secretary: Beverly Gibbs Ph: 0422 331 878

Research Officer: Geoff Minett Ph: 02 6568 1265 E:

This complex provides a fascinating insight into the life and times of the pioneers of Nambucca District, Mid North coast, New South Wales, Australia.

Set in an award winning cottage garden, the replica Pioneer Cottage, furnished with period pieces, makes it easy for a visitor to imagine how they would have lived 100 years ago.

See the machinery and implements so important to the farmer and timber cutter; the horse drawn vehicles that travelled our early roads, imagine sleeping in the ‘bark hut’ or spending time in

the Police Cell, and discover those bits and pieces that Grandma (or Great Grandma) used.

Local and Family History publications are available to purchase and a postcard depicting heritage scenes or occasions will be a memento of your visit.

A Nambucca Valley Pioneer Wall is being developed and plaques can be purchased.

A Research Officer can assist with your locality or family history project and arrangements can be made for the purchase of copies of photographs from our collection.

The Committee conducts regular tours of places of historical interest. Details are advised in local publications, or phone 0422 331 878.

Social and School Group visits are encouraged and the grounds are a popular venue for wedding ceremonies and special occasions.


Adults $4

Seniors $3.50

Children $2

Social group $3.50 p/p  (10 or more qualify for group fees) (leader or bus driver FOC)

School visits $2 p/p (supervisor/s FOC)


Macksville is located on the Mid North Coast,

New South Wales, Australia—approximately one hour south of Coffs Harbour and one hour north of Port Macquarie.

If you are travelling south along Giinagay Way, cross the Macksville Traffic Bridge and immediately turn left into River Street. Gumma road is a continuation of River Street. The Museum is located two kilometres on the right.

If travelling north, turn right at either the Boundary Street or Partridge Street traffic lights; turn left at East Street and right at River Street. The Museum is located two kilometres on the right.

The late Miss Mary Boulton lived and worked in this district all her life. Her parents were Austin and Mirah Boulton. Her grandfather, Thomas Boulton of Gumma, had the first hotel near where the present Pioneer Cottage is situated.

Mary decided to develop the Cottage after seeing a similar concept in America. Opened in 1970, the Cottage was built from century old recycled timber slabs.

Over the years a wonderful collection has been accumulated, and it is a credit to Mary’s many capabilities.

In 1999 Mary very generously donated the whole complex to the Nambucca Valley Council for the people of the district.

Mary died in May 2003. The replica pioneer cottage is of wood construction with a wooden shake roof (similar to shingles). It is furnished throughout with period furniture and articles used by our early pioneers.

The award-winning cottage gardens within the grounds are green and pleasant and are used at times for morning teas and wedding ceremonies.

The Ellen Partridge Annexe, named for a founding member of the Macksville and District History Group, contains a huge and varied collection of artefacts. It also houses the History Group’s written material on

local history and families, plus an extensive photographic collection. On an outside wall of the Annexe, the newly established Pioneer Wall holds plaques honouring our founding residents and families. An invitation is extended to anyone to place a

plaque on theWall in memory of family, resident of note or friend.

At the rear of the complex, The Shed, erected early 2008 to replace an old wooden building, shows farming equipment and machinery used in earlier years. Horse drawn ploughs, hand-held saws, a collection of early chain saws, a locally built

gyrocopter are just a few of the items in the collection.

The stable (situated beside the cottage) has harness, saddles and horse drawn vehicles; the goal is claustrophobic enough to sober anyone; and the creamery (off to the right of the photo) with its buckets and tools was an essential on early dairies.

Built by the late John Ennis, the replica bark hut, surrounded by dense bush, shows the primitive conditions experienced by early timber workers and settlers in this district.

LOCAL HISTORY PUBLICATIONS AVAILABLE AT THE MUSEUM                                                                              

A Great Idea Which Came to Naught - proposed road to the Tablelands $5

Farewell to Punts - pening of Wilson and Congarinni Bridges $5

Nambucca heads, a Coming Sanitarium, 1910 $5

Picturesque Macksville 1910 - the town, businesses and leading citizens $5

Scott of the Nmbuck - the first settlers of Scotts Head $5

Town & Country Journal - exploration of Nambucca & Bellinger Rivers in 1871 $5

The Old Headland Hall - Remember those Saturday Nigh Dances? $10

Macksville Cemetery - looking behind the name on a headstone $10

Tall Tales of the Nambucca - some older residents reminisce $10

Gumma Chronicles - memories of earlier residents $15

Newee Creek - memories of Anne Unicomb $15

The Top End - stories from Burrapine and Thumb Creek $20

The Midco Book - the beginning and end of Midco $20

The Bragg Family - the arrival in 1886 of an early settler and his family $10

Stories by Alvin Goodwin $10

Eungai & Kinki (Stuarts Point) Cemeteries $2

Who Belongs Where in the Welsh Mob - descendants of David & Eliza $20

Down Vanished years - a history of the Welsh & related pioneering families $30

Precious Memories - a photographic history of the Nambucca Valley $25

A Trail of Rocks - geology of the upper reaches of Nambucca Valley, C Gorley $10

Foods of the Nambucca Valley - typical diets, food products and recipes $20

Family, Farm and Feast - a history of the Eungai district $36

Nambucca Valley Death and Burial $5

Mary Boulton Pioneer Cottage HIstory Tour $5

Blackbutt Pioneer Cemetry $10

Macksville Gift - celebrating the 50th Anniversary $20

Members are compiling additional publications.

Numerous publications and files are available for reference—contact Research officer (02 6568 1265) for details.




Nambucca Valley Council

Postal Address

PO Box 177
Macksville NSW 2447

Street Address

44 Princess Street
Macksville NSW 2447

Visit our Information Centre:

Nambucca Heads:

Nambucca Valley Visitor Information Centre
57 Riverside Drive
Nambucca Heads NSW 2448
ph: (02) 8007 6168 – Thursday to Sunday