Mechanics Institute - School of Arts

The moral improvement of the town was not forgotten and was indeed important to our early civic leaders. As well as the churches, a Mechanics Institute was established in Harden in 1874. Its objects were the provision of a library and reading room, educational lectures and later a billiard room. For many years it served a useful purpose, but education was never one of its popular functions. In 1909 the Institute built the present hall which included a large auditorium and the building serves as the town hall to this day. Despite the fact that Harden had the only library, the residents of Murrumburrah were reluctant to contribute to or use its facilities.

Although dissatisfied from the 1880s it was 1912 before they laid the foundation stone for their own School of Arts. The building provided a library and reading room, billiard/projection room, large hall and stage and in the basement a supper room. Previously all public functions in Murrumburrah were held in the now demolished "Assembly Hall" at the Railway Hotel. The School of Arts is now the home of the Historical Society Museum. The Society holds its meetings and functions in History Hall, previously the C.W.A. meeting room next door.

Contact Details
Harden Shire Council
Phone: 02 6386 0100
Fax: 02 6386 0105
council@harden.nsw.gov.au