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The Douglas Shire Historical Society

The Douglas Shire Historical Society meets on the first Monday of every month, alternately in Port Douglas and Mossman at 2pm. We visit historic sites and hear presentations on local history. We encourage our members to research and present their findings or to share old photos.

Join the Society for a subscription of $10 p.a. or $15 for a family. To download a membership form click here for all other enquiries click here.

What the Society does:

  • Operates the Court House Museum, Port Douglas (you are welcome to join the roster as a volunteer attendant)
  • Conducts historic walks for groups along the heritage trail in Port Douglas
  • Researches and publishes local history books and bulletins
  • Collects local history papers, historic photographs and oral histories
  • Prepares and mounts poster displays for schools and the community
  • Promotes signposted historic walks in Port Douglas, Mossman and Daintree Village

Our latest projects are:

  • Researching the location and recording details of old farm machinery in our area
  • A database of graves in the Port Douglas cemetery is in preparation
  • A guided walk through the Mossman cemetery is being researched

Resources & Credits

Many of the images contained on this site are from the State Library of Queensland, which holds the world's largest collection of photographic material relating to the history and development of Queensland and are credited as such.

Other reference sources are suggested for research:

Warning. This site may contain the names and images of Aboriginal and Islander people now deceased.
It also contains links to sites that may offend some viewers

Map of the region

Latest News



Will be closed until March 1st, 2022 for annual maintenance.



The Society is delighted to announce that we have been successful in three funding applications. 

We have a Connected Communities FNQ and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank grant to upgrade this website.

We have a Douglas Shire Council Major Grant to erect five new photoposts in Port Douglas

And we have a Gambling Community Benefit Fund grant towards erecting a new heritage picket fence around the Port Douglas Court House Museum.

Many thanks to the organisations who have made this possible.



will be closed until March 1st 2022

  There is a Covid-safe plan in place with a maximum of 10 people. 

All are welcome to come along and enjoy seeing the freshly made costumes on our models of Ellen Thomson, John Harrison, Senior Constable Denis Carey and Police Magistrate Michael Fanning.

No food or drink inside please.



While you have time at home, why not learn more about the Shire you live in?

Many publications are available for sale from the Publications tab on this site, and there are also various fascinating articles and time lines here.

You can email or msg any questions you have about our history too.

Society members may not be at the museum at the moment, but are always available to share our history with you.

This is the time to improve your knowledge of the history of where you live.


It is wheelchair accessible with a portable ramp kindly donated by John and Jocelyn White

Like our Facebook page.

We also have two blogs on line: 




Visit the Port Douglas
Court House Museum

Wharf Street, Port Douglas
(beside the Police Station)

Open Tuesdays, Thursdays,
Saturdays and Sundays
From 10am to 1pm

Click to download brochure

Portable wheelchair ramp available, please ask the volunteer on duty.

Society's Awards