Run by the Ceduna branch of the National Trust of SA, the museum is based in the old school house built in 1912 along with a complex of other local buildings including Ceduna’s first post office and first gaol, the Denial Bay Gaol, large machinery sheds, a blacksmith’s shop, a church, and a cottage.
There is also the Wandana Schoolroom, originally sited about 8 km east of Ceduna on the Streaky Bay Road before its relocation to the museum. The museum holds a rare black and white photograph of the interior of Wandana schoolroom taken in 1917 showing a class of around 25 pupils and their teacher, Miss Edith Lee. Miss ‘Ellie’ Lee was to become the mother of former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke (in office 1983-1991).
Items on display include a large collection of household items and restored farm machinery of all types used by the local pioneering families of the past, a room containing a large array of medical equipment dedicated to the Bush Church Aid Society, a plaster cast of a 25-foot basking shark found at Fowlers Bay in 1914 and the skull and ribs of a Southern Right whale.
There are also collections of aboriginal artefacts while of particular significance is the memorabilia from the 1956-1963 British atomic testing program at Maralinga, about 400 km north west of Ceduna.