The Tea Tree Gully Heritage Museum is based around the old Highercombe Hotel, opened in 1854 in the village of Steventon, which served as a hotel, a community meeting room, a post office, a school room, and postal officer, teacher and private residence. In 1965 the Tea Tree Gully Branch of the National Trust of SA was formed to save the building and volunteers continue to preserve and present local lifestyles of the 1850s to 1950s.
The two storey bluestone main building consists of thirteen rooms displaying the domestic lifestyle of yesteryear. Outdoor pavilions display the themes of: ‘Slab Hut to Food Bowl’, ‘Vines to Wines’, ‘Hoe to Harvest’ and ‘Carts to Cars’. A Blacksmith Shop, with a resident blacksmith, and the original Tea Tree Gully 1920s Police holding cell are complemented by horse drawn farming implements and wheelwright tools. Set amongst beautifully kept gardens, a visit is well worthwhile.
Heritage on Sunday events (third Sunday) are very popular – with changing themes. School visits in line with the National History Curriculum offer educational, enjoyable and hands-on experiences. Bus tours and seniors groups enjoy their visit reminiscing and chatting over morning tea or a light lunch. Volunteers organise special exhibitions and unique events – Murder Mysteries, A Touch of Christmas Past, Breakfast with the Birds, Teddy Bear Fair, etc. The venue is hired out for events from garden weddings to paranormal lock-ins!
The Museum is Accredited in the Community Museums Program of the History Trust of SA.