When Tuncurry celebrated its centenary in 1975 the organizers saw the need for a local museum. A steering committee was setup and the first meeting of the “Wallamba District Historical Society”, now the “Great Lakes Historical Co-Operative Society Ltd”, was held on March 1st 1976. Land was acquired in Capel Street Tuncurry and the old National Bank building in Forster was transported across the bridge in two pieces to become the museum proper, housing a growing collection of artifacts.
Over the years the Great Lakes Museum has expanded to include the original Tuncurry school building, Cheers Cottage, Police lockup, a working windmill as well as other outdoor displays. Inside, the Museum’s collection is now housed in new display cabinets, new carpet laid, ceiling has been replaced and the whole room repainted. Meanwhile this makeover has enabled the area’s maritime history to be expanded and highlighted.