Our Museum Building
The Boorowa Museum is located in what is believed to be the last commercial building of pise (rammed earth) construction still in use in Australia. The building was built circa 1860 by George Patterson as his undertaker's premises. Extensive restoration of the building took place in 1999/2000 through Commonwealth Federation Fund and Booowa Council grants.
Here is a time-line of what we know about the history of the building:
1880 - 1882
George Patterson first son of Irish immigrants Joseph Patterson and his wife Margaret (nee
Hurley) was born on a property called 'Broughtonworth' in 1853. The Patterson's second son
Thomas was born in 1855. George moved to Burrowa (later known as Boorowa) and married
Catherine Carmody in 1876.
In 1882 on land that extended from Marsden to Market Street, George constructed a 'pise'
building, and set up his business as a Builder, Contractor and Undertaker, the front section of
the building became a general store, run by his wife Catherine.
A timber framework was erected to support the 'pise' walls and later removed as the mixture
of mud and ash cured. The walls were coated with a mix of sand and lime before being 'comb'
painted. There were no foundations set out prior to the construction of the building.
1883 – 1913
George Patterson and his sons John Joseph and Thomas Patrick, conducted their undertaking
business on the site for thirty-one years. A team of horses was housed at the premises and
horse drawn hearses were used to conduct funerals in Burrowa and the surrounding villages.
1914 – 1958
The undertaking business was carried on at the site for a further fifteen years until George
Patterson sold the land and buildings to his son John Joseph in 1929. John Joseph Patterson
continued as then Boorowa and surrounds undertaker for a further forty years.
1959 - 1971
The building usage changed when John Joseph sold to Michael John Dromgold, a bee keeper.
The Dromgold family lived in the premises and operated the bee keeping business for about
fifteen years until selling the premises to the Boorowa Shire Council.
1972 – 1974
The Shire Council used the building as a rental property for local families for several years
until it was decided to lease it to the founding members of the Boorowa and District Historical Society in
1974, for a
1975 – 2001
Extensive restorations to the 'pise' building took place during this time using Commonwealth
Federal funds and a $10,000 Boorowa Council Grant.
2002 – Present Day
The building continues to house the Museum, maintained by volunteer members of the Boorowa and District Historical Society