The Busselton Historical Society was formed as a branch of the WA Historical Society on the 4th February 1938. Its inaugurating meeting was convened by Miss May Cammilleri in the Busselton Council chambers with Mr H McLean of the Perth Historical Society presiding. The objects of the newly convened society were stated as to record and collect the historical data of the district. The Society went into recess in 1942 when wartime petrol rationing made it impossible for many members to attend meetings.
The Society did not reconvene until 15th November 1960 when 24 people attended a public meeting in the Busselton RSL Hall with Mr Machar, a Commonwealth Bank Manager, presiding. The aims and objects of the Society were read, along with a letter of support from Hon Stewart Bovell. Mr E Summerville, Principal of the Primary School was appointed President, Mrs Clark appointed Secretary and Miss May Cammilleri appointed as Keeper of Records. A constitution was drafted and meetings were scheduled to be held in the Library of the Primary School in Kent St at a nominal charge of 2/6d per night. The Society started to grow and at the 1962 Annual Meeting Sir Stewart Bovell was appointed the Patron.
The first Society Newsletter was published in May 1965 by Mrs Dorothy Clausen. This newsletter has been regularly published ever since. Copies of all Newsletters ever published are stored in the Museum office.
When the Society first started it did not have a permanent home and the homes of various members were used. In 1974 the Busselton Shire offered the Society the Butter Factory to be used as a museum and a permanent home for all the records that had been meticulously collected since the start of the Society. Society President Mr DG Lord led the monumental restoration effort required to get the Butter Factory and its grounds to its official opening as the Busselton Museum by the Hon Graham MacKinnon MLC on the 24th March 1979.
To this day the members of the Busselton Historical Society remain committed to our responsibilities to both the Butter Factory and the collection it houses. Society members still meet at the Museum every Tuesday to discuss the current challenges and projects!