Captain Cook Museum, Cooktown

We were impressed with the museum. The first section was dedicated to Captain Cook. The place was very popular so it was a little squeeze to start with then the crow moved out into the different rooms. There was so much to read.

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The museum has an original anchor and cannon from the Endeavour. A professional diver was used to find and then to recover the anchor and cannon. At the some time they thought they had found four cannons. With the government help and over two expeditions six cannons were brought to the surface. It is thought Captain Cook ordered the six cannons to be hurled overboard to lighten the weight of the ship after the Endeavour ran onto the coral reef. The last cannon was raised on the anniversary of Cook’s death in Hawaii (14th February 1779.)

The museum is in two sections with the newest part being dedicated to Captain Cook. The second section was an old convent built in 1889 and was used as a boarding school. Although it wasn’t always a convent, during the war an American Fleet Radio Unit occupied it after the Sisters had been evacuated to Herberton. It returned back to the Sisters at the end of the war but they never occupied it again. The building fell into a state of disrepair and was going to be demolished but the Cooktown Historical Museum approached the National Trust of Queensland to help keep the old building alive. It was opened as James Cook Historical Museum in 1970 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.

There was a section in the museum dedicated to the Sisters and the studied that once live in the convent.

Then there was a room dedicated to the Chinese influence on the town.

Then there was a bit of everything. (Is it just me, or do those dolls look a little creepy?)

The museum even has a piano that washed ashore north of Port Stewart after a shipwreck. I don’t know what ship was wrecked or what year the shipwreck happened but it would have been early 1900’s. The piano was washed in fresh water to get rid of all the salt and then left to dry out. Five years after it washed ashore it was sold for £25. I was impressed.cook m 13

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