Broken Hill Historical Society officially opened and began operating a historical museum inside the Silverton Gaol on 15th. September 1968.
The Silverton Gaol museum has a massive collection of quality artefacts and records associated with the discovery and development of the North Western District of New South Wales, easily one of the best of its kind in Australia.
The museum has something for everyone, a couple of cells have been left untouched as inmates would have known them. Other cells and rooms house displays very rarely seen today.
The original gaol consisted of a makeshift timber and iron structure. Twenty two prisoners would cram into four small cells and fastened at night in leg irons, regardless whether or not they had been tried. When the limited cell accommodation overflowed, prisoners were chained to nearby peppercorn trees.
The present building was built by Walter & Morris at a cost of £5,035 in 1889.
By 1892 the gaol was used only for short-term prisoners and overnight lock-up purposes, became a boys' reformatory in the 1930s and closed altogether in 1943, due to the decrease in the population of Silverton and the establishment of the Police Court, District Court and Quarter Sessions at Broken Hill.
The residential section of the gaol was tenanted for a number of years. The property subsequently was abandoned, and soon became a target for extensive vandalism.
The Historical Society set up a special trust in 1966, to which the New South Wales Department of Lands granted the property in 1968.