Stanley Athenaeum & Public Room
Following the rush for gold at the Nine Mile a Public Room was built by public subscription in 1856 and opened in 1857 at the height of the gold rush at the Nine Mile (now known as Stanley). A meeting at the Public Room in 1863 elected a committee of ten men to establish a library and a librarian was appointed. This earlier wooden building was destroyed by fire in the late 1860's and the present brick building replaced it on the same site and was opened 1874. It is believed much of the book collection was salvaged from this fire. In 1891 an additional building was added to the rear of the Main Room, this is the building as it exists today.
From 1863 until the 1970’s the Stanley Athenaeum was a lending library and now houses a collection of historic books, the Geoff Craig Local History collection and community archives that are available for reading and research. The Friends of the Athenaeum hold regular temporary exhibitions informed by the collection the Athenaeum continues to have a vital role as the centre of many Stanley community events. It is a small venue and has been a regular meeting place for community groups over the years, including the the Country Women's Association, Stanley New Year's Day Committee, Red Cross and CFA. Currently it is used regularly by Stanley Recreation Reserve Committee, Stanley Cemetery Trust , Stanley LandCare, Stanley Artists and the Stanley Hall and Athenaeum Committee. It has always been a meeting place for small social functions, fundraising events, exhibitions and public meetings.