The town’s name is thought to derive from the Aboriginal word Marragon, the meaning of which is uncertain though ‘little mountain’, ‘a companion’, or even ‘plenty of native dogs’ have been suggested. The area was once occupied by the Dharawal Aborigines.
The first European party to investigate the district was that of ex-convict John Wilson in 1798. Wilson had been living with the Aborigines for some years and had almost certainly been in the area prior to the expedition. His party were the first Europeans to sight the koala and lyrebird.
Berrima District Historical and Family History Society was founded in 1960 to encourage the study of Australian, local and family history and to establish a museum and a permanent archive for the preservation of the documentary and material heritage of the Southern Highlands of New South Wales.
The collections cover the major towns of Bowral, Mittagong, Moss Vale, Robertson and Berrima and the many villages in the area including Avoca, Aylmerton, Balaclava, Braemar, Bundanoon, Burrawang, Colo Vale, Exeter, Glenquarry, Hilltop, Kangaloon, Penrose, Sutton Forest, Tallong, Wildes Meadow and Wingello.
Their Image Library contains more than 8,000 images of people and places relating to the area and beyond.
The Historical Society can assist with all historic information for The Southern Highlands.