A collection of artefacts from Shellharbour City Council's earliest meetings will be on display to celebrate its 160th birthday.
The Shellharbour City Museum exhibition will allow residents and visitors to step back in time until the end of June.
The council's first Minute book from July 1859, detailing the minutes of the first meeting, will be on display.
The Mayoral and Town Clerk robes and wig are included in the exhibition, as well as the stately Mayor's chair and the original 1859 council seal used to stamp official documents.
Mayor Marianne Saliba said the exhibition was a fascinating journey into the past.
"Most people don't realise that Shellharbour is the third oldest local government area in NSW and arguably the youngest city," she said.
"The artefacts in the exhibition are a precious link to our city's heritage. Our museum staff have done a wonderful job curating this exhibition and I encourage the community to visit and connect with our history.
"Myself and council's general manager, Carey McIntyre, are proud to have a personal link to Shellharbour Council. We are both second-generation representatives. My mother, May Hudson, was an alderman and Mr McIntyre's father was a council employee for 35 years."
The exhibition is part of the council's 160th birthday celebration which will also include the Shellharbour Live and Local Music Festival will be held on June 22.
The event program from June 14 to 22 includes free walking tours in Albion Park, a community public art exhibition with dioramas made by school students, workshops and more.
History of Shellharbour council
The local government was established when 210 people of Shellharbour and surrounding areas signed a petition dated January 14, 1859.
The Municipality of Shellharbour was proclaimed on June 4, 1859.
Under the provisions and accordance of the Act, the Council had to prepare estimates required for expenses such as tolls, rates, dues, fencing, roads, bridges, punts, wharves and other public works within a Municipality.
The first meeting of council was held at the Shellharbour Schoolroom in Addison Street on 22 July 1859 with nine elected councillors:- Robert Wilson, Andrew McGill, Patrick Collins, Ebenezer Russell, William Wilson (Chairman), Robert Martin, William James, William Moles and Joseph Dunster.
Meetings were conducted in a room rented at the Peterborough Store on the north-west corner of Mary Street and Addison Streets, Shellharbour until the first council chamber was built adjacent in 1865 in Addison Street.
The Council Chambers served at Shellharbour Village until the late 1890s, when Council sold the building and moved to a new Council Chamber building in Flinders Street (now Tongarra Road), Albion Park.
With the establishment of the railway at Albion Park in 1887, goods were transported by rail, and business in Shellharbour Village suffered a setback. In 1953 the Albion Park Council Chamber was re-modelled with a brick front entrance.
Due to further expansion, the Council Chambers again moved to new premises at Warilla, which opened in 1969. Shellharbour achieved City status on and from 1st January 1996, with the Council now known as Shellharbour City Council.
The Council Chambers are now located within the Shellharbour Civic Centre, which opened in January 2018.