The Bay Roberts Heritage Society was founded in 1989 and incorporated in 1991 in an effort to stem the erosion and destruction of the last remnants of the history and culture of the town.
Artifacts were being discarded or sold to outside interests, and older buildings were allowed to deteriorate and were torn down. The founding members were Betty Jerrett (chair,) Rexine Bradbury (treasurer), Phyllis Russell (secretary) and directors Jean Hillyard and Eric Jerrett. Dr. Wilson Russell was later added as a director and Christopher Pratt as honorary chair.
In 2002, the Society received the Manning Award of Excellence from the Historic Sites Association of Newfoundland and Labrador for the restoration and presentation of the Shoreline Heritage Walk.
The Society was successful in obtaining ownership of the former Western Union Cable Building, established in 1913. The purpose was to save a historic building, provide space for a museum, gallery and archives and a home for the town council.
After restoration, the building received a plaque recognizing its status as a Provincial Heritage Structure. Later, the Society received the Southcott Award and the Manning Award. The cable building is now a municipal Heritage Structure and National Historic Site.
In 2001, the Society received the "Award of Merit" from the Museum Association of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Society set up a "Friends of the Museum" organization. Their contribution is essential to the ongoing operation of the museum and gallery.
— Contributed by the Bay Roberts Heritage Society