Gately House, a historical monument built in 1878, is another satellite of the East London Museum. It was the home of John Gately, who served many times as mayor of East London, his wife Mary Ann, and their 12 children.
Margaret Gately, hoping for its preservation, generously donated the entire contents of the house to the museum and, through the persistent efforts of the Border Historical Society and the East London Museum Board of Trustees, together with the assistance of the Municipality, this house was saved from demolition and retained as East London’s Town House.
The property was originally granted to Charles Vix, a surgeon with the British German Legion, who arrived in East London in 1856. The small cottage at the back would have been built by Vix in the 1850s and as such is one of the oldest buildings in East London. The house was called Park Gates, after the imposing cast iron gates on the edge of the property, once one of the two entrances to Queens Park.
When it was first built it was a typical example of Victorian Colonial Architecture, rectangular in shape with a wooden decorative bargeboard trim.