In 1987 the Golden City Paddle Steamer was purchased and returned to Ballarat by the Apex Club of Ballarat. The Golden City Paddle Steamer Museum Society Inc. was formed in 1988 as a consequence of a public meeting convened by the Apex Club of Ballarat.
The Society is a community based, non-profit organisation which through the support of volunteers and a wide range of corporate sponsors and community groups, was able to restore the Golden City Paddle Steamer to operational conditions.
The Society purchased and renovated Gill's Boat shed and established the Lake Wendouree Museum and facilitated the development of the Boat shed Restaurant. Control of these buildings now rests with the Ballarat City Council. The restaraunt is privately operated and the Museum and Boat-House is managed by the Society.
The Lake Wendouree Museum, established in 1998 and refurbished and relaunched in September 2019, is an interpretative facility serving as a lasting reminder of the rich history of family, sporting and recreational activities associated with Lake Wendouree. Photographic displays both physical and digital will be featured as a Foto Contiuum from November 2019 onwards.