Stratford Historical Society and Museum

News from the Stratford Historical Society and Museum, in Stratford, Gippsland, Victoria. We are open Tuesdays from 10am to 3pm, and the fourth Sunday of the month from 2pm to 4pm. Our postal address is P.O. Box 145, Stratford, 3862.

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Location: Victoria, Australia

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Cakes in the 1870s

Ever wondered what the cake looked like at some festive occasion in the 1870s? Wonder no more. These cakes were photographed by W.H.Vize some time between 1870 and 1877, during the time he was at Bairnsdale.

They appear to be extensively covered in some form of decoration - were they icing, or pressed paper or pressed chenille?

From the Cahill photograph collection. You can get a slightly better look at them HERE.

Friday, November 23, 2012

How Significant is a Moustache?

Sometimes you need to call on extra help.

Today collection managers came from all over Gippsland to discuss Significance, so we thought we would ask them to help us judge which is the more significant Moustache.

Here we have Dr Julie Fenley, from the Centre for Gippsland Studies, who organised the most excellent day (left), with Pauline Hitchins and Jenny Dickens (both from Heritage Victoria), and Cheral Watt and Sue McCracken (both from Old Gippstown). With Jack Gilruth and Cr Carter.

After today, Jack Gilruth Gilruth has taken a commanding lead - but he is not totally unassailable. Final decision will be made at our dinner on Monday night.

Stay tuned.

(And seriously - it was a wonderful day, with a chance to catch up with people from as far apart as Mallacoota and Warragul. It reminded us how important it is to research and record the items in our collection, and to tell their stories.)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Race is On!

There is dissent in the ranks! No-one can agree which is the best Hairy Mancestor to represent us for this year. So everyone has agreed to put their money where their mouth is.

The Race is On. Members and museum visitors are voting for their favourite Hairy Mancestor. Will it be William Henry Carter, Councillor of the Shire of Avon from 1901 to 1931? Will it be Jack Gilruth, with his 1910 portrait for his future mother-in-law in Dargo?

No doubt when the photos go around at the Christmas dinner on Monday night, one will come out a clear leader. But which one? Save your small change, everyone - it is a good cause.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Dargo Bush Nursing Book

A new book has been released, for the Dargo Bush Nursing Centenary. They ran out of print quickly, but more are being printed. It costs six dollars - not bad for 56 pages, with lots of colour photographs. 
To reserve your copy, contact Brian Madigan at Dargo.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Jack Gilruth's Moustache

Disclaimer: This photograph has been digitally repaired, somewhat roughly, to remove silverfish damage. 
No moustache extension or enhancement occurred during that process.

November is really Movember, the month of the year when we pull out photographs of our Hairy Mancestors, and post them to facebook in order to raise cash for men's health projects. We have been having a ball! Here is Jack Gilruth Gilruth (we know not why his second given name and surname are the same), who at the time of the photograph above, was writing to Mrs Cahill in Dargo to announce that her daughter Maude had accepted his proposal, so he was about to become her son-in-law.

And, until today, apart from that they married in 1911, that was all we knew of them.

But wait!

A further exmination of the catalogue has found that the moustache (still attached to Jack), has crossed the Tasman, and continued to flourish. (We can see it in the photo below, under strong magnification).

This photograph, from Tosca Studio, in Wellington, New Zealand, bears an inscription on the reverse "Twelve Months married Today, Jan 30th, 1912."  So once Maude accepted his proposal, they were married two months later, and moved across to New Zealand.

There is another of them in the collection, undated but older, also from Tosca Studio in Wellington. 

The moustche is surviving quite well:

After that we know not what happened to them.

Or how long the moustache continued to flourish.

But we shall think of them often.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Leonard Nelson

Alfa has been working hard on the suitcase full of photographs that came to us from the estate of the late Ernie Cahill, from a large Dargo family.  There are many treasures in there, not the least the fan photographs of Leonard Nelson, an important early Australian variety performer.

You can read more about him HERE. Thanks to Inside History for the link.

Prominent among them are nine postcards of him pulling faces. Well, eight pulling faces, and one as he would wish to be seen. The one above is signed "Yours Burgulary". The one below is "Yours Smilingly"

Unfortunately, some are a little worse for wear, and silverfish had a wonderful time with them. But these days we can fix that. Here he is as he would wish to be seen, just signed "Yours, Leonard Nelson"

Some of the material would tend to suggest that he knew the Cahill family, but we cannot establish a link. He remains one of our mysteries. Here is a last one, silverfish and all. It is "Yours Henpeckedly"

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Hairy Mancestors

November is really Movember, when we concentrate on our Hairy Mancestors. So we have scoured our files, and decided that Councillor William Henry Carter, shown here in 1927, is the Hairiest Mancestor of the Stratford and District Historical Society.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Teaching at Ramahyuck

Interesting and authoritative article on teachers at Ramahyuck in the latest issue of the Public Record Office journal Provenance.