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Orbost & District Historical Society Orbost, Victoria

The Society operates a Museum which is located in the Council Business Centre/Library in Ruskin Street, Orbost. PO Box 284 Orbost 3888.

The collection mainly relates to European settlement history since 1870s in the Orbost district and a collection of artefacts donated by local people and relating to families. The Society does research, publishes books and newsletters, displays and exhibitions, holds meetings.

Contact Information

location
PO Box 284 Orbost Victoria 3888 (map)
phone
+61 (03) 5154 2474

Contact

Opening Hours

9am - 5pm weekdays

Entry Fee

free

Location

Ruskin Street Orbost Victoria

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A collection of items donated by local families.

Susan Lee Milbourne 20 January 2013 8:08 PM

I would like to trace family farm of Woller family in Orbost district around 1940 to 1945. Could you please advise how to do this. Yours sincerely Lee Milbourne.

Orbost Administrator 23 January 2013 11:36 AM

To Susan Milbourne I can ask for information on the WOLLER family at the next meeting of the Hist. Society in February and get back to you. Please send your email address to me: mayleatch@dcsi.net.au

Karen Harrison 12 February 2013 10:15 PM

Hello. I am trying find information on my husbands great grandfather Lewis Henry Hudson. It has been said by family members he joined a circus in Orbost possibly sometime in 1894. I am hoping to discover if Orbost had it's own circus or if there is any way of finding out if there was a circus in the town between 1894-1900. Any help would be gratefully appreciated. Thank you.

Orbost Administrator 25 February 2013 4:54 PM

Karen Harrison Orbost definitely did not have its own circus. I suggest that you have a look through TROVE newspapers to find any references to circuses coming to this area of Victoria eg. to Bairnsdale or Orbost.

Kay Bristow 5 June 2013 4:00 AM

I think you'll find it is the Waller family, Peter Scott at Mc Laughlins Rd. will know as he is a cousin of Wallers. Kirsten resides in Maffra and her parents are also nearby, Kirsten Waller is in the phone book as a naturopath, regards, Kay Bristow

Peter topouzakis 18 June 2013 8:21 PM

Would like to trace the Drossou bros.

Orbost Administrator 19 June 2013 1:50 PM

To Peter Topouzakis If you send me your email address, I can send you some information on the Drossou family who had businesses in Orbost, including a cordial factory. orbosthistoricalsociety@hotmail.com

Des Smith 7 September 2015 1:10 PM

Hi There.... I am trying to trace some information about a shield that I have in my posession. The inscription reads "Presented by Residents of Jarrahmone to Mrs G.K. Smith in memory of the late Pte G.K. Smith" Geoffrey Kennedy Smith was my grand uncle, fatally wounded in Gallipoli (died London Dec, 1915). This plaque would assume that he was married, but I can find nothing anywhere in the family archives. Do you have anything in your records that might assist my search? Regards Des

Karen Black 8 January 2016 3:37 PM

l recently found an article in TROVE, about a Jim BRENTWOOD, killed by the blacks, in the The Snowy River and Tambo and Croajngolong Gazette, (Orbost, Vic:1890-1811), Saturday 20 October, (sorry can't see a date). Is there anyway l might be able to find out this person, waiting to hear from someone, Karen

Irene Chase 28 February 2016 6:00 PM

Hello. My parents, and two siblings moved to Orbost in about 1955. I was born there on the 4 March 1956. As this year is my 60th birthday, we are going to come and stay in Orbost for the weekend. My father Alan Chase, had a 24 hr Taxi service, with four taxi's. I have one picture of three of the taxi's decorated for a wedding. The Depot was in Nicholson St. I am guessing that it was also our home, but I don't have a number for the house. Mum recalls it being opposite the tennis courts. If someone could help. I would love to see if it was still there. They also owned a milk bar or cafe, again in Nicholson St. Dad's business card lists the taxi stands being located at the Cosy Cafe, and Cardillio's Cafe. A free phone was located at Steed's Store. Any information, pictures etc of Orbost around this time would be gratefully appreciated. My only other possession, apart from my Infant Welfare Centre Book, is a beautiful hand made woven basket. It was payment for a taxi ride. It is much treasured. I am looking forward to our trip. Any information, sincerely appreciated. Irene Chase

Bernadette Francese Robertson 5 March 2016 1:06 PM

I'm after Marlo football photos for my Dad (John Francese). He and my Uncle (Charlie Francese) played for Marlo in the 50's.... The Francese family, Peter, Maria (buried in the Orbost Cemetery), John, Charlie, Mary, Pat and Joe ran 2 dairy-farms on the Marlo road. My Great-Aunt, Eugenia Chirico ran a boarding house in Orbost. I would love any pics or info! I was born in Orbost, 1961. I still have my infant welfare book!!!!

Garry Hurle 6 March 2016 10:43 AM

I would like to hear from anyone who can inform me about the Orbost Gift, a sprint race which used to be held there. I would like to know if it was run in conjunction with the Agricultural Show and particularly what year it started. I know that a friend of mine won the race in the sixties.

Patricia Bates 14 March 2016 1:29 PM

Hello, I am interested in the Rail History Exhibition I've read about in the March Senior newspaper. I have been researching my Family History for many years and my Grandfather, Albert Edward Carson worked on the Railway from 1914 to 1919. I have found him on the Victorian Electoral Rolls for the Division of Gippsland, Subdivision of Bruthen, working as a labourer and a navvy. I would like to attend your Exhibition in April. I would come on public transport and VLine and probably stay over night. Would you be able to tell me what accommodation I would be able get in walking distance to your hall, perhaps an hotel where I could get an evening meal. It sounds a very interesting exhibition and I would like to see it. Patricia Bates, RSL Village, 66 Sage Drive, Frankston South 3199 PS. I didn't know where to put my email.

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2404 items

2404 items

book - Gippsland Heritage Journal

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

A 64 pp magazine, titled Gippsland Heritage Journal No 15 (December 1993). The front cover is yellow with a b/w photograph of a fishing fleet in Port Franklin circa 1918. The magazine contains photographs, articles on the history of Gippsland,

Historical information

Gippsland Heritage Journal is a journal, produced about every nine - twelve months, for those interested in regional, local and family history in Gippsland, Victoria, Australia. It is compiled by Meredith Fletcher, Debbie Squires and Linda Barraclough and includes a diverse range of articles, both academic and non-academic. Since No.24 it has been a partially refereed journal. This copy was used in the library of Orbost Secondary College.

Significance

This item is a useful reference tool for the history of Gippsland.

pen

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

A pearl-handled pen with the end in the shape of a feather. It has metal pieces along its length. There is a copper nib and a silver nib holder.

cruet set

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

An early Sheffield plate stand with four glass decanters. Two with silver lids and two with glass stoppers. Tray has very ornate design.

Historical information

A cruet also known as a caster, is a small container to hold condiments such as oil, vinegar, mustard, pepper. Its shape and adornments will depend on the specific condiment for which it is designed. Cruets were made in silver, silver plate, ceramic and glass, and sometimes a combination of two materials, usually as a glass body with a silver or silver plated top.

Significance

This item is an example of domestic tableware commonly used in the early t0 mid 20th century.

cutlery tray

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

A roughly made wooden cutlery tray/container made from a recycled dried fruit box. It has a leather strap handle attached to the divider. ITtis divided into two rectangular compartments. With it are 14 items of cutlery. There are 6 knives, 6 forks and 2 spoons. The spoons and forks are all silver and the knives are stainless steel with bone handles.

Significance

This item is an example of the self-reliance needed by families during hard times. Many household necessities were made from available materials.

Inscriptions & Markings

Forks made of silver Spoons

woman's lace collar

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

A large white cotton lace collar, roughly rectangular in shape, made from tape lace and with decorative infills. This collar is very pretty and beautifully made.

Historical information

Mrs John Draffin was the wife of a Shire President of Orbost Shire Council. She is reported to have made this lace herself. The design might have been copied from a book of laces.

Significance

Associated with the wife of an early resident of Orbost who was Shire President.

jug

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

Large ceramic bedroom water jug, Beige in colour with gold enscribing. Rim is scalloped.

Significance

This is an example of a late 19th century item commonly found in a bedroom of a comfortable home.

account

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

A white paper account with black print and red lines.It is from Winchester & Rodwell, Engineering & Motor Works to R.P. Cameron.

Historical information

Winchester & Rodwell was an engineering and motor works opposite the Commonwealth Hotel in Orbost. It was the service station for General Motors products as well as the official R.A.C.V. service station. Robert Pullar Cameron was a Shire Councillor for many years. He married Penuel Hossack and had a family of James, Flora, Penuel and Alex.

Significance

This item is an example of the book-keeping of an Orbost business in the early 20th century. It is a useful research tool.

beaded bag

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

Fully beaded drawstring bag with designs of flowers. Tassel of beads attached to bottom of bag. Small wooden hooks on the inside to hold black rope drawstring.

Historical information

Pretty and tiny beaded bags and purses were highly decorated to match the dresses of the era. They were small enough to carry makeup compacts, a few coins, and they were fashion accessories more than practical handbags.

Significance

This item is an example of a clothing accessory used by women in the early 20th century.

dish

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

China dish used for gravy, sauces etc. White with gold edging on handles and around base. Blue floral pattern on front and back.

Inscriptions & Markings

Underneath-W&E Corn. England Porcelain Royale Mona

pair of shoes

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

A pair of deep red patent leather women's shoes with pointed toes and thin heels. The front of the shoe has a decorative small rosette and leaves.

Historical information

These shoes were called "winkle pickers" because of their pointed toes and came into fashion during the 1960s. These were probably worn by Mary Gilbert and donated by her. Mary was a well-known Orbost teacher and historian.

Significance

These shoes have a personal association with Mary Gilbert from Orbost and are also typical of the fashion of the 1960s.

Inscriptions & Markings

Made in USA New York

scales

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

Gold assayer's scales, a very sensitive balance used in the assaying of gold, silver, etc.The scales are comprised of two circular brass pans suspended via brass chains to a metal balance.

Historical information

Scales were used in the Tarnagulla area of Central Victoria by Albert Charles Nicholls, who was a licensed assayer. This information comes from David Gordon of the Tarnagulla.com web-site. “The Nicholls family were very well known and highly respected at Tarnagulla in the 1800s. Albert's father, William Nicholls, was a leading figure in the gold mining community, and he both managed and owned quartz processing facilities for decades. He was probably the leading mining expert at Tarnagulla in a town full of mining experts, and it was said that no man at Tarnagulla had handled more gold over the years that him. (think in terms of tons of gold!) I would imagine the assaying equipment was probably passed in due course by William to Albert Charles. There are records of Albert Charles mining at Tarnagulla with his father as a young man, but AC apparently came down to the city when the gold began to fade. There are records of him living in Kew up until his death in 1932. He was employed as a draper for a long period.”

Significance

This item is a significant item which is part of the history of gold mining in Victory.

candle

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

Small round wooden container with candle inside.

lace collar

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

A coffee-coloured lace bertha collar which is wide, round, flat collar designed to accent a woman's shoulders. It has a long history stretching back to Victorian fashion. It can be worn as an accessory to a dress or a top, and it is sometimes removable like a shawl.

book - ORBOST HIGH SCHOOL 1912 -1987

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

Two copies of a 48 pp magazine titled, "Orbost High School 1912-1987". It has a pink cover with two photos of Orbost High School - 1925 and 1987. In the centre is the school badge.

Historical information

This magazine was produced for the 75th anniversary of Orbost High School. 2238.1 belonged to Mary Gilbert. 2238.2 belonged to Ruth Legge.

Significance

Orbost High School / Orbost Secondary College has played a significant part in the education of senior students in the Orbost district . It is the sole senior educational institution. This item is representative of its history. It is a useful reference tool.

basket

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

Large handmade woven Aboriginal basket.

Historical information

Made as wedding present for Cameron, John (Mrs) in 1880 at Lakes Entrance. John Cameron (1847-1930) selected first land on Snowy River flats. Married Elizabeth Roadknight (1863-1939) who was born in Cunninghame (now Lakes Entrance).

Significance

This item is associated with the Cameron family who were early Orbost settlers.

book - Captain Cook's Voyages

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

A 446pp hard back book titled, "Captain Cook's Voyages" in gold print. It has a black and red cover with a coloured illustration of the landing of James Cook, his crew and the planting of the British red ensign. It has coloured illustrations. Includes Aboriginal encounters with explorers.

Historical information

James Cook was a British explorer, navigator, cartographer, and captain in the Royal Navy. Cook made detailed maps of Newfoundland prior to making three voyages to the Pacific Ocean, during which he achieved the first recorded European contact with the eastern coastline of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands, and the first recorded circumnavigation of New Zealand.

Significance

Cook's 12 years sailing around the Pacific Ocean contributed much to European knowledge of the area. This is a useful reference book.

Inscriptions & Markings

inside cover - :To Fred from his mother, mas 1910"

magazine - Illustrated London News

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

A large magazine. The cover has a red background with a large picture of the royal coat of arms and regalia. The title is in blue print at the top. At the foot is CORONATION WEEK DOUBLE in blue print. In smaller black print is Cost 4/-.

Historical information

This special issue was produced in conjunction with the coronation of Queen Elizabeth 11.

Significance

On the 2nd June 1953, the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II took place and the commonwealth countries, including Australia joined in the celebration.

lace collars

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

Two lace collars made of coffee-coloured lace. .1 has an edge bound with tape. .2 is a rectangular strip.

pattern books - Patons Specialty Knitting Book

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

Two knitting pattern books. Both are black / white and contain knitting patterns. 821.1 cost 7d, is titled "Patons Specialty Knitting Book No. 145" and has on the front cover a lady standing near a buggy wheel. 821.2 cost 1/3, is titled " Patons Knitting Book No. 394 (introducing Patons Double Quick Knitting)" and has has on the front cover a photograph of a man on a boat.

Historical information

These knitting pattern leaflets were published by Patons and Baldwins and contain knitting patterns for women's and men's garments. Patons & Baldwin began as two separate companies: J & J Baldwin and Partners, founded in the late 1770s by James Baldwin of Halifax, West Yorkshire, England, and John Paton Son and Co., founded in 1814 by John Paton of Alloa, Scotland. Both men had formed their businesses using the spinning mule developed by Samuel Crompton. They mainly produced yarns for commercial knitting machines. Patons established itself in Australia with its first mill built in Tasmania in 1923. For decades, Patons was the leading hand knitting yarn brand but due to the market conditions in the mid 1980's, Patons felt the decline and eventually amalgamated with Alliance Textiles, New Zealand in 1996. Patons Australia was acquired by Australian Country Spinners in 2000.

Significance

Knitting has always had a great appeal to women, as it needs few tools. Companies which manufactured yarn often produced instruction guides and patterns. These pattern books are typical of the knitting pattern books commonly used in the mid 20th century. The patterns contained are for garments commonly worn at that time.

book - In Thought Word and Deed

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

A blue covered book of 95 pp, titled In Thought Word and Deed Addresses to Girls. It is written by R. & E. Tyacke. Inside the frontispiece is a sticker of a clown playing a trumpet.

Historical information

This book belonged to Nancye Wallace (nee Warren) as a child. it was probably a book used by Girl Guides

Significance

This book is an example of one of the early books for children which could be didactic and meant to improve the child's moral and spiritual life.

Inscriptions & Markings

"Keith Murray" - stamped "Nancye Warren" =- handwritten in pencil

drawing

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

A pencil (?) drawing of the old Sans Souci Hotel at Upper Bemm River, near Club Terrace. It is a one storey timber building. The drawing has been framed at one time causing differences in light damage.

Historical information

The original licence for the Sans Souci Hotel was granted to A. G. Ventry in 1909. The hotel burned down on 15.06.1923 and was rebuilt. It burned down again in 1936 and the licence surrendered 21.12.1936. with the owner compensated with 475 pounds and the occupier 50 pounds. (info Victoria Government Gazette Thursday December 24 1936) The hotel was at Upper Bemm River near Club Terrace in East Gippsland.

Significance

This item is a contemporary pictorial record of a building which was once a popular destination for adventurous tourists in the early 1900's. There are few photographs of this hotel.

stencil

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

A metal stencil for use on bean or maize bags. It is rectangular with rounded corners, Cut out is "F.W. WARREN ORBOST"

Historical information

this was used by Frank Warren at Bete Bolong / Newmerella. The Warren Brothers had a farm on the Bete Bolong road at Newmerella. They grew beans, peas, maize and pumpkins for export to Melbourne (by train) until the 1970's.

Significance

This item is significant because it was specially made agricultural produce in the Orbost district, a major industry in the first half of the 20th century.

Painting

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

Picture of small village by the sea with passersby. In all gold coloured frame.

Historical information

The painting was created by Mrs M. Bazeley who was the wife of the current Church of England minister and the mother of Dr Percival Bazeley, born in Orbost (1909) who was credited with assisting Dr Jonas Salk who produced the polio vaccine.

Significance

This item is an example of the artistic talents of many women in the early 20th century. It is of aesthetic significance.

Inscriptions & Markings

Front RH corner - M Bazeley,1912

jewelry box

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

Small Sheffield plate trinket box, ornately decorated. Has hinged lid and light blue lining inside.

Inscriptions & Markings

Underneath - W 13 M.&G. 00 321

cheque

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

A paper bank cheque from the Commercial Bank of Australia. It is made out to Shell Co. of Australia for the sum of £1-14-9. It has a purple ½d sta½mp duty in the top left hand corner and an embossed 1½d on the right hand side. The cheque is unsigned.

Inscriptions & Markings

13 April 1933

sewing machine

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

A small hand-operated sewing machine. The body of the sewing machine is painted black. The top arm appears to have been painted in a white/cream colour. The machine could have been used to make small articles. There is no bobbin.

Historical information

This machine was given to Ada Healey as a child. Ada Healey was for 20 years a volunteer and organizer at the Orbost Slab Hut (Orbost Information Centre). She was known for her craft skills and was a particularly fine knitter. Ada was the only child of Tom & Queenie Warne, born in Bombala/Delrgate. She was married to Keith Healey. The Healey family were early settlers in Marlo.

Significance

This is an example of a toy given as a "teaching" toy. It was used by its owner to practise sewing before graduating to an adult type machine.

Inscriptions & Markings

On the stand- A.L.L.

Victorian Railways pencil

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

A thick, hexagonal shaped pencil made of wood, painted dark blue, containing blue graphite marker.

Historical information

Used by Victorian Railways at stations on the Orbost-Bairnsdale line. The Bairnsdale-Orbost railway was opened in 1916 to serve the agricultural and timber industry. Because of the decline in traffic and heavy operating costs, the line was finally closed in August, 1987. Orbost Railway Station was opened on Monday 10 April 1916 as the terminus of the Orbost railway line, and closed in 1987. The station was located on the west side of the Snowy River despite the town of Orbost being on the east side of the river, in order to save on the costs of a bridge over the river, which at the time had highly variable levels.

Significance

This item is associated with the history of the Orbost-Bairnsdale railway line and therefore reflects the role that the rail line played in the social and economic history of Orbost.

Inscriptions & Markings

VICTORIA RAILWAYS written in gold lettering Emperor, Made in Australia

book - Key to the System of Victorian Plants

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

A black book with the title "Key To The System of Victorian Plants 1" in gold print.

Historical information

Ferdinand von Mueller was born at Rostock, Germany, on 30 June 1825 , died at Melbourne, Australia, on 10 October 1896. He studied pharmacy and took his Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Kiel in 1847. He came to Australia in 1848 for health reasons and became a great botanical collector and writer. He was Victorian Government Botanist from 1853, and for a time Director of the Botanic Gardens. He travelled widely in Victoria and was on the A.C.Gregory expedition to northern Australia in 1855-57. He supported botanical exploration and collecting throughout the colonies. Charles Henry [Carl] Grove died on 17/4/1938 at Box Hill at the age of 88 and was buried in Orbost. Prior to coming to the Snowy River district, Carl worked as overseer on Buchan Station. In 1880, he selected land at Newmerella after first coming here in 1874 with early selector James A Robertson. He married Annie Robertson in 1876. Carl was a farmer, hop and seed grower and nurseryman. He was an elected Councillor of the newly formed Tambo Shire in 1882, and then in 1892 to the Orbost Shire where he served for many years filling varioius public roles. In 1911, he shifted to Queensland, but later returned to Victoria and died at Box Hill. (Ref. Nov 2014 Newsletter)

Significance

Mueller was one of the first people to take a scientific interest in Victorian forests, and argued against indiscriminate clearing of land. This item is a useful research tool. It is associated with Carl Grove, a prominent early resident of Orbost.

Inscriptions & Markings

inside cover - "To Carl Grove from Baron Von Mueller March 1896"

book - Autographs

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

A rectangular book with a dark grey/green cover which is padded. The word AUTOGRAPHS is stamped in gold on the ront cover. The inside covers are marbled and the pages are gold edged. Inside are autographs of early Orbost residents, sketches and comments.

Historical information

Possibly owned by Joseph H. Keightly Heath St Gildenhall Stoke-on-Trent N. Staffs England

scrap book

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

A rectangular shaped album / scrapbook with a dark grey /brown cardboard cover and grey pages inside. The spine is black leatherette. It contains photographs, newspaper cuttings, magazine pictures which have been pasted in.

Historical information

This album was a display item at the Slab Hut (Orbost Information Centre).

Significance

Scrapbooks are a reflection of an individual's interests and stories and are often meant to be passed down through generations. They can be a useful research tool as they reflect contemporary interests.

Inscriptions & Markings

on front cover -"SNAPSHOTS"