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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

View on Google Maps

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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2571 items

2571 items

books - Gippsdoc A Bibliography of Gippsland

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

Four thick volumes of "Gippsdoc A Bibliography of Gippsland". Volumes 1, 2 and 3 have blue covers and Volume 4, the Supplement, has a beige cover. Volume 3 has 1072 pp and is an index. These books list published books which are about Gippsland.

Historical information

The Gippsland Institute of Advanced Education was opened on 20 November 1976. The Council of the Institute included members of the Gippsland community who are prominent in local government, industry, commerce, education and the professions, the Director of the Institute, and representatives of the academic staff, students, and graduates. The institute assumed responsibility for the diploma courses previously offered by the Yallourn Technical College. Initially, all the Institute's teaching was conducted in the diploma building of the Yallourn Technical College. In 1972 the Institute transferred part of its operations to the first of its permanent buildings on a large campus in rural surrounds near the township of Churchill.

Significance

These books are useful reference tools.

labels

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

Large square white labels with red print - "ORBOST BUTTER".

Historical information

These unused labels would have been used at the Orbost Butter and Produce Factory.

Significance

The Orbost Butter and Produce Co. Ltd was registered on June 1st 1893 and was an important source of income to the Orbost district.

cake mixer

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

An early Sunbeam Mixmaster. It is an electronic stand mixer with a black metal base in the shape of a rounded teardrop with two holes for the turntable. It has a cream enameled metal arm, cream coloured metal motor housing with a black plastic handle on the top. On the back of the motor housing is a black plastic knob with ten speed options for the mixer, and the "OFF" position. a black electric cord is attached under the motor housing with a black switch beneath the cord. The motor housing is able to tilt backwards on a hinge which is attached to the top of the stand arm. It is worked on AC or Dc power 240

Historical information

The Mixmaster 9B in 1948 was the first Sunbeam appliance to be made in Australia. It was designed in the USA.

Significance

After years of rationing and shortages, the 1950s were a period of economic prosperity, high employment and great technological development. During this period, Australians enthusiastically adorned their homes with a dazzling range of new domestic appliances. Hire-purchase schemes allowed people to take products home and pay for them in instalments. The American-designed Mixmaster 9B was the first Sunbeam appliance manufactured and sold in Australia in 1948.

Inscriptions & Markings

On the bottom are the words "MODEL 9B".

certificate

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

A small white paper certificate with black print and hand-written details. It is a "certificate of a child being sufficiently educated" issued by the Victorian Education Department for Mary Stratford of Banyena. In the top left corner is the seal of the Victorian Education Department.

Historical information

This is a certificate for Mary Stratford indicating that she has attended school to a sufficient standard. It has been signed by the inspector A. Jackson.

cup

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

Large white ceramic cup with "National Patriotic Fund Board" on front.

Historical information

Patriotic funds are a type of trust fund created after the First World War, when Victorian communities raised money to assist soldiers and their families. They provide welfare services and clubrooms for returned service personnel and their dependants

Inscriptions & Markings

Underneath - Made in USA 1943

cow bell

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

A rectangular shaped iron bell with a clapper inside.

Historical information

This was used by the Cameron family on their dairy farm at Orbost. The Cameron families were early farmers at Orbost and Marlo.

Significance

This was used by the Cameron family on their dairy farm at Orbost. The Cameron families were early farmers at Orbost and Marlo.

ticket

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

A red cardboard shield - shaped ticket with "NEWMERELLA FOOTBALL CLUB member's ticket 1956" on it. It has two blue coloured cord ties.

Historical information

The official Newmerella Football Club was probably started in 1913. Simon Gargan was the founder of the Newmerella Football Club.Prior to that teams played socially in Orbost and district. This item probably belonged to A. Wait

Significance

Football clubs, through their many changes, have always been an important social fabric of the community. Sport is often regarded as an important part of life in rural Australia, contributing to community identity, sense of place, social interaction and good health.

Inscriptions & Markings

Newmerella Football Club Season 1956 Member's Ticket. N.G. Heinko Pres; G.C. Collis, Hon Sec"

pump

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

A hand-operated car tyre pump with brass fittings. It has a steel tube, a wooden handle and a metal foot rest.

Significance

This is an example of a once common motoring accessory no longer used.

signal lamps

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

Two railway signal lamps. These are kerosene burning lamps made of metal and painted red. Both lamps have carrying handles at the top. .1 has a green glass lens and .2 has a red glass lens.

Historical information

Possibly used in the Orbost district. Railway lamps of this kind were hand signalling lamps used by train guards, shunters and sometimes signalmen and station staff. They could signal the locomotive crew at night to let them know what to do (move forward/move backward/right-of-way) when leaving a station, goods yard or siding.

Significance

Railway lamps of this kind were significant railway items in their period of use as essential tools to the safe-working operations of the railway.

magazines - Croajingolong Document of a Decade

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

Two copies of a magazine with a dark blue cover. It is titled Croajingolong Document of a Decade. On the front cover the print 1960-1970 Vol.2 No. 3 is in yellow/gold and the Orbost High School crest is on the left hand side in yellow.

Historical information

This is a special issue of the annual Orbost High School magazine. It revisits the decade 1960-1970. The name Croajingolong derives from the Australian Aboriginal Krauatungalung words galung, meaning "belonging to" and kraua, meaning "east". 2218.1 belonged to Mary Gilbert, a former teacher at the school.

Significance

This magazine is a useful reference tool.

Inscriptions & Markings

2218.2 has autographs inside the covers. 2218.1 has the Orbost Historical Society stamp on the inside back cover.

magazine - Woman and Home

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

A 64 pp magazine, titled Woman and Home and Good Needlework Magazine. On the front cover is a coloured drawing of a fashionably dressed and made-up woman with red hair and holding a bunch of similarly coloured flowers (gerberas?) At the bottom left are knitted baby clothes - pattern inside - as well as a man and woman wearing fashionable clothing - suggesting patterns are inside the magazine. The magazine cost 1/6 and is dated October 1951.

Historical information

Women’s magazines just after WWII played a “reflecting role,” meaning they cooperated with government agendas while still including topics of readers’ interests Women’s employment rate had skyrocketed during WWII. However, even though the number of women working outside the home grew rapidly most of them were still engaged entirely in homemaking. Therefore women’s magazines centered mostly on the stresses and shortages of wartime. Articles as well as advertisements presented information on “product rationing, tips on keeping the family healthy, guidelines for thrifty shopping and advice on how to look good through it all.

Significance

This is an example of an English women's magazine published post WW11.It gives practical advice on needlework / knitting and evidences the widespread interest in contemporary fashion. In doing so it shows what were the fashionable, but broadly affordable, women's and children's clothing styles of their day. These magazines also reflect women's interests.

black and white photograph

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

A black / white photograph of the farming flats at Orbost during the construction of the East Gippsland railway.

Historical information

This photograph shows the pile drivers at work in the construction of the viaduct across the Snowy River flats. The Snowy River Floodplain Railway Bridges, two sequential and exceptionally long and low timber railway bridges on the Snowy River floodplain just west of Orbost, were built in 1916, and provided the original terminus point for the Bairnsdale-Orbost railway. The bridges are 770 metres and 183 metres long respectively. The shorter bridge is of uniformly 4.57 metre timber-beam construction, and has a sweeping curve in its deck. The longer bridge has a combination of 4.57 metre and 6.1 metrespans, and two 3.66 metre spans. The bridges are constructed from 'Southern Mahogany', Eucalyptus Botryoides, which grew along the coast east of Bairnsdale. The Snowy floodplain bridges were initially built in the context of an early twentieth-century interest in American-style 'Developmental Railways', designed to open remote areas to closer settlement, even if that meant running at a loss. The line was closed in August 1987. (information from Victorian Heritage Database)

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.

book - Beginnngs

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

A soft covered 122 pp book title Beginnings a brief account of the first Europeans to explore or settle in Victoria. On the glossy front cover is a rough map of Port Phillip Bay. Print is black. a chronological list of the earliest visits to Victoria and attempts to settle. The book contains: brief notes on the exploration and earliest settlement of the state, region by region and a summary of the early Murray River paddle steamer industry.

Historical information

"A map on the wall of his parent's shop in country Victoria is what got Frank Hutchinson interested in the geography and early settlement of Victoria. He later moved to Ballarat where he spent most of his working life. Whilst there his interest in the early explorers continued until about ten years ago he began to compile the listing which developed into the present publication." (ref.Port Phillip Pioneers Group) When he commenced the research and writing of Beginnings, it was not intended for publication. It was a project of personal interest.

black and white photograph

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

A black / white photograph of a dilapidated farm shed with three horses in the foreground. A house can be seen in the background (left) behind a fence.

Historical information

Mr John Watt set up farming in 1879. He was a native of Port Fairy. He was educated in Scotland and came back to Victoria and selected 320 acres on the Snowy River.The property extended from Majors Creek Road to around about Gilbert's Gulch.

Significance

This is associated with John Watt, a prominent early settler in Orbost.

Inscriptions & Markings

on back - "Watts Farm"

railways envelope

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

An unused brown/buff coloured goods/freight consignment envelope used by Victorian Railways, this one for timber from Orbost to Westall.

Historical information

Used at Orbost railway station for the consignment of goods/freight, in this case, timber to Westall. 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

2498-78 VICTORIAN RAILWAYS From ORBOST to WESTALL Contents TIMBER

coins

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

Five Australian pennies - 1935, 1919, 1936 and 1933. One British penny -1944. .1 is a1919 Australian penny. .2 is a 1933 Australian penny. .3 is a 1935 Australian penny. .4 is a 1936 Australian penny and .5 is a 1944 British penny.

Significance

These coins are examples of pre-decimal Australian currency.

brassiere

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

A brassiere made of pink / apricot coloured cotton fabric which has a broderie anglais pattern of embroidery. It has an elasticised back with metal clasps, and thin shoulder straps and two suspenders hanging from the sides.

Historical information

Belonged to Marjorie McKeown

Inscriptions & Markings

Lady Gay (manufacturer)

vase

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

Glass vase. Milky white. Multi-leveled rim in spikes.

docket book

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

A carbon copy pad of unused dockets branded for Robinson and Hayes, Butchers of Nicholson Street, Orbost. There is space for the details of the order including the description, price and total. There are two copies of each receipt joined together, one copy for the office the other for the customer. The paper is yellowing and has blackto print.. Each docket is numbered in red print - this pad begin with number 11 - and a carbon page is located at the front of the book. It also has cardboard backing.

Historical information

This book belonged to Lottie Johnson (nee Mehlert) who owned Leatham & Mehlert’s . ( now boarded up, Wilson St cnr ) Leatham & Mehlert's possibly took over Robinson & Hayes.

Significance

This item is representative of an early Orbost business.

Inscriptions & Markings

Robinson and Hayes, Butchers, Orbost, Nicholson street

stirrup and belt

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

421.3 is a leather horse stirrup. 421.4 is a leather belt with one shoulder strap. It has brass attachments.

Significance

Horses played a vital role in the agricultural history of Orbost. This item is connected to that role.

Inscriptions & Markings

On 421.4 -34 MARTINS ?AMMLLIMP

book - History of Fort Queenscliff and the Australian Staff College

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

A light blue covered book, titled, "History of Fort Queenscliff and the Australian Staff College". It has a daker blue spine and black print.

Historical information

"Fort Queenscliff, in Victoria, Australia, dates from 1860 when an open battery was constructed on Shortland's Bluff to defend the entrance to Port Phillip Bay. The Fort, which underwent major redevelopment in the late 1870s and 1880s, became the headquarters for an extensive chain of forts around Port Phillip Heads. Its garrison included volunteer artillery, engineers, infantry and naval militia, and it was manned as a coastal defence installation continuously from 1883 to 1946. The other fortifications and armaments around the Heads were completed by 1891, and together made Port Phillip one of the most heavily defended harbours in the British Empire." (from Fort Queenscliff History website)

Significance

This is a useful reference tool.

lock

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

Brass padlock is circular, with a very solid semi-circular hasp, which would swing sideways to open. The key-hole is low on the front of the lock.

Inscriptions & Markings

VAUN

book - A Ton of Spirit

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

A 183 pp book with a light brown cover, darker spine. On the front cover is a photograph of a pair of hands. Print is black "A Ton of Spirit Australian Centenarians talk with Penny Smith".

Historical information

This book contains interviews with 48 of the 300 centenarians listed by the Australian Bicentennial Authority, whose long lives together form an oral social history of the development of Australia over the past one hundred years. It includes reminiscences of Judy Bagu, Jimmy Bird, Paddy Djiaween and Walter Smith; brief accounts of bush foods, medicines, uses of plants, birth and mortuary rituals; working lives on cattle stations, missions, prospecting, dingo trapping, camel working, pearling, shire council; Kunmunyah, Beagle Bay Mission, Broome.

Significance

This compilation of stories from centenarians is a contemporary social record of one hundred years of living through two world wars and the Great Depression in Australia.

journals - Gippsland Heritage Journal

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

A 64 pp magazine, titled Gippsland Heritage Journal. It has a grey cover with a b/w photograph of Tali Karng lake in 1929. It contains photographs and articles on the history of Gippsland. The magazine is dated September 1996 and cost $8.00.

Historical information

This magazine was edited by Meredith Fletcher. Lake Tali Karng is a natural lake in the Alpine region of Victoria, in eastern Australia. Lake Tali Karng is a sacred place to the Gunai Kurnai people.

Significance

This item is a useful reference on the history of Gippsland.

Inscriptions & Markings

There is a library bar code on the outside of the back cover and a call number 994.56 on the front. GIP

sieve

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

A round wooden framed sieve. The frame holds the wire mesh sieve. It is braced with seven thin wire strips.

Historical information

Probably used in the local bean growing industry.

Significance

The Orbost area was once a large bean growing area as the fertile snowy River flats produced good quality beans. It was exported to other states of Australia. Green beans were sent to Melbourne by train and later to Sydney, either via Bombala where they were railed, or to Eden to continue the journey on fish trucks. One pound per bag was considered a good price in the early 1920's and pickers were paid one shilling and sixpence. (Ref: Newmerella Valley of Plenty)

journal - Voice of the mountains

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

A 64 pp book covered in clear contact. On the front cover is a coloured photograph of two boys reading an unveiled plaque for Wally Ryder at Pretty Valley. It is titled :"Voice of the Mountains, Journal of the Mountain District Cattlemen's Association of Victoria Inc, 1993 No 16" and is priced at $4.50.

Historical information

"The Association was officially launched in November 1967 with the aim of preserving and maintaining good relations and understanding within the cattle industry and between that industry and all bodies and organisations with which the industry is associated in the spheres of Government, and land use and marketing." (ref Mountain Cattlemen's Association web-site) Since 1972, the Mountain Cattlemen’s Association of Victoria, have produced a journal, “The Voice of the Mountains”. This journal commemorates the activities and history of the previous twelve months and bygone years of cattlemen and their families. This item was used in the library of Orbost Secondary College.

Significance

The journals form a part of Victoria’s history and are a useful research tool.

table cloth

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

White/cream coloured soft thread macrame cloth with tassels around the edge.

Historical information

Julia Eaton was the daughter of George Thomas who lived with his family at Newmerella on Grand View Road until the 1950's. The family was a very well-respected local Aboriginal family.

Significance

This item is an example of a common domestic item hand made by an Orbost local. It reflects the needlework skills of women in the early to middle 20th century.

ledger

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

A heavy ledger. Covers are heavy cardboadr coloured green It has a brown leather spine. the bottom right hand corners have been cut off. It contains records of auction sales and lists goods sold on assignment.

Historical information

This ledger was used initially by H. James & Co., Shipping and General Commission agents in Orbost in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Henry James (1860-1932) was a well-known identity in the Orbost district.He was a stock agent and auctioneer. H. James proved a very keen businessman and did well. He eventually formed agencies, conducted an auctioneering business and controlled the bean market. He also helped to establish the seed bean industry in Orbost and was the second secretary of the Snowy River Shipping Co. as well as a shire councillor and prominent member of MUIOOF.

Significance

Henry James (1860-1932) was a well-known identity in the Orbost district.He was a stock agent and auctioneer who helped to establish the seed bean industry in Orbost. He was the second secretary of the Snowy River Shipping Co. as well as a shire councillor and prominent member of MUIOOF.

Inscriptions & Markings

on spine : LEDGER On the first 3-4 pages in pencil are O's and 's games

chair

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

Little High Bentwood chair with perforated seat, metal screws and bolts, unreadable label underneath.

Historical information

This chair would have originally had a different seat. The grooves and regular perforations seen underneath suggest that it was originally woven with chair cane. Chair caning is a method of weaving cane to build a comfortable seat. Donated by the Harry Cameron family, Harry's father, James Cameron, came to Bellagoogan on Majors Creek in 1882. Bellagoogan was on Majors Creek near Orbost and was the site of the first race course. Like many others at the time, the Camerons bred race horses.Harry died in 1964 aged 75.

Significance

This item used by the Cameron Family has aesthetic significance. Luterma chairs are well known in Northern Europe. However they are becoming rarer. The Cameron family was a significant part of early Orbost.

Inscriptions & Markings

Under seat - Luterma Fabrique en estonie. Made in Estonia. Inside seat rim J + ? Kehn rubber stamp

belt

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

Jet beaded belt . Large and small beads. Large jet bead fastener (Paris Jet).

Historical information

This item is from the Temple estate. George Temple (1832-1916) started Temple's store opposite Post Office. Packed stores to Bendoc area gold fields.