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Phillip Island and District Historical Society Inc. COWES, VICTORIA

Visit our historical museum featuring exhibitions on geology, maritime history, aboriginal culture, natural history, early settlers and Phillip Island's schools, cemetery and bridges. Changing displays. Videos of the history and wildlife of Phillip Island and district are also available for viewing. The society meets monthly at the Heritage Centre Cowes, from Feb to November at 2:30pm on the second Wednesday of the month. Visitors are welcome.

Links

Contact Information

location
Heritage Centre 89 Thompson Avenue P O Box 816 Cowes Victoria 3922
phone
+61 +61 (0)3 5956 8501

Contact

Opening Hours

Thursdays: 10 am to 12 noon Saturdays: 10 am to 12 noon Tuesdays: (School holidays only): 10 am to 12 noon (Not open Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Day, Good Friday and Anzac Day). Groups and schools by appointment.

Entry Fee

Adult admission by "gold coin" donation, children and students are free!

Location

Heritage Centre 89 Thompson Avenue COWES VICTORIA

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3086 items

weapon - Cannon Balls

Phillip Island and District Historical Society Inc., COWES

Cannon ball, black cast iron, minor rusting - one of three.

Historical information

One of three Cannon Balls found c1920 on the north side of Rhyll by Oswald Underdown. It is presumed to be from the 1826 British battery Fort Dumaresq. This together with the settlement near Corinella was set up to deter the French from taking possession of the area.

Clothing - Ladies Bonnet

Phillip Island and District Historical Society Inc., COWES

Ladies bonnet made of a blue satin strip at crest, white satin strip, beige lace strip, white satin strip and trimmed with lace at neckline. Has blue ribbon ties.

Historical information

Bonnet was worn by Florence Oswin Roberts. She was a local identity involved in koala conservation in the early 20th century.

black and white photograph - Pupils of Cowes Sate School no. 1282, 1926

Phillip Island and District Historical Society Inc., COWES

Black and white photographic copy of photograph of 58 pupils and 2 teachers of Cowes State School no. 1282, in 1926. Pupils arranged in 4 rows, older boys at the rear, next row is girls, 3rd row is mixed boys and girls, front row is boys all seated. Background is trees on the left and a wooden building on the right with an illegible sign above and to the right of a window.

Historical information

Original photograph from "Back to Phillp Island - 1926"

Inscriptions & Markings

" Copy from Reg No 11"

Black and White Photograph - Churchill Island Cairn

Phillip Island and District Historical Society Inc., COWES

Mrs J Jenner with grandson on left hand side of photograph and daughter Nancy on right hand side of photograph sitting on the Cairn which was erected by the Victorian Farmer's Union commemorating the first cultivation of wheat in Victoria by Mr James Grant in 1801 on Churchill Island. Plaque unveiled on 4/11/1968

Historical information

Churchill Island was discovered by Lieut. James Grant in 1801 and he planted the first wheat crop in Victoria there. The Cairn was erected to commemmorate this by the Victorian Farmer's Union. The Minister of Agriculture The Hon. G. L. Chandler CMG. MLC unveiled the Cairn on the 4th May of November 1968.

Inscriptions & Markings

Hand written "Unveiling Plaque 4/11/68 / Back To"

Book - The Book of Common Prayer

Phillip Island and District Historical Society Inc., COWES

The Book of Common Prayer, 1869. Brown leather bound book with half a clasp gold

Inscriptions & Markings

EEJ Henderson from Georgianna McHaffie

Compass box

Phillip Island and District Historical Society Inc., COWES

Square wooden compass box with wooden lid, made of mahogany, brass hinges, handles and lock.

Historical information

Saved from the ship Speke which ran aground on the coast of Phillip Island on the 22nd of February 1906. The ships captain gave the compass box to the Harris family.

Significance

The Speke was an all steel ship built in Wales in 1891. She was delivering wheat to Geelong and confused a bushfire in Cowes for navigation lights. Many local people salvaged goods from the resulting wreckage.

Telescope

Phillip Island and District Historical Society Inc., COWES

Black leather bound casing and strap with extendable brass telescope painted black.

Historical information

Owned by Captain James Clarke, master of the Cowes to Stony Point ferry service for 28 years from 1923.

Inscriptions & Markings

Capt J Clarke (crossed out) and Arthur E Woodley in gold leaf lettering on leather casing.

Steam whistle

Phillip Island and District Historical Society Inc., COWES

Brass and steel ships whistle

Historical information

Steam whistle which sits near the ships funnel from the 'Killara' which was a car ferry from Cowes to Stony Point from 1933.

Lamp

Phillip Island and District Historical Society Inc., COWES

Riding lamp with glass chimney on a trapezoid brass lamp base.

Historical information

Riding lamp from the 'Genista' which was the regular car ferry from Cowes to Stony Point from 1889 to 1930

Inscriptions & Markings

Venus engraved on base

Figurehead

Phillip Island and District Historical Society Inc., COWES

Restored wooden figurehead in the shape of a womans head on a wooden mount board.

Historical information

Saved from the ship Speke which ran aground on the coast of Phillip Island on the 22nd of February 1906. The figure head of the Speke was in the shape of woman, wearing a flowing white dress with blue cuffs and collar and carrying a large bunch of daffodils. It was originally nine feet four inches long. This sculpture went missing after the event and decades later the head only was re-discovered in Mr Thompson’s garage. It was then restored by Headmaster Kevin and the senior children of Cowes State school in 1940.

Significance

The Speke was an all steel ship built in Wales in 1891. She was delivering wheat to Geelong and confused a bushfire in Cowes for navigation lights. Many local people salvaged goods from the resulting wreckage.

Artwork - Painting of The Speke

Phillip Island and District Historical Society Inc., COWES

Restored painting of the Speke mounted in the original gold frame.

Historical information

The ship Speke ran aground on the coast of Phillip Island on the 22nd of February 1906. The ship was painted by Artist Woolston L Barratt in 1891 and hung in the saloon of the Speke. It was given by Captain Tilston to John Cleeland, captain of the rocket rescue team and the painting used to hang in his home Wollomai house on Phillip Island. It was restored by Mal Campbell to fix smoke damage.

Significance

The Speke was an all steel ship built in Wales in 1891, the second largest 3-masted full-rigged ship in the world. She was delivering wheat to Geelong and confused a bushfire in Cowes for navigation lights. Many local people salvaged goods from the resulting wreckage.

Tool - Chicory Devil

Phillip Island and District Historical Society Inc., COWES

Handmade wrought iron chicory devil.

Historical information

One of Phillip Islands earliest industries was chicory farming. The first kiln was constructed in 1870. The chicory devil, with its unique shape and design, was a tool specifically developed to dig out chicory roots. It was originally designed by Duncan McGregor. This chicory devil was handmade by Dinney Justice in the late 1800's.

Tool - Chicory Scoop

Phillip Island and District Historical Society Inc., COWES

Chicory scoop with wooden handle, wooden scoop and steel joins and reinforcments.

Historical information

One of Phillip Islands earliest industries was chicory farming. The first kiln was constructed in 1870. The chicory scoop was used for turning the chicory over on a mesh floor above the furnace. This scoop was imported from Europe in the late 1880's.

Koala - Edward

Phillip Island and District Historical Society Inc., COWES

Wooden and glass display case containing custom mounted koala on a tree branch.

Historical information

Edward, a female koala, was owned by Florence Oswin Roberts who rescued the koala from a bush fire. She was a local identity involved in koala conservation in the early 20th century.

Inscriptions & Markings

Engraved on a plaque - Edward 1936 - 1944. Donated by Mrs Oswin Roberts. The only person to legally own a koala. Presented to the Phillip Island Historical society by Vernon and Edna Thompson of ' Carisbrooke' Cowes. By courtesy of the Fisheries and Wildlife division.

Ship's block

Phillip Island and District Historical Society Inc., COWES

Double block

Historical information

Rigging block from the 3-masted full-rigged ship Speke wrecked on Phillip Island 22 February 1906.

Significance

The Speke was the second largest 3-masted full-rigged ship in the world.

Medicine chest

Phillip Island and District Historical Society Inc., COWES

Wooden medicine chest with small compartments for medicines and drawer beneath.

Historical information

From the passenger ferry Alvina which worked on Western Port from 1925 to 1938. Built as a yacht in England.

Oyster Dredge

Phillip Island and District Historical Society Inc., COWES

Wrought iron frame with tarred marline net and 8g fencing wire ring bag.

Historical information

Used in the oyster dredging industry in the early 20th century by the Richardson family of Rhyll on Westernport.

Book - Phillip Island in picture and story

Phillip Island and District Historical Society Inc., COWES

1977 reprint, 400 p., illus.

Historical information

The author Joshua Wickett Gliddon farmed on Phillip Island in the 1940s.

Significance

The first published history of Phillip Island in 1958.

Inscriptions & Markings

Issued by the Committee of Trust, "Warley", Cowes Bush Nursing Hospital, Phillip Island.

Sepia Photograph

Phillip Island and District Historical Society Inc., COWES

Sepia Photograph of Kitty Miller Bay, Phillip Island, with portion of the Wreck of the Speke - wrecked 2/2/1906

Historical information

This Album was presented to the Earl of Stradbroke by Fathers of Soldiers and Returned Soldiers 16.2.1995. Photo of Kitty Miller Bay, Cowes, Phillip Island, with portion of the Wreck of the Speke - wrecked 2/2/1906

Significance

Album presented to the Earl of Stradbroke

Inscriptions & Markings

Rose Series P.3442 Kitty Miller's Bay, Cowes, Phillip Is., Vic.

Sepia Photograph

Phillip Island and District Historical Society Inc., COWES

Sepia Photograph of The Pinnacles, Cape Woolamai

Historical information

This album was presented to the Earl of Sradbroke by the Fathers of Soldiers and Returned Soldiers 16/2/1923. The photo is of rear The Pinnacles, Cape Woolamai, Phillip Island. One of a collection of photographs presented to The Earl.

Inscriptions & Markings

Rose Series Postcard p.682. Near The Pinnacles, Cape Woolamai, Phillip Is, Victoria

Sepia Photograph - Rose Series

Phillip Island and District Historical Society Inc., COWES

Photograph of The Rocks at Cape Woolamai, Phillip Island, Victoria

Historical information

Postcard photo showing rocks on the south side of Cape Woolamai, Phillip Island, Victoria. This formation was named Castle Rock. The Album was presented to the Earl of Stradbroke by Fathers of Soldiers of Phillip Island.

Inscriptions & Markings

Rose Series P 3426 The Rocks, Cape Woolamai, Phillip Is., Vic

Sepia Photograph

Phillip Island and District Historical Society Inc., COWES

Postcard showing the Back Beach near The Nobbies, Phillip Island, Victoria

Historical information

This ablum was presented to the Earl of Stradbroke by the Fathers of Soldiers and Returned Soldiers 16/2/1923. The photo is of the Back Beach near The Nobbies, Phillip Island.

Inscriptions & Markings

Rose Series P667 Back Beach, near The Nobbies, Phillip Island, Victoria

Sepia Photograph

Phillip Island and District Historical Society Inc., COWES

Sepia Postcard of Lovers' Walk, Cowes, Phillip Island, Victoria. Has Newhaven on the photo.

Historical information

This Album was presented to the Earl of Stradbroke by Fathers of the Soldiers 16/2/1923. The photo is of Lovers Walk Cowes, showing sandy track with trees and shrubs. The inscription on the card says "Newhaven"

Inscriptions & Markings

The Rose Series P. 687. The Lovers' Walk, Newhaven, Phillip Island, Victoria

Sepia Photograph

Phillip Island and District Historical Society Inc., COWES

Sepia photograph of the beach at Rhyll known as The Nits

Historical information

This album was presented to the Earl of Stradbroke by Fathers of the Soldiers 16/2/1923. The photo is of the Rhyll beach known as "the nits".

Inscriptions & Markings

Rose Series P 3418 The Beach, Rhyll, Phillip Island, Vic

Sepia Photograph

Phillip Island and District Historical Society Inc., COWES

Sepia photograph of the early Baths at Cowes with the foreground showing beach and pine tree.

Historical information

This Album was presented to the Earl of Stradbroke by Fathers of Soldiers on Phillip Island. The photo is of the Old Baths at Cowes with the foreground showing beach and pine tree.

Inscriptions & Markings

Rose Series P.660 The Baths, Cowes, Phillip Is., Victoria

Sepia Photograph

Phillip Island and District Historical Society Inc., COWES

Sepia photograph of the shore at Rhyll, Phillip Island with pier in background.

Historical information

This album was presented to the Earl of Stradbroke by Fathers of Soldiers on Phillip Island. The photo is of Rhyll shore line with pier in back ground.

Inscriptions & Markings

Rose Series P 3432 View at Rhyll, Phillip Island, Vic

Sepia Photograph

Phillip Island and District Historical Society Inc., COWES

Sepia photograph of Pyramid Rocks, Phillip Island

Historical information

This album was presented to the Earl of Stradbroke by Fathers of Soldiers on Phillip Island. The photo is of the Pyramid Rocks and surrounding rocks, Phillip Island

Inscriptions & Markings

The Rose Series P.663 The Pyramid, Cowes, Phillip Is., Victoria

Sepia Photograph

Phillip Island and District Historical Society Inc., COWES

Sepia photograph of the road to The Nobbies showing horse and trap crossing old wooden bridge with a dog in the foreground.

Historical information

This album was presented to the Earl of Stradbroke by Fathers of Soldiers on Phillip Island. The photo is of the early road to the Nobbies. Horse and trap crossing the old bridge with a dog in the foreground.

Inscriptions & Markings

Rose Series P 3427 The road to The Nobbies, Cowes, Phillip Is., Vic

Sepia Photograph

Phillip Island and District Historical Society Inc., COWES

Sepia photograph of Pyramid Rocks, Phillip Island. Rocks surrounding the Pyramid with the foaming water.

Historical information

This album was presented to the Earl of Stradbroke by Fathers of the Soldiers on Phillip Island. Photo of beach at Pyramid Rocks with surrounding rocks.

Inscriptions & Markings

The Rose Series P. 664. the Pyramid, Back Beach, Cowes, Phillip Is., Victoria

Photograph

Phillip Island and District Historical Society Inc., COWES

Photograph of Kitty Millers Bay showing the headlands and view of Pyramid Rock. Small rocks and surf in foreground.

Historical information

This album was presented to the Earl of Stradbroke by Fathers of Soldiers and Returned Soldiers 16/02/1923. Photo of Kitty Millers Bay, Cowes, Phillip Island.

Inscriptions & Markings

Rose Series p.3428. Kitty Millers Bay, Cowes, Phillip Island.