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Port Fairy Historical Society Port Fairy, 3284

The society was formed in 1963 as a centre for local research into the early history of the town and it's pioneer families. From modest beginnings, the organisation has grown to a membership of more than 120, with a much wider range of interests.

In 1992 the society was able to negotiate the lease of the historic Courthouse building in Gipps Street, Port Fairy, which was renamed The History Centre.

The Courthouse is one of over fifty buildings in Port Fairy classified by the National Trust as essential to the heritage of Australia and which must be preserved. It was built in 1859, with the portico added in 1869, and a further three rooms at the rear in 1874, to make the building as it is today. At the time of construction, it was the only Courthouse in the Western District of Victoria, and housed sittings of the Supreme Court and County Courts as well as General Sessions. It remained in use until 1988, when its last function, as a Licensing Court, was transferred to Warrnambool.

Much of the work of the society involves the development of the Courthouse as a museum and archives, and includes participation in the Museum Accreditation Program with which we have been accredited since 1998. The main courtroom houses a display of the original court furniture, with figures in costume. Five other rooms contain both permanent and temporary exhibitions on themes such as the early pioneers of the district, the whaling era in Port Fairy, local shipping and wrecks along the coast.

Contact Information

location
30 Gipps Street Port Fairy 3284 (map)
phone
+61 0355682263
Contact

Opening Hours

2pm to 5pm Wednesday and Saturday. Sunday 10.30am to 12.30pm winter hours 2 pm to 4 pm Saturdays only (July, August) Between September 9 2018 and September 21 2018 The Museum will be closed to put up a major exhibition. From 22nd of September to 7th October the Museum will be open from 10Am To 12noon and reopen from 2pm to 4pm everyday. We will then resume our usual hours as above after these dates

Entry Fee

$5 adult 12 - 18 years $1 Small children free accompanied by adult

Location

30 Gipps Street Port Fairy 3284

View on Google Maps

Port Fairy and District Local History is our focus from earliest records to present day Documents, photographs, objects, books

Significance

Very early settlement of Victoria, provided one of the first members of the Victorian parliament, one of a very few settlements based on Special Surveys

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1205 items

Furniture - Saloon chair - SS Casino

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

Wooden chair with decorative carved back. Seat velvet upholstered. Wooden legs added after 1932

Historical information

Saloon chair on the S.S.Casino. Removed for refurbishment to celebrate fifty year anniversary of the ship and the Belfast and Koroit Steam Navigation Company. The ship sank on the 9th July 1932 at Apollo Bay. This chair which had not been reapolstered and chair registraion 555 was presented to Capt. Thomas Boyd the first Captain of the Casino. The legs were added at some time after the sinking.

Photograph - New Year's Eve 2009

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

Coloured photograph

Historical information

The Port Fairy Historical Society Float on New Year's Eve 2009 depicting a court room scene to celebrate the 150th year of the courthouse

Palm, Sailmakers

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

Leather plam protector with metal inset fastened around hand with leather strap and buckle fastener

seal

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

Seal of Assistant Colonial Surgeon & Coroner Belfast

Inscriptions & Markings

Assistant Colonial Surgeon & Coroner for Belfast

Purse

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

Brown leather purse.

Historical information

Owned by Mr and Mrs H.McGregor. Parents of MrsGwen McDonald

Fan

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

Black feather and wood fan with gold decoration. Metal clip at end with black ribbon attached.

Vase

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

Embossed silver vase- fluted top and base

Historical information

not recorded

Inscriptions & Markings

5 maker's stamps 784 over 6

Toothbrush holder,and Soap Dish, bedroom

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

White china toothbrush holder with raised dot design, white soap dish with raised dot design , with strainer and lid.

Historical information

Used by Catherine Hughes and her family

Photograph - Ceremony for turning the first sod for the railway 1887

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

Sepia Photograph

Tin with Lid

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

Cylindrical tin with lid containing Pears' Preciptitated Fuller's Earth. Picture of nurse and baby on lid Domestic Container

Inscriptions & Markings

Pears' Fuller's Earth is a necessary adjunct to the Nursery and the Toilet as a dusting powder. It is absorbent and prevents irritation due to friction and chaffing. Pears' Fuller's produces a soothing effect and gives a sense of ease and comfort. A & F PEARS. Limited, SYDNEY

Photograph - Robert Ireland Mayor

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

Black and white portrait

Historical information

Robert Ireland Mayor of Port Fairy 1886-1887-1895 Hotel Owner Caledonian Hotel known locally as "The Stump" the nickname coming from the story that a lit lamp was placed on a stump in the stable yard to let patrons know that the hotel was serving ale after "after hours"

Significance

Significant to early days of Port Fairy

Photograph - 1 William St - rearview

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

Photograph

Musical Instrument - Accordion - Casino

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

Black and tan button accordion played on the S.S.Casino

Historical information

Believed to have been played in the saloon of the S.S.Casino

Inscriptions & Markings

Initials "W" and "D" Scratched onto handle

Photograph - HMVS Victoria

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

Black & white photograph

Historical information

Victoria (580 tons) was the first warship to be built in England for a British colony. Designed by the British naval architect Oliver Lang she was launched in London on 30 June 1855 by Lady Constance Talbot. Arrived in Australia 1856. Out of service 1882 and broken up in 1895 Visited Port Fairy 1859, 1862 and 1873 (twice)

Significance

First warship to be built in England for a British colony.

Photograph - On the common (near South Beach) 1926

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

Photograph

Folder, Souvenir

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

Historic Port Fairy Victoria

Historical information

Commercial photograph folder

Inscriptions & Markings

none

photograph - St Patrick's R.C.Church interior

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

Black and white photograph

Historical information

St Patrick's R.C.Church interior

Port Lamp - SS Casino

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

Port Lamp from SS Casino Metal casing - Red Glass - Kerosene fuelled

Postcard

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

Postcard

Historical information

Moyne Bridge , Circa 1900's

Box, wooden toilet

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

Polished wood case with metal inlay fitted with glass metal-topped containers

Tray, Wooden

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

Wooden tray with wood inlays on the main surface black lacquer on the rest.

Materials, Dress

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

1. 148cm x 21cm cream scalloped lace edging (bottom of dress) 2. 2.75 metres x 40cm mauve straw for hats 3. 1.33metres x 40 cm gold straw for hats

Historical information

these piese formed part of the stock of Maggie Robinson's shop on the corner of Sackville Street and Bank Street Port Fairy. She ran the shop until it closed in 1939

Societies - Freemasons - Apron, Ceremonial

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

White kid backed with blue cotton trimmed and decorated with blue grosgrain. Blue metal insignia with silver metal chains and orbs

Historical information

Worn with ceremonial collar and cuffs during rituals of Port Fairy Masonic Lodge No.67.

Cape, ladies

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

Black grosgrain and patterned open weave silk cape

Historical information

not recorded

Photograph - SS Hellenic

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

Black & white photograph

Collar

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

Brown fur satin lined

Personal items - Spectacles

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

Oval nickel framed lens Spectacles

Historical information

not recorded

Photograph - Cottage Sackville St

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

Coloured photograph

Dress

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

White lawn dress with pintucked bodice with broderie anglaise at neck, waist, cuffs buttoned at back

Historical information

not recorded

Nightgown-Female

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

Long white cotton, broiderie anglaise trim, 3 button opening in front. Long sleeved one sleeve repaired beautifully with patch the other cobbled together. The front is pin tucked with some hand embroidery.

Inscriptions & Markings

D Revell in marking ink on inside front between 2nd and 3rd buttonholes.

Photograph - Battery Hill-Looking towards South West Passage

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

Black and white Photograph

Historical information

Battery Hill- Looking toward South West Passage.

Jacket, tipstaff

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

Black collarless knee length jacket, slit at the back to the waist trimmed with black braid.. two(2) metal, silver coloured crowns - insignia (inside pocket)

Jug, Bedroom Toilet

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

White china bedroom jug with raised dot pattern

Historical information

Used by Mrs Catherine Hughes and her family

Tins,Baking

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

oblong bread-baking tins joined by bars at either end.: the tins have corrugations on the outside and are painted black

Historical information

used for baking bread probably in a home rather than a commercial premises

Bonnet Baby

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

Cream lawn, lace and ribbon bonnet with lawn ties cream ribbon threaded through slotted lace and gathered lace edge

Historical information

Belonged to JW Powling possibly worn by him and some of his ffamily

Photograph - South Beach showing bathing boxes and playground

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

Black & white photograph

Historical information

Illustrates conditions at South Beach post WW1

Inscriptions & Markings

Bathing Beach Port Fairy

Photograph - Port Fairy Gardens

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

Black & white photograph

Inscriptions & Markings

Port Fairy Gardens W. Scott

Societies - Freemasons - Wand, Pair

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

Pair of wands topped by silver doves each with a dedication plaque attached and in identical stands (marked A.B.C.D)

Historical information

Used in ceremonies of Port fairy Masonic Lodge No.67 from 1959 to 1994

Inscriptions & Markings

Presented to Port Fairy Lodge No.67 as a token of esteem appreciation by the Melbourne Bretheran who have accompanied Wor.Bro. H.Revell P.G.St.B to your installation for the past 10 years March 1959

Photograph - East Beach - Looking west

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

B&W Photograph

Historical information

This photograph was taken from the end of Battery Lane which was a favourite place for families to bring their children. There are gentle waves, lots of shells, and no deep water close in.

Inscriptions & Markings

Eastern Beach, Port Fairy V15

Photograph - South Beach - Family Group, 1926

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

Photograph

Historical information

the family in this photograph had holidays at Seacombe House in 1926. They are Mrs Harry Pascall and Mary (Camperdown), Ms Anne Powell, Mrs O'Leary and Kath, Mrs Bill Flynn

Photograph - Comely Banks

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

coloured photograph

post card - Moyne Bridge

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

Post card

Clothing - Female - Blouse

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

A cream crepe de chine blouse with glass buttons

Historical information

not recorded

Photograph - Royal Australian Naval Reservists

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

Black and white photograph

Historical information

Royal Australian Naval Reservists, possibly including local men. Taken either in the Botanical Gardens or near the Consolidated School where members of all branches of the armed forces regularly camped for training.

Dress, Evening

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

A full length cream brocade evening gown

Historical information

not recorded

Photograph - Bourke, Cornelius Mayor Port Fairy 1906

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

Black and white Photograph

Historical information

Cornelius Bourke Mayor of Port Fairy 1906

Significance

Cornelius Bourke Mayor of Port Fairy 1906

Societies - Freemasons - Apron, Ceremonial

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

White satin Grand Master's Lodge apron with metallic thread embroidery and black fabric backing

Historical information

Used in the Port Fairy Masonic Lodge of the MUIOOF during rituals.

Photograph - Opening of bridge over South West Passage 1887

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

Black and White Photograph

Historical information

The opening of the bridge over the South West Passage would now allow the lighthouse keeper to walk between the island and the mainland carrying his produce and herding his cattle rather than loading a boat to transport everything. This would also allow the public access to the island for fishing.

Brooch,Cameo

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

Oval metal framed cameo reverible brooch 19th century

Historical information

Worn by Mrs Catherine Hughes a resident of Port Fairy

Photograph - S.S. Casino moored at Casino wharf, Port Fairy

Port Fairy Historical Society , Port Fairy

Photograph

Historical information

S.S. Casino flagship of the Belfast & Koroit Steam Navigation Company, Purchased 1882. Built in Dundee, Scotland

Significance

First ship purchased by the Belfast & Koroit Steam Navigation Company in 1882