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Whitehorse Historical Society Inc. Mitcham, Victoria

Formed as the Nunawading Historical Society in 1965, the Society's historical collection records the history of the settlement and development of the suburbs of Blackburn, Blackburn North, Blackburn South, Forest Hill, Nunawading, Mitcham, Vermont and Vermont South.

Collections include items relating to domestic life, education, local families and identities, religious, recreational, social and working life and local business, industry and agriculture.


Contact Information

PO Box 272 Mitcham VIC 3132
+61 03 9873 4946


Opening Hours

The Local History Room is open on Wednesdays between 10 am and 3 pm. Other times by appointment. Schwerkolt Cottage & Museum Complex is open Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays 2 pm - 5 pm.

Entry Fee



Deep Creek Road Mitcham Victoria

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13 items

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13 items

Playing cards

Whitehorse Historical Society Inc., Mitcham

Complete set of (1-52) playing cards. Reverse has sailing ship and insignia in circle bottom left of crossed anchor and key. Writing at top: Norddeutscher, Lloyd, Bremen, at bottom right corner: New York, Baltimore Sud America Ost-Asien Australien. (53) Paper envelope (brown) in which cards were stored.

Historical information

Pack of cards used by Mary Schwerkolt on her journey on the Seydlitz from New York via Bremen in 1908 to Melbourne to claim her inheritance. Bremer was the departure point for migrants leaving Germany.

Photograph - Luke Family Home

Whitehorse Historical Society Inc., Mitcham

Black and white photograph of Luke Family. Back row L-R Edith, Margaret, and Thomas Samuel. Front row L-R Frida, Alan and Nero (dog).

Wedding dress

Whitehorse Historical Society Inc., Mitcham

Cream silk wedding dress. High neck with a stand up shaped collar in the Queen Mary style. Collar has cream silk embroidery of flower centre front and leaves either side and edged in crocheted silk finely. Front bodice has 2 pintuck pleats either side of embroidered central panel and pleats are edged by embroidered panels to bustline. Bodice is gathered into high waistband. Skirt is pintucked into waistband. Embroidery is a band around hemline. The embroidery design is Indian "mango" design. The back bodice has pintucks into collar and opened to below waistband with metal hooks & eyes. Box pleat at base of placket opening. 3.4 length sleeve has a panel at hem on front with embroidered 4 petal cross flower & leaves either side. Waistband lined with cotton & neckband lined with cotton. Hem is faced with satined cotton.

Historical information

Dress purchased by Mary Schwerkolt in 1910 on voyage to America via German and the Suez Canal in India. Mary was on the passenger ship Seydlitz. Her future husband Emil Jackschowsky was a crew member. They were married in the Orphan's Court of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania by Minister J.L. Fischer. Mary had delayed her departure to travel back on this voyage with Emil.

Machined nurse's apron

Whitehorse Historical Society Inc., Mitcham

Machined nurses's apron - white cotton with bib. Long skirt. One pocket at side. Buttoned waist. Used during World War One.

Birthday Card

Whitehorse Historical Society Inc., Mitcham

A birthday card with a vase of flowers on each side and a verse by Cecelia Havergal - 'A Birthday Meditation' - on one side, - 'A Birthday Thought "He Knows" on the other. Card has a a fringe of green silk.

Historical information

Given to Catherine Morgan Walker by her husband E. E. Walker, father of donor.

Photograph - Adult Deaf and Dumb Home

Whitehorse Historical Society Inc., Mitcham

Black and white photograph of Deaf Mute Home Home adjacent to Blackburn Lake. Large building in centre of photo was the Administrator's Home and office. Either side are homes for males and females.

Photograph - Horton's Auction Rooms

Whitehorse Historical Society Inc., Mitcham

Copy of 1950s photograph of Horton's Auction Rooms, Station Street, Box Hill with the auctioneer, Monty Gray. Mrs Rene Bawden and her daughter Shirley Jones are third and fourth from the left.

Kookaburra Brand Bathing Costume

Whitehorse Historical Society Inc., Mitcham

Two piece male bathing costume. Navy blue with cream fleck and cream band around the V-neck edge of tunic and short sleeves. Pants have a tie waist band.

Photograph - Vintage Train, Blackburn Railway Gates

Whitehorse Historical Society Inc., Mitcham

Coloured photo of vintage train at Blackburn Railway crossing.

Railway Time Table

Whitehorse Historical Society Inc., Mitcham

Folding card Time Table. Melbourne to Blackburn, Nunawading and Mitcham as at 7th April 1952.

Striped Dress

Whitehorse Historical Society Inc., Mitcham

Dress with elastic shirring top and frilled neckline with puff sleeves. Rayon material. Coloured orange, green, grey and white.

Historical information

Dress owned by Catherine Ann Windsor (Kitty) (born 23 Nov 1919 died 17 Nov 2002) in the 1930s/1940s. She was grandmother of Rachael Cottle, Whitehorse Historical Society Secretary (2011-2016). Catherine was the gate-keeper at the Tunstall (Nunawading) railway gates at Springvale Road during 1934-1952. A house was supplied for the gatekeeper. The gates were closed to traffic from midnight to 5 am.

Photograph - Adult Deaf Society

Whitehorse Historical Society Inc., Mitcham

Black and white photograph of Adult Deaf Society on the Blackburn Lake.

Train Departures Signal Device

Whitehorse Historical Society Inc., Mitcham

Metal plate with switches. Wooden box 1930s. Handset altered C.1970s as used by trains as they departed from Mitcham to Box Hill and Ringwood. Switches Black - Up to Box Hill and Down to Ringwood. Red "UP" Bell to Box Hill Red "Down" Bell To Ringwood To advise the train had left Mitcham

Historical information

Wooden box used to advise other stations - Box Hill and Ringwood when the Mitcham train was departing. Acquired when the Mitcham station was demolished in 2014. Handset altered c. 1970s.