Maffra and District Historical Society

M&DHS operates the Maffra Sugar Beet Museum, part of the Local History Collection at the Maffra Library, and a Dairy Museum at the Robotic Dairy at Winnindoo.

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Location: Victoria, Australia

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Museum Victoria Online

How do people test out new databases? I tend to type in places I know, and see what comes up.

So, with Museum Victoria's new Collections Online Database, I typed in "Maffra"

And up came this pair of boots. I'm off to try a few more places.

HINT - there are two search boxes on the screen for the first link above. Use the box at top right - it returns a heck of a lot more results.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Added to the Catalogue this Week

We probably won't be reporting every week as to the exact items added to the catalogue, but these three are interesting:

00709 Debenture Index Heyfield and District Co-operative Dairy Company Limited, 1955-1968. Gives names of people, number of shares, year and address. Contains many loose sheets of paper that appear to be uncollected Debenture Certificates from South Eastern Milk Products

00710 Letterbook, apparently from licensed surveyor Daniel Bateman Sellars, for 1908-1909 (not full, ends 14 July). Appears to be surveying around Wagga Wagga, Tumut, "Tummbarimba", Yarramgobilly, (p184, 223) NSW etc. Also appears used by L.S. Sellars. D.B. Sellars died suddenly at Maffra aged 70, in 1919, while carrying out a surveying commission. We do not currently know of any other connection to Maffra, so if anyone can assist with further information, it would be appreciated.

00711 Share Register of the Upper Maffra Co-operative Butter and Cheese Factory Company Limited, from 1920 to 1950. Includes affidavit in front for amalgamation 20 September 1950 with Maffra Co-operative Milk Products Company Limited.

These items are available for consultation at the Museum on the first Sunday of the month, or by appointment.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Presentation Trowel


This is being posted for Neville Gibbons, who is chasing all over Wellington Shire recording War Memorials. This trowel is in our collection.


It reads: Presented by Tinamba Church People to Mrs John Mills, who laid the foundation stone of St Matthew's Soldiers Memorial Church, Tinamba, ANZAC Day 1923.

If you have any Honour Boards that you think Neville may not have recorded (in small halls, churches, schools etc), you can drop us a note and we will pass it along.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Research Mondays

There is a committed crew working at the moment on Mondays at the Maffra Library, from 1pm to 3pm. Photos are catalogued, letterhead is sorted and books are indexed.


Here Ruth is working on letterhead while Carol, the Library Manager, is checking our database.

Now we know it is near Christmas, and Carol is an Angel, but we should point out that it is flash glare above her head, not a halo!

At the moment we are researching G.T. (George Thomas) Jones, Secretary of the Shire of Maffra from c.1882 to 1895. Before coming to Maffra he was a surveyor (working with Angus McMillan on the Alpine Track), and then Secretary of the Shire of Rosedale.


Jones was also an early photographer at Lucknow, involved in the discovery of the Yarra Track, and a shareholder in the Pioneer Claim as a result of the Alpine Track expedition. After leaving Maffra he went to administer a Shire near Ballarat. In his time in central Gippsland he designed the first Newry / Upper Maffra Mechanics' Institute, the pavilion at the Maffra Shwogrounds, and part of the Maffra Mechanics' Institute.

If anyone knows anything else about him - we would be interested to hear from you.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sorting things out

Strongroom, MSB

Jeremy has just finished a much-needed refit of the Strong Room at the Museum, so we are finally able to sort out some of the boxes of "stuff" awaiting attention.

These include a series of records, just catalogued:

00702 Ledgers of the Sale Co-operative Butter Factory, 1942-1948, showing amounts paid to local businesses.

00703 Share Register, Heyfield Co-operative Butter Factory and Electricity Supply Company 1930-1955, giving name and address of shareholder, number of shares, and often details of transfer on death, bankruptcy etc.

00704 Share Register, Heyfield Co-op (as above), 1920-1930

00705 Share Register, Heyfield Co-op (as above), 1916-1921

00706 Share Register, Maffra Co-operative Butter Factory (similar to above), 1920-1943

00707 Minute Book, Heyfield Co-operative Butter Factory, 1954 - 1960 (when it was amalgamated with other factories)

00708 Minute Book, Heyfield Co-op, 1935-1954

These can be inspected on the first Sunday of the month at the Museum, 10am to 2pm, or by appointment. An out-of-hours opening fee applies. Lookups can be provided from these records, in return for a research fee. Please see our website for research fees.

While we were at it, we have brought the 1966 aerial photograph of Maffra, and mounted it on the wall in the second room. It is amazing the change that has occurred over those 43 years.

Aerial Photo, MSB

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Significance Assessment

The Maffra Sugar Beet Museum collection is currently having an assessment of the significance of its collection carried out. It was funded by Heritage Victoria, and the consultant is Emma Russell.

The final report has not yet come in, but we do know that one of the items that Emma was quite interested in is this illuminated address - presented to Robert Herkes of Newry on his retirement in 1900 as secretary of the Maffra Agricultural Society.

Herkes Illuminated address

This photograph is of a copy - the original is in a rather nice gold frame.

We also have another in the collection, unframed. This was presented to Fritz Horstman of Upper Maffra in 1885, on his retirement from council. This one is more amateur in commission, but signed on behalf of many people in the community.

Horstman Illuminated address

We having been looking around for other addresses - maybe we will be able to have an exhibition of them next year. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sorting Photos


We have been doing some sorting at the Museum. Last Sunday, inspired by Jeremy's work fitting the shelves in the strong room (hard to photograph, but will try soon), we got out all the photographs from our Centenary of Federation Exhibition, and tried to sort them into groups. These are the photographs of various Maffra groups - both historical and modern, which form a wonderful snapshot of 2001.

But there are a lot of them - so we used them to "populate" the chairs in the small room, and are now busy working out which ones will form temporary exhibitions in the future. And writing names on the reverse in soft lead pencil - which is quite safe, as all are block mounted for display.

Then we will catalogue them ......

Monday, November 2, 2009


Welcome to the Maffra and District Historical Society blog. This is where you will find quick updates on our activities, and our cataloguing finds.

We currently meet between 1pm and 3pm every Monday in the Maffra Library to work on the collection. New members are always most welcome.

The Museum is currently open the first Sunday of the month (to coincide with the market), from 10am to 3pm-ish. Or by appointment.

So, for the start of this blog, here is the start of the museum in the early 1980s.

Back very soon with some news.