31 December 2008

January's Past

The Greenough Pioneer Museum has a large collection of original documents including letters, store orders, account books etc that were found in Maley’s Store. These documents are too fragile to be on permanent display, so the aim is to eventually scan them and so make them available to the public digitally.

In celebration of New Year's Day, here are 2 letters from January's past.

Greenough January
Mr J S Maley
Sir please send me one gallon of Brandy and oblige
J C Bone
Letter received by John S. Maley on 2 January 1869 from his brother-in-law, Henry Waldeck.
Dear John
Will you please send me a Bag of Sugar or if you cannot spare a Bag a half a one will do I haven’t got a bit to give to the men to take in the bush
Yours Truly
Henry Waldeck

22 December 2008

Wishing you a Happy Christmas

A Christmas Card from the museum collection (GHOB0368).
This card was sent by Mr & Mrs George Maley, Lewis Street, Kalgoorlie to Mr & Mrs Charles Thomas of Three Springs in December 1945.

19 December 2008

Pioneer Museum Book

Greenough Pioneer Museum By Gary Martin & Peter Dameon

This book was compiled in acknowledgment of the Greenough Pioneer Museum’s 40th birthday. The museum which is operated by the Geraldton Historical Society opened in September 1966 in the former Maley homestead at Greenough and is the oldest museum in the mid-west region of WA.
The book contains a brief overview of European discovery and settlement at Greenough. It then examines the Maley family background and the life of the original owners of Home Cottage (as the house was first known), John Stephen Maley and his wife Elizabeth (nee Waldeck). John came to Greenough in 1860 to oversee the construction of a flour mill. Though from a very humble background, through his entrepreneurial skills John was eventually to become one became one of the leading business men in the locality and was referred to as the “King of the Greenough Flats.” John and Elizabeth’s 14 children were also to play influential roles in the development of WA and details of their achievements are included. There are also articles on the construction of Home Cottage, the importance of the gardens, life at Home Cottage, occupancy by the Rudduck family between 1932 and 1968 and the establishment of the museum by the Geraldton Historical Society.
The book is illustrated with over 50 historic and contemporary photographs in B/W and colour.
The 60 page book costs only $15.00 (which includes GST + Australia wide postage). Payable by cheque or money order made out to:-
Two Fish Drowning
PO Box 1325
Geraldton WA 6531

15 December 2008

Howzat - Amy Maley's letter on show

There is a contribution from the Greenough Pioneer Museum in the "Howzat" Cricket exhibition currently on display at the Western Australian Museum Geraldton.
The object is a copy of a section of a letter written by Amy Maley in July 1885 to her teacher Miss Millward asking that the students be allowed to play cricket again.
The complete letter is shown below.

07 December 2008

Unidentified People

In our collection we have photographs of unidentified people. The four photographs below are said to be of people who lived on the Greenough Flats in the 1870-80s.

If you recognise anyone could you please contact us.

01 December 2008

From Grave to Garden

Last summer, whilst walking through the old Greenough Cemetery, I noticed a lush green plant growing at the head of George Maley's grave (George was the oldest son of John Maley and died aged 16 on 29 July 1879. He had succumbed to pulmonary consumption). Any plant that could grow so prolifically in such a desolute environment deserves attention, so I took a rootlet back to the museum and planted it in the front garden.

The plant is, as I later discovered, Indian Millet, and as you can see is flourishing and providing a very decorative feature.

30 November 2008

What a difference in 20 years

A recent donation to the museum is a collection of black & white photos taken in the 1980s of buildings on the Front Greenough Flats.
McNeece's Cottage, the last original Pensioner Guard Cottage on the Flats is now a pile of rubble.

Lily Cottage hasn't changed and is now up for sale.

Maley's Store and Mill hasn't changed.

Reake's Cottage has been restored.

Eakin's Cottage has been rebuilt and extended and now is a much loved family home.

Bishop Cottage continues to deteriorate.

Smithville Barn has long gone.

Bridge Barn is still owned by the National Trust (WA) and hasn't changed.

20 November 2008

Vale Bob Sullivan

The Pioneer Museum lost a loyal supporter in the sudden death of Bob Sullivan recently. Back in 2005, Bob helped the museum acquire a very popular exhibit - Granny's Cocky.
From diary records we know that Granny Maley kept a pet cocky whilst she lived in this house. Although the diaries do not mention what type of cockatoo it was, it was probably either a Galah (Cacatua roseicapilla) or Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea) as both species make excellent pets, and both birds are common to this region.
On 23 July 1886 it was recorded in the family diary that, Granny’s Bird bad I gave it Castor Oil this morning thought it was dying - 8 o’clock the Bird still alive won’t eat or drink anything. Unfortunately we do not know the ultimate fate of the bird.
Now the museum had an old bird cage in it's collection, but no cocky. A live bird was not feasible, but where to find a stuffed bird? These birds are protected.
Now Bob had a cocky. This bird was a Little Corella that was hatched in the Yuna area about 1940. After falling from the nest, the fledgling was found by a truck driver and given to Dave Sullivan, another truck driver. Dave took the young bird to Perth where it was cared for by his mother, Winifred Luff (formerly Sullivan).
In 1947, Winifred came to live with her son and family in Jose Street, Geraldton and Cocky came too. Cocky entertained the guard all night on the train coming up here. Winifred (or Nanna) and Cocky soon became well known in the neighbourhood. Cocky talked and sang incessantly.
Nanna died in 1969 and so Dave and his wife Greta took over the care of Cocky. Dave passed away in 1977 and Greta looked after Cocky until she became unwell. Greta died in 1995 and care of Cocky passed on to her son Bob and his wife Connie who moved Cocky to their place in Cairncross Street, Geraldton. Shortly after Cocky's arrival, she laid an egg! This was the first time anyone realised the bird was a girl. Cocky kept on entertaining the Sullivan family until 10 April 2005 when she died aged 65.
After her death, Bob temporarily housed Cocky in their freezer whilst money was collected from family members, members of the Geraldton Historical Society and visitors to this museum, to have the bird stuffed and displayed in this museum in her new role as Granny Maley's Cocky.

Thank you Bob for your Cocky and your support.

08 November 2008

Garden In Bloom

With the commencement of warm weather, the garden is in full bloom.

The Globe Artichokes in the Vegie Garden are putting on a spectacular show. Being such fiddly vegetables to eat, we much prefer them for their attractive foliage and brilliant blooms.

In the Front Garden, the "Souvenir dela Malmaison" is the first of the Heritage Roses to flower. The others are in full bud.
Closer to the house, the first of the Christmas Cactii has an abundance of large orange flowers. The ugliness of the plants for 50 weeks of the year is amply compensated in this brief annual extravaganza.

06 November 2008

Pioneer Museum Committee

The 2008/09 Pioneer Museum Committee met for the first time on Monday 3 November. The Curator, Gary Martin, welcomed two new local members, being Jose Hopkinson and Norma Martin. Jose is the proprietor of the charming "Rock of Ages" B&B which is located just across the road from the Pioneer Museum, and Norma is from the historic Belay Farm near Walkaway. Other members consist of Shirley Valle (President of the Geraldton Historical Society), Glenis Thomas (Secretary/Treasurer of GHS), Doreen Allen (committee member of GHS and Co-Social Organiser) and Neil Bennett representing the City of Geraldton-Greenough. Apologies were received from Bruce Sherwood (honorary architect).
The committee agreed to allocate finances for minor improvements to public areas of the building and for the conservation of documents.
The next meeting is to be held in early January when it is hoped a calendar of events for 2009 can be organised.

31 October 2008

New Accessions

Our latest aquisitions are two certificates relating to the Maley family. The first is Amy Maley's (John and Elizabeth's 5th child) Wedding Certificate. Amy married Edward Whitfield at the Greenough Wesleyan Church on 4 April 1894. The marriage was wittnessed by her brother John M. Maley and his fiancee, Ethel Clinch. Interestingly, John Stephen Maley listed his profession as 'Engineer.'
This document was recently encapsulated to ensure its preservation at a Paper Conservation Workshop held at the Geraldton-Greenough Regional Libray.

The other document is the Birth Certificate of Mary Guerin Whitfield (Amy's youngest child). Mary (or Polly as she was more familiarly known) was born at Greenhills on 27 September 1902.

These two documents arrived at the museum through a chance conversation with a visitor who had known Polly.