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Southern Fleurieu Historical Museum

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by Karen Ross (subscribe)
I love slow travel, slow food and discovering new adventures and delicious regional food in new locations. I'm on an indulgent quest and I'd love you to follow at
Published May 30th 2017
History of Life on The Fleurieu
Having lived on the beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula now for over six years, I keep thinking I will soon run out of new places and experiences to discover. Except I keep proving myself wrong each time something new presents itself. This proliferation of places and experiences certainly keeps me busy and prevents me from doing too much housework.

My most recent discovery is the Southern Fleurieu Historical Museum in Port Elliot. The museum has been open in its present form since 2014. It combines the collections of the late David Coote of Middleton and the late Ken Ekers of Mt Compass.

So the story goes, David's dream was to have his collection of farm machinery housed in a museum and Ron wanted to build a museum for his farming machinery as well as domestic furniture, utensils and trinkets.

The Port Elliot Show Society offered space at the Showgrounds and a display was open to the public each show day until 2014 when a purpose-built structure became the museum's new home.

I visited recently and was welcomed by Kaye and her colleagues, a band of dedicated volunteers and passionate history buffs. Kaye showed me around the 'domestic' displays where whole rooms had been created to remind us of by-gone days.

yesteryear's laundry shelf
yesteryear's laundry shelf

I was aware of showing my age as I admitted to recognising more than a few gadgets and products. Remember starch?

I'm sure I saw my Grandmothers mixing bowl in the kitchen.

I noted the delightful milk float and remembered the days of collecting glass bottles full of milk from the porch each morning.

Port Elliot milk float
Port Elliot milk float

The museum houses not only a milk float but a whole Dairy Pavillion full of equipment, photos and information about the local dairy industry in days past.

dairy pavilion
dairy pavilion

I was entranced by the various butter pats and milk churns. There are even old milking stools on display.

Elsie Ekers milk churn
Elsie Ekers milk churn

In the Farm Shed, I saw numerous large tractors and heard stories, from Kaye, of local and interstate Tractor Rallies where these metal beasts and their passionate owners can gather.

vehicles in the farm shed
vehicles in the farm shed

One of the smaller vehicles caught my eye; an early model ride-on mower I believe.

ride on mower
ride on mower

Southern Fleurieu Historical Museum has recently unveiled a new display, entitled "History of Fashion, 1788-1956".

The costumes displayed were made over a period of time from 1981 to 2000 By Brian Reader, a British Immigrant to Australia with an interest in Drama and Theatre. Brian began making costumes for actors when he was a University student in Adelaide in the early seventies. He had no previous training or experience in pattern making or sewing and taught himself from scratch. Brian began making full-size costumes for department store windows and other exhibits and later included miniatures in his collection

Life size costumes
Life size costumes

The museum is open Thursdays and Sundays 10am until 3pm.

miniature costumes
miniature costumes
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Why? Keeping History Alive
When: Thursday and Sunday 10am-3pm or by appointment.
Phone: 0497805379
Where: 5 Wright Street, Port Elliot. 5212
Cost: $5 adults. $2 children.
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