Kilmore Historical Society members gathered around a display at their new home at the Old Kilmore Post Office. From left to right, Grahame Thom, Liz Dillon-Hensby, Barbara Wilson, Jo Corboy, Rose King and Francis Payne.

By Steph McNicol

KILMORE Historical Society has happily started settling into its new home at the Old Kilmore Post Office, a place with ‘more space than [they] know what to do with’.

An ongoing dispute centering on access to their former home, Kilmore Courthouse, prompted the society to look elsewhere for a base.

Secretary Barbara Wilson said the group looked forward to welcoming people into their new home.

“[At the courtrooms] we were restricted to two rooms up the back and a room along the side, which we ended up using as a storeroom,” Ms Wilson said.

“We had no indoor toilets, we used to go to [Hudson Park], we had no running water. Now here we’ve got a kitchen, gone from nothing to everything, we’ve got our work room in here – our computer setup and where we do our paperwork.

Ms Wilson said their workspace was operational and working well, with four filing cabinets thanks to a grant from Bendigo Bank as part of their new setup.

“We had these same desks in the old place, but the room was half the size of this space, [now we have] more room than we know what to do with,” she said, laughing.

“[We have] microfilm readers and our records for when people want to come in and do research, there will be space for everything.

“Our membership is always made up of about 90 to 100, they’re not always local – sometimes people with a connection to Kilmore.”

Rose King’s display of the Osborne family.

The amount of room in the new space has allowed the historical group to compile several setups for display, including Rose King’s compilation of the Osborne family’s overseas travels in the 1920s.

“It was so exciting, and I loved finding all of that out. They owned a very successful real estate and auctioneering business in Kilmore,” Ms King said.

“Charles and Margaret, Charles is the son of James Wilson Osborne who came to Kilmore via Canada and California with his Canadian wife about 1850, settled in Kilmore very early.

“The kids of course went to private school. Aren’t these photos great? Look how people travelled with their hats and clothing.

“The early cruising lines started up in the 1890s, and were well-established by the 1920s. They had steam ships that were turbine-charged, and you could get to Europe in 35 to 40 days.

“I think they just went through Glasgow, I couldn’t find any information about their actual journey. Certainly, by the 1920s, the well-heeled dressed up for dinner, had deck games and were served on the deck with cocktails. The cruising industry was probably getting underway.

“In those days, if any artists, musician, or writer wanted to become known, they’d go to Europe and be known.”

At their annual general meeting, the society was happily joined by Mitchell Shire Mayor Rhonda Sanderson, who officially opened their new home.

At the meeting, Alison Coombe was elected president, taking over from Liz Dillon-Hensby who remains a committee member, and the welcoming of a new committee member Brian Clancy.

Other positions are: vice-president Grahame Thom; secretary Rose King; treasurer David James; committee Barbara Wilson, Francis Payne, Liz Dillon-Hensby, Brian Clancy.