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, October 26, 2014

Maffra Show

We had an absolutely super time at the Maffra Show on Saturday to end History Week. Many thanks to Judy from Stratford, who made it possible with her ute, and was with us for the day, and to Margaret from Briag who was also lending a hand.

We were perfectly positioned in the food court, with Glenmaggie Wines (nice neighbours) next to us, and plenty of good food options on the other - and even the Galloping Bean about twenty steps away for coffee.

Oh Yes - and we did talk to a lot of people about history too. We will be back there next year.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Johnson Street Vol.2 ready to launch

Johnson Street, Vol 2, the south side from the river to Empire Place, is now here, and on sale from Sunday.  Price is $12.00 plus $3.50 postage, from P.O. Box 321, Maffra 3860. Although there will be a special during the launch. All welcome.

Surname Index

Alvin 48 Anderson 33 Andrews 33, 41, 43

 Backman 33 Balfour 42 Barbour 9 Bates 23 Bennett 26 Bertino 23 Bicker 13 Borthwick 42-43 Boyd 41 Brown 31 Bryant 47 Burnett 5 Burns 9 Byrne 6

Cameron 12 Casbolt 25 Clark 27 Clarke, 18, 47 Coridas 9, 12, 32 Cowden 41 Craig 8 Crisp 6 Cunninghame 20

Davidson 48 Davis 4, 5, 6, 8 de Visser 33 Donnelly 15 Duffin 27, 33

Eatwell 41 English 42

Fendley 9 Ferguson 6 Field 27 Fullerton 32, 44-45, 48 Fulton 20, 21, 28, 29, 35, 38-41, 43, 48

Gault 26 Gibbs 18 Gibney 4, 5, 30 Goodwin 25 Gorman 33 Graham 13 Green 47 Griffiths 47

Haiz 30, 31 Hales 28 Hall 27 Hammond 46, 47 Harding 12 Harper 7 Hastings 4 Hawes 35 Hearne 33 Hibbins 13 Hollingworth 25 Hunter 33 Hurley 47 Hussey 36

 Jenner 24, 25, 35, 36 Johnson 4, 5 Jose 33

Kellett 23 Kennedy 26 Knight 41, 43

 Lancaster 41 Lawson 33 Lee 33, 48 Lees 25, 29, 45 Lestrange 27 Little 42-43 Lyons 13

 MacNicol 6 Manson 5, 8 Marshall 41 Maxwell 19, 20 McBride 31, 34 McDonald 47, 48 McLean 43 Meddings 28 Mellon 47 Merry 5 Moss 41

Neilson 26, 48 Nelson 23 Nisbet 34

O’Keefe 21 Oliver 8

 Patterson 41, 43 Peck 42 Pettit 4 Phillips 48 Pitt 25, 33, 35-37, 39, 48 Pleydell 20 Powell 37 Pruden 47 Pyvis 16, 18

Rautman 26 Reeves 9 Rice 47 Roach/Roche 20 Roberts 23 Robotham 21, 22 Roche/Roach 36

Scott 23 Semmens 36 Shea 5 Sheedy 19, 20 Shingles 34 Silvester 6 Slattery 28 Stagg 7 Standish 9 Stocks 46 Streeter 24, 25, 31, 35, 36

Taylor 27 Thomas 4 Thompson 23 Tulloch 18

Wain 15 Warriner 48 Warry 42 Watts 48 Webster 47 Weir 8 Whieldon 6 Williams 7, 8, 25, 31, 32, 34 Wilson 19 Wishart 26

Friday, September 19, 2014

Volume 2 of Johnson Street is on its way

Just a reminder - keep the date free for Sunday 19 October. That is when we will gather at the Macalister Hotel for lunch at midday (for those who choose to), and then at 2pm a walk along the south side of the first block in Johnson Street (ie opposite the hotel). At the same time we will launch the book for that block. Maybe, just maybe, that is when we will be pointing out where C. McBride's Boot Shop was - does anyone know who owns the album where the original photo can be found? 

Or, does anyone know anything about Charles McBride? He was born in Co Tyrone, in Northern Ireland, and married Anne Jane McIlwraith in 1873. They had five children in Maffra between 1874 and 1883.

PS Tea (or coffee) and bickkies at the Museum after the walk. Bookings for lunch, and to let us know numbers for the museum, to Carol on 0408 461 740, or by e-mail to

Sunday, August 3, 2014

WWI Declared

Today, as we recognise the centenary of the declaration of World War I, we remember all those who served, and all the families who lost members in the war.

Research continues on Louie Riggall, who we now understand was one of only three Australian Red Cross women to die on service. We hope to be able to announce, in conjunction with Stratford and District Historical Society, publication in the near future of a small book on Louie, Alice Mitchell and Annie Whitelaw.

In the meantime, the most pressing matter occupying Maffra immediately after the declaration of war, was the whereabouts of the sugarbeet seed for the next season, somewhere on the high seas on a German ship. Was it going to arrive, or would the ship get news of events, and immediately abort its arrival in Melbourne?

The full story will appear in our next Bulletin, which is currently being finalised.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Family Enquiry - DANIEL

The Society has received an enquiry, seeking descendents of William Lawrence (or Laurence) DANIEL and his wife Cassandra nee GEDDES. William operated the Maffra Arcade, on the site of today's IGA Supermarket in Johnson Street, Maffra, from at least 1901 until his death in 1925. His son Charles may have then carried on the shop for a time. William was a grandson of Mary Daniel of Wolverton, through her son Frank.

Known children were: Charles Reid  and Frederick Belton (twins, b. 1886), William Lawrence b.1887, Vivian Belton b. Coalville 1889 and Barbara (b. Maffra 1897). Charles fought in WWI, and died in Melbourne in 1967, Frederick died "B'dale" (Bairnsdale?) in 1952, Vivian was KIA in France in 1917, and Beryl died as Beryl ENGELBACH in Richmond (Melb) in 1976.

If anyone can assist, please contact the Society. 

LATE NEWS: We have managed to connect our enquirer  with Laurie Daniel, who is a son of Charles Daniel - we are happy to have been of assistance.

Photo ref 02023VMFF

Monday, July 28, 2014

Maffra in 1882

Some readers may not be aware that the Illustrated Australian News (from Melbourne) is online through Trove. One gem in there is this engraving of Maffra, published on 13 May 1882. You can have a close up look at the engraving HERE.

There is also a description of the town, HERE.

Bit of a worry though, that it still thinks it is the Shire of Avon (when Maffra was formed in 1875), and I am not really sure the Anglican Church quite looked like that. Was there an earlier one?

There are a lot of local family notices, and a search for illustrated articles where the words Gipps Land appear comes up with some gems.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Family Equiry - MOON

The Society has received an enquiry about the MOON family - John Hinton MOON (1858-1937) was at Maffra as a tailor by 1880. His father, James Hinton MOON died there in 1880 and was a clerk. John is said to have come to Maffra to learn tailoring from a relative, who we have not yet been able to identify.

One location that we have been able to tie him to is on the southern side of Johnson Street, just near the bridge. John married Wilhelmina RICHARDSON (c.1855-1947), a tailoress from Carlton in 1882. Their first child was born at Maffra in 1883, but the family was in Richmond by the birth of the next one in 1886.

However, about April 1894, John's younger brother, Alfred (Albert) Ernest MOON (1869 -1935) arrived in Maffra, and remained there, Maffra's tailor until his death. His shop, in McFadyen's Emporium (under what is now Slattery's/Cervus machinery yard) features in our first volume on Johnson Street.

 Maffra Spectator, 18 April 1894

A.E. Moon married Ellen Emma HARRIGAN in 1894, and they had a number of children in Maffra. By Christmas Day, December 1913, he was operating from further along Johnson Street, when his was one of the shops destroyed in the Great Fire of Maffra. As a result he moved back to McFadyen's, and held a fire sale.

Wilhelmina RICHARDSON has proved elusive in records, said to have been the daughter of Roland RICHARDSON, a farmer and Margaret MILLER, born about 1855 at Creswick, but this needs confirmation. Nothing is yet known of Ellen Emma HARRIGAN.

If anyone can assist with further details of this family, please contact the Society.