Coach House Gallery Open Day 15 October

Published on 30 September 2016

Time capsules are normally sealed and buried out of sight for decades, but Wedderburn boasts one that’s flourishing in full view.

The Coach House Gallery and Museum, standing proud in the town’s main street, is a perfectly preserved 100-year-old general store which looks the same as the day the owners walked out for the last time.

The enterprise has two faces – an exhibition space administered by the Loddon Arts Group alongside a general store displaying goods originally stocked during the early decades of the 20th century.

On Saturday 15 October, from 10am to 4pm, the group will stage its third open day, inviting visitors to wander through the building and see the collection for themselves.

The store was built in 1913 as an upgrade to the then existing business, which opened in the 1840s.

On the shelves are such everyday household necessities as a wire cheese slicer, rows of biscuit tins, meat safes and an original carved-wood Yates seed display with a bunch of hand-drawn packets of seeds.

A basement and cellar are set up with historic photos, wheelwrights’ tools, replicas of gold nuggets unearthed locally and the original printing press from the old Wedderburn town paper of 1888-1932.

Out the back is the cart once used by an old Indian hawker, a horse-drawn hearse and a blacksmith’s forge.

Volunteer Denise Nichols said plans for the day included a variety of stalls showcasing local artists as well as demonstrations by blacksmith Graeme Nichols and woodturner Geoff Maxwell.

“The Lions Club will run a barbecue, we’ll have live music and run free tours through the museum,” Denise said.

“There will be some giveaways, a treasure hunt for the children, a door prize and raffles and we now offer giftware, coffee and cakes.”

Open day visitors are also encouraged to drop in at the Loddon Visitor Information Centre, housed in the Wedderburn Community Centre, part of which was the original Wedderburn Primary School, where they can inspect the historic building, see the photographic exhibition, community garden and settler’s hut and hear the stories of the area’s unique links with the eucalyptus oil industry.

Further information telephone (03) 5494 3489 or visit www.loddon.vic.gov.au