Past and Present – The Shop that Time Forgot

Maryborough is an grand old Queensland town, not far from Hervey Bay or the Fraser Coast, full of history, Mary Poppins even visits there once a year for the festival in her honour.  There I found, ‘the shop that time forgot’, quirky, dusty, ‘if the walls could talk’, type of place.

Irish immigrants, Patrick Brennan and Martin Geraghty were brother in laws and together they opened their grocery store in 1871, eventually Martin’s family took over the full ownership, and ran it till 1972 when Martin’s youngest son George, died.  Georges’s sisters, as the story goes, actually did most of the work and day to day running of the business, go girls!

the shop that time forgot

When George died there was no one left who wanted to take over, so as it stood, the doors were shut. In 1975, The National Trust took over the building, painstakingly cleaning  the shop, restoring its structure and turning it into a museum.  It was open to view by 1990, yes, it took a while to get things done by donations, raffles, etc, etc.

When I walked into the shop it was like stepping into a time warp, the shelves still stocked with its contents preserved in their original condition, curry from India dating back to 1890, old medicines, teas, washing powders, preserves and jams from the family owned orchard and big thick leather bound ledgers and old typewriter in its office space.  Out the back were the stables, and  a storage area of boxes, barrels, tea chests and a cart on rail tracks to carry produce to the front of the store.

Time stood still in the store, as the past and the present still meet.   I think Martin, George and the sisters still hang around the shop still, if you know what I mean!

Resources and Photos – Queensland Tourism, The Sydney Morning Herald 19/6/2008


Sovereign Hill

Sovereign Hill is an open air museum in Ballarat Victoria, which depicts the first ten years of its history after the discovery of gold in 1851.  It is run by board of directors and is a community based museum.

sovereign hill street


The name originally Ballaarat comes from the  Aboriginal name of the place, ‘balla aret’ or ‘resting place’, since changed to Ballarat in 1996.

Ladies inperiod dress

Sovereign Hill itself and the area around is part of the richest alluvial gold rush in the world.  The second largest nugget found in the world was mined in Ballarat it weighed 69 kg, worth over $3 million US in gold now, then it was worth 10,500 pound.

Sovereign Hill is a wonderful place to visit, and the whole  of the old Victorian gold rush area is  rich in history, with its lovingly restored and maintained small towns.

Accordian man sovereign hill


Past and Present – Places I Love to Share



ECHUCA is located on the Murray River on the Victorian side, it is said to be a living memorial of the Murray.

The Aboriginal meaning for Echuca is ‘Meeting of the Waters’, which is indicative of the role rivers have played in the town’s existence.

echuca 1897

Photo from

Founded by a very enterprising character of the early colonial days, an ex-convict named Henry Hopewood; he bought a small punt in 1850 and operate it across the Murray River.  The settlement was known as Hopewood then changed to Echuca.

By 1870  Echuca had risen in prominence as Australia’s largest inland Port, Echuca was both a key river port and railway junction. Steam-driven paddle boats would arrive at the 400-metre long redgum Echuca Wharf, unloading it to be transported by rail to Melbourne. Wool, wheat, other grains, livestock and timber were the most common cargoes.  The wharf has been listed as a heritage now, and the wharf area and some of the town  preserved, as a living reminder of the bustling Port it used to be in the good old days, before the railroads then the trucks took care of transporting goods.

Information from: