Join in ... at the Captain’s Cottage Museum
Sarah Shepherd invites all history buffs, antique collectors and locals alike to step back in time and discover the Murray Bridge of the past.
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The Captain’s Cottage is a Murray Bridge institution.
Built in 1890 by Captain Adam Johnstone, who commandeered some of the first paddle steamers in the region, the house was for his wife and nine children.
Today, the house formerly known as “Woodlands” is a museum full of Murray Bridge memorabilia, along with equipment, tools, toys, crockery, and photographs of years gone by.
If the hosts of Antiques Roadshow even saw an inch of this place they would have a field day.
Murray Bridge council tourism support officer Sarah Shepherd showed Murray Bridge News around the grounds and offered her insight into this hidden gem.
When did you first get involved with the Captain’s Cottage?
I’ve been working with the council for a bit over a year. In October last year, I also took on the role of volunteer programs officer. So I’m on both sides; I oversee all the volunteer activity and I am also focusing on projects like the Captain’s Cottage and the Round House.
What is your goal with the Captain’s Cottage?
We have a lot of students visit the Captain’s Cottage on school tours, some as young as year two. However, a lot of the feedback we get from parents is that the students didn’t really understand what the place was about. So I want the Captain’s Cottage to showcase the history of Murray Bridge in a way that lets it tell a story.
I’ve been inspired to target the younger generation but I also want to help the locals learn. It would also be great to turn the Captain’s Cottage into a destination people from elsewhere drive a great distance to visit.
I’m collaborating with the volunteers, as they know a lot about the history; there’s a lot of information here, it just all needs to have a better flow. We have quite a big task ahead of us, so I think we’ll take it one section at a time.
Why should people visit the Captain’s Cottage?
Murray Bridge has a lot of history, and most people don’t know about it. When they visit the Captain’s Cottage, they could learn about the history of the dairy industry in the region, the bridge, and also agriculture in Murray Bridge in general. I’d encourage them to come along and have a look, and see what life was like before technology.
More information: www.murraybridge.sa.gov.au.
Volunteer with the Rural City of Murray Bridge: www.murraybridge.sa.gov.au.
Book a group tour: Call 8539 1142 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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