Special Displays

 Currently we have numerous items on loan from the Whale Centre which is closed for renovations. These are on display in a dedicated room in the Customs / Stationmaster’s House.
Also in the same room are artifacts in a glass case, retrieved from the old well at Whalers Way in 2017.


  • “FIFTY YEARS OF THE TIMES” the local newspaper which is now permenantly available for perusal.
  • GRANITE ISLAND MEMORIES (several items still on display) This included the recently acquired Chairlift wheel – the last known piece of this great attraction that was on the Island from 1964 to 1996. Also a collection of Tram and “Train” photos that have carried people over the causeway in the last 100 years.
  • THE RUMBELOW FAMILY AND  ONE OF THEIR BOATS – THE RAMBLER.  We have several of the remaining artefacts from the Rambler, along with many Rumbelow family photos and paintings. Of special interest is a copy of the day by day sea voyage from England to Australia in the mid 1800s.
  • CHRISTMAS THROUGH THE AGES. We had the traditional Christmas story recorded in the Bible but it has been influenced in a commercial way by Coca Cola; John Martins Pageant and other factors. See our theme in pictures, old presents and an “Aussie Bush Christmas Tree”
  • OLD TOOLS AND PIONEERING GADGETS. An interesting look at life in the olden days including a cooling fan that is run by heat but not electricity.
  • THE DEPLEDGE PIONEERING FAMILY. Come and see how people lived in the 1800s when Victor was a small town growing into a port for the river trade. This was long before it became a tourist destination.
  • THE ELLISON MUSEUM OF RADIO AND MAGNETIC RECORDING. This display featured a wide range of South Australian manufactured radios. Did you know the Jack Ferry story? We saw all sorts of commercial units made in Adelaide before manufacturing ceased and instead, we purchased from Japan and other Asian countries. We had the player that brought sound to the Loxton Drive-In Theatre and also had a special player with music like you heard in shopping centres and waiting rooms. 
  • WHERE DID YOU GET THAT HAT? We featured all sorts of hats for this display. Types included Bowler and Top hats, Ladies fashion hats from the 1800’s & various servicemen’s hats helmets and caps

  • A CENTURY OF CHANGES ALONG OUR FORESHORE. We discovered the Canvas City  – a place where “shacks” were permanent Tents. We saw the changes when one of our nearby neighbours was the Power Station and admired the growth of the Memorial Gardens from the time of planting to the now magnificent pine trees that can be seen as you first enter Victor Harbor. The transformation of the Wonderview Theatre into a block of flats and many other photos displayed our past!
  • OUR ANNUAL DISPLAY of the ENCOUNTER (hence “Encounter Bay”) between Nicolas Baudin, the French explorer and Matthew Flinders, the English explorer occurred 8th April 1802. This year we had a map showing a number of South Australian capes, bays and national parks that are named after French sea captains and French scholars from centuries ago, even a place in South Australia that was named after one of Napoleon Bonaparte’s victories against the Austro-Hungarian empire.
  • UNDERWEAR from years gone by and a range of Victorian clothing. See items that you have probably never heard of and fashions that you probably have never imagined. See some of the uncomfortable things women wore in the 1700 and 1800’s all in the name of fashion. Find out what Queen Victoria’s influence was.
  • 150th CELEBRATION of the Old Custom’s House and later Station Masters House. This included lots of historic photos.
  • “DOWN EVERY STREET” A comprehensive collection of Victor Harbor sub-division maps that showed proposed suburbs eg Rosetta Park, Smithville, Ozone Heights, Victor Harbor South and many more. Also photos where our fine old buildings stood compared with photos taken from the same spot showing the present day landscape. Down Every Street is based on, (and updated) an entry in Michael Page’s book by Mr Ken Collins which lists the street names and origins of those names. Many of our streets are named after local pioneers and prominent people of the district.
  • The ENCOUNTER (hence “Encounter Bay”) between Nicolas Baudin, the French explorer and Matthew Flinders, the English explorer occurred 8th April 1802.  A very special inclusion for this display are the newly acquired facsimile journals of  Matthew Flinders which include diary entries relating to his meeting with the French captain Nicolas Baudin.
  • GUEST HOUSES Following on from the recent relaunch of the “Guest-Houses of Victor Harbor” book by Val Brown, the display included information on accommodation places, many of which have been knocked down and remain only in the memories of those who spent their holidays staying in one. In conjunction with the guest-houses, were a number of mannequins with period costumes from the 1930s and 1940s. One gentlemen was dressed in Air force uniform – a carry over from the days when the air-force used Mt Brecken as their training facility.
  • WEDDING DRESSES, set up on mannequins, that have been worn particularly through the early part of the last century.  We also had on display several special dolls kindly on loan.
  •  LOCAL SCHOOLS and teaching methods from the early part of the last century.