Tourism tourism

Dowerin Museum - Lounge Room

The lounge room features, among other items, the portable organ of Miss Mary Couper. The Couper family came from Victoria to Dowerin in 1898 to join with son and brother Steven who had taken up land in 1897.

When the family arrived at Dowerin Lakes for the first time, Miss Couper recalled that only the bedding and the organ were unpacked that night. Miss Couper said, ‘It was a beautiful summer evening, with a full moon and perfectly calm.

We all gathered around the organ and made the forest ring with old songs.’ The pedal organ with lift up lid and full keyboard was manufactured by Mason & Hamlin.

Music was an important part of entertainment in the bush, as you can see from the organ and the piano accordion, the phonograph and the radio.

There was always a local band or two in the area, and this photo of a group of musicians in 1912, believed to be the music group of the Dowerin Lakes Methodist Church and to have been taken there, shows the range of talent, or at least enthusiasm.

Also in the lounge is a photo of the Scout Jamboree in 1931. It was held at Gloucester Park and marked the first visit of Lord and Lady Baden Powell to Australia.

Several scouts from Dowerin attended, though Tom O’Shaughnessy at least was not impressed with the food served; porridge was cooked in coppers, and Tom reported that when they stirred it, everything went round together in one great lump.

The Dowerin contingent found the porridge more enjoyable as Frisbees than for eating.

The beetroot sandwiches on the train home fared no better, but were hurled from the window of the moving train.

Tom learnt chip carving from the local blacksmith, and he made the carved frame that the photograph sits in, so perhaps there were some fond memories.

Organ