Journal #64 – June 2021

The Many Roles of the Court of Petty Sessions: Part 2

In part 1, the licensing of auctioneers, bankers and slaughterers was examined as well as local infrastructure responsibilities such as roads and punts. In this issue we look at how the Court of Petty Sessions dealt with hotel licensing, the Masters and Servants Act, the limited protection of women and children, lunacy and vagrancy.

Pietro Antonio Muscio: Swiss Immigrant 1855

Aged 16, Pietro arrived in Sydney in 1855 – coming from an Italian-speaking part of Switzerland – and went to work for Isaac Rose on the Williams River before moving to the Manning Valley with Isaac. He eventually Anglicized his name to Peter Anthony Muscio. Late in life, he wrote an autobiography for his family and here we present extracts from it.

The Quinlivans of Cundletown

For over 100 years the Quinlivan family lived in Cundletown and were honored as one of the Manning Valley’s greatest sporting families. The first Quinlivan was washed ashore near Harrington, lucky to be alive, when the 543 ton steamer Juno was wrecked. He was aged eleven and Cundletown became his home. The Quinlivan’s played many sports but they excelled at Rugby Union and Rugby League, playing in representative teams for the Manning, the North Coast and New South Wales. Five brothers played for the South Sydney Rugby League team.

The Science of Phrenology

In the 19th century and into the 20th century, phrenology was called a science but not by scientists – it was pure bunkum. The basic concept was that the skull housed the brain and therefore its shape determined personality. Men toured toured centres talking of the “science” and putting on shows for “education” and amusement. Here we present some phrenological visitors in the Manning Valley.

The Drogher PS Manning

The droghers were many on the Manning River, servicing the settlers on their water highways. The rusted remains of the paddle-wheel steamer Manning can be seen on the Taree riverbank – but for how long? This is the story of the Manning from its commencement in 1878 until its retirement in 1936.

In the Museum

Even though we have all experience a difficult year and a half I am very pleased to inform you that our museum is going from ‘strength to strength’. Many¬† varied projects have been quietly achieved, some small and some big like the one detailed below.