Sharing community history

Residents often turn to their local historical society for information on their ancestors – be it images of people or places, or information about the family to add more than just the bare statistics of birth, marriage and death.

At Lilydale and District Historical Society (LDHS) we are privileged to have many valuable resources people can access – local newspapers, archives, databases and image collections.

However, we often extend our search out into the wider community, seeking their help via our own members and social media – Facebook and Instagram.

Currently we have 1199 people like and 1273 people follow us.

Two recent Facebook posts demonstrated the value of social media to our society’s heritage knowledge.

We have been helping the Yarra Ranges Regional Museum with some of its collection items about which it has little, if any, knowledge.

One was a Young Farmers Trophy presented to Noel Cardwell.

We put the image and what information we had online.

Within 24 hours our followers and those on I Grew Up in Lilydale had supplied us with Mr Cardwell’s phone number, email and his address in New South Wales.

We had one follower from the Gold Coast contact us with the same information.

Thanks to residents and their willingness to help, the museum staff now have the complete story of the trophy.

Another item the museum was trying to identify was a large, old hand trolley.

We checked with our members and established it wasn’t from one of our grocery stores, so an image was put online.

Again, thanks to our own Facebook and the I Grew Up in Lilydale super sleuths, one person with railway knowledge zoomed into the image and found VR stamped inside a wheel.

Another person indicated the trolley could be one that was loaned to the Lillydale Museum many years ago but not collected.

Yarra Ranges Museum contacted the railway museum at Lilydale Station and they happily donated it to the museum.

In both cases unknown objects suddenly had a story to tell.

Our society has regular weekly posts and we are constantly amazed at the comments and information given to us.

It shows no one owns our past and history – we each have our own story, but we also have shared history which we should always be willing to share with others.

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Remember: yesterday is now part of our history.

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