Previous Exhibitions

From underwear to hardware

The Richard Coley Lodge

Hunter and Ross Hordern were the great grandsons of Anthony Hordern, the founder in 1825 of Anthony Hordern & Sons, which at its peak in the early twentieth century employed 1200 people, served 30,000 customers a day and operated the largest department store in the southern hemisphere. It died an ignominious death in 1970, but by then Hunter and Ross had set up their own store in Windsor, where they sold hardware, manchester, haberdashery and clothing, as well as power boating accessories to cater for the water-skiing crowd.

The museum is in possession of a large number of items donated by the Horderns when the store closed down – things like ledger books, display cases, manikins, signage and cash registers, as well as remnants of a cash carrying system that operated on overhead wires and transported cash in small containers from the counter to a room out of view.

'Many of these items have never been on display before,' says Museum Curator, Rebecca Turnbull. 'We know that many older visitors will enjoy re-visiting what was once a landmark in Windsor's shopping centre, and that younger visitors will be surprised to see how retailing has changed.' 

The Richard Coley Lodge

The Richard Coley Lodge

Windsor's important role in the development of the colony of New South Wales is well-known. What is less well known is that its importance allowed it to establish one of the earliest Masonic Lodges in the country, in 1841. At the time, Windsor had a population of just over 1,400 people, but it had three breweries, two tanneries and provided much of the food for the Sydney Region.

The three breweries supported no less than 14 hotels, one of which, The Australian Hotel at McGraths Hill, served as Windsor Social Lodge's first meeting place before the lodge purchased the Odd Fellows Hall on Macquarie Street, Windsor in 1844. Prominent Hawkesbury citizen, Robert Fitzgerald, was its first Worshipful Master, followed by Richard Coley, after whom the Lodge was renamed in 1888.


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