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Kangaroo Valley
Sunday, February 25, 2024

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Kangaroo Valley Historical Society Happenings

This wedding dress was donated by Shirley Walker of Clinton Park. The dress was worn by her grandmother Mary Jane Graham when she married Edward Parrish, on 2 February 1882. Mary was 21 years old and Edward was 23.

This was the first wedding in Fernhill Church, Upper Kangaroo River. The dress is made of raw silk and has been hand and machine sewn. The quality of the workmanship and detailing is exquisite. The restoration and presentation of the wedding dress, which is in excellent condition for its age, was done by Linda Rose-James, our local pharmacist. 

The Church site was donated by Mr William Brain and was subsequently rebuilt by Victor Cooper in 1909 at a cost of 17. The eldest son of the bride and groom, Albert Edward Parrish M.M., of the first A.I.F., had the church renovated and an ornamental Wunderlich ceiling put in at his own expense as a thanksgiving for his safe return from the First World War. Today Fernhill Church is a private property. 

So who was the lady in the photo waiting for? The Historical Society has renovated this building at the Kangaroo Valley Pioneer Village Museum. On this day volunteers moved many of the glass cabinets, with textiles in them, to this building from the Archie Chittick Museum building, but this dress was the first.

You can see this magnificent dress sits in the freshly painted room. I was captivated by the dress. In the next few months, the final touches to the renovation will be completed and visitors seeing the results of the move, will be pleasantly surprised. In the Historical Society’s 70+ year, we still continue to conserve the history of Kangaroo Valley.

Christine Murphy 

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