New-look Court House Museum re-opens

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Statues of Ellen Thompson and John Harrison as part of the Court House Museum's display of the pairs murder committal hearing in Port Douglas. Ellen Thompson lived in the Douglas Shire region and became the only woman ever hanged in the state of Queensland. Image: Supplied.
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The Court House Museum in Port Douglas has re-opened after being closed for an extensive period because of the coronavirus epidemic.

And despite this hiatus, behind the scenes work has been done and visitors to this iconic museum will experience a new and fresh overview of some aspects on display.

New costumes were made by Mossman dressmaker Kara Dobbin. Her expertise fashioned these clothes and sourced the fabrics to be very close to the original style.

Ellen Thomson’s new black dress with lace trim looks amazingly fresh and her partner John Harrison’s shirt is back to being bright red. His old one had faded to almost pink after two decades.


RELATED: 
The story of the only woman hanged in Queensland


Police Magistrate Michael Fanning, sitting in the judge’s box, has new clothes and a carefully cleaned wig, and his dock has been freshly painted.

And Senior Constable Denis Casey, who always gives visitors a fright because he appears so realistic standing at his table, has a beautifully tailored black jacket and new moleskins.

The museum is now open again as usual on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays between 10am and 1pm. Knowledgeable volunteers will be on hand to answer any questions about our history.

The Museum has also been thoroughly cleaned and Covid-safe procedures are in place, with masks and gloves available on request, and a one-way trail through the museum.

The building is wheelchair-accessible.

Admission is free for children and students, and only $2 for adults. Because of Covid regulations, a maximum of 10 people are allowed at one time.

Unfortunately because of the guest limit, school groups are not welcome at present.

For more information: www.douglashistory.org.au 



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