A Pioneer Christmas 1860s Style

The 1860’s arrived and once again the weather was the main point of focus at Christmas.

The Portland Guardian AND NORMANBY GENERAL ADVERTISER. (1864, December 26). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 - 1876), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved December 13, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64632980

CHRISTMAS DAY. (1862, December 26). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 5. Retrieved December 19, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article6482065

Most papers featured a Christmas supplement.  This extract from the supplement in The Star, gives some insight into what was on the menu for Christmas dinner.  Geese, apple’s for sauce, mince pies and plum pudding were all available at the Eastern market in Melbourne.

MELBOURNE. (1861, December 25). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 1 Supplement: SUPPLEMENT TO THE STAR. Retrieved December 13, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66330382

Along Main Road, Ballarat shopkeepers filled their windows with temptations.

CHRISTMAS EVE AND CHRISTMAS MORROW. (1860, December 25). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 2. Retrieved December 18, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66336481

Lewis Levy of Sturt Street Ballarat offered gifts for everyone, from field glasses to Parisian vases.

Advertising. (1864, December 24). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 3. Retrieved December 19, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66350716

Christmas day 1862 was thought to be the quietest in Geelong for many years.  The weather, though, was perfect for picnics at Barwon Heads or Queenscliff.

CHRISTMAS DAY. (1862, December 26). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 5. Retrieved December 19, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article6482065

Of course, comparisons with England were never far away.  In 1869, the Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser times ran a synopsis of a lecture by the Reverend Mr Clark “Christmas in old England, its customs and its carols”.

CHRISTMAS IN OLD ENGLAND. (1869, December 13). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 - 1876), p. 4 Edition: EVENINGS.. Retrieved December 13, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64694207

The last word comes from the “Poets Corner” from the Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser about Christmas 1869.  While “Touchstone” spoke of the “Southern summers” he missed the “jovial Christmas coming through the bracing cold”

Poet's Corner. (1870, January 10). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 - 1876), p. 4 Edition: EVENINGS.. Retrieved December 14, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64694411

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