Sunday, May 12, 2013

Willow Court treasure trove revealed

ABC News Tasmania
THE ABC has reported the discovery of historic artifacts under the floor of a building at Willow Court. ABC1 television news last night reported that Haydn Pearce had found a treasure trove of personal items beneath the building known as "Old J Ward" or the Ladies Cottage. Built in 1868, this was originally for fee-paying female patients and there was a similar ward for men.

Mr Pearce is the owner of a large part of the site that was divested by the Derwent Valley Council in 2003. He told the ABC's Danielle McKay that historic items had been found under the Ladies Cottage floor last year and he was seeking government help to create a museum to house the pieces, which he believed were stashed away by an individual patient.

It was said hundreds of items had been found, with thousands more still to be recovered. The collection includes clothing, letters and newspaper clippings. Mr Pearce said the items seemed to date from 1917 to 1933. The name Alice Sweeney appears on one item of clothing shown on television last night.

Mr Pearce also gave a lengthy interview on the discoveries to Chris Wisbey on ABC local radio this morning.

See the television report here.

Haydn Pearce displays some of the items for the ABC News

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