Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Trove Tuesday: In which they danced all night

Wow, they really knew how to party in 1889.

Sarah Yeaman and William Rigby partied with friends the whole night to celebrate their wedding. Auld Lang Syne was sung at daybreak - I'm surprised they found the energy!

Riverine Herald (Echuca) 6 Nov 1889
Pannoobamawm is a farming area near Echuca but you won't find it on Google Maps. Bamawm, Pine Grove or Tennyson are other names used for the area. The Yeaman families farmed in the Tennyson area and Sarah's parents, Charles and Sarah, had a farm they called 'Shadyside'. The house must have been bigger than I thought because the newspaper article states that after the midnight supper the 100 guests filed back into the ballroom to listen to songs and recitations and to continue dancing.

The house had a ballroom? They waited until midnight to serve supper?

Sarah, a sister of my husband's great grandmother, was 25 years old but she had apparently already made a name for herself as an exhibitor at agricultural shows and had won Champion Butter of Australia at the Melbourne Show. Champion Butter of Australia! And her husband, William Rigby, was first President of the local Mutual Improvement Association. I'm not sure what the association was exactly but it seems to have encouraged education etc.

Riverine Herald (Echuca) 1 Aug 1889
William and Sarah Rigby lived in the Tennyson area for a number of years before retiring to Melbourne.

PS Just as an aside. I'm wondering what the bathroom facilities were like at 'Shadyside'. It was November so it was probably warm, one hundred guests for about twelve hours, lots of dancing, supper, fifty or more ladies in their beautiful long and complicated dresses, corsets etc ...
How did they manage?


  1. Thanks for sharing this Lorraine, there are so many names and places I know in this wedding report - and I bet some of my relatives were guests, they definitely were neighbours :-) They really had some amazingly large celebrations back in those days!!

    1. I'm not surprised you recognised the names. One day I'll write a blog about Samuel Sims' purchase of the O'Brien hotel at Pine Grove. And I think there were some land transactions between the two as well. Samuel's son married the sister of Sarah Rigby (Yeaman)

  2. Perhaps there was lots of shrubbery for shelter when they took their wee walks.


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