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The Marks family were associated with Samford for over 100 years, from the 1880s when CF Marks bought “Cushleva” on Camp Mountain Road in 1887 until Pat Marks’s death in 2002. Pat’s association with the Samford Museum was as close as the family’s with the Samford district. She wrote or edited several collections of reminiscences for the museum, carried out considerable research on the Samford Bora Ring, and campaigned successfully for its preservation. She was President of the Society from 1989 to 1996.
Most of the Museum’s collection of material from the Marks family dates from just after Pat Marks’s death in 2002 when her executors donated many items from “the Barracks”, now the home of QUT’s Samford Ecological Research Facility. A further donation by Pat Marks’s executors in 2010 included two boxes of textile items, two World War 1 uniforms from EO Marks, and a Red Cross nurse’s uniform believed to be from Pat’s mother Nesta, also from World War 1.
Essentially, the collection documents the Marks family’s occupancy of the Barracks and before that, “Cushleva”, the first of their houses on the property, vacated in 1980. Domestic items are numerous in the collection, many of them dating from before electricity was available, some bearing the names of members of the family other than Patricia, including EO (Ted) and Keighly Marks. The scientific and medical interests of Patricia and Ted are evident, as well as the requirements of running an agricultural property, including the management of horses, to which the family had an abiding devotion. The recent donation of clothing (Ted’s World War 1 uniforms, Nesta’s World War 1 Red Cross apron, underwear and babies’ wear) do not contribute directly to an understanding of life at the Barracks but are of interest in their own right.
The collection comprises some 1100 items, most of them from the Barracks. They include: domestic objects (cooking, cleaning, heating, eating and drinking, storage, lighting, vermin traps, packages and containers, laundry, smoking, games, sewing); tools (mechanical, carpentry); medical and babycare items; stationery, writing and office equipment; agricultural and pastoral objects; gardening equipment; textiles and clothing, (including underwear, babies’ wear, a white cotton petticoat 1870-80, panties, babies’ matinee jacket, romper clothing, aprons, pantaloons, chemises); travelling cases and trunks; scientific and natural history items (including tanned snake skins, culture dishes, specimen bottles, microscope slide storage boxes, many specimen tubes and bottles); furniture and furnishings (such as tables, chairs, and a khaki cushion cover embroidered “EOM” (Edward Oswald Marks); leisure and sporting equipment (including riding crops, walking sticks, and Patricia’s polo stick); letters and books (a small collection).
Items of particular interest include:
Station Street, Samford, Queensland
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