The Society acknowledges the traditional owners of the Irwin Districts, their continuing connection to land, sea and community and pays its respects to elders and their cultures, past and present.

Isabella Osborn Diary

Isabella Osborn was the daughter of William John and Sarah Osborn nee Newson, and was baptised on 21st September 1869.

William and Sarah arrived In Western Australia on the 25th May1858 per Emma Eugenia, bringing their four children including Isabella. William was a blacksmith, and was employed at Fremantle Prison then Guildford. Emma was a nurse and midwife.

Commencing in about 1867, William and his sons, built a house and blacksmith’s shop at the East End of Dongara, his daughter Isabella was an accomplished seamstress and dressmaker and her diary contains recipes, family births and deaths as well as details of payments for her work by local identities.

Isabella married Sidney Hyde in Roeburn in 1889 and passed away in Perth in 1939. Her daughter Ivy married Hugh Jackson in 1914 in York.

Isabella Hyde (nee Osborn), her daughter Ivy with child Patricia, and Ivy’s husband Hugh Jackson., c 1915 | IRME2059

You can view the original diary here and a transcription here.

Extracts from Isabella’s Diary

Cure for Small  pox & Scarlet fever

Sulphate of zinc   one grain of foxglove or Digitalis   one grain one half a tea Spoonful of Sugar mix with two tablespoonsful of water when the above  has been thoroughly mixed add four ounces of water   take a tea Spoonful   Every hour Either Disease will Disapear in 12 hours For a Child Smaller Doses according to Age   from the Scientific School of paris

Tomato Catsip

Take ripe tomatoes (the small red  ones are preferable), wash, but not skin them, and thoroughly boil one hour, and then put them through an hair sieve, and to one quart of juice add one tablespoonful of cinnamon, one of black pepper, half of cayenne, half of nutmeg, one of mustard, two third teacupful of salt. Boil three hours, and then to one quart of juice add one pint of vinegar.  Boil half an hour longer, bottle hot and seal up.    


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