THE Store of Memories Museum in Inchigeela has been described by its owner Dorothy O’Tuama (nee O’Sullivan) as a ‘snap shot of a typical village from 1912 to 2007’.
Dorothy has certainly achieved this with a collection that contains everything from an old sewing machine to a telephone switchboard, all housed in the former shop which was run by three generations of O’Sullivan family.
‘This was my grandfather’s shop, which he built in 1912 and he sold everything from bacon to bandages. Then my father ran it after him, and it traded until 2007 when my brother closed it after my father died,’ Dorothy told The Southern Star.
‘It’s been a lovely project to be involved in, and I have been gathering items for it for the last year. I have about 150 things there that each tell an individual story of what life was like in the village, back in the day.’ Dorothy opened the museum last August in time for Heritage Week which she said spurred her on to do more with the museum, and it let her test the water for such a project.
‘I was able to get the old Ballingeary telephone switchboard from my brother-in-law and it was a lovely touch to have past operators of it attend the launch last Friday. My husband Padraig gave a demonstration before to school children of how it worked and they were amazed at it.’
The Stories of Memories Museum is open weekends only, and Dorothy has the help of volunteers to run it with her.
‘It was great to have Denis Cotter, chef and owner of Café Paradiso – a grand nephew of Timothy Johnny O’Sullivan – open the museum. He brought his own memories to the night and other locals, including Mags Creedon, Rosie and Ed O’Sullivan, also have their personal memories of life in the village, which had 11 shops at one stage, in 1935,’ added Dorothy.
When Dorothy isn’t busy with the museum, she is in charge of the tours for Johnny Lynch’s famous buffalo farm down the road in Kilnamartrya.
It was only fitting, then, that some of delicious food on the launch night included buffalo mozzarella with tomato and basil, buffalo ricotta and raspberry cheesecakes.
The Store of Memories Museum is open Friday to Sunday from 2pm to 5pm and by appointment on 086-8539744. See Store of Memories on Facebook.