Dunedin's ''incredible'' transformation from
mud-spattered frontier town into the first of New Zealand's
''great cities'' is highlighted in a recently-opened ''Ghosts
of Wall Street'' exhibition.
Toitu Otago Settlers Museum acting director Jennifer Evans
said the exhibition - which opened last Saturday - invited
visitors to walk down a dark-walled ''time-tunnel''. A wide
array of archaeological exhibits are displayed in
brightly-lit cases set into its walls.
These ''accidental'' artefacts include a felt hat once worn
by a 19th century worker, and the remnants of various meals,
including goose and chicken bones, as well as cockle shells
from the Otago Harbour, and Bluff oyster shells.
The exhibition was inspired by the discovery, in 2008, during
preparations for the Wall Street Mall, in George St, of a
timber causeway, initially developed in the 1850s to enable
passing pedestrians to avoid sinking to their knees in mud.
Three audiovisual displays seek to recreate some of the
individual human stories which might have been behind various
artefacts found at the site, including some good quality
dress material, perhaps intended for use by a seamstress.
In one such display, an actress recaptures an impression of
Emma Hayes, who worked from her home as a seamstress in the
George St area, from 1863 to 1880.
Her efforts to maintain useful employment as a seamstress
ended sadly and abruptly when she was killed by her husband
in 1880, in what at the time was a widely publicised case of