Trader's Horn; c1860s; 2008.05


Port Macquarie Museum


Trader's Horn

About this object

This adapted bullock horn was owned and used by Hastings River boat trader, Francis Marchment. According to Marchment’s family the horn was sounded by Francis to alert farmers/settlers of his impending arrival, apparently being heard up to a mile away.

Marchment would tie up his 3 ton cutter George Fran to the primitive farmer’s wharves mostly made from ti tree poles which jutted out into the river and collect their produce such as pigs, poultry, hides, corn, and salted beef, trading them for clothes, tea, sugar, flour and salt.

Francis Marchment was also associated with the historic Port Macquarie Historical Museum building from 1881 to 1923. He used the building as a general store and residence for his wife and 9 children from 1881 to the 1890s before moving to Wauchope where he continued as a storekeeper and trader.

The Hastings River was an important geographic feature in the settlement and farming development of the region. The horn evidences the role of river boat traders, and their use of the river for trade, freight and communication purposes.

Many of the farms along the river were poorly or inaccessible by road and the arrival of river traders like Marchment would have been welcomed by isolated farmers and their families ready to trade produce, replenish supplies and hear news from afar.

The horn was passed down through the Marchment family suggesting it was a highly valued personal object by the family and evidences their pride in their ancestor Francis Marchment and in his role in the development of the Hastings River valley.

Debbie Sommers
9 March 2014

Date Made


Medium and Materials

horn, metal



Object Type

Cow horns

Object number


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