The Whale

On July 4th 1923 a dead 74foot 6inch (22.3 metre) Pygmy Blue Whale washed up at Wreck Beach, Harmers Haven. Jack Keighly, an unemployed butcher and Harold Pleydell, an unemployed miner, earned about 450 pounds from chopping up and selling parts of the whale, including blubber for oil. The jawbone was bought by Charlie Taberner, owner of the Wonthaggi Hotel, for 25 pounds and permanently placed in front of the hotel, corner of McBride Avenue & Murray Street Wonthaggi.

One of the whales’ vertebrae, once used as a chopping block, is housed in the museum.