HAWKES­BURY FACES

Hills to Hawkesbury Living Magazine - - In This Issue -

A se­lec­tion of 19th cen­tury pho­to­graphs called Hawkes­bury Faces, from the al­bums of Mary Anne Amelia Ste­wart, is cur­rently on dis­play at Hawkes­bury Cen­tral Li­brary un­til 25 June, dur­ing open­ing hours.

Born in Wind­sor in 1846, Mary was the only daugh­ter of Dr Wil­liam Farquharso­n Ste­wart and El­iz­a­beth Durham. Dr Ste­wart had mi­grated from Scot­land and was the first salaried doc­tor at Wind­sor Hospi­tal. Her fa­ther died when she was just a baby and her mother mar­ried for a sec­ond time, to Ge­orge Gor­don, Wind­sor’s Clerk of Petty Ses­sions in 1858.

Mary grew up in a vi­brant so­cial and cul­tural at­mos­phere where there would al­ways be ac­tiv­i­ties and gath­er­ings with vis­i­tors, in­clud­ing the Rouse, Cape, McQuade and Town fam­i­lies from all over NSW. When she was 25, Mary mar­ried Ge­orge Scarvell from Clare House, and they had sev­eral chil­dren but she was wid­owed af­ter five years. A num­ber of years later, Mary met and mar­ried John Valen­tine Stu­art Blom­field and four chil­dren were born. The cou­ple re­mained in the Hawkes­bury un­til the early 1890s when they re­lo­cated to the South­ern High­lands. Mary con­tin­ued to take an in­ter­est in the com­mu­nity and died in her 85th year in Moss Vale in 1931.

Her won­der­ful col­lec­tion, which in­cluded po­ems, let­ters, in­vi­ta­tions, plus pho­to­graphs of res­i­dents of the Hawkes­bury and fam­ily ac­quain­tances, re­mained in the fam­ily. Now the col­lec­tion has been scanned, cour­tesy of Mary’s de­scen­dant, Mrs Foster.

A free cu­ra­tor’s talk will be held on Wed­nes­day, 24 May at 10am about the col­lec­tion and some of the peo­ple fea­tured in the dis­play of 19th cen­tury Hawkes­bury Faces. Go to www.hawkes­buryli­brary.eventbrite.com or call 4560 4460 to book.

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