Uncovering hidden history of Blue Mountains

Who were the three sisters? Why did Govett leap? Is the Hydro really majestic?

Woodford resident Magda Cawthorne has written a coffee table book called Hidden History of the Blue Mountains. The book features more than 500 full-colour photographs of the villages as they are today and uncovers the “incredible secret stories” of the people and buildings familiar to many Mountains residents.

Woodford author Magda Cawthorne with her new coffee table book, Hidden History of the Blue Mountains

Woodford author Magda Cawthorne with her new coffee table book, Hidden History of the Blue Mountains

“Stopping at every village along the way, from Lapstone to Mount Victoria, through the bite sized stories you will discover who first lived there, how it was named and just how much life has changed in the 21st century,” said Ms Cawthorne.

“Leave it on the coffee table and you will be sure to pick it up over and over again to discover characters and crimes, celebrations for the changing seasons, secret places and famous faces.”

Hidden History of the Blue Mountains reveals secrets that make Blue Mountains village life what it is today. Would you walk from Wentworth Falls to Katoomba and work an eight hour day, with only one day off a week? Could you defend your home from a bushfire with a bucket and wheat sack? 

The author is Magda Cawthorne,who has lived in the Blue Mountains for more than a decade. For most of that time she has been a bookseller in a small shop called JimmyD’s in Springwood. She was also a founding member of community magazine The Mountains Blueberry, which led to an interest in uncovering more of the stories behind the everyday face of the Blue Mountains.

Magda's research for this book has uncovered much more than could be contained in one small volume, and she urges readers to explore this intriguing part of the country further.

The book was launched at the Blackheath Craft Markets on Sunday, November 19. It is available at Leura’s Megalong Books and The Turning Page and Springwood Book Lounge in Springwood as well as many other stores and information centres across the Blue Mountains. Details: www.bluemountainshistory.com.au.