Portraits of Paterson brings village history to life

Author Alison Pitkin with her latest book on Paterson.

Author Alison Pitkin with her latest book on Paterson.

Alison Pitkin has been researching the history of the Paterson village and district for years.

She has interviewed locals and those whose families have lived in the village for generations, delving into the day to day life of days gone by.

This hard work and commitment has produced a 156-page book which the Paterson Historical Society will release this month.

"Alison's book Portraits of Paterson is a treasure trove of information, some of which has never been published previously, and can only be found in this great book by Alison," said historical society president Cameron Archer AM.

In keeping with Covid era guidelines the society will host a "soft launch" in Tucker Park at Paterson.

"This worked well for the release of Wayne Patfield's book Steamships on the Paterson River," said Dr Archer.

"We will be setting up a small desk and stall in Tucker Park under the poplar trees for an afternoon when anyone can call by and see Alison and purchase the book."

The books are an important source of revenue for the Society and it is essential to make them available before Christmas, Dr Archer said.

Alison has structured the book (which will retails for $25) around memories, places and buildings.

It is largely focused on the 20th and 21st century history of Paterson and district, an area which sorely needed addressing according to Dr Archer.

"Her interviews were able to delve into the everyday lives of locals, where they lived and worked which means that we now know much more about local buildings, businesses and the village in general," he said.

Rather than relying on photographs Alison enlisted the support of Val Anderson to sketch every building which is covered in the book.

"The book is not only a history book but also a sketchbook of the village," said Dr Archer.

" Val is a renowned Hunter Valley artist who generously supports many causes with her art. She has illustrated much of the district over the years and in many ways, this is a culmination of her work. There are over 100 individual sketches in the book - a magnificent contribution in itself.

"This book is a must purchase for anyone who has an interest or link to Paterson.

"You will know most of the people or family members and be fascinated by the many stories Alison has faithfully told."

The book also contains eulogies for Eric Stanley Clements; Pauline Clements; Mabs Keppie and Bill Keppie.

This launch will be from 1-4pm on Sunday, November 15, 2020. There will be no official proceedings, so people can arrive at any time between 1pm and 4pm.