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The Macdonald River, Wiseman’s Road1840

by Conrad Martens

Heading home in 1838, after a month-long trip to the Blue Mountains, Conrad Martens sketched the junction of the Hawkesbury and Macdonald rivers at Wisemans Ferry. The small holdings seen scattered through the valley document the early settlement around the Macdonald River.

A survey in 1833–34 showed some 86 landholders in the area and by the mid-1840s the population reached a peak of more than 1000 people on about 100 small properties. Between 1838 and 1839 Martens produced at least 11 versions of this scene.