You may already know about The Review’s fundraising initiative to complete all 125 years of archiving its back issues online. It seemed like a fortunate coincidence when William Byers contacted The Review looking for suggestions about preserving the complete, three-year collection of the Hawkesbury Post, published between 1899 and 1901.
Review publisher Louise Sproule suggested adding it to The Review’s ongoing archiving project, so that these editions, too, can be accessed by the public. Byers said yes to the idea and after the Hawkesbury Post pages have been microfilmed, they will be returned to him so that he can find a permanent home for the hard copies.
Here is a little bit of information about the Hawkesbury Post and its publisher. Harry Walker McWaters was editor and publisher of The Hawkesbury Post. He was born September 6, 1878 and was the son of Robert McWaters and Ellen Cummings Tweed. He was raised at Fountain Tweed, the Tweed homestead near Pleasant Corners. where his great-grandparents, Thomas and Ester (Dickey) Tweed from Carncastle, County Antrim, Ireland settled in 1820. Another great-grandfather, John Higginson, also from Carncastle, was part of the Higginson migration to this area in 1819. His grandmother, Nancy Higginson, was only 14 years of age when she came with her extended family in 1819.
Harry Walker McWaters was only 21 years of age when he launched his newspaper in May 1899. His writing suggests the experience and expertise of a much older person. Tragically, his life was cut short just three years later and he died on May 19, 1901.
This collection of his work was preserved by his sister, Eleanor Tweed McWaters Beer and her family and has been returned to the community for safekeeping by her grandson, Charles Beer, who passed the preservation mission on to William Byers.