Photograph ["Blythewood" Papatowai]; [?]; c1900; CT79.1253a.2


Photograph ["Blythewood" Papatowai]

About this object

Photograph; William and Rachel Wilson and family stand in the garden of their property "Blythewood" at Papatowai, circa 1900.

When they first moved to Papatowai, the Wilson family lived in tents until they built this house out of fern trees plastered with clay and with a clay floor. Later a more comfortable house was built.

The original photograph has been digitised. A digital image and copy print are available for research access.

Place Made

Oceania, New Zealand, South Island, The Catlins, Papatowai



Maker Role




Date Made


Inscription and Marks

Written by John Logan above the photograph, 'This house was built by Mr William Wilson of Papatowai/Gift of Mrs William Boyd East Gore/Later years known as "Blythwood".

Written on the back, 'This house was built by/ [illegible] William Wilson of Papatowai/later years known as "Blythwood"/The Wilson Family'.

'Supplied by/ Mrs William Boyd/E.Gore'.


Subject and Association Keywords

the family, marriage, home

Subject and Association Keywords

the family. life style

Subject and Association Keywords

history of Oceania, New Zealand, local history and description

Credit Line

From the collection of Owaka Museum Wahi Kahuika, The Meeting Place "a rest on your journey".

Object Type


Object number


Copyright Licence  

All rights reserved

Graham Wilson 17 Nov 2015 01:10 AM,UTC

This photo was taken by William Boyd, a keen amateur photographer. William lived in Gore and visited the family at Papatowai on several occasions. He was the illegitimate son of Rachel Wilson, born in Scotland before Rachel's emigration to NZ.
From the ages of the children, I have been able to identify the individuals. The photograph was taken around February 1897, 4 years after the family settled on this farm.
From left to right, the individuals and ages are: Rachel (40) holding baby Alice, later Alice Stuart,(about 8 months); Albert (9); Stephen (4); William (43) with hand on Stephen's shoulder; Lydia (7) obscured by a fence post with Rachel (11) immediately behind; Agnes (13); James (12); Jane (15); Robert (16).
The eldest son William is absent - he was an apprentice carpenter at this time. Around 1900 William returned and built a new house for the family, and it was the new home that was named Blythewood.