Commemorative Stone, Seaward Downs Library; WY.0000.1365


Commemorative Stone, Seaward Downs Library

About this object

This is a commemorative or foundation stone to mark the opening of the Seaward Downs Library in 1905.

The library was founded by Robert and Catherine Wilson, who both loved to read. In 1905 they established a library at Seaward Downs. Initially this was just a cupboard at the school, at which their children were first day pupils, but eventually a purpose built building was erected with over 2000 books in the collection. We are not sure of the date of this building and would be delighted if anyone can tell us.

Born in 1856, Robert Wilson grew up on his uncle's farm just south of Glasgow, Scotland. In 1874, aged 18, Robert set out for New Zealand on board the 'Jessie Redman'. On board, Robert met Matthew Holms of Waimahaka who was transporting horses. Matthew employed Robert to look after the horses on the boat and when they arrived in New Zealand recommended him for a position as a ploughman at the Edendale Estate.

Three years later he married Irish woman Catherine Hanlon who was working as cook at the Estate. As there was no married accommodation they shifted to a hut at the 'Bight' sawmill at Seaward Downs/Kamahi. Robert worked transporting sawn timber to Edendale where the dairy factory was being built.

In 1927, Robert and Catherine celebrated their golden wedding anniversary. Robert died in 1941 and is buried with Catherine in the Edendale Cemetery.

Maker Role


Place Made

Oceania, New Zealand, South Island, Southland, Seaward Downs

Medium and Materials

organic, processed material, stone, sandstone
organic, processed material, stone, marble

Inscription and Marks

See Brief Description.


h 450 mm x w 560 mm

Subject and Association Keywords

People and Families (including births, weddings, deaths)

Object Type

commemorative objects

Object number


Copyright Licence  

Attribution (cc) Attribution (cc)

This object is from

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