The first newspaper published in Australia was the Sydney Gazette which appeared in 1803, and was the only regular source recording events in the penal settlement.
A number of newspapers followed the Gazette however it wasn't until the 1840s, that the Hawkesbury had a newspaper produced locally.
The Windsor Express and Richmond Advertiser commenced in 1843 but only lasted for twelve months.
Other newspapers appeared over the next 40 years including the Hawkesbury Courier, Hawkesbury Times, The Australian Windsor & Richmond Advertiser and the Hawkesbury Chronicle.
The longest running newspaper serving the Hawkesbury was established in 1888 by John Charles Lucas Fitzpatrick.
As a young man he had been apprenticed with the Australian Windsor & Richmond Advertiser and continued his career in the media, working on a number of newspapers before returning to Windsor with the idea to create his own.
The first premises were located on the corner of George and Baker streets, but many locals remember when they were situated at 200-202 George Street, Windsor and the Richmond office at 293 Windsor Street, Richmond.
Fitzpatrick was both manager and editor of the newspaper until he sold it in 1899 and was also one of the founders of the Provincial Press Association, precursor of the Press Association.
He eventually focused on his career as a politician but also authored a number of local history publications books including two recollections of the Hawkesbury district.
Fitzpatrick sold the newspaper in 1899 to John Osborne who only kept the paper for six months before selling to Frank Campbell, a staff member with the Gazette since 1891.
The Gazette was operated by the Campbell family between 1899 and 1942. Frank was editor from 1900 until he was debilitated by a stroke in 1926.
Son Percy became editor from 1927 and managed with assistance of Frank's wife Catherine for a further ten years.
A. T. 'Tom' Murphy became managing editor when Percy became ill in 1937. Catherine passed away in 1939 and the paper was sold several years later.
The Hawkesbury Carrier & Courier was a free newspaper which was established in 1933 by Ernest Shoobridge Carr, with circulation in the Hawkesbury as well as Riverstone and Blacktown.
In 1938 Max G. Day and Bernard Byrnes purchased the newspaper and changed its name to the Hawkesbury Courier.
With rising costs during World War 2, the Gazette and Courier joined forces in 1942 and Hawkesbury Consolidated Press was formed.
The Hawkesbury Herald, formed in 1902 under the management of William H. Pinkstone and Frederick Collison.
It was acquired from the current proprietor Mr F. B. Hands by Hawkesbury Consolidated Press in 1945. The Hawkesbury Courier has been a free newspaper in the district for many years.
For almost 50,000 days the Gazette has informed us about wars, murders, accidents, weddings, fetes, advertisements, sports, court cases, council news and sales through words and images by talented editors, journalists, photographers and storytellers.
The Windsor & Richmond Gazette was renamed the Hawkesbury Gazette in the 1980s and for a short time, also appeared twice weekly with the renowned Stan Stevens at the helm for many years.
The paper ran uninterrupted from 1888, until Covid exploded into our lives several years ago.
Following a challenging time, the Gazette reappeared, rising like a phoenix from the ashes, to again, report on the doings of the local Hawkesbury community.
After celebrating 135 years of covering the people, places and events of the local community, the Hawkesbury Gazette will close its doors for good, this week.
Matt Lawrence has been the editor since 2015 and this final issue is his last.
Such a devastating loss for the community.
There will be no weekly newspaper printed to record the unique Hawkesbury goings on but fortunately digitised issues covering 1888 to 1965 can be accessed for free, along with other Australian papers, via Trove https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/ The digitisation project was sponsored by Hawkesbury Library Service.