Historian Jim Smith, with advanced degrees and a resident of Wentworth Falls since 1974, has released two volumes of a triad on the Hydro Majestic's history, drawing on extensive research and a vast personal collection of over 1000 Hydro-related memorabilia items.
Jim Smith’s determined research over the last few decades has now resulted in three books, two of which are currently available. These are:
The Life and Loves of Mark Foy. Creator of the Hydro Majestic Hotel
Mark Foy, the Victorian entrepreneur behind Sydney's Mark Foy’s department store, invested his wealth in constructing the Hydro Majestic, a hydropathic retreat infamous for its hedonistic revelries, which stands as his lasting legacy despite his later life of troubled finances and restless travels. His personal complexities extended from a passion for hydropathic treatments and 'Orientalist' art to clandestine romantic liaisons, all captured in a book rich with untold stories, rare photographs, and vintage car imagery.
The Curiosity of Melbourne Ward and his Great Barrier Reef and Blue Mountains Museums
For two decades, Mel Ward's 'Gallery of Natural History and Native Art' housed within an unpretentious shed on the Hydro Majestic hotel grounds, offered an extraordinary array of anthropological and biological treasures, leaving a lasting impact on visitors with its vivid exhibits and his own charismatic guidance. This book captures Ward's unique life, from his theatrical beginnings to his passion for indigenous legends, and the indelible mark he left through his tours, media appearances, and especially the popularization of the Three Sisters Aboriginal legend.
Both books are available for purchase at The Hydro Majestic Pavilion.