Mary Ann Pettigrew at age six or seven.
Mary Ann Pettigrew at age six or seven.

Rare photo of Mary Sim uncovered

A RARE photo of Mary Ann Sim has been uncovered just days before the 10th birthday of her namesake is celebrated in Maryborough.

Peter Olds, who in 1999 recreated the first locomotive built in Queensland, said the original engine, launched in 1873, had been named after two girls – Mary Ann Sim and Mary Ann Pettigrew.

Mr Olds said the engine was named Mary Ann in recognition of the bond shared between the girls’ fathers, sawmilling partners William Sim and William Pettigrew, for whom John Walker & Company built the engine.

While photos of Mary Ann Pettigrew are well recorded, however, photos of the Sim girl are rare and to Mr Olds’ knowledge, have never been seen publicly.

Mr Olds said historian Elaine Brown had recently found a photo of Ms Sim.

“The photo of Mary Ann has been discovered by contact between Menzies descendants of one of Mary Ann’s sons and descendants of Muriel Anderson, who held the photo in their family album,” Ms Brown said.

“The photo shows Mary Ann as a late teenager, possibly about the time the Mary Ann engine was named.

“She was a favourite of William Pettigrew, who attended her first wedding, noted her marriages and death in his diaries, and named his own daughter Mary Ann.

“The photo of Mary Ann Pettigrew (pictured) shows her at the age of six or seven, also around the time the Mary Ann engine was being planned and built before being launched.”

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