50th anniversary of the death of Nina Terry

Nina Beatrice Terry (1875-1968) was the eldest of the two daughters of Edwin Stephen Rouse and his wife Bessie (nee Buchanan) of Rouse Hill House.

She was born in January 1875 at Lara, the Darlinghurst home of her Buchanan grandparents, but grew up in the rural surrounds of Rouse Hill House where she shared her childhood with her sister Kathleen.

She grew into a vivacious young women, with a talent for horse-riding and for music and in 1895 married her charming, improvident, second cousin George Terry from the nearby property Box Hill, returning to Rouse Hill House with George and their sons after the death of Nina’s mother’s Bessie in 1924.

Nina was deeply respectful of the home that her parents had created and worked to retain her mother's housekeeping practices and arrangements, leaving her own imprint on the house in the process. In her latter years, with the rise of the heritage movement, Nina regularly found herself and the house the subject of interest from journalists and historians.  She died at the house on August 17th 1968, as had her parents before her, and in the bedroom which had been shared successively by her grandparents and great-grandparents [ref: Caroline Rouse Thornton, Rouse Hill House & the Rouses, 2nd ed, 2015]

Today’s visitors to Rouse Hill House are the beneficiaries of Nina’s custodianship, providing us with a rare example of an intact late 19th century interior, reflecting the lifestyle of a genteel middle class Australian family – with all its ups and downs.

About the author

Portrait shot of woman in outdoor setting.

Rebecca Jones

Former Assistant Curator

Raised in a family of collectors with a fascination for objects and stories, Rebecca Jones was destined to work with museum collections.