The Masterton the first settlers knew was not the leveled and well-ordered town of today. Although there were significant areas of grassland and fern, there were also some large pockets of lowland forest. As Gareth Winter writes: "Masterton's progress was slow at first. Queen Street was an unlined pathway, formed by digging ditches in the boggy ground to the side and throwing the refuse onto the roadway to elevate it. Stumps were not removed, but buried under the spoil." The Look of Masterton tells of the town's beginnings and progress over the last 150 years. With an informative text indicating the milestones along the way, the story is principally told through a collection of photographs - many published for the first time - that brilliantly evoke Masterton's transformation from wooden village to thriving 21st century town.