Hart's obituary in the Maitland Mercury of 12 January 1893 provides a précis of his community involvement:
THE LATE ELIJAH HART.—In the Sydney papers we note mention of the death, at the age of 72, of Mr. Elijah Hart, for many years a prominent resident of West Maitland. Mr. Hart came to Maitland in about the year 1854, and began business as a photographer, being almost the first to introduce the art here. He settled down, married, and took an active and intelligent part in various movements. He was a promoter of musical societies, and for many years was a member of the Volunteer Infantry force ; he was also conspicuous in the debates conducted at the School of Arts, and energetic as a member of the Committee and Vice President. Wielding a somewhat sarcastic tongue, he did not get on well with many folks, but he was an entertaining companion, with a flow of natural wit and a store of anecdote. Some years since Mr. Hart removed to Sydney, but made frequent visits to Maitland in connection with property he had acquired by purchase and by marriage. He leaves a widow but no family.