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Chapter 2

Chapter 2

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Published by Lisa Truttman

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Published by: Lisa Truttman on May 13, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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2. 1900 - 1930 - The Move Towards Suburban Development
Early Community 
 It was during the early decades of the 20th century, from 1900 to the 1930s, that theWaterview area grew from a small village hamlet, nestled between the two largertownships of Avondale and Point Chevalier, into a more substantive pattern ofsettlement. At the beginning of the 20th century, Waterview was still very sparselypopulated, with most of its residents still living within the confines of the original 1861subdivision of Allotment 16, between Browne and Albert Streets (present day Fir toAlford Streets). A census conducted in 1916 revealed that Avondale's population(which also included Waterview's residents) had doubled itself within a period of only10 years, to 2404 residents.
 Rev. G. I. Laurenson describes Waterview at the turn of the 20th century in thefollowing terms: "This [Waterview] was still a rather isolated and lightly settledcommunity. There were no street lights, and very lightly formed gravel roads
." Thecentre of the community spread in a fan-like fashion (on the Waterview Hill, to the westof the Great North Road) opposite the large farm of the Avondale Mental Hospital andreaching down to the shores of the Waitemata Harbour
. There was also some lightribbon strip settlement activity along the banks of the Oakley Creek on the eastern sideof the Great North Road and on its upper portions, in the vicinity of what was thenknown as the Manukau Rd (in the early 1900s this road was to become Station Roadand later Blockhouse Bay Road
Early Farms and Subdivisions 
 During the period from 1900 -1930s, there was a trend towards further land sub-division within the area, and a further intensification of the settlement in the areadefined by the original "Waterview block". Above Allotment 16 on the Waterview hill, theland was divided into several large (dairy) farms, one being the extensive propertyowned by Mr. (later "Sir")
Alfred J. Cadman, which included a small part of Allotment14 and all of Allotment 15. This property was later to be known as the "Cadman Estate"and included all the area of land that is now Heron Park and most of Fairlands Avenue,Cadman Avenue and down to what is now Seaside Avenue
.There were also several other farms and large agricultural-related properties on theWaterview hill at this date. The Eyes' family whose origins in the area date to the early1920s
operated a large diary farm consisting of all the land
(DP18842) betweenAlexandra St (now Alverston) and Dale St (now Fir St) and bordered by Saxon St(which was then known as Norman St
). On the lower part of Fir St where the landdrops steeply into an as yet unnamed gully
, and continues on past the concreteaggregate footbridge down to the water's edge was located the original Eye's familyhomestead - this being the home of Charles and Sophia Eyes (at No. 68 Dale St in the1930s
). His children, Charles Herbert Eyes (a carpenter) and Charles Maxwell Eyes(an engineer) had their residences at the bottom of Alverston St (then Alexandra St)near the water's edge
.Another large farm in the area that was later to be sub-divided for state housing (in the1930s and '40s period), was that belonging to the well known figure of Mr. Hallyburton
21Johnston, who as a former politician
, wealthy farmer
noted businessman, landspeculator, and noted philanthropist
, also had important connections with theneighbouring district of Point Chevalier
. The land on which Point Chevalier'sAmbassador Theatre now stands once belonged to him and the Hallyburton JohnstoneSports Clubs
which he founded in that suburb still bears his name. Mr Johnston'sfarm consisted of the entire lower portion of Albert St (now Alford St) bordered byNorman St (present Saxon St)
, right down to the beach front; also the large block ofland known as the Oakley Park Estate (all the area of land between Oakley Avenueand Cowley Street)
. Mr. Johnston died at his Alford St (No.70) residence in 1949
.His original single storey timber weatherboard Colonial-style cottage still survives,though it has been substantially altered (with parts of its exterior decorated in brickveneer)
.The Elling's and Ashbury's also had farms on the left side of Dale St
(now Fir St) fromthe mid-1920s while William Gardiner Rainbow's property (his occupation is listed as agardener)
covered most of Cameron Street (now Middlesex Rd).There were manysmaller properties in the area that had connections with agricultural related activity.There were a number of gardeners, poultry farmers, market gardeners (both of Chineseand European origin) and fruiterers located on Waterview's hill and on the upperportions of the Great North Road (above Alverston Avenue) in this period.
The Oakley Park Estate 
 On the flat beneath Allotment 16, most of the land between what is now Alford andCowley Streets (Allotments 17 &18) was still largely undeveloped. There was only onelarge farm located in this vicinity-known as the "Oakley Farm" or the "Oakleigh [Oakley]Park Estate".
This property was once owned by Mr. Wilhelm R. Hoffmann, aprominent Auckland musical dealer and property speculator, who also had importantconnections with early Point Chevalier and Avondale in the late 19th and early 20thcenturies
Prior to that Robert Garrett, of the Garrett Bros. fame, who operated theirtannery out of the old former "Star Mill" site at the mouth of the Oakley Creek (Allotment18A), owned the property.
 It was here in the late 19th Century that Mr. Garrett had a row of workers' cottages builtfor the labourers of his tannery (being in the vicinity of the present day Cowley Street,which was not formed until the 1950s). These workman's cottages still existed in thearea until the late 1930s/ mid1940s when this whole block of land was opened up forState Housing development.
 The old Star Mill/Garrett's Tannery, located at the mouth of the Oakley Creek andwhich was such a significant landmark feature of the Waterview area from the 1860sonwards, went out of business in the Long Depression of the 1890s. It then fell intodisuse and was subsequently demolished c.1911/12.
According to the Thomas familyhistory, the original grindstones for the mill and tannery may well have been re-used aspart of the foundations for the North Western Motorway/Waterview interchange when itwas built in the 1950s and 1960s.
Development of the Great North Road and of Waterview's Streets 
The development of Waterview in the first decades of the 20th century was aided bythe considerable improvements in the quality of the Great North Road and of thedistrict's other streets and transport services.At the start of the 20th Century, the Great North Road (which in those days was only asingle lane road each way) was the only properly formed and constituted road in thedistrict. Repairs were constantly being made (by the Avondale Roads Board) toimprove and up grade its metalled surface from the 1880s onwards. Yet it was not untilafter 1925
that the Great North Road was finally paved, and in concrete, along itsentire length through the Waterview District. From Henderson to the Avondaletownship, to Point Chevalier and all the way into the city this stretch of the Great NorthRoad was to become known as "the concrete highway
".However, the streets that were formed off the western side of the Great North Road(the roads between what is now Fairlands Avenue and Oakley Avenue) were not pavedor even had footpaths for another 20 years or more until the area was opened up forstate housing in the late 1930s/mid 1940s period, while the bottom portions of thesestreets, closest to the harbour's edge were not properly formed or paved until the1950sor early 1960s
. In fact it wasn't until the 1920s that any of the streets in the entireAvondale district (which included Waterview) were paved.
A photograph taken in1925 at the top part of Alexandra St (now Alverston St) shows that the road was littlemore a grassed over track
.Brett's Almanac for 1926
shows which Waterview streets had formed by that stage:they included the five streets of the original settlement (Dale, Alexandra, Albert,Cameron & Norman Streets), although some of the names had changed - BrowneStreet was now called Dale St and Alexandra St had replaced Victoria St. In addition tothis there was now a street called "Oakleigh Rd" in the vicinity of what is now OakleyAvenue; an unnamed and only partially formed road in the vicinity of what was tobecome Fairlands Avenue and an un-named fully formed road in the area of what usedto be the Star Mill and Garrett's Tannery that was later (in the 1950s)
to becomeCowley Street. Wise's Post Office/Street Directories reveal that Fairlands Avenue,Hillcrest Avenue (later Hadfield Avenue), Cadman Street, Oakley Avenue and SeasideAvenue were all formed by the early 1930s
.It was also during this period that many of the street names in Waterview werechanged to their present recognisable forms. This was precipitated by a major review ofstreet names in September 1932
which took place in areas then under the jurisdictionof the Auckland City Council, in order to avoid duplication and set down criteria for thenaming of future roads. As a general rule (though not always applied) suburban streetswhich had identical names to those in the city were to be changed to avoid confusionwith existing ones. Thus Albert Street/Rd in Waterview became Alford Street; VictoriaStreet/Road in Waterview was renamed Alexandra St c.1921 and from 1932 becameAlverston St (perhaps named after Lord Chief Justice Alverston)
and Browne St,which briefly became Crown St about 1900 and then Dale street c.1920 was renamedFir St in 1932.
Cameron Street became Middlesex Road (which was probably namedafter the English County
) and Norman St became Saxon Sreet

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