for many years, in all weathers depending on the tidewhere you were landed.
In 1844 following surveys, lots were put up for sale, inBirkenhead, Northcote and Birkdale. N.Z Co had op-tions on large blocks of land, these were not taken upand mostly was given by the government to the CatholicChurch. This was then sold to fund some of theirschools; Thomas Hellyers took over the area on theedge of the creek towards where Glenfield is today. Asa sawyer, and also had a brew house.Ships crews in long boats for fresh water supplies usedBirkdale lagoon.
1850s: Henry Hawkins was the first major farmer in thearea. Starting a plant nursery.1853: Lt Col Robert Wynyard commander of the 58
regiment who later became N.Z’s 5th governor generalwas granted a 207 acres block of land for a payment of 207 pound seven shillings and ten pence; he later soldthis land to Mr Cochrane.
1854: Inland Birkdale lots put up for sale. Very poorsoil… MAINLY CLAY. Bush to be cleared and landfenced. Not an easy task.
1856: Major Collings de Jersey Grut was granted land atDuck Creek [CHELSEA]. He came out under theWhittaker Scheme, and found that whilst they were voy-aging out to N.Z. the rules had been changed, he hadexpected to have the 423 pounds he had paid in faresconverted to land on his arrival. This eventually wasgranted and he took up the land in Chelsea. Theybrought 5 servants, 2 cows, and 3 horses, and an enor-mous amount of luggage in mahogany boxes, a piano,the family silver, and the most modern farm equipmentthey could buy. The family lost their 2-year-old girl bysuffocation with smoke while burning off green tea treewhen clearing the land. He later sold to Edward Mat-thews. And moved north to Orewa, he and his wife areburied in Silverdale Cemetery.
1857: William Brassey farms in the lower Birkenheadarea. The Tizard Family also. Alexander Wilson laterleased this and William Thompson [Thompson & Hills-OAK BRAND] also farmed. They started to make jamin large amounts at their house in Hinemoa St when theferry service was disrupted with boat problems. Thecannery business was later set up over in Freemans Bayin Partnership with Mr Hill an accountant. Charles Fitz-patrick farmed near Kauri point [Fitzpatrick Bay].
1863: The name BIRKENHEAD first appears in noticesfor land sales held by Samuel Cochrane, because thearea reminded him of his hometown, being across theriver as Birkenhead is from Liverpool, prior to thisBirkenhead was known as the North Shore of theWaitemata River, present day Chelsea was known byits Maori name of Wawaroa.
1868: North Shore Road Board formed, very Northcoteorientated.
1875: Census, 160 people living in Northcote and Birk-enhead.
1880: First Zion Hill Methodist Church opened.
1882: The first Birkenhead Wharf was built, about 100yards to the East of the present wharf at this time therewas a very busy commercial centre on the roadside justabove the wharf site. The slope of the road from thewharf was very steep causing many problems for thehorses. Substantial additions added to wharf in 1888 byA.H.B. Present wharf was built much later.
1882: Phones came to the north Shore but not to Birk-enhead we had to wait sometime to get ours.
1883: Chelsea Sugar works construction commenced,bricks were made on site, and there were 3 large damsfor the water supply the catchment area is now theChatswood housing estate.
1884: The paddle steamer Birkenhead was built forferry Co.Sugar works opened, this was a life -changing event forBirkenhead with a major industrial centre starting op-eration in a rural community. They had their own 3wharves. Raw sugar, coal, and passenger, and lighterslipway. There was a big settlement on the hill abovethe refinery with a small Church. They assisted manyworkers with housing loans on cottages in Birkenheadat very reasonable rates of interest. Over the years hun-dreds of residents worked there, many were landownerswho tended their blocks before and after work at therefinery, Ash from the works was spread on the localroads.1886: Birkenhead and Northcote Fruitgrowers Assnformed. Some of the crops grown were, apples (untilhit by the codling moth) pears, peaches, plums, grapes,water and rock melons, Cape gooseberries, lemons,flowers, other vegetables, and large numbers of straw-berries were also grown in Birkdale and Northcote.Some growers set up a few small canning factories.Some land owners also kept cows and poultry and pigs,and horses were used before tractors arrived.
Birkenhead Road Board formed.