For £134 15/-, the value of his land elsewhere offered in exchange, George Frederick Russell residing at the Hokianga purchased the Crown Grant title for 40 acres of landin 1845, part of what was to become part of Pt Chevalier from the 1860s – Allotment19, of the parish of Titirangi. In the 1850s, early survey plans described the propertyas comprised of “subsoil argillaceous clay” towards the Pt Chevalier Road, with a“substratum” of scoria closer to the creek.
By 1871, an Auckland shipwright namedAlexander Cromwell held the title to Allotment 19, which he sold to a baker namedJohn Mattson in 1874.
From that point on, this part of the northern shore of theOakley Creek would be called “Mattson’s Flat” by locals.Little is known about Mattson. He may have built a farmhouse around the time of hispurchase from Cromwell, sited close to the end of Alberta Street.
The site is nowcompletely obliterated by the motorway interchange. In February 1880 he leased atleast part of his property to a Pt Chevalier farmer named George J Auger.
The scorialands closer to the Oakley Creek may have been sub-let by Auger to the GarrettBrothers as a place for their tan pits and to access the freshwater spring running acrossthe property, but as referred to earlier no record of this arrangement has been found.From 1885-1886, Mattson began to subdivide his 49 acre property, first selling to abuilder named Robert Horsley, then to Richard Henry Chester.
This was the“Springside” estate sale, which led to the establishment of both Morton (Montrose)Street and Albert (Alberta) Street. According an auction plan drawn up by surveyorsW F Hammond & Son at the time,
not only is the freshwater spring shown (as astream arching across the bottom of Allotment 19), but the words “stone quarry”appear, at the location of the later Waitemata County Council quarry (see below).Mattson’s scoria grounds, therefore, were being worked to some extent as at the mid-1880s. The first known quarrying may have been that in January 1879 by MessrsBrewin, Davison, Burke and Reed, along with Josiah Martin when a shaft was sunk 20 feet in a bed of lava
“close to Oakley Creek, for the purpose of getting out stone for the new wing of the Asylum.”
The explosion was set off with electricity, and
“theearth was upheaved in huge blocks over the charge, forming a crater about 30 feet indiameter, and the solid rock was rent in all directions to a radius of 100 feet, large portions of the stone wall being thrown down.”
The location of the quarry was neverdescribed, neither on the Asylum grounds nor those close to the Gittos tannery near