You are on page 1of 19


Early Settlement (19th Century Waterview)

Nineteenth Century Buildings

Only a small number of buildings, mostly private residences, still survive from the 19th
century in Waterview.; of those that remain, there are none that date prior to the 1880's.
The only physical evidence we have for the first 20 or so years from the initial
establishment of Waterview as a settlement (from the 1860s -1880s) is from scanty
archaeological remains, mostly on the banks of the Oakley relating to early European
farming activities, early brick making, quarrying or flour milling at the mouth of the
Oakley Creek.

In terms of private residences, several such buildings of 19th century origin existed in
Waterview right up until the late 20th century, nearly all of which were demolished in
recent years. A row of such century-old late Victorian single storey timber weather
board villas existed on the east side of the Great North Road, along the strip of road
heading towards what is now the Blockhouse Bay Road intersection. Auckland City
Council Valuation Records reveals that a villa of this type dating from the 1880s1 could
be found at No.1570 Great North Road; this building was replaced by a block of 9 brick
single storey flats in 19712. Nearby at No. 1568, there could be found a similar wooden
weather board villa belonging to Charles Cavanagh, a coach builder and his wife,
Rebecca Jane (Cavanagh) dating from c. 18853. This building was probably
demolished during the construction of a block of brick flats in 1972 4or later during the
development of the Waterview (retirement) Flats.

Another single storey, kauri timber weatherboard Victorian villa (with bays attached at
either end of the front porch) was located nearby at No. 1560 Great North Rd 5. It was
reputed to be the original farm managers' house for the Waterview Farm (the farm
attached to the Mental hospital) 6. The Certificate of Title shows that an early owner of
the property (being 1 acre 3 roods and 27 perches and being Lot 5 of the subdivision of
Allotment 62, Parish of Titirangi) was a certain William Beaumont, an accountant who
transferred it in 1884 to Richard Dignan, a customs officer of Auckland7. Mr Dignan was
the son of the well known politician and landowner Patrick Dignan, who was one of the
early pioneering figures of the Point Chevalier district8. In 1885 Richard Dignan took out
a series of mortgages on this property presumably to build this residence and to
develop its surrounding farm land. Other early owners of this building include Hannah
Jane Hollis, wife of Andrew Hollis of Avondale, a joiner from 1908 and Thomas Bates of
Avondale, a bricklayer from 1918 to R.G. Knox Ltd from 19519.This building was still
there in the mid 1990's but no longer exists10. Though it is difficult to give a precise date
for either the removal or possible demolition of this building, it may have occurred in the
early 2000s when the Waterview Downs subdivision was being built.

One of the oldest buildings dating from the 19th century that still survives in Waterview
today is the classic late Victorian wooden villa at 53 Fir Street dated to the 1890s11.
This handsome single storey kauri weatherboard building (with corrugated iron roof)
has undergone many renovations over the years with additions in 1938 and re-blocking
of the foundations in 194812. Today it is in an excellent state of repair13. This building
was originally part of a large section of land (2 acres and 2 roods being more or less
lots 7-16 of section 6, part of Allotment 16 of the parish of Titirangi) owned by John
Samuel Loomis Cox, a schoolmaster14. On Mr Cox's death in 1892 the property

together with the small cottage at Norman St, Waterview around which the present
building was formed, passed first to his wife Lucy Cecilia Cox (as guardian) and then
(when attaining the age of 21) to his daughter Mina Jane Cox 15. In 1921 it became the
property of Ernest Croft, a builder, who bought it for £675 and then onto Henry Woods
of Avondale, a labourer in 192316. The property then passed to Robert Saxon Nicholls,
a farmer and to Rubina Alice Nicholls, a spinster, both of Avondale, as tenants in
common in equal shares in 193217. The property remained in the Nicholls family into the
1980s. By the 1990s the Pryce family lived there18.

The only 19th century building that still exists in Waterview today that is not a private
residence, is the Primitive Methodist Church that now stands on the corner of Great
North Rd and Fir St19. This small wooden church was erected through the voluntary
labour of local residents and was to serve as the area's first church 20. It is the only
major community building to survive in the area from the 19th century. The 1883 church
however is virtually unrecognisable as the middle portion of the Waterview Methodist
Church on the corner of Fir St and Great North Rd21. This building was first known as
the "Primitive Methodist Church", indicating its strong links with that brand of
Methodism and with its advocates within Waterview's Methodist community at that

The only other part of the present Waterview (Methodist) Church that is of 19th century
origin is the old parish hall. This building was originally the Dominion Rd Methodist
Church and dates from 189723. It was moved into the Waterview area in 192524, in order
to become the new parish hall. After being shifted several times over the years on its
current site, on the corner of Great North Rd and Fir St, it was finally shifted into its
present position in the early 1950s25. It is now the end section of the L-shaped building
that makes up the present church complex, facing onto Fir Street.

Early Contact and Archaeological Sites

In the early years of the 19th century and in the first few decades after the signing of
the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, the Maori tribes of Auckland established a prosperous
local trading economy with the early European settlers26.

In West Auckland, rivers and creeks like the Whau and the Oakley and New Lynn's
Whau Portage (now Portage Rd) became navigation routes for groups of Maori
travelling across the district27. Sometimes these groups would stop either to break their
journey and settle down for brief periods - perhaps to fish, collect shellfish or other local
materials, or to have a shared meal. Over time, the light "foot print" on the environment
of these transient travellers entered the archaeological record.

Surveys conducted by noted archaeologists David F. Gardner and D.B. Druskovich 28

have revealed evidence, over a long period of time, of the importance of the Oakley
Creek in Waterview to local Maori. This can be clearly seen in the large number of
identified Maori archaeological sites located there29, indicative of some degree of
occupation and settlement along the Oakley's banks.

According to these reports, there are many Maori midden sites 30distributed along the
entire length of the Oakley Creek that flows through Waterview (mainly on its eastern
side) and in particular on its lower reaches near the present motorway interchange and

along the first 30 metres of the Oakley Creek Walkway (near the site of the present
Mason Clinic31). In this vicinity and in locations near by, there are indications of Maori
occupation, perhaps even a settlement site32.

However the largest cluster of such midden sites are to be found at the mouth of the
Oakley Creek, on both the Point Chevalier and Waterview shorelines 33, where the
stream discharges its waters into the Waitemata. The concentration in number of these
sites, their size and the depth of the midden deposits suggests there may also have
been a Maori settlement in this area. This site may have been used as a seasonal
camp for fishing, eeling and collection of shell fish (both in the Oakley Creek and in the
nearby waters of the Waitemata harbour34).

Several other midden sites have been discovered along the eastern banks of the
Oakley Creek, below the Te Auaunga Falls35. The only other midden sites showing the
presence of early Maori in the Waterview area occur in the context of a row of pine
trees towards the back of Heron Park36.

While it is clear that Te Auaunga/Oakley Creek37 was of considerable importance to

Maori, this waterway was also important in the context of early European settlement.
There is also a wealth of archaeological material relating to early European farming
practices (predominantly in terms of dry stone walls38) to be found along its banks in
the Waterview area.

While the most important early European archaeological site recorded in the area is
undoubtedly Thomas' Star Mill 39at the mouth of the Oakley Creek, below Cowley St,
(on both sides of the Waterview and Point Chevalier shorelines) and the North Western
Motorway interchange, the remains of two other (as yet unknown) small mills 40 have
been identified along the Oakley's eastern banks. One such site is not far from the
remains of an old farm bridge crossing the creek, the other is located on the middle
reaches of the Oakley and below the waterfall41. In addition to this there were several
other areas along the eastern embankment of the Oakley featuring dry stone walls42.
These walls presumably served as boundary fences delineating the boundaries of the
hospital's farm land and to keep its livestock contained therein. There is also evidence
of a farm crossing and cuttings above the waterfall43, as well as the remains of what
may originally have been a dray track leading up the banks of the Oakley from the
hospital farm (now Unitec grounds) and towards the Great North Rd44.

Other evidence of early European presence on the Oakley Creek in Waterview

included a substantial wooden bridge near the mouth of the Oakley, which was capable
of carrying horse-drawn carts and wagons. Although this bridge has not survived at
least two paintings of it are known to still exist - one is in the Auckland Art Gallery,
painted by a Ms. Mina Cox, c.188345 and the other (of similar date) is in Oakridge
House, Carrington Rd on Unitec property. This bridge was replaced in the early
decades of the 20th century (possibly in the 1920s) by the present brick lined culvert 46
which diverts the waters of the creek underneath the Great North Rd near the
beginning of the Oakley Creek Walkway47.

Early Subdivisions & Allotments

According to The Challenge of the Whau - A History of Avondale (1994), during the

19th Century, there were two kinds of land subdivision taking place in the Avondale
area, of which Waterview was considered a part; one type of land deal being the
gradual selling off over quite a few years of the original allotments and the other being
where a large block of land was broken up into smaller parcels and sold off as
individual lots and sections and all parts offered for purchase at one time (usually
through public auction). Both of these types of sale were evident in the Waterview
district in the 19th Century48.

A map of the Titirangi Parish dated within two years of establishment of the Waterview
settlement shows the original division of allotments within the area49. To the west of
Great North Road (travelling from the Avondale District towards Point Chevalier), there
were 5 allotments (Allotments 14-18 & Part of Allotment 18) and to the east of the
Great North Rd, several allotments including all land on both banks of the Oakley
Creek and all the grounds of the Avondale (Whau) Lunatic Asylum being Allotment 30,
31-33 and Allotments 60, 61 & 62). Some of these allotments were later to be sub-
divided into smaller units (Lots 102-105) and also offered for sale50.

This first phase of land sub-division in Waterview was characterised by a small handful
of well-to-do gentleman engaged in property speculation. Most of these "speculators"
bought their claims off scrip at the Auckland land sales in the mid-1840s, in order to
sell them off as quickly as possible for profit. Few if any of these individuals had any
intention of settling in Waterview51.

However one of these early property speculators, a certain Robert Chisholm52, obtained
an enormous parcel of land in Avondale (purchased between 1855 and 1861) and
succeeded in establishing himself as one of the largest landowners in the Avondale
district. His farm known as the "Rosebank Estate" covered 400 acres of land between
Rosebank Road and the Waitemata harbour. From the intersection of Rosebank Road,
Chisholm's farm continued along the Great North Road as far as Brown(e) St (now Fir
Street) in Waterview. Chisholm's Waterview holdings consisted of allotments 14 and
15, being a total area of 92 acres 5 roods and 2 perches53.

By the 1870s and 1880s each of these original allotments (including Chisholm's
"Rosebank Estate") had passed through several hands and in the process had been
further subdivided into smaller units54, allowing for a second wave of settlers to buy up
land in the area, this time comprising of individuals who had the intention of settling and
breaking in the land.

Waterview Established

The original settlement known as "Waterview" was named by Michael Wood 55who
obtained Lot 16 in 1859 from a Mr. Marston (the original Crown Grantee for this
allotment being a Mr. Whytlow in 184456). Wood had the whole lot subdivided into 207
building sites and put up for sale by public auction by Messrs. Cochrane, Brother & Co.
on the 4 May 186157.

The announcement for the sale was advertised on 1 May 1861 and includes the
following description :

"207 sections less than 3½ miles from town, omnibus passes property daily, leaving
Auckland 10 am. and Henderson's Mill at 3 pm. The land has a warm northerly aspect
and is situated half way between the City and line of the Junction Canal which must in
time connect the waters of the Manukau and the Waitemata. Pt. Chevalier selected as
the future site for our Garrison Buildings, closely adjoins and in a few years must
enhance the commercial value of the property, becoming of equal importance with the
villages of Newmarket, Mt. St. John, and Epsom.58"

While the attendance at the auction was large, the result of the sale was less than
satisfactory with less than half of the sections on offer, 94 out of 207, actually sold; the
average price per foot of land sold being 2/4d with none of the allotments containing
less than a chain frontage and an average depth of 190 feet. Of those sections that
were actually sold, a small number of individuals each bought multiple parcels of land;
thus considerably fewer people were settled in the area than was originally expected59.

A map of Waterview dated 186160, clearly shows the original subdivision of Lot 16 and
the proposed lay-out of its streets, as being based on a grid pattern system. Only 5
streets are listed on this map, being off the western side of Great North Rd: three main
ones, Browne, Victoria and Albert Streets leading down to the harbour's edge, while
two smaller streets, Cameron Street (closest to the Great North Rd) and Norman Street
crossed them at right angles. Note that Browne Street was eventually to become Dale
and then Fir St61; Victoria St was to become Alexandra and then Alverston St62 while
Albert St became Alford St63; Cameron St became Middlesex Rd64 and Norman St was
to become Saxon St65.

Development of Waterview as a Settlement

While the settlement of Waterview may be dated from the early 1860s, the real pace of
development within the area did not get under way in any substantive manner until the
1870s and 1880s. A significant stumbling block to Waterview's development was the
poor state of its roads and the fact that the Great North Road (as a proper formed road)
had not yet been pushed out beyond Pt Chevalier. Once this link with the Avondale
township had been established in186966, the pace of progress in the Waterview district
could really start start in earnest. This allowed for Waterview to be opened up for
further development and settlement and for the rugged ti-tree/manuka dominated scrub
land to be cleared and turned into pasture land (over the next 30 - 40 years).

Improvements in the state of Waterview's roads in the 19th century was slow and
progress only began to be made after 1868 when a specific local territorial authority
was set up and mandated to fix or build new roads in the Whau (Avondale) district.
Thus the organisation originally known as the Whau Highway Board67, (later to become
the Avondale Roads Board), was established. Its first chairman being the well known
figure of John Bollard - land agent, property speculator/land owner and future "father
figure" of Avondale68. The area covered by the Whau Highway Board (some 1815
acres) included all of Avondale, Waterview and part of Blockhouse Bay69. Several years
later in 1874, Point Chevalier was to set up its own roading authority, the Point
Chevalier Highway District, with its southern boundary extending down the Oakley
Creek as far as Allotment 3270. In 1880 Robert Garrett who operated a tannery at the
mouth of the Oakley (which had originally been John Thomas' "Star Mill") was elected

as its Chairman71.

The responsibility for the provision and maintenance of major roads initially fell under
the provenance of the Auckland Provincial Council or to the Government; especially in
regards to roads as important as the Great North Road, while the provision of local
roads, was delegated to local territorial authorities such as district road and highways
boards. The function of these boards was to levy rates on landowners to pay for local
infrastructure72 involving the construction and maintenance of local roads, streets,
footpaths etc. Over time, the Government and the Auckland Provincial Council would
give these local roading authorities a greater role in the upkeep and maintenance of the
Great North Rd. It was in this way that by the turn of the 20th century most of
Waterview's major streets (from the top of the Waterview hill down as far as Albert (now
Alford) St) were laid out.

The only other main transport alternative (until rail was put through to Avondale in the
1880s73) was by water, as the roads in the district during this period were quite rough
and hazardous. With easy access and close proximity to the Waitemata Harbour and
via waterways such as the Oakley Creek, the residents of the area must have found it
much easier to travel in this way and may explain why most of Waterview's main
streets off the Great North Road led down to the harbour's edge and why so many
landing reserves can be found within the Waterview area.

During the period between the 1860s -1890s the upper harbour area of the Waitemata
must have been a very busy sea lane. The plethora of brick yards and lime kilns which
operated in the areas between the Whau River to Henderson's creek were all operated
and supplied by sea transport - with scowls, barges, cutters and all sorts of smaller
craft plying these waters74.

John Thomas' "Star Mill", which was one of the largest and most important businesses
to be established in Waterview in the 19th century, was worked in this way 75.
Schooners and other water craft sailed up the Waitemata harbour and into the mouth of
the Oakley Creek, via "Thomas' Channel" and unloaded the raw materials (wheat etc.)
to be ground at the mill and transported the finished product (flour) to markets right
across the [wider Auckland] region76.

Today it is hard to envision vessels of any size accessing the Oakley Creek, but at its
mouth and in the region of the channel leading to up the bridge (now a culvert beneath
the Great North Road) at start of the Oakley Creek, it was wide enough for numerous
vessels of all shapes and sizes to dock there in the 19th century. In fact, there are
several reports in the late 19th century of whales beaching themselves in the Oakley
Creek's mouth77. Between unloading and re-loading of cargo, boats sometimes stopped
to catch fish in the rich waters of the Waitemata and in the Oakley Creek's mouth. Fish
(mostly flounder) caught in this fashion were often used to supplement the diet of
patients at the nearby Whau/Avondale Asylum (later known as Carrington and Oakley
Mental Hospitals78) and many of the local residents who worked there as staff and
attendants including its first Superintendent, Dr Aiken, commuted to work via the
Oakley Creek in small dingies or row boats79.

The first public transport service80 in the Waterview area was by Potter's Horse
coaches, a once a day service from 1882 (it only became a regular service from 1886),

each journey lasting several hours, travelling over rough clay roads from the
Henderson's Mill into the city via Point Chevalier and Avondale81. During the 1880s &
1890s this service was being replaced by the more regular and reliable one offered by
Paterson's horse-buses, taking the same route along the Great North Road, between
Avondale and the Hall Corner in Point Chevalier and thence on into the city 82. While the
smaller buses could only take between 10 and 15 passengers, some were much larger
being double-deckers pulled by teams of up to six horses and could carry 25-30
passengers. A return fare from Avondale to the city cost 1/6d. At its height there were
about three trips per day, the average trip from Avondale into the city taking about an

The Star Mill & Garrett's Tannery

Two early settlers who were to have significant and long lasting impact on 19th century
Waterview, were John Thomas who operated the "Star Mill" at the mouth of the Oakley
Creek from the 1860s84 and Robert Garrett, who together with his three brothers85,
operated a tannery from the same site from the late 1870s to the late 1890s86. Both
Thomas and the Garretts were to make an important contribution to the local economy
of the district and were significant employers of local labour. The Star Mill and Garrett's
Tannery were the most important man-made landmark features in the district in the
19th Century87.

Between 1858 -1860 John Thomas, a miller from England, purchased 3½ acres of land
for £100 to the right of the bridge which crossed the Oakley Creek going towards
Waterview, in the vicinity of what is know Cowley Street near the entrance to the North-
West Motorway88. It was there that John Thomas established a grain & flour mill which
he named the "Star Mill". Beside the mill was Thomas' house, a water-race and a dam
used for the water supply (coming from the waters of the Oakley creek flowing through
the Mental Hospital's grounds) which drove the mill's large wooden water wheels and
powered the mill's grindstones89.

The type of mill, which used the power of water to operate its large wooden water
wheel, in order to rotate its grindstones and thus mill wheat and various grains into
flour, was known as a "grist mill90". These types of mill were traditionally small, had a
small work force (usually the miller and one or two assistants) and were worked
seasonally but Thomas' original mill was a large three(?) storey wooden affair91 and
was one of the largest of its type to be established in Auckland, being second only in
size to that of Low and Motion's steam powered mill at Western Springs. To ensure the
viability of the Star Mill during the off -season, Thomas purchased a strip of land on the
eastern banks of the Oakley Creek on which he established a small quarry & brick
works, utilising the local area's rich supply of clay92.

This brief foray into brick making in 1864 proved to be a major financial disaster for
John Thomas and his family. Due to circumstances beyond his control, Thomas
defaulted on a major contract with the Auckland Provincial Council to supply bricks for
the newly planned Asylum that was to be built in Pt Chevalier on the road leading to Mt
Albert93. This building, when completed, would have an important role to play in the
future history of Waterview and the surrounding districts of Point Chevalier and Mount
Albert. It was to be known at various times as the Whau Asylum, the Avondale Mental
Hospital and later as the Carrington and Oakley Hospitals. Due to the financial

pressures, Thomas was almost bankrupted. He died prematurely in 1865, reputedly
from dysentery at the age of 36, leaving behind a widow with three young children94.

Despite the financial troubles, the mill did not close down. It continued to operate under
the control of the Thomas family - through John Thomas (Junior) and his step-father,
Thomas Barraclough95 who had been his father's mill manager and who married the
original John Thomas's widow, Jane96. In 1873 the (original) Star Mill was destroyed by
fire but was rebuilt on an even larger and grander scale than before, by H. Palmer, who
had previously won the contract to build the Hamilton Mill on the Waikato97. At its
height, the Star Mills was able to produce 15 tons of flour a week98.

The second Star Mill continued to operate under the name of Thomas and Barraclough
until 1876 when it was sold to George Binney and Co., merchants of Auckland99. In
1879, the property was then purchased by Robert Garrett who together with his 3
brothers (Richard, William and George), operated a leather & boot making factory from
Wakefield St in the city, and converted the former mill into a large tannery, under the
name "Garrett Bros. & Co"100.

Robert Garrett considerably enlarged the size of the mill's original property, and made
substantial improvements to the facility including enlarging of its docking facilities and
improving road access to the site101. From 1879, he was also to buy all the surrounding
land adjacent to the old mill from Messrs Nathan and Johnston, who were large
landowners in the area (being Allotments 17 and 18102). There Mr. Garrett established a
large farm surrounding a substantial two storey house in which he lived for many
years103. The size of Garrett's holdings in Waterview which he named "Oakleigh Park"
is described in an 1880 Weekly News article as "forming altogether a comfortable
estate of 150 acres, having about a mile frontage to the Great North Road, and a
similar amount to the Waitemata River, enabling schooners deeply laden to come up to
the tannery.104"

The Garretts were to play a prominent role in the development of Waterview and in the
surrounding district of Point Chevalier in the 1880s and 1890s - the tannery was to be
one of the largest employers in the area for many years. When the tannery finally
closed down due to the poor economic conditions and increased competition in the late
1890s, it must have caused a degree of economic hardship in the surrounding local
area105. The old tannery was then abandoned and after a decade or more of disuse was
finally demolished in the early part of the 20th century106. Neither Thomas' original
house nor that of the Garretts, on the Oakley Creek, near the site of the old Star Mill
have survived.

Early Settlers

Another important figure in Waterview in the late 19th Century was Wilhelm Reginani
Hoffmann, the well-known Auckland music dealer and land speculator 107, who
purchased 88 acres of land (Oakley Park) in the vicinity of Allotment 18 and built a
substantial brick home there (on the flat near the creek) and placed a manager (a Mr
Craig) on it to run the property108. A letter in A.H. Walker's paper's in the Auckland
Public Library notes that Hoffmann's brick house, located on the banks of the Oakley
Creek [in Waterview] was still to be found there and in good condition many years later
when it was subsequently demolished in the early 1950s109.

Sir Alfred Cadman, the son of Jerome Cadman (a member of the Auckland Provincial
Council who was responsible for the erection of Queen's Wharf in the city 110) also had a
long and important connections with the Waterview District. Besides being one of the
largest landowners in Waterview in the latter part of the 19th Century, Alfred Cadman
was also a wealthy businessman and a very successful politician, both at local and
national levels, serving as a cabinet minster (and holding various portfolios) in
successive Liberal Government administrations; services for which he was
subsequently knighted (in 1903)111.

Sir Alfred Cadman's property in Waterview (later known as the "Cadman Estate")
consisted of most of the Allotments 14 and 15, including all of present day Heron Park
(which was to become a night soil depot in the early part of the 20th century 112) and all
the land bordering onto Fairlands Avenue down to Seaside Avenue. Most of the roads
in this area including Cadman Avenue 113(which was named after him) and Hadfield
Avenue, originally started out as unformed dirt roads linking the various parts of his
estate. Cadman's original residence a single storey Colonial era timber weatherboard
cottage known as "Karimana or Karamana" (located on the upper part of Fairlands
Avenue) was destroyed by fire in the latter part of the 19th century and a larger
residence was built nearby114. Sir Alfred Cadman died in his new residence in March
1905115. Unfortunately neither of Cadman's residences in Waterview has survived.

The Whau Asylum and the Waterview (Hospital) Farm

The other major influence on Waterview's development in the Nineteenth Century was
the setting up and establishment from the mid-1860s116 of the Whau Asylum (also
known in this period as the Avondale Mental Hospital, it was subsequently to be known
as the Carrington and Oakley Hospitals) in Point Chevalier. As early as 1863, 30 acres
of land (being Allotment 30) had been purchased by the Auckland Provincial Council as
a government reserve in Point Chevalier on the road leading to Mount Albert (later
Carrington Rd117). In 1864 it was proposed that a new Mental hospital be built there to
replace the old buildings at the Domain. Tenders for the construction of the main block
in brick were issued and the main building was completed in 1867 at a cost of £20,000,
opening on March 9, 1867118.

In the intervening years, the Whau/Avondale Asylum or the Auckland Lunatic Asylum
as it was then known, became the largest mental health facility in the country, set about
three miles from town on the Great North Rd119. More land was acquired (and several
auxiliary blocks were built around the grounds) and added to the original 30 acre block
of Allotment 30 as the hospital continued to expand during the 19th century. To the
original government reserve was added Allotments 31-33 which formed the core of the
farmland that supported the mental hospital, leading down to the banks of the Oakley
Creek and following the eastern side of the Great North Road, through Waterview. To
this more parcels of land were added including all the allotments (No's 102-105 and
allotment 61, being an education reserve) set between the Oakley Creek and the Great
North Road, all in all being a total of some 200 acres of farmland.

The mental hospital and its surrounding farmland were to be major employers in the
Waterview area in the 19th and 20th centuries and many of Waterview resident's were
to have long standing connections with that institution over the years (not necessarily

as patients). By 1900 the hospital had a staff of 31 males and 21 females, many of
which were local residents120. Similarly the hospital farm would often taken on local
labourers when needed. So while many of Waterview's residents may have been
unhappy with the unsavoury reputation that came with having a mental institution on
their front door step so to speak; many others found long-term and gainful employment

1 Note that the house numbers on this section of the Great North Road have changed many times over the
years. Some of these street numbers (such as No.1570 Great North Road) no longer exist, making it
difficult to pinpoint the exact location of these former residences. It may be that No.1570 and No.1568
both refer to the same building or they may refer to two different buildings that were built about the same
2 Auckland City Council Valuation Sheets , ACC 213/59d on Great North Rd Waterview (1927-1978) - Even
3 ibid.
4 ibid.
5 No.1560 Great North Rd no longer exists and no such street number is now in use. A photograph and the
physical description of this building in the New Zealand Herald (NZH 26 Oct .1994 Section 5, page 2)
suggests that it was set back from (and may not have been highly visible from) the Great North Road,
perhaps down a long driveway, with a row of pine trees at the rear of the property leading down to the
Oakley Creek. This would indicate that it was located somewhere between the present Waterview Lodge
and the Waterview Downs subdivision or slightly above Waterview Downs but before No.1574 Great
North Rd.
6 NZH 26 Oct. 1994 Section 5, page 2.
7 Land Information New Zealand (L.I.N.Z.), C.T. 33/266.
8 For more information on the Hon. Patrick Dignan and his family and their contribution to the early history
of Point Chevalier (and surrounding districts) see A.H. Walker's, Rangi-Mata-Rua. Point Chevalier
Centennial 1861-1961, pages 11 ff & page 45-48 (hereafter referred to as "A.H.W."). See also an outline
of Patrick Dignan's career in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography 1870-1900 (1993),Vol. 2 ; the
Cyclopaedia of N.Z. (1902) Vol. 2. pages 95, 105 and 128 ; and the 1913-14 Auckland Industrial,
Agricultural and Mining Exhibition (1913) page 181-215. Mr. Walker's papers on which he based his
history of Point Chevalier are to be found in the Special Collections Department of Auckland Public
For more information on Richard Dignan see the Cyclopaedia of NZ (1902) vol. 2. page 177-8. He
started off as an underling in the customs office after several promotions (and stints at various parts of the
country) he rose to become the Chief Clerk of the Customs Department in Auckland.
9 CT 33/266.
10 An article in the New Zealand Herald (NZH 26 Oct .1994 Section 5, page 2) concerning No.1560 Great
North Rd and dated to 1994 shows that the building was still there at that date. It was up for sale in that
year. The "Auckland Street Names" database, Auckland Public Library (APL), reveals that the Waterview
Downs Subdivision did not take place until 1997/98. It is likely that this building was demolished before
2000 or shortly thereafter.
11 Auckland City Archives, Valuation Field Sheets for Fir Street (1927-78), ACC 213/50c estimates that this
building was constructed c. 1895 but Land Information New Zealand records (LINZ) suggest (Deeds
Index A2.777 R39.885) it may date from the early 1890s (c.1892?) .
12 Ak City Archives ibid.
13 Certificate of Title (CT) 529/183.
14 ibid; The property was conveyed by David Nathan, a merchant of Auckland and William Lee of
Waterview, a gardener to John Samuel Loomis Cox, school master on 11 October 1865 for £30, Deeds
Index (DI) A2.777, 16D.758.
15 DI ibid R39.885. The mortgages on the property were administered by John S.L. Cox's son's; John
Thomas Gostick Cox (school inspector) and William Loomis Cox as executors of their father's will. The
mortgage on the property was conveyed in 1914 to Francis Carroll, mental hospital attendant - R229.367,
R239.9. The cottage (small villa) was located on the corner of Victoria Street (now Alverston Street),
Browne (now Fir) Street and Norman Street (now Saxon St). An early oil painting of Waterview by Mina
Cox showing the "Bridge on the Oakley Creek" located near the present culvert now lies at the start of the
Great North Rd below Point Chevalier and the motorway interchange, exists in the Auckland Art Gallery
(Accession No. 1992/42) dated c. 1883.
16 Conveyance from Cox (Thomas Gostick & William Loomis) to Ernest Croft, builder for £675 on 26 May
1921, R344.89; Conveyance Ernest Croft of Avondale, builder to Henry Woods of Avondale, Labourer on
the 6 August 1923 for £525 being 2 acres 2 roods 0 perches of land being the block bounded by Browne,
Norman and Victoria Streets R415.231.
17 CT 529/183. Note that Norman Street changed its name to Saxon Street c. 1932. Its new name "Saxon"
suggests it was named after Mr. Robert Nicholls, a farmer and prominent local landowner, whose middle
name was Saxon.
18 Wise's P.O. Directories (1955-1980 eds.) shows that Robert Saxon Nicholls was still residing at No. 53
Fir Street as late as 1955 ; by 1960 his son William K. Saxon is recorded as living there until at least 1980

and the Habitation Index for the New Lynn Electorate (1992) lists the resident occupiers of No.53 Fir St
as Jacqueline Kay Pryce, Rhoderick Malcolm Pryce and Shelley Jane Pryce.
19 CT's 1056/5 & CT 529/199. See also page 3 ff - Rev. G.I. Laurenson, Waterview - the Story of a little
church (1875-1975) (Hereafter referred to as "Laurenson"); Western Leader (WL) 28/10/75 page 5 & the
Auckland Star (Ak Star) October 17, 1965 page 24.
20 The first Church in Waterview was built in 1883 by voluntary labour under the direction of Messrs. George
Arnold (a carpenter of Fir Street), John Emil Elling (a farmer & market gardener) and J. Tattersall. The
property on which the church stands was gifted by Mrs. Major (who lived nearby on the Great North Rd
next to the present block of flats at No. 1551 which had once been the Felgate homestead), the mother of
Charles Major, who was a long serving headmaster of King's College. See Laurenson page 7 & 8;
Auckland Evening Star 14 September 1883 & 28 June 1883. See also WL & Ak Star, ibid.
21 Laurenson page 12.
22 ibid page 3-7 ff. The first services in Waterview were conducted from the home of Mr Benjamin Felgate,
had been a prominent figure in the establishment of Primitive Methodism in Pitt Street and Union Sreet in
Auckland in the 1960s. He and his family were keen to establish a settlement espousing the values of
"Primitive Methodism" in the Avondale district. He chose to settle in Waterview on the Great North Road
near the site of the present day Church c. 1875; the first services in the area being held in Mr Felgate's
house right up until the first church was built. Other prominent figures in the early Primitive Waterview
Church church included Mr Tattersall, Mr Elling, Mr Sansom, the Skeltons, the Tattons and Service's to
name a few.
23 ibid page 12 "Work commenced in Mount Eden [on the Dominion Road Methodist Church] in 1897,
services being conducted in a paddock until the first small wooden church could be built.... The original
timber church which this one replaced is now at Waterview in Avondale," Auckland Festival Tour of
Churches, 1964 page 10-11.
24 ibid, This old church was purchased in 1925 for £100 the cost of moving it and establishing on its new site
in Waterview was £238 (undertaken by Mr S.E. Chappell). To fit the new building on the church site
necessitated the purchase of a portions of land belonging to Mr. Davis.; WL & Ak Star ibid.
25 In 1953, the architect responsible for the removal and re-siting of the complex of church buildings on this
site was Mr A.C. Marshall of Mt Albert. Laurenson ibid, page 13 & 15 ; Ak City Archives Building Permit
plans (microfiche copies P.No. 13162).
26 Ranginui Walker Ka Whawhai Tonu Matou- Struggle Without End, Chapter 6 Takahi Mana "The Maori
Economy", Penguin Books Ltd, 1990 ed., Page 99-101 ; R.J.C Stone, From Tamaki-Makau-Rau to
Auckland, Auckland University Press (2001) pages 286-292 ff;
27 By using canoes carried from the Manukau to the Waitemata Harbours, along portage and ridge routes
and by the use of local knowledge of the region's landscape features and waterways, Maori tribesmen
were able to transport a wide range of primary produce and other goods across the isthmus from one
harbour to the other, for sale in the markets of the early Auckland township and beyond. For further
reference to portage sites used as navigation routes by local Maori see Ranginui Walker ibid; the map of
"The main canoe portages and waterways of the Tamaki region" page xiii & pages 1-3ff & pg71-73ff in
R.J.C Stone's, From Tamaki-Makau-Rau to Auckland, Auckland University Press (2001) and the route of
the Whau Portage, map in "Why Blockhouse Bay? The Story that gave the Bay its name", compiled by
Keith G. Rusden for the Blockhouse Bay Historical Society Inc. (July 2005) page 2.
28 David Gardner & Brent Druskovich, Archaeological Records - Oakley Creek and Rosebank Peninsula
(North Coast) & Beca Planning, in conjunction with corridor study for State Highway 20 (May 2003);
B.D. Druskovich of Bioresearches Group Ltd for Beca Carter Hollings and Ferner Ltd, Further
Archaeological Research, Survey and Assessment of the AW1 and AR1 Short Listed Routes, SH20 (July
29 ibid; Indications of possible early Maori settlements such as sites R11/2203 and R11/2199 can be found
in the Waterview /Cowley Street area and groves of Karaka trees associated with midden pits such as
site R11/521 along the lower part of the Oakley Creek. There are also a plethora of midden sites (and or
pits) near the North Western Motorway interchange- Point Chevalier side (NZ Archaeological Association
Metric Site Numbers- sites R11/2214, R11/2215), in the Waterview/Cowley Street area (sites 11/2201,
R11/2200, R11/2199, R11/2204, R11/2231, R11/1452, and at Heron Park (site 11/2227). There are also
many midden sites on the (eastern banks of the) Oakley Creek (sites R11/521-525, R11/518, R11/519-
520, & R11/2109) as well as a site featuring pits and terraces which is an indication of a significant
degree of Maori involvement in cultivation at site R11/2109.
30 ibid, NZ Archaeological Association Metric Site No's - sites R11/521; R11/522; R11/523; R11/524;
R11/525; R11/518, R11/2210; R11/519-20 & R11/2109.
31 ibid page 18, NZ Archaeological Association Metric Site Numbers - R11/521-523 and site R11/52224
(mill and middens?).

32 ibid, "There are likely to be subsurface deposits in the Mason Clinic grounds as well. Karaka trees are
present also around this midden and towards the Great North Rd. There are likely to relate to the Maori
occupation of this area."
33 ibid, See Map showing the location of Midden sites along the Oakley Creek, "New and Previously
Recorded Archaeological sites - SH 20 Study Area: Figure 2" from Beca dated 22/05/2003, update of
1998 ed. Sites R11/2200; R11/2201; R11/2199; R11/2204; R11/2231; R11/2214 ; R11/2203; R11/2202 &
34 ibid, NZ Archaeological Association Metric Site Numbers- sites11/2203 (settlement) & R11/1452 (Karaka
trees and middens). See also A.H. Walker, Rangi-Mata-Rau page 9 refers to several small Maori
settlements in and near the Point Chevalier area including : "near the Point on the eastern side between
Johnstone and Oliver Roads facing Meola or Waititipo Creek (as the Maori named it) was a small native
settlement. Another was situated at the mouth of the Oakley Creek, or Te Aunga [sic], on the flat land on
the foreshore of Walker's Beach."
35 ibid, NZ Archaeological Association Metric Site Numbers - sites R11/518 (Middens) and R11/524
(middens and pits). David Simmons, Maori Names, (1987) gives the original name of both the Oakley
Creek and its waterfall as Te Auanga (Auaunga) meaning "whirling or whirlpool creek", page 67.
36 ibid, NZ Archaeological Association Metric Site Numbers - site R11/2227.
37 According to legend the Oakley Creek was of special significance to local Maori as a landing site of of
one of the ancestral canoes of the "Great Migration", namely the Mataatua. The "actual site" of the
landing is unknown, but if such as landing did occur here, it is likely to be located somewhere near the Te
Auaunga/ Oakley Creek Falls. Today (2006) a large sign located at the start of the path from Unitec
campus leading down to the creek and small wooden bridge beneath the waterfall, records this event.
The sign reads; "Te Waka Mataatua. This is a waahi tapu, an ancestral site, which commemorates, the
landing here of the Mataatua canoe in 950AD with Puhi in Command. He later travelled north and
established the northern tribes of Te Aupouri, Ngati Kahu, Ngati Hine and Ngati Whatua-Nga Puhi." See
Ranganui Walker ibid pages 47 and 54- " When [the ancestral figure] Puhi quarrelled with his brother
Toroa, he left Whakatane [ in the Mataatua canoe] and returned north looking for a place to settle.
According to one version, he had the Mataatua portaged across Tamaki to the Manukau and travelled up
the west coast to Hokianga." It is presumably during this journey that the association of the Mataatua
canoe with the Oakley Creek has its origins.
38 Gardner and Druskovich (2003) ibid page 60; NZ Archaeological Association Metric Site Numbers - site
R11/2206; R11/2209; R11/2108.
39 ibid; NZ Archaeological Association Metric Site Number R11/2191. However much more work is needed
to be done to determine the full extent and precise nature of the identified archaeological remains located
on this site and how they relate to the Thomas' Star Mill and to the Garrett's Tannery; there are many
confusing elements relating to this site which only a thorough archaeological investigation would resolve.
Given the importance of this site to history of the development of Waterview and of its important
connection with early 19th century industrial activities in Auckland (namely flour milling and tanning) such
an investigation would have considerable merit. The site is protected under the NZ Historic Places Trust
Act 1993.
40 ibid, NZ Archaeological Association Metric Site Numbers - Sites R11/2224 & R11/2205. Little is known
about these sites that have tentatively been identified as possible early mills, though it is equally possible
that one or other of these sites may have been used for other as yet unknown purposes. Further
archaeological investigations may be necessary to determine their date and the role they played in
relation to the developments along the Oakley Creek in the 19th and early part of the 20th century and
what connection if any did these "supposed mills" have with the Star Mill or Garrett's Tannery at the
mouth of the Oakley. Were they subsidiary to these main operations or were they used for different
purposes entirely?
41 ibid page 47, for their approximate location on the Oakley Creek refer to map "New and Previously
Recorded Archaeological Sites - SH 20 Study Area: Figure 2" from Beca dated 22/05/2003, update of
1998 ed.
42 ibid page 47-8, NZ Archaeological Association Metric Site Numbers - site R11/2108, R11/2206 &
43 ibid, NZ Archaeological Association Metric Site Number- site R11/2209.
44 ibid page 47, NZ Archaeological Association Metric Site Number- site R11/2205.
45 Title : "Bridge on the Oakley Creek", Auckland City Art Gallery, Accession Number 1992/42.
46 Auckland City Archives, Survey Plan 6229/1 dated to May 1925 shows major road construction and
realignments of the Great North Road taking place in the area where this bridge was located. There is no
indication on these plans that the bridge was still there at that date. It appears likely that the construction
of the culvert in the vicinity of the old bridge may have occurred about this time. Further investigations

may give a more precise date for the construction of this feature.
47 At the junction of the start of the North Western Motorway and the mouth of the Oakley Creek, below
Cowley Street. A.H.W. Page 10 & 11 confirms this area as the site of the bridge.
48 Ron Oates,(ed.) The Challenge of the Whau. A History of Avondale 1750-1990, The Avondale History
Group (1994) page 17. (Hereafter referred to as "Challenge of Whau")
49 Map of the Titirangi Parish in the NZ Map Collection, Special Collections, Auckland Public Library(APL),
NZ Map 4178, C 199.11bje dated 1863. See also Challenge of Whau, Map page 14 showing the original
subdivision of Avondale into Allotments.
50 ibid, See also ACC Planning Map Sheets No. B & C in NZ Map Collection, Special Collections, (APL)
1950 NZ Map No.3500 D 995.11bje.
51 According to Challenge of Whau in the 1840s the whole of the Auckland area was declared to be the
County of Eden. This County was divided into a number of survey districts, called parishes. Avondale
formed part of the Parish Of Titirangi. The parish was subdivided into allotments of about 100 acres. In
1844 and 1845 most of these allotments were put up for sale". Page 13
52 Known as the "Chisholm or Rosebank Estate", ibid page 17 & 27.
53 See LINZ Deeds Indexes (DI) A2.112 for Allotment 14 being 45 acres 3 roods 2 perches which Chisholm
obtained on 3 December 1861 (13D.33) and DI A2.113 for Allotment 15 being 47 acres 2 roods 0 perches
which he obtained on 3 October 1861 (13D.33).
54 Challenge of Whau, page 28; L.J. Truttman, Heart of the Whau. The Story of the Centre of Avondale
1841-2001 (2001-3), publication of Avondale-Waterview Historical Society, page 1 and pages 43-4
referring to "the sale of the Chisholm farm, Allotment 7 on 5 July 1893 by B. Tonks and associated
auctioneers". Hereafter referred to as "HOTW".
55 HOTW page 8;
56 Mr Whytlow obtained the property (being allotment 16 and some 71 acres 2 roods 0 perches of land) on
the 26 October 1844 (DI A2. 114; 3G.1314), the property was conveyed to Mr. Marston by a Mr. Ridings
on 20 December 1859 (8D.677) who conveyed it to Michael Wood two days later (9D.862).
57 HOTW page 8; AH Walker page 11; See also G.I. Laurenson for a copy of the historic advertisement of
the original subdivision sale of Waterview Allotment 16 from the Daily Southern Cross, April 9, 1861
(Courtesy of AIML) page 4 and the New Zealander April 6, 1861 page2 (4).
58 ibid.
59 ibid. Note that L.J.Truttman, HOTW, suggests that if Michael Wood's Waterview development had been
more successful, it may have significantly delayed the growth of the Whau (Avondale) Township (in 1863
under the name "Greytown") - this too failed to attract the hoped for number of buyers, Page 8 &11.
60 From the Auckland Public Library, Map and Manuscript Collections held in the Special Collections
Department, NZ Map 3547, 7-C220.
61 According to the Auckland Street Search Index, APL, Fir Street was originally called Browne, presumably
after the early governor of New Zealand in the 1860s, Thomas Gore-Browne. It first appears in the
original "Kinlock" map of the 1861 subdivision of Waterview (NZ Map No.3547, in Special Collections
(APL). There is also a possibility that it may also refer to the name of the original Crown grantee of
Allotment 15 (DI A2.113; 3G.1296 dated to October 1844), a certain Mr Brown, whose property bordered
on to what would later become Fir St. This street name appears without the "e" ending in an 1882 map
relating to the Rosebank subdivision (NZ Map No. 4559). Later Brown(e) street came to refer to the
unformed portion, the part west of what is now Saxon Street). John C. Davenport,Street Names of
Auckland (1990) page 77, states that a map dated 1900 shows that this street was briefly named Crown
Street and later (c. 1920 according to Wise's PO Directory, 1920 ed.) became Dale Street. From 1932
(22/9/32 according to Auckland Street Search Index) it was one of the many streets in Waterview that
changed its name at this time- to Fir Street, the name by which it is still known today.
62 Another of the original street names that appears in the " 1861 Kinlock Map" (NZ Map No.3547 in
Special Collections, APL), was Victoria Street presumably named in honour of Queen Victoria and
sometimes appears as Victoria road or street or Avenue. The likely naming of this street after Queen
Victoria appears more likely considering its neighbour (also on the same map) was named Albert Street
after Albert, the Prince Consort and husband of Queen Victoria. The Auckland Street Search Index claims
that Victoria Street changed to Alexandra (sometimes incorrectly spelled "Alexander") Street around
1921. In 1932 many of Auckland's Street names were changed in order to avoid duplication with already
existing streets of the same name elsewhere in the city (in order to avoid confusion with Victoria Streets
(East and West) in the central city). The new name chosen was Alverston Street, after Lord Chief Justice
Alverston, the first New Zealand born Chief Justice. This street is described in 1937 as being half a mile
long with 23 residences (Ak Street Search Index).
63 According to John C. Davenport ibid page14, in 1932 a major review of street names took place in
Auckland which resulted in Albert Street (or road) (one of Waterview's original streets according to the

"1861 Kinlock map" (NZ Map No. 3547 in Special Collections, APL)) changing its name to Alford St. New
names usually had the same initial letter or letters, other wise there seems to be no other reason for this
title. However there is also a suburb of Lincoln in England with the same name.
64 Cameron Street was also one of Waterview's original streets (ibid) from the 1861 allotment subdivisions.
In 1932 it was one of the streets of Waterview that changed its name, in line with Auckland City Council's
proposed plan to avoid confusion with existing streets of the same name elsewhere in the city. Cameron
Street may have been named after (later Sir) General Alexander Duncan Cameron, the commander of
the British Imperial forces at the time of the land wars (of the 1860s). Cameron St changed to Middlesex
Rd according to the Ak Street Search database, after the English county.
65 The last of Waterview's original streets (NZ Map No. 3547 in Special Collections, APL), Norman Street
was renamed in 1932 as Saxon Street (Ak Street Search database), and still bears this name today. It
may have been named after the prominent local landowner and farmer, Robert Saxon Nicholls, whose
residence (No.53 Fir Street) still exists in the area.
66 Challenge of Whau page 19 ff- "The [Whau Highways and Road Board] Board sought help with the
extension of the Great North Road, which at that stage was only formed as far as Point Chevalier. In
February 1869 plans were put in place to extend the [Great North] road from Thomas' mill (at the mouth
of the Oakley Creek in Waterview) to the Whau Church (St Ninian's, Avondale) were implemented but
was to take a few years to complete. See Minutes of the Whau Highways Board, 26 February, 1869.
67 Challenge of Whau, ibid . See also map page 18 showing "The Area controlled by the Avondale Road
Board", HOTW page 15 - October 5, 1868 the Whau Highway District Board was set up. Although
subservient to the Auckland Provincial Council, it had split off from the Mt Albert District, becoming its
own separate authority. HOTW page 34; In 1882 Avondale officially became a Road Board District
[gazetted 8 June 1882].
68 Challenge of Whau, ibid: "The first meeting of the [roads] Board was held on 14 October 1868 and John
Bollard was elected chairman'', a position he held for many years. For references to John Bollard as a
land owner (starting as a lease holder in the 1860s, by the 1880s he was one of Avondale's largest
property owners with a farm of some 144 acres on the Avondale Flat) and a property speculator of some
significance in Avondale see pages 27-8 and page 51 ff. Note that from 1896, Mr Bollard became the
Member of Parliament for the Eden Electorate (which included the wider Avondale district) and was
instrumental in the establishment of the Cradock Hamlet (a housing estate for lower income workers
being the block of land between Cradock and Powell Streets as well as parcels of land between Himikera
Avenue and the Oakley Creek (Blockhouse Bay Road). For further references to Mr Bollard and his
influence on the early history of the Avondale district (including Waterview) see index references in
69 Challenge of Whau page 19.
70 A.H.W. page 37-8.
71 ibid, page 39- on May 13, 1885 "Mr Robert Garrett was the only nomination [for chairman of the Point
Chevalier Highways Board] and was duly declared elected".
72 Challenge of Whau ibid, "The rate for the first year was set at one shilling per acre, which was expected
to provide an annual income of about ninety pounds. See also HOTW pages 16 & 17 "... The Whau
Assessment Roll for 1869 lists 121 landowners for the entire Whau District from Waterview to
Blockhouse Bay. The rates were set a 6 pence per acre."
73 Challenge of Whau, ibid page 22 ; "The railway between Auckland and Avondale was opened in March
1880. In its first year of operation 1,485 passenger tickets were issued from the local station"; HOTW
page 29-30, "The Auckland to Helensville railway line was completed by March 29, 1880 with "a timetable
of two mixed trains daily except Sunday to Avondale, continuing to Glen Eden on Tuesdays and Fridays".
74 A.H.W. page 17 & 18; Challenge of Whau pages 22 and 24-5.
75 A.H.W, ibid.
76 A.H.W. ibid. "Thomas' Mill on Oakley Creek was also worked in this way and hence the name "Thomas'
Channel" which runs past the end of the shell bank and which was sealed off when the Northern
Motorway was formed a few years ago.
Cutters, scows and punts would [also] arrive with firewood, and return with bricks and mortar, which were
used in the days before cement was manufactured. These were transported all over the North Island and
even to the South."
77 The Evening Star, January 19,1883, describes 2 whales beaching themselves near Messrs Garrett's
Whau Tannery, with one of them being about 28 feet in length. The Evening Star, January 17, 1883 gives
additional information on this whale stranding, stating the animal to be about 75 feet in length and that
one of similar size had beached itself in the same vicinity about 33 years ago (c.1860). While The
Evening Star, January 10, 1883 mentions a previous stranding about a week previously in the same
location of another two whales, each about 30 feet in length, which were butchered for their blubber and

valuable oil. As late as the 1990s, the odd dolphin has been spotted frolicking in the waters of the
Waterview lagoon at the mouth of the Oakley Creek. One such bottle-nosed dolphin to visit regularly was
nicknamed "Sharkie" by local residents. (Western Leader 17 Sept. 1996 page 5.)
78 A.H.W. page 18.
79 Challenge of the Whau page24-5.
80 However the very first passenger service from the city out west was started by Mr William J. Young in
1861(20 March), who ran a regular coach omnibus service from Auckland to Henderson Mill, via the
Whau [Avondale township]. HOTW page 7. This service obviously passed along the unformed "Great
North Road'' (which Challenge of Whau page 22, describes as little more than "a clay track in tea-tree
[manuka/kanuka] covered wilds") through Waterview to Avondale and then beyond to the Henderson Mill.
However it is unknown whether this once a day service (from 9 am to 3 p.m. daily except for Sundays)
stopped in the Waterview district to pick up passengers but it is unlikely. It is more probable that
Waterview residents wishing to avail themselves of this service had to walk either to Point Chevalier or to
Avondale to catch it. A description of this journey is recorded in an article in the New Zealander April 27
1861, by J.C. Loch entitled "A drive on the Great North Road"; giving a description of major landmarks out
West past Western Springs - these being Low and Motion's Flour Mills and the Great Northern Hotel
("The Old Stone Jug"), then on to Hall Corner in Point Chevalier and thence to Thomas' Star Mill at the
mouth of the Oakley Creek in Waterview being the final major landmark before reaching Avondale. See
also A.H.W. page 10.
81 A.H.W. ibid "At this period 1886, the only transport to town was by Potter's Horse Coach from Avondale
passing through the Hall Corner [Pt Chevalier]. The driver would sound a bugle as he approached the
Point and again at the Northern Hotel to hurry along laggards"; Challenge of the Whau page 22. About
1873, a Mr Phipps made an unsuccessful venture with a bus service and when this failed an express cart
was used by a Mr Hazel. In 1882 a Mr Potter was operating a service along the Great North Road. "At its
peak the company had five horse-buses-the largest being a two-decker, carried 35 passengers, and
required 5 horses to draw it.''; For references to Mr Phipps service see HOTW page 21; for Potter's
Horse buses see page 34 & 36.
82 HOTW page 31, notes that Paterson's Horse buses were flourishing from the 1880s and both Paterson's
and Potter's transport services were to last into the early years of the 20th century.
83 ibid. This service was still operating in the early years of the 20th century.
84 Deeds Index 7A.463, 9D.389 no.15423 records that John Thomas purchased (20 April 1859) land at the
mouth of the Oakley Creek being Part Lot 18A measuring 3 acres and 10 perches (L.I.N.Z records). It is
here that some time between 1858-60 that John Thomas and Thomas Barraclough built the "Star Mill".
Notes compiled by Duncan B. Waterson (1959), for the Auckland Provincial History Project in Special
Collections and Reference File 185, A.P.L. (Hereafter referred to as "Waterson") states (The Flour Milling
Industry of the Auckland Isthmus" page 8) that the mill commenced grinding c. 1861, and that the Star
Mills like the (Low & Motion's) mill at Western Springs was erected on navigable water so as to save on
transport costs; NZH 25 June 1870 page 5 (2); see also Trevor N. Price, William Thomas & Family of
Devon and New Zealand (Auckland 2001) page 40 (Hereafter known as "Price"); A.W.H. page 10.
85 The four Garrett Brothers were Robert, Richard, William and George, who had a leather and boot making
factory in Wakefield Street under the name "Garrett Bros. and Co." The Garrett's purchased Part Lot 18A
in 1878 (DI 7A.463; 27M.431) and Lot 18 (from Mr. Nathan) in May 1879 (32D.419). A.H.W. page 41ff
notes that Robert Garret lived on Lot 18 and built a large two storey house there (on 8 acres of land which
he named "Oakleigh Park") in which he lived for many years. The Garrett's took over Thomas' mill,
converted it into a tannery and worked it in substantial way in the 1880s. Deeds Indexes reveal the
Garrett's purchased the old mill from George W. Binney, a clothing manufacturer, land agent and
auctioneer in 1878 (27M.431) and worked it as a tannery until c. 1890-1. Binney obtained the mill from the
Thomas family in 1876 (29D.994). Note that Binney was also later involved (1882) in the sale of another
subdivision called the "Waterview Estate" in Northcote, North Shore, NZH October 25 & Oct. 26, 1882,
page 8.
86 A.H.W. ibid.
87 While the Star Mills was not a large employer in the local district, Waterson ("The Flour Milling Industry of
the Auckland Isthmus" page 2b) notes that the mill would have had an important impact on the local
economy by providing facilities for local farmers to grind small quantities of wheat into flour. However the
Garrett's tannery was a substantial contributor to Waterview's development in the late 19th century, both
as a major employer of local labour and a significant component of Waterview's early economy. By the
early 1890s when the tannery closed down, its assets were said to be in excess of liabilities by more than
£8,000, which was a considerable sum of money in those days; page 42, A.H.W. Physically both of these
buildings, the Star Mill and Garrett's Tannery, were prominent and highly visible features of the local
landscape from the 1860s to the early 1900s, when the last vestiges of these buildings were demolished

sometime between 1909 and 1912 but the row of worker's cottages built by Mr [Robert] Garrett was to
remain a feature of this part of Waterview until the Oakleigh Park estate was open up for housing in the
middle years of the 20th century.
88 A.H.W. page 11; the precise location and full extent of the Star Mills and Garrett's tannery sites have yet
to be fully determined. A detailed archaeological investigation may prove necessary to answer these
questions. According to Ak City Archives Valuation Field Sheets for Cowley Street (ACC 213/35b) the
Star Mill and Tannery sites are to be found somewhere in the vicinity of No.15 Cowley (CT 958/249), at
the back of the property facing onto the mouth of the Oakley Creek and backing onto the Waterview
(Herdman/Cowley Street) Reserve. Archaeological reports in 2000 and 2003 by David Gardner and Brent
Druskovich ibid, shows there are significant remains relating to the Star Mill and Garrett's Tannery site in
this area. For their approximate location on the Oakley Creek refer to map "New and Previously
Recorded Archaeological Sites - SH 20 Study Area: Figure 2" from Beca dated 22/05/2003, update of
1998 ed. NZ Archaeological Association Metric Site Number R11/2191.Refer to NZ Map 2695, Special
Collections , APL, "Springside" Sale, Point Chevalier, post 1882, showing the approximate location of
both the Star Mill and Garrett's Tannery on the Thomas' Channel at the mouth of the Oakley Creek; Price
page 46-7.
89 Waterson, "2. The Flour Milling Industry of the Auckland Province" page 2(b), states that grist mills (as
opposed to Steam driven mills such as the "Low & Motion's Mill" at Western Springs) were the first type of
mills to be established. By 1878, there were 19 suck mills in the Auckland Province but by 1906 this had
reduced to just 4 mills still in operation, all of which were located in the City of Auckland; "The Flour
Milling Industry of the Auckland Isthmus" page 8, describes the Star Mill located on the Oakley Creek as
being " the only true grist mill in Auckland for many years." Weekly News 11 Jan. 1873 page 15(1); Ak
Star 11 May 1887; Price Page 46.
90 ibid.
91 A photograph (Neg. A2820, 995.1108 P75) in Special Collections, APL that has been tentatively identified
as the first Star Mill (i.e. prior to 1873) clearly shows a three storey wooden structure with a large wooden
wooden waterwheel that was a well known feature of Thomas' Star Mill. This building is set back on the
bank from the [Oakley] creek. However this photo is at odds with the contemporary descriptions of the
Star Mill at the time the first mill was burnt down in 8 January 1873. These describe the building as a 5 or
4 storey wooden structure with a number of smaller wooden outbuildings and a cottage nearby. See Ak
Star 8 January 1873; NZH 8 & 9 January 1873; Weekly News 11 January 1873, page 15(1) & Daily
Southern Cross June 20 1873; Price page72-75; A.H.W. page 27-8.
Other photographs from Special Collections identified as the second mill (Neg. No's A1730 & No. A683)
clearly shows a wooden mill (and large wooden waterwheel) with a number of closely associated or
attached out buildings. This structure is 5 storeys high and appears to be set much closer to the banks of
the Oakley Creek. However Waterson ibid page 8 claims the rebuilt mill was only 3 storeys high, citing NZ
Graphic 11 August 1909 page 17 as his reference. How are we to reconcile these conflicting accounts?
Was there more than one Star Mill? If so, could one of these photographs be of a small subsidary mill,
like those identified further along the banks of the Oakley by Gardner and Druskovich in their 2000 &
2003 archaeological investigations (R11/2224 or R11/2205)? Or did John Thomas originally build a three
storey mill and at some point before 1873, the extra storeys were added? More investigation of this and
other discrepancies between these photographs and contemporary sources describing the first and
second mills will be necessary if we are to solve these problems. A detailed description of the mill site
when it was operating as Garrett's tannery would be very helpful in this regard.
92 By December of 1859 Thomas came into the possession of further lands along the Oakley Creek being
part of Lots 31, 32 and 33, totalling a further 4 acres,1 rood and 17 perches of land in a strip of running
along the eastern banks of the Oakley Creek beneath the Te Auaunga Falls. (Deeds Index A2.129-131;
9D.389). Note that the portion of Lot 31 was only leased by Thomas from Mr Rooney, while the portions
of Lots 32 and 33 were conveyed to him from Rooney. See also A.H.W. page 50.
93 John Thomas was the contractor for supplying the bricks for Oakley Hospital in 1867, Auckland Scrap
Book Collection (ASB) November 1966 page 243, APL; John Thomas was contracted to supply 900,000
bricks at a rate of 180,000 bricks per month for 9 months. His tender price was £3-16 per 1,000 bricks,
being 18 shillings less than the next tender. Mr.Thomas failed to get an exemption from militia duty for
himself and his workforce and thus was unable to fulfil his contract. He suffered financially from not only
losing this business but had severe financial penalty clauses imposed on him. In the end Thomas only
ever supplied approximately a sixth to a quarter of the bricks necessary for the completion of this project.
See Price page 48-51; NZ H 8 March 1967 "Enlightened Victorians Built Oakley" ; L. J. Truttman in the
Avondale-Waterview Historical Journal , Vol. 6 Issue 30 (2006), "An unfortunate brickmaker: John
Thomas (1829-1865)" explores the reasons behind Thomas's failed brick making venture; also A.H.W.
page 49-50.

94 John Thomas' obituary is recorded in the Weekly News 8 April, 1865, which states that "John Thomas,
Oakley miller, died on 5 April at his residence Star Mills, Auckland, aged 36". He left behind a 41 year old
widow (Jane) and 3 young children- William aged 16, John nearly 14 & Elizabeth aged 6; According to
Price page 51, John Thomas left no will and was declared intestate. The cause of Thomas' death being
dysentery, is surprising as it was barely 10 years since Edwin Oakley had surveyed the Oakley Creek as
a potential future supply of Auckland's water needs, whose waters were particularly noted for its purity. By
the 1870's once the Gitto's tannery was in operation on the upper reaches of the Oakley, the effluent from
that industry was to cause severe pollution problems downstream for Waterview's residents. There was
even recorded the occasional death by water borne contagion (typhoid) of local (Waterview) residents,
like Mrs. Porter, who resided on the banks of the Oakley when the Garrett Brothers operated their tannery
out of the old mill site (Reference in letter from "Aunt Carrie" In A.H. Walker's Papers, Special Collections,
APL). It is difficult to reconcile the Oakley Creek being so polluted in the 1860s as being responsible for
the death of the owner of the Star Mill. Another factor which may have considerably attributed to
undermining John Thomas' health, was the severe strain of the financial position he was in following his
failed brick making venture at the Whau Asylum.
95 A.H.W. page 29; Price disputes that Thomas Barraclough, who he describes as an Engine Fitter, was
ever the mill manager; but notes that Tom who lived nearby in a cottage on the Oakley Creek was a close
friend of John and Jane Thomas and may have been a mill employee. He thinks that whilst Barraclough
was operating his Oakley Creek Store he may have become an on-site financial and business advisor to
Jane and her young sons William and John, until uncle George Thomas became available for the Mill's
management. By 1870 Thomas Barraclough then married to Jane Thomas and became a Miller and Mill
Engineer and a one third shareholder in the business; Page 51.
96 Price, Page 53 notes that Thomas Barraclough (a Yorkshireman aged 35) married Jane Thomas (44) in
1867 (29 August) who had been a widow for two years and with children now aged 18, 16 and 8. In 1869
they had a son, Thomas Coates Barraclough (who died young at the age of 6 in Melbourne, Australia).
Unfortunately, the marriage did not last,Thomas Barraclough left Jane in 1873 and moved to Australia,
taking his new much younger wife and his son T.C. Barraclough with him to Melbourne Australia.
97 Waterson ibid Page 8; Weekly News, 11January 1873 page 15 (1); For detailed description of the new
mill see A.H.W. page 27-8.
98 Waterson ibid; Daily Southern Cross June 18 page 2(5), AHW ibid.
99 See AHW page 50; Deeds 29D.994.
100 A.H.W. ibid; Deeds 27M.431.
101 A.H.W page 41-2.
102 A.H.W page 41; From Nathan to Garrett, May 1879 Deeds 32D.419
103 A.H.W. ibid; Reference to Robert Garrett's house see A.H. Walker's Papers in Special Collections, APL.
104 ibid.
105 According to A.H.W. page 42,"Prosperity continued until 1890 when Auckland experienced a severe
depression and the firm became insolvent. ..The closing of the tannery was a severe loss to the residents
of the district as many found employment at the works".
106 Waterson ibid; Various dates have been espoused for the final demise of the old mill ranging from 1909
-1913. After being operated as a tannery by the Garrett's up until the 1890s, the former Star Mill was
allowed to slowly deteriorate and fall into rack and ruin. Although the present owners (2006) of the
property (15 Cowley Street) where reputedly the remains of the Star Mill are to be found, a Ms. R. Mason
and Mr. P. Mc Curdy believe that for a short period following the Garrett's, the old mill/tannery was used
(briefly) as a flax mill. Further investigation is needed to verify if this is in fact the case. However the last
documented photograph and newspaper article referring to this building appears in NZ Graphic, 11
August 1909 page 17, it is accompanied by an old poetic quote making reference to the passing of
something familar. This is likely to be the most precise date for the removal of the Star Mill that we are
able to find.
107 According to AHW page 45, Wilhelm Reginani Hoffmann was a well known musician who arrived in NZ
with his wife in 1860 and quickly established himself as a music teacher and dealer of musical
instruments. His main business activities were in the central city where he purchased 5 acres in Upper
Queen Street which was bounded by Grey's Avenue and built a large concrete home named "The Abbey"
as his residence, "Hoffmann's Buildings" and Unity Hall. Hoffmann also speculated with land, purchasing
several properties in the city, in the Point Chevalier District and elsewhere in Auckland including "Oakley
Park" in Waterview. Hoffman was the first Auditor of the Point Chevalier Highways Board, a position he
held for many years. He died at his home on Upper Queen Street in 1905 at the age of 77. Dick Scott Fire
on the Clay.The Pakeha Comes to West Auckland, (1979) gives additional information about Mr.
Hoffmann claiming that he was born in London in 1828, he arrived in New Zealand in 1860. He was a
music teacher and piano importer who owned land in most Auckland suburbs including an estate and

homestead extending from Titirangi Road to the Manukau Harbour. He also owned several city buildings
and properties in other centres. Hoffman lived near Myers Park, Queen Street but several of his sons
later lived in the Avondale/Point Chevalier, Mt Albert and New Lynn districts.
108 ibid; A.H. Walker's Papers in Special Collections, APL.
109 Letter from G. Woodlock dated 23 June 1955 in A.H. Walker's Papers, ibid.
110 According to John C. Davenport, Street Names of Auckland (1990) page41, at least two people with this
name [Cadman] feature in Auckland's history. Jerome Cadman (1816-1879) was a builder and contractor
and was closely connected with the construction of Queen's Wharf He was also a member of the
Auckland Provincial Council. See Ak Provincial History Index, APL for further references to Jerome
Cadman. Davenport ibid;" His son, Sir Alfred Jerome Cadman (1847-1905), also served on the Provincial
Council and later represented the City of Auckland in Parliament.
111 Alfred Cadman was made a KCMG (Knight's Commander of the Order of St. Michael and St George)
see NZ Herald 27 June 1903 page 5;Auckland Museum Streets Record detail gives a brief description of
Alfred Cadman's career: He was called to the Legislative Council in 1899, he first entered Parliament in
1881 and was elected to sit for Coromandel in the House of Representatives. He later represented
Thames, The City of Auckland, Waikato and Ohinemuri. He was called to Cabinet and was successively
Minister of Native Affairs, Mines, Justice and Railways in the Seddon Government. He was involed in
purchasing extensive property in Waterview through the Sale of Waterview Village (207 sites for sale)
advertised in the Daily Southern Cross, 9 April 1861 page2(7). For further biographical information and
Portraits of Sir A.J. Cadman see NZ Graphic vol.9 no.46, 12/11/1892 page 114; NZ Graphic vol.34 No.13,
1/4/1905 page 2; Weekly News Supplement 30 March 1905 page 13; NZH 24 March 1905, page 5.
112 Challenge of the Whau page 40; L.J. Truttman article " A brief history of Avondale/Waterview
Community Action Groups, 1867-2001" "20th century-1914"; Ak Star 23/1/1914.
113 John C. Davenport ibid; c.f. NZ Map 6725 D995.11 ap 1940 Aerial Photograph of Waterview, where
Heron Park and the outline of the former Cadman Estate is still clearly visible.
114 See photograph of "Karimana", the Cadman residence in Waterview with Alfred Cadman at front door,
Ruby and Francis on the verandah. (DU 436.1256, prints 27/28, Cool Store 2, AIML)
115 He died at his Avondale residence of "Karimana" on the 23 March 1905 at the age of 58 years; NZ
Graphic vol.34 No.13, 1/4/1905 page 2; Weekly News Supplement 30 March 1905 page 13; NZH 24
March 1905, page 5. See also Main Scrapbook 7, page 46; Main Scrapbook 13, pages 21, 26, 41-3, 71;
he is buried at Buffalo Cemetery, Coromandel (Obituary in Williams Scrapbook, page 267), AIML.
116 A.H.W. page 28.
117 A.H.W. page 28 ff; Cyclopaedia of NZ, vol.2 (1902) page 189 ( Hereafter referred to as "Cyclopaedia");
See also Ak. Provincial Council Manuscript, in Special Collections, APL -Material Session 15 [Lunatic
Asylum] pages 66, 87; Session 16 pages 6, 10, 126 & 136.
118 A.H.W ibid page 29 " This fine building is situated about 3 miles from the City, and in the most attractive
locality of the suburbs near the Whau Creek, and the surrounding scenery is simply grand."
119A.H.W. ibid and page 32 "In 1897 lots 31, 32 and 33 consisting of approximately 120 acres were
purchased by the Crown as additional land for the institution. this area was extensively farmed by the
patients, and besides the dairy products they grew most of the fruit and vegetables used on the premises.
Another 70 acres between Meola and Motions Creeks had been gazetted as Asylum endowment land,
where they wintered their dairy herds."; See Cyclopaedia pp. 189-190. See also the 1950s Map of
Waterview showing the extent of the Asylum grounds by that date as compared with the 1891 Map of
Point Chevalier, showing the original subdivisions - A.H.W. page 4, note the extent of the Lunatic Asylum
property and the education reserve along the western banks of the Oakley Creek.
120 Cyclopaedia page 189.
121 Over the years a number of well known local residents have worked in the Mental Hospital in various
capacities as staff (attendants or warders etc.) such as William Hardman, John Francis Goodman, Frank
Carroll, Alexander Wilde Thornely, Alfred C. Scott, Francis Ross Mackie, George Tennent, Fred Irving,
Charles Prickett, Alex Holstead, Francis R. Whyle and Wilmot Jackson to name a few.


Related Interests