July—August 2009

Volume 8 Issue 48

The Avondale Historical Journal
Official Publication of the Avondale-Waterview Historical Society Incorporated

A farm called Stoneleigh

Above: The caption alongside this photograph, from Jean Jones’ collection, reads: “A Ford T built by Gordon Harrop. Taken in Henry Street, Avondale, approx. 1925.”

Stoneleigh is bounded by Blockhouse Bay Road, New Windsor Road, a Henry Street has changed since then ... line to the Oakley Creek, the creek itself, and finally the last part of New North Road. In the earliest days of European settlement, it was just part of the Parish of Titirangi (Allotment 65), then became associated with Mt Next meeting of the Albert district, gained the name Stoneleigh, and along with the rest of the Avondale-Waterview Whau formed part of the Mt Albert Highway District Board in 1867. It was split away to be part of the Whau District from 1868 before, from Historical Society: 1901, it became known as the Methuen Hamlet. George Gimbell had the original crown grant in November 1845. Back then, New North Road didn’t exist. He hasn’t got much of a part in this story at all: a month later, he sold the property to Frederick Hannken, who probably used the section to graze cattle. In 1852, Clement Partridge bought Allotment 65, and sold bits of the farm to others further along New Windsor Road.
Continued next page

Saturday, 1 August 2009, 2.30 pm Lion’s Hall, corner Blockhouse Bay Road and Great North Road Please contact the Society for details.

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Volume 8 Issue 48 Page 2
across the room, and said, take off your cap in this office. I said to him, what do you mean, and came away. I was in the middle of the room walking out when this took place. I had my cap off when in Captain Kelly’s room, and when I came out I put it on again.. Cross examined: The defendant had his hat on. He did not tell me on this occasion to take my hat off. He told me once before Friday last to take my cap off; but on that day he seized me violently by the head and shook it, and did not ask me to take off my cap until he caught hold of it and threw it across the room.” The case was eventually withdrawn and costs divided. (Southern Cross, 24 May 1859)

Clement Partridge Partridge’s name is one that keeps cropping up from time to time in early land documents relating to Avondale. He was the original Crown Grantee (1845) for Allotment 5 on Rosebank, the farm later split between Robert Chisholm (purchased 1858) and Enoch Althorpe. Partridge appears on the records as the owner of Allotment 65, the future “Stoneleigh” and Methuen Hamlet, from 1852 until he sold the property to Josiah Buttress. On the Jury list for 1857, he’s a farmer at “Wai-Whau-Whau”, part of what is today Swanson. By 1860, Partridge was in Sale Street, Freemans Bay, still a farmer but about to have his career in colonial Auckland take a more interesting turn from simply being a farmer/ land speculator.

In September 1864, the Avondale end of New North Road was dedicated, and cut through In 1861 James Busby, former Buttress’ property. At this British Resident and Northland time, Benjamin Gittos land claimant, became editor was setting up his tannery, of the Aucklander, and used and it is likely that along that as a means of putting his with the land split away protest about land claims from Buttress’ property across to the reading public. by the new road, Gittos H e e mp lo ye d C le me n t took out at least a lease on Partridge as sub-editor, in the southeast corner (site charge of advertisements – but of today’s Avondale Bapthis may not have been a wise New Win tist Church and fire stadsor move. Two court cases are on R oad tion.) The agreement was record where Partridge hanformalized as a sale to dled advertising accounts Gittos later in the decade, rather badly. He was declared c.1868, around the same bankrupt in October 1867, and time as Josiah Buttress married Marian March on 6 May died on 30 April 1869 aged 62, after what was described 1868. as a long and painful illness, and buried on 2 May.
Blockhouse Bay Road

Josiah Buttress In June 1858, after partially subdividing his Whau farm, Partridge sold the remainder to Josiah Buttress. Not a lot is known about Buttress. He was in Auckland in 1854, living in Durham Street and working as a clerk, but keen to join other settlers in the city at the time, such as Benjamin Gittos, in opposing a licence for an inn named “Bunch of Grapes” which would have set up near the Albert Barracks. In May 1859, he had a rather violent difference of opinion over caps with one George McCaul. “Josiah Buttress was charged with assaulting George McCaul, at the Registrar of Deeds office, by taking his cap off and shaking him by the head. George McCaul, articled clerk to Mr. Marston, solicitor, said: Last Friday I went to the Registration office. I had transacted some business with Capt. Kelly, and was leaving that officer’s room when defendant laid hold of me by the head and shook me violently, and pitched my cap

While Buttress was one of those, along with Gittos, to sign a petition in 1866 to the Provincial Superintendent for a Mt Albert Highway District, in 1868 he apparently signed a memorial for the Whau District to break away, even though his property at Stoneleigh was vacant at that stage. A daughter was born to the Buttresses in March 1869 at Stoneleigh; in August 1869, he put his farm up for sale, “fenced and under cultivation, with a good Dwellinghouse and suitable Outbuildings thereon erected.” The buyer was apparently Buttress’ mortgagee – but it was back on the sales lists in December that year. Josiah Buttress and his family moved to Nelson, where, perhaps, he died in September 1898 and lies buried in Motueka Cemetery without a headstone. This is the only burial record found for anyone by that name. Francis Gittos The New North Road corner was transferred by Benjamin Gittos to his son Francis in November 1881. “At the eastern angle of the junction of the two roads, and opposite the Whau tannery, Mr. F. Gittos has fenced in,

The Avondale Historical Journal

Volume 8 Issue 48 Page 3
when a fat dividend is looming in the distance.” (NZ Herald, 2 February 1884) Neither the brickyard, nor the rail siding came to pass. Gallagher died in April 1901; his land was transferred to John Bollard as estate administrator, and he duly transferred the property to the Crown for use as a workmen’s settlement known as Methuen Hamlet. Gallagher’s homestead (possibly the original Stoneleigh) may have survived well into the 20th century, used by the Bollard Girl’s Home until replaced by a modern building. The site is now that of Odyssey House. All that is known about Patrick Gallagher, apart from his grand ideas for a brickyard and rail siding to rival Hunt’s St Georges Road brickyard, is that he may have been one of three brothers who sold the silver mines they had discovered in Nevada and split the proceeds. Two of these brothers came to New Zealand – one, Charles Gallagher, took up mining in Te Aroha and Thames, only to shoot his wife on Christmas Day 1890, and then turned the rifle on himself. The following paragraph in the Taranaki Herald of 30 December 1890 may link Charles with Patrick Gallagher. “It is not of course known who Gallagher spent the large sum acquired for his Nevada mining interest, but when he made the settlement on his wife, she only received £2000, that being all that remained of it. There was a rumour that he had come into a fortune of £3000 a year, but this Mr. Craig assures is unfounded. Gallagher’s two brothers are now in California, but one of them resided for some time at Avondale, where he acquired some property, which he still owns, but about two years ago he left Auckland for California with his wife to join his unmarried brother there.” — Lisa J Truttman

cleared, and laid afresh in grass a ten-acre section which under other ownership had lain desolate for a quarter of a century. On this he has built a six-roomed residence for himself, and another dwelling for letting. It was regarded by many practical farmers utter folly to expend money on such soil – the “cold clay soil of the Whau”, as the phrase goes – but the result was not only satisfactory to himself, but proved a stimulus to others to take up the back sections on the same line of road southward of his neighbour, Mr. Gallagher, the owner of one of the finest estates in the district.” (NZ Herald, 24 June 1882) In May 1893, Francis Gittos sold his Avondale property and moved to a house in what is now Blockhouse Bay, where he operated a small tannery for a time on the Avondale South Domain. Henry Lees Meanwhile, the main farm of Stoneleigh came to be owned by Henry Lees, who kept the farm’s name, from 1871 until 1878. In June 1874 Lees, along with John Bollard and J. Owen, were appointed the first Anglican church committee for the Whau district, as regular services were inaugurated and fundraising began for the building of St Jude’s Church. Patrick Gallagher Then, in 1878, Lees sold the farm to Patrick Gallagher. Gallagher by 1884 had grand schemes for his property: “It is stated that Mr. P Gallagher contemplates starting another Brick and Tile Works in the district on his fine estate, and running a railway siding down to the Avondale railway station. There are some fine clay seams on the property, but it seems something approaching vandalism to commence the manufacture of bricks on one of the prettiest properties in the district, and on aesthetic grounds, the project should be eschewed. It may be, however, that Mr. Gallagher, like his property, is but clay

The Mill that wasn’t on the Oakley Creek
Back in September 2006, I published the photo at left as part of an article on John Thomas, the original owner of the Oakley Creek Star Mill. Due to a caption on the back of the photo at Special Collections (Ref. 7-A2820), even Robyn Mason and Peter McCurdy, in their presentations and unpublished report on the story of the Star Mill that year, thought that this was an image of that first flour mill. West Auckland Historical Society also published the photo in 2006, with the same information. The truth, discovered just this year, proves that even captions put on photographs at institutions like libraries must always be checked. The photo is actually that of a flax mill, one built by James Ninnis and Dr. Purchas at the Waitangi Falls in Waiuku. The mill dated from the early 1860s, and may have lasted through to 1914, which was around about when the photo was taken (the focus of interest not on an old mill, but on the plants growing close by). You’ll find a copy of the same image published in New Zealand Memories, Issue 78 this year, p. 8 — which was where I spotted where this mill really was. - Lisa J Truttman

The Avondale Historical Journal

Volume 8 Issue 48 Page 4

If a Man meets a Lady—That’s his business If a Lady meets a Man — That’s her business BUT THIS IS MY BUSINESS

DIAL 30-030
4 and 5 MILES 2/1 MILE 1/2 and 3 MILES 1/6 RACE WORK 1/- Mile


Because a car is painted Grey it is no guarantee that it belongs to our modern economical fleet of prompt transport cabs. To be an “ATTA” Cab it must have our registered numbers and design in red on each front door of vehicle. Jean Jones very kindly invited me around to her place to look at and get information from her family history records regarding Pt Chevalier. Two discoveries from her folders reflect back on Avondale’s story, however — the Ford T car photo from c.1925 in Henry Street (cover), and this: an advertising plate from the ATTA Taxis Ltd, which refers to an Avondale branch. I have to do more digging sometime into this, and would appreciate help from readers as well. ATTA Taxis was apparently an off-shoot from Wellington. All files on them are at Wellington’s office of Archives New Zealand, but according to a 1939 directory I now have, their Auckland office was at 32 Lorne Street, the Ngapuhi Chambers. Does this firm spark any memories?

A correction: The information I had received indicating that Fay Riley of Mangawhai Heads had passed away was not correct. The family friend who originally gave me the information was thinking at the time of a relative of Mrs. Riley’s who had died. Unfortunately, this was only realised by the person after the Journal had been published. My deepest apologies to Mrs. Riley, her family and friends.

The Avondale Historical Journal
Published by: the Avondale-Waterview Historical Society Inc. Editor: Lisa J. Truttman Society contact: 19 Methuen Road, Avondale, Auckland 0600 Phone: (09) 828-8494, 027 4040 804 email: historian@avondale.org.nz Society information: Subscriptions: $10 individual $15 couple/family $30 corporate Website: www.geocities.com/avondalehistory/index Copies of Avondale Historical Journal and AWHS Newsletter produced for us by Words Incorporated, 557 Blockhouse Bay Road, Blockhouse Bay. The Society and AHJ editorial staff thank

Avondale Business Association
for their continued support and sponsorship of this publication.

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