Sunday, January 30, 2011

WWI - Thames War Memorials

This landmark of Thames stands proudly to the north of the main street, on the hill reached via Waiotahi Road and Monument road (look for 6 on this map, for general area).

There are many online sites covering this memorial including:
New Zealand History online which gives names and photos

The Treasury - this gives comprehensive information on the soldiers, including links to further information at the cenotaph database. There is information on men who served in WWI, including those who were killed in action.

You are able to get a full record of the war records of any of the WWI soldiers via ARCHWAY (archives). Archives are still in the process of digitising all these records. You may find the record you want for free and you can download immediately at the site, otherwise you can order and pay - archives will then make the record available free online.  Note, you can get this done for free if you are able to get someone to go into Archives Wellington and request the record on your behalf.

View from the Memorial - looking down on Burke Street Wharf
(now reclaimed land known as Moanataiari)


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Other Newspapers with Thames news

Have previously mentioned The Evening Star/Thames star that is online 1874 - 1920 and the Ohinemuri Gazette 1891 - 1921.

Also worth checking are the Waikato Times 1873 - 1886 and Te Aroha News 1883 - 1889.

Early Thames info also appeared in the Daily Southern Cross, the Auckland based newspaper that is online 1843 - 1876. You do find though that all papers in New Zealand did report many evenst relating to Thames and the goldmining activity in particular.

So it pays to start off with a broad search and then if you get too many results, narrow your timeframe, key words, and the newspaper you are searching - from the advanced search page.

You may wonder why I am pointing out the obvious, but I have found several examples recently where a marriage was not reported in the Thames Star but appeared in other newspapers, such as the Waikato Times. Also remember that searching via DIGITAL NZ, allows you to search the newspapers but also a multitude of other resources at one time.

1917- flooding corner of Pollen & Mary Street at Court's Corner

PS. Have included the old flood photo above as overnight many areas on the Coromandel Peninsula and parts of Thames have suffered from flooding 29/01/2011. An event that Thamesites have had to learn to live with.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Old Thames Telephone directories

Genealogists often want to find out more about the lives of the ancestors eg. where did they live, what did they do? Well how about did they have the telephone or not? What was their number? Were they on a party line?

Like me you may find your family weren't on the telephone, but I can see neighbours who probably took emergency calls for them.

 Here are some business examples from 1937 Thames Telephone Directory:
 SURNAME FIRSTNAME OCCUP, BUS Details ADDRESS Phone No.

ABATTOIRS Parawai 135
ADAMS L R Chemist Pollen St 18
ARBURY J W Draper & Mercer Pollen St 230M
BAG-WASH LAUNDRY (S.B. Baker) Karaka Creek Rd 279S
BANK OF NEW SOUTH WALES Pollen St 30
BANK OF NEW ZEALAND Pollen St 1
BANK, POST-OFFICE SAVINGS 94
BATEMAN A Butcher Rolleston St 84
BATTSON J H Plumber & Electrician Pollen St 3
BONGARD Chemist 258
BOROUGH COUNCIL Albert St 5
BOWLING-GREEN Baillie St 61
BRAEMAR PRIVATE HOSPITAL Queen St 254
BRIAN BORU HOTEL (J Twohill) Pollen St 82
BROKENSHIRE & ROSS Plumbers Pollen St 52
BROKENSHIRE Arnold J Bookseller & Stationer Pollen St 212S
BROKENSHIRE Arnold J S P Q R Stores Pollen St 181S
BROWN Edwin & Co Cycle dlrs Plln St 77
CARSON W Bookseller & Stnr Pollen St 207
CO-OPERATIVE FISHERIES (NZ) Ltd Retail Shop Pollen St 42M
CORNWALL ARMS HOTEL (J Alwinger) Cochrane St 98

Click here for full 1937 Telephone Directory and 1939 Telephone Directory

Thames Library have full copies of the 1937, 1938 and 1939 Telephone directories. (Archives collection) The Directory covers many outlying areas around the Peninsula, Hauraki Plains and Bay of Plenty.


Battson Plumbers Phone Number in 1837 was 3

Monday, January 24, 2011

Early Thames Sports & Clubs

Particpation in sports was very important for Thamesites from the time the goldfields started, as well as a wide variety of club memberships. These are all regularly reported in the local newspaper.

Here are some examples.
Thames Bowling Club established 1900 and still going strong.
Thames cricket underway before 1900
Horse Racing - the first meet held 2/1/1868! An excellent resource being "Racing for Gold" by J Williams
Whaleboat racing & Rowing - very popular clubs, pre 1900 in particular. Crews travelled all round New Zealand to compete very successfully in a wide range of events.

(click to enlarge)
The names read from Middle top, clockwise:
Jas LOUGHLIN (Captain HRC), A OTTER (Strike), P WILSON (No 4), Jas TOWHILL (No 1), NEWDICK (Coach), H FISHER (No 2), H WOODS (No 3), E GIBBONS (Steer oar).
Like most provincial NZ towns there was also a very popular Brass Band,
Here are some names & details:
THAMES-HAURAKI BRASS BAND
Established 1899
Officers for 1900:
Mr E G WILLIAMS, Bandmaster, Mr T B BOOTH, Sergeant & Secretary, Mr A HENDERSON, corporal, Mr J LANG, Treasurer

Other clubs and sports will be looked at in later posts.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Thames Fires

During the early boom years, Thames experienced many fires, several major involving multiple buildings in areas such as Pollen Street. Why? The buildings were wooden and quickly built, close together with few fire breaks.  Also the supply of water for fighting fires was often non-existent.

A major fire occurred at the Shortland end of Pollen Street July 1872 and was reported in newspapers throughout New Zealand. By this time the line of fire was over 200 ft. long, and embraced some 15 or 16 buildings of various sizes. The scene was terrifying, and once denoted nothing less than the ignition of the buildings on the opposite side of the street; this was when the wind changed for a few moments and blew directly from the westward, driving the flames and sparks across the street.
A full report is in the Southern Cross 17 July 1872.

In Rev Lush's Journal he notes on 16 July 1872 pg 125
"On looking out our window a truly terrific sight presented itself -a huge, fierce Fire apparently not far off." The family packed essential items thinking that the fire would quickly reach them, but thankfully the fire was controlled.

Many hotels met their demise through fire, such as the Kuranui Hotel 28 August 1876.
Kuranui Hotel (on the left)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Thames Mining

An oversight to date to not have had an entry on MINING!

What would the history of Thames be with out this amazing period of history, when the discovery of gold saw Thames become a boom town (CITY!!) in 1860s-1870s New Zealand.

A summary of resources are available here.

Here is one example from the 1873 Chapmans Directory of Mines & Mine Managers/Secretary
MINING COMPANY Firstname Surname Extra Info

Albion: Charles TOTHILL Auckland
Alburnia: W N GARLAND Auckland
All Nations: Charles TOTHILL Auckland
American Eagle: E T WILDMAN
Aurora: J MOWBRAY
Ballarat & Rising Sun: W SULLY
Bank of New Zealand: E T WILDMAN
Bee Hive: H H WRIGHT
Bellmount: D PHILP
Bird-in-Hand (Limited): J H SALMON
Black Angel (Limited): D PHILP
Bright Smile: W SULLY
Brunswick: W SULLY
Cable: John BURGESS
Caledonian: Charles TOTHILL Auckland
Calypso: E T WILDMAN
Celt: D G McDONNELL
Central Italy: D PHILP
Christchurch: R M MITCHELL
City of Aberdeen: E T WILDMAN
City of Dunedin: J H SALMON
City of London (Limited): H N GARLAND
City of Edinburgh: D PHILP
Clarmont: W CARPENTER
Coliban (Limited): R G McDONNELL Secretary
Colonial (Limited): S HICKSON Secretary
Commercial: GM & QCC T HORSBRUGH
Comstock: T L WHITE Auckland
Crown Prince: J W PREECE Auckland
Cure (Limited): R HORNE Auckland
Cyclops: T HORSBRUGH
Dauntless & Sink to Rise: R McDONALD SCOTT
Dividend (Limited): Owen JONES Secretary, Auckland
Dixon's No 1: T L WHITE Auckland
Don Pedro (Limited): H N GARLAND Auckland
Durham Ox: D PHILP
Eldorado: F A WHITE Auckland
Flora McDonald: H C GILLESPIE
George Stephenson: C FLETCHER
Goldfinch: G LINDSAY
Golden Phoenix: W CARPENTER
Golden Crown: S E RICHARDS
Golden Age: R SOMERVILLE Auckland
Golden Calf: R McDONALD SCOTT
Golden Ring: E T WILDMAN
Golden Spur: T HORSBRUGH
Hand and Band: T HORSBRUGH
Herald (Limited): E A WHITE Auckland
Higland Chief: J H SALMON
Imperial Crown (Limited); Charles TOTHILL Auckland
Inverness: T L WHITE Auckland
Islay: E T WILDMAN
Italian: T HORSBRUGH
John O' Groats: F A WHITE Auckland
Junction: R SOMERVILLE Auckland
Kurunui: Charles TOTHILL Auckland
Kurunui Hill Tunnel Co: Charles TOTHILL Auckland
Lincoln Castle: George MAULE
Lion: E T WILDMAN
Long Drive: G M & Co Charles TOTHILL Auckland
Long Tunnel: R G McDONNELL
Lowland Lass: W PERCIVAL
Loyalty: G P HILTON
Mary Ann: D PHILP
Middle Star: G W JONES Auckland
Moanataiari: F A WHITE Auckland
Moanataiari Union: F A WHITE Auckland
Morning Star: John RAFFERTY
Morning Light: F C DEAN
Multum-in-Parvo: J F CLARKE Auckland
Ne-Plus-Ultra: George SLATER Auckland
Nebraska: R G McDONNELL
Nevada: R McDONALD SCOTT
New Caledonia: F WOODWARD
Nolan's Candlelight: W ROWE
Nonpareil: F WOODWARD
North Devon (Limited): F A WHITE Auckland
Number One: R M MITCHELL
Occidental: John MOWBRAY Auckland
Oriental: R G McDONNELL
Otago: J S McKELLAR Auckland
Phoenix: F WOODWARD
Pickwick: J A CHAPMAN
Point Russell (Linited): R SOMERVILLE Auckland
Pride of the Moanatairi: F J PIESSE
Pride of York: James SPRY
Prince Imperial (Limited): J S McKELLAR Auckland
Quebec: R HORNE Auckland
Queen of the May: D PHILP
Queen of the Thames (Limited): F J WARDELL Secretary
Red White and Blue: R McDONALD SCOTT
Red Queen: H N GARLAND
Red Jacket: W B HEATH
Rose and Shamrock (Limited): R SOMMERVILLE Sec, Auckland
Ruby R G McDONNELL
Shamrock (limited): H N GARLAND Secretary, Auckland
Shotover No 1: T L WHITE Auckland
Sir Walter Scott (Limited): F A WHITE Auckland
Smiling Beauty: D PHILP
Sons of Freedom: T L WHITE Auckland
Sunbeam: R McDONALD SCOTT
Thames (Limited): R SOMMERVILLE Auckland
Tookey (Limited): C TOTHILL Auckland
Twenty Third of June: W CARPENTER
Una: F F DAY
Unicorn W DOWDEN
Virginia City: R M MITCHELL
Waitemata: HUDSON
Waiotahi (Limited): F A WHITE Auckland
Watchman: R G McDONNELL
West Coast (Limited): D PHILP
White Rose: R HORNE Auckland
Wild Missouri: Charles TOTHILL Auckland
Windsor Castle (Limited): W PERCIVEL Auckland
Young Queen: E T WILDMAN

For further information on how successful the mines were and a more complete list, the best resources are:
Gold Mines of the Hauraki District by J F Downey. reprints of this book are available from Cadsonbury Publications Christchurch.

History of The River Thames NZ by A M Isdale

Mining Maps by Mr Isdale can be purchased at The School of Mines, Thames

View of mining activity at Thames
(looking south from Moanatairi area)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Thames Hotels

No history of Thames would be complete without mention of the Hotels of Thames.

A list of known hotels (100+) can be found here.

Summary:
· Thames Goldfield opened 1/8/1867
· 1st proper hotel - Captain Butt's Shortland Hotel opened 29/8
· 1872 80 hotels listed (Auckland had 111)
· 112 different hotels noted, peak estimated to be 90 at one time
· Hotels had entertainment, shows and music
· Pacific Hotel boasted a visit from Duke of Edinburgh 1870 (but there is no proof this happened)
· 1874 Temperance Society wanted 31 Hotels closed
· 1876 Licensing Commission bought numbers down to 68
· As goldfields declined they were closed, converted, demolished
· In 1950 there were 13 hotels, the Licensing control, 6 were marked for closure: Exchange, Shortland, Post Office, Royal Park and Queens. Hotels to stay were: Warwick Arms, Brian Boru, Imperial, Salutation, Cornwall Arms, Junction and Lady Bowen (name transferred to the Park). Today the Imperial, Junction and Salutation remain.
(NB. On my website the JUNCTION has been omitted in error)

There are photos of hotels plus publican info at the above site.


Thames Star December 1946


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Postcards of Thames Website

Just found a great new site: THAMES NEW ZEALAND POSTCARDS, that has postcards of Thames.

Quick and easy format, with thumbnails all on front page, just CLICK desired postcard for enlargement.

New articles at THE TREASURY JOURNAL

Just to alert you to three new articles in THE TREASURY JOURNAL

They are:
Who was the Kennedy of Kennedy Bay?

Thomas Hammond

Rob Roy Hotel (Parawai)

CHARLES JUDD Ltd

 An early business of Thames and a landmark in Queen Street that many of us can remember.

1869 Charles JUDD established the THAMES IRONWORKS which was highly successful and made a wide variey of products including the CAPE CAMPBELL Lighthouse tower (shown in the photo below).
(source: Thames Goldfields Centenary 1867-1967)
In 1908 CHARLES JUDD took his five sons into partnership and CHARLES JUDD LTD was registered as a company. In later years the company became well known for their range of tubular steel office chairs and rotary lawnmowers that were marketed under the trade-name 'Rotoma'.

(source: Thames Goldfields Centenary 1867-1967)
Further information on CHARLES JUDD can be found in Cyclopedia of NZ 1902.
Also in centenary publications such as "Thames Goldfields Centennial 1867-1967.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Thames Memorabilia

One of the most popular forms of early Thames memorabilia was the china plates and jugs that had pictures of Thames on.  Thamesites often had collections and examples of these can be seen at the Thames Museum (cnr Pollen & Cochrane streets).

These can be found forsale at online auction sites and second-hand shops around the area.

Victoria Park cream jugs

Monday, January 3, 2011

THAMES HIGH SCHOOL history

In the THAMES STAR newspaper of 31 July 1953 the following report appeared that summarised the history of the school.
(click to enlarge)

 Excellent sources for information on  Thames High School history can also be found in the reunion books (eg. THAMES HIGH SCHOOL 1880 - 1980) as well as general Thames reunion and history books.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

THAMES CHURCHES

Over the next weeks the Churches of early Thames will be discussed.

Some preliminary notes are available here
These include: St James Presbyterian Church, St George's Anglican Church, Catholic Church

Other Churches were:
WESLEYAN METHODIST CHURCH
1868 Willoughby Street, Shortland – first Wesleyan Church, opened by Rev G S HARPER
1869 Rev James BULLER Minister, same year another building built at Grahamstown
1885 the two churches amalgamated to Corner Mary & Pollen Street
Early Ministers: Rev E BEST, Rev D J MURRAY
Regular congregations of 400, average Sunday School attendance of 300. Other services held at Omahu, Puriri, Kopu and Waiomo

PRIMITIVE METHODIST CHURCH
Situated at Mackay Street. Seated 280 people, 200 children on Sunday School roll.
Rev Edward DRAKE in charge

THAMES BAPTIST CHURCH
Church meetings first held late 1867 after goldfields opened 9th May 1869 new church corner Willoughby and Baillie Streets opened for worship – seated 200 people.  Rev S WILSON first Minister of the church
1889 the Baptist and Congregational churches united, ministered by Rev W R WOOLEY
1899 Minister in charge was Rev Arthur DEWDNEY

CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH
Oct 1871 first service held in a schoolroom, first pastor was Rev B C BUTLAND
Church built with seating for 300, which was destroyed in a large fire 1876. Other denominations made donations to have church rebuilt at Mary Street
Early Ministers: Rev R LAISHLEY, Rev T ADAMS, Rev B L LOMAS, Rev E HAMDEN-COOK, Rev W R WOOLLEY

SALVATION ARMY
Founded in 1884, in Pollen Street. Building could seat 500 plus a junior soldiers area that seated 150
Congregation about 90 in 1900.

St George's Anglican Church, Thames