Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thames (NZ): Early Boarding-Houses on the goldfields

Amongst the many businesses that prospered on the early goldfields, were boarding-houses. Although the hundred plus hotels had accommodation, more homely board could be found at the numerous businesses around the townships of Shortland and Grahamstown.

The 1870 Thames Directory has the following listings for BOARDING & LODGING Houses & REFRESHMENT ROOMS:
Shortland: John ANDREWS (Mary Street); Elizabeth CASH, William CHAMPION, William FARRANT, Mrs LEWIS' TEMPERANCE RESTAURANT, Litchfield & OSBORNES' SHORTLAND RESTAURANT, Henry LUSTY and Thomas SUMMERS OYSTER ROOMS  (Pollen Street); Mrs MOUNCES' WEST COAST BOARDING-HOUSE (Willoughby Street); Thomas POWELLS' Dining Rooms (Grey Street).

Grahamstown: Robert COMER (Burke Street); Richard DODD, Thomas KEVEN (Beach); John FERGUSON (Davy Street); HAZELL & TURNER's CAFE de PARIS, Andrew OTTO, Charles SMITH (Brown Street); C PELHAM (Williamson Street).

Suburbs: Mrs BRUCE's THAMES BOARDINGHOUSE (Coromandel Street), Thomas OWENS' MOANATAIARI RESTAURANT (Golden Crown Street); Elizabeth SIMS' MELBOURNE BOARDING HOUSE (Beach, Tookey's Town)

Life in the boardinghouse was never  dull. Papers of the day report death, theft and other events. What about the day one man had the nerve to "act as a boarder" and ate all the breakfasts!
DSC 18/6/1868
The Moanataiari Restaurant located south of the Moanataiari Hotel was a busy part of town in the goldfields day, and no doubt attracted a large number of miners and hungry travellers who had just arrived via the Wharf just down the road.
Moanataiari Restaurant and Hotel in Golden Crown Street (North off Owen Street)
Source: David Arbury Collection, The Treasury