Saturday, October 11, 2014

Thames (NZ): Shortland Landing c1867

The question came up this week, as to what the area at the Shortland Wharf area looked like when the goldfield opened in August 1867.
Above: Shortland (now known as Thames), photographed from the Hauraki Mission station in 1868 by Daniel Manders Beere.
Alexander Turnbull Library, Ref: 1/2-096135-G
 A close-up view shows the landing area, more easterly than the present structure, as the river mouth to the Kauaeranga River has changed over the years from silting and debris build-up. The Duke of Edinburgh Hotel standing proudly by the waters edge - previously Nichol's Store, the first business from pre-proclamation days.

The Thames Old Boy's Association Reunion booklet of 1917, has an artistic drawing of the Shortland landing as it was known. (see below)

In September 1867, William Nicholls was granted a bush license to sell alcohol from his premises. William was one of the oldest colonists in New Zealand, having arrived in 1840 and he settled at the Thames in 1866. (Obituary below) Nicholls married Hera Te Whakaawaa, a chieftainess of the Ngatirangi and Ngatihaua tribes. He was born in Cornwall in 1818 and died near Te Aroha December 1900. William Nicholls is buried in the Te Aroha Cemetery, Te Aroha.
Auckland Star 17/12/1900
Further information: on the Shortland Wharf
Family tree information for William Nicholls: at ancestry.au and at The Treasury

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