Thursday, March 5, 2015

Thames (NZ): Second Look - 1900 Government Buildings and surrounds

There is lots to see close-up on our SECOND LOOK at the Government buildings. With this photo I was not so concerned with the building, as we have looked at that in a previous post. The hills behind are the gold in this photo, as we can stop and look at the houses perched (often precariously) on the hills above Grahamstown.
Post office and courthouse, Grahamstown, taken ca 1870s by an unidentified photographer.
Source: Post office, Grahamstown. Ellings, E E (Mr), fl 1976 :Photographs of Thames. Ref: 1/2-065410-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.
ROADING: Well not a lot can be said about the state of these roads, they are merely rubble with great ponds of water. Maybe work is in progress and the footpath and roads are in a state of construction! In the view below "Armed Constabulary" can be seen at the left end of the Government building. At least the fence is complete - there's nothing Thamesites liked more that good fencing around their properties.

 HOUSING: The hills above the courthouse are dotted with cottages, in the Upper Albert Street area and further up the back of Broad Street - Princess Street area. Look at the houses, they are not all the same, although at first look you may be fooled. Roof lines are single gable, double gable and hip roof. A good reference book for house identification is "Old New Zealand Houses 1800 - 1940" by Jeremy Salmond. House plans in this book show the larger cottages would typically have a lounge and kitchen on one side and two bedrooms on the other side of the front door. While the small ones here would typically be two rooms, with two windows and door at front. One room would be for sleeping the other for kitchen/living.

In the photo above, the houses on the lower levels are of a slightly different construction. The windows are of different sizes. Is that an outhouse to the left of the top house?The more substantial building on the flat, at the front of this photo is likely to be a hotel or shop.

MINING: The hills are scarred at the left of the photo along the Waiotahi spur, back towards Upper Albert Street. Ground has been cleared and the land explored. Brave souls have built there houses and the very top of the hill.