|Daily Southern Cross 6 August 1867.|
Sea Transport: While a few may have tramped and found their way through the bush and across the swampy Hauraki Plains, the majority came on ships down the gulf from Auckland and further afield.
A growing number of vessels were soon available to take eager gold hunters and entrepreneurs to the Thames Goldfield.
The most well known being the ship that carried the first arrivals when the goldfield officially opened - the Enterprise No 2.
|Daily Southern Cross 3 August 1867.|
Holmes Bros, North Shore, Auckland
|Tonnage:||22 gross as built. 82 gross from 1875|
|Career:||1865 built as WAITEMATA for Waitemata Steam Ferry Co. Auckland|
1866 sold to D.D. Fremantle of Auckland
1866 sold to John & James Holmes, Auckland. Rebuilt and renamed No.2 ENTERPRISE. Usually known as ENTERPRISE No.2
1871 sold to Jas. Morton, Auckland
1872 sold to G. Fraser, J. Waymouth, J. Batger, Auckland
1873 sold to John & James Holmes, Auckland
1875 extensively altered, gross tonnage became 82. Re-registered as ENTERPRISE
1877 sold to John Hay, Auckland
1878 sold to Auckland & North Shore Steam Ferry Co. Ltd., Auckland
1882 sold to Geo. Fraser, Auckland
1890 sold to A. McGregor, Auckland
1890 sold to D. Ross, H. Worsop, F. Jagger
1890 sold to Northern Steam Ship Company Used on Thames run and on Whangarei Harbour
1898 hulked and sold to Auckland Regatta Committee
1899 January blown up with gun cotton
|Enterprise No 2|
Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections 4-2925
Once Grahamstown was established further north (see photos above), then ships would frequently anchor out at sea or become beached as the tide flowed out - the hazards of a tidal estuary! A good Captain knew the hard spots or best places to let passengers off. The area where Pak'n Save is today at the end of Mary Street was said to be a hard beach, where even cattle could be easily unloaded. While at other places many a miner reported wading ashore in the mud!
|NZH 30 June 1868|
Mr Robert Graham was much more proactive and got a wharf built at the end of Albert Street. Interesting to note the wharf had handrails in parts, as several Thamesites drowned while getting on and off ships! This Grahamstown Wharf was later commonly known as Curtis' Wharf, named after the publican of the adjacent Pacific Hotel.
The third wharf was built at the end of Burke Street. The piles were in place 2 May 1872, this wharf continued to be used for decades.
There was also a wharf at the end of Cochrane Street known as Holdship's primarily for timber.
The fifth wharf was at Tararu at the end of Wilson Street. A very favourable structure given it was in deeper water, a bonus compared with the others that were severely limited due to their tidal nature and muddy sea floor. It was built by Robert Graham in September 1869. All did not end well with this structure and it was irreparably damaged in storms in 1874-75.
In summary there were wharves at the mouth of the Kauaeranga River, end of Cochrane Street, end of Albert Street, end of Burke Street and at Tararu.
Were there roads and footpaths?
Grahamstown Streets. Shortly after the Goldfield Proclamation, Grahamstown was leased by Auckland property developer Robert Graham; the proviso being that the Government reserved the right to lay out the streets and approve plans. It was soon a thriving town that was connected to Shortland by Pollen Street. Graham also developed Tararu and named the streets after predominantly family members - many of these were on paper only and never actually marked out/used.
Problems with roads and footpaths. The flat area of Thames was prone to flooding, plus the fact the roads were merely tracks, they soon turned to mud when it rained. This was challenging even on the flat, but imagine negotiating the streets around the small hills of Thames.
The photograph below was taken from the corner of Pollen and Grey Streets, and shows the challenges of transport at the Thames. Streets were wide, but negotiating them would not have been an easy task!
What were the the transport options on land?
While we have mentioned that the waterways were extremely busy, thousands of residents were also moving around the town and hills above the townships on the Thames Goldfield.
|Steam Train, Grahamstown - Tararu Tramway|
|1871 Tararu Foreshore, showing the tramway line from Grahamstown to Tararu.|
|Ellen & Dr Alexander Fox|
|Then & Now - Jacob's Ladder c 1868 & 2015.|
Further articles on Transportation: