Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Thames (NZ): Shortland Cemetery Burial Register November-December 1918

      By chance I was checking a burial entry at the Thames Library, when I noticed the long pages for November and December 1918. It was only then that I realised it was for deaths during the 1918 Influenza Epidemic. While the cause of death for all my not have been influenza, it brings home the reality of the lives the town lost during those hard months 102 years ago. Remembering there would have been others at Tararu and surrounding local district cemeteries. 

The images from the pages are below, with a summary transcription at the end.

Shortland Cemetery Burial Register: 3 Nov 1918 to 30 Dec 1918
The following data has been selected: Date interred / Surname / Firstname / age / Plot
Key: **The link is to the Findagrave Memorial** Correct info in [ ]

Nov 3, BROKENSHIRE, Ethel A, 40yrs, Plot 3669
Nov 10, RADOVANOVICH, Frank, 29yrs, Plot 3829
Nov 12, TWOHILL, John Francis, 36yrs, Plot 2110
Nov 12, MAHER, Patrick, 49yrs, Plot 2937
Nov 12, MAHER, Thomas, Age not recorded, Plot 2939
Nov 12, MCKINNON, Emily Cadelia, 36yrs, Plot 2968
Nov 13, KEOGHAN, Lily Maud, 47yrs, Plot 3422
Nov 13, BRIEN, Edith Lavinia, 41yrs, Plot 516
Nov 13, READ, Margaret R, 35yrs, Plot 3658
Nov 14, TAFFINDER, Robert, 66yrs, Plot 3425
Nov 14, HARRIS, Peter, 82yrs, Plot 3592
Nov 14, NORRIES, Adam, 63yrs, Plot 3891
Nov 14, PETERS, Henry S, 47yrs, Plot 2203
Nov 15, WALKER, Mary, 86yrs, Plot 1194
Nov 15, WILTON, Charles Edwin, 43yrs, Plot 3297
Nov 15, MAHER, John, 38yrs, Plot 2940
Nov 15, DABB, Edward, 63yrs, Plot 139
Nov 16, BULFORD, Francis H, 39yrs, Plot 3677
Nov 16, RIPIKOI, Jane, 12months, Plot 3271
Nov 16, WILTON, Elizabeth H, 44yrs, Plot 3297
Nov 18, WILSON, Daniel, 40yrs, Plot 882
Nov 19, RADICH, Joe, 26yrs, Plot 3832
Nov 19, TAYLOR, Angelina, 37yrs, Plot 3807
Nov 19, BRIEN, Ada Lucy, 16yrs, Plot 516
Nov 19, JOHNSTON[E], Mildred A, 32yrs, Plot 3801
Nov 19, HART, John Edwin, 37yrs, Plot 3804
Nov 20, LINTON, Jessie Emma, 30yrs, Plot 3465
Nov 20, ANTONIA, Abraham, 77yrs, Plot 3461
Nov 21, RAVLICH, Jack, 23yrs, Plot 3828
Nov 21, BOYLE, John Edward, 44yrs, Plot 3675
Nov 22, LIDGARD, Annie M, 49yrs, Plot 3679
Nov 22, BUCKLAND, Charlotte A, 36yrs, Plot 3111
Nov 22, SENIOR, Thomas H, 1yr, Plot 3274
Nov 24, JOHNSTON[E], John H, 40yrs, Plot 3802
Nov 24, GRIFFIN, Patrick J, 38yrs, Plot 3334
Nov 24, LAW, Robert Alex, 49yrs, Plot 3654
Nov 27, HALL, Walter Ernest, 35yrs, Plot 3672
Nov 27, MARTIN, John, 40yrs, Plot 3517 [3870]
Nov 27, KENNY, Alice J, 2yrs, Plot 174
Nov 27, DUNLOP, Matilda J, 51yrs, Plot 3895
Oct [Dec] 1, HOYLE, Edith Ellen, 38yrs, Plot 3590 [3890]
Oct [Dec] 3, BUCKLAND, Alfred J, 45yrs, Plot 3111
Oct [Dec] 4, DOVELL, Dorothy A, 19yrs, Plot 3340
Oct [Dec] 5, MACK, Dallis [Dallas] Lewis, 1yr, Plot 3275
Dec 5, GUBB, Harry Alfred, 46yrs, Plot 3686
Dec 8, TREBILCOCK, Mary, 41yrs, Plot 3470
Dec 8, RICHARDSON, Alexander, 40yrs, Plot 3427
Dec 12, GRAHAM, Samuel, 38yrs, Plot 4002
Dec 13, GAHAGAN, Henry James, 54yrs, Plot 3662
Dec 13, JACKSON, Flora Annie, 37yrs, Plot 3879
Dec 15, RICHARDSON, MaryAnn, 46yrs, Plot 3428
Dec 15, HARDMAN, Elizabeth, 52yrs, Plot 3945
Dec 15, RITCHIE, Amy Edith, 30yrs, Plot 3464
Dec 18, LUDWIG, Dudley, 8yrs, Plot 3379
Dec 20, HOUGHTON, Melbro M, 45yrs, Plot 2139
Dec 21, JONES, Blanche, 37yrs, Plot 4003
Dec 23, COLLINS, Ernest, 34yrs, Plot 1575
Dec 25, DOIDGE, Clara E, 60yrs, Plot 3691
Dec 30, KEATING, George R, 45yrs, Plot 3382

During November - December 1918, there were 59 interments at Shortland Cemetery, Thames. Forty of those were in November!

During these months at Tararu cemetery there were two interments:
George [James] GLASGOW buried 19 November, 73yrs Plot 725A and Richard MURDOCH buried 26 November, 38yrs Plot 292.

This brings the total interments in the two public cemeteries November / December 1918 -  during the Influenza Epidemic to 61. The following months may also have deaths that could be attributed to complications. Also there were Thamesites who passed away during the epidemic who were on holiday / in residence in other parts of New Zealand, who may have been interred out of Thames.


Shortland Burial & Sexton Registers, Archives Section, Thames Library.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Thames (NZ): Bowen Street at the Parawai end of Thames

      Bowen Street ran from the Hape Creek in the north, to the Kauaeranga River in the south. Known now as Rolleston Street, this street was named after Sir George Bowen an early Governor of the colony. Banks Street ended at the intersection with Bowen Street, there was no need for it to run further west until the new Kauaeranga Road Bridge opened in 1924. 

Part of: Cleave's Streets Maps - of the Thames and Suburbs c1910.
Map 3577 Auckland Libraries

Photograph of Bowen Street area early 1900s.
     Imagine you are standing at the west end of Mount Pleasant, and look down over Heale, Fenton and Bowen Streets - look at the photograph below, this is the view c1900s.

View over Parawai end of Thames c1900s.

     A closer look at the left (southern) side of the photograph and the Kauaeranga Rail Bridge is open, which postdates the photo past 1898. The land beyond where Rhodes park is today is low lying and possibly covered by water in parts. Next to the river is Causley's Garden Nursery.
     The houses under the word 'Bridge' are at the southern end of Bowen Street. Note the closeness of the river - today there is the stop-bank structure. The land to the right of the houses is where the motels and garage are today, and further right the reclaimed land where Toyota car plant is sited.

     Moving further right (north) across the main photo, the shop is visible that for decades was at the corner of Heale and Fenton Streets. Next time you drive along Fenton and Rolleston Streets, look out for the houses that are in the photograph - with the exception of the large one in the centre (more on that soon).
     Mrs Grubb had the Fenton Street shop for many years. Out of view far right was the site of the Maori Meeting (Hotunui) house that now holds pride of place at the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

Now to the large house at the centre of the 1900s photo. The house was located at the corner of Fenton and Bowen (Rolleston ) Streets, on the south-east intersect. 
     There are numerous outbuildings one of which housed the wash-house,  plus there was separate servants' quarters. Built in classic villa style with the large verandah, full length windows plus several bay-windows.
     While researching the house , it was suggested that it may have belonged to the Miller family. It was occupied in the mid 1940s onwards by Mr Rutherfurd who was Mine Manager at the Sylvia Mine at Tararu.  During the home's history it was a boardinghouse and later divided into flats. The ceiling height described by a past resident as 'exceptionally high'!

     In the 1923 Street Directory, the property is the residence of Mr Ernest Napier Miller, Solicitor. This confirms the recollections of later owners. Mr Miller was a partner in the law firm Miller & Poulgrain. Ernest joined his father's firm in 1900, it was then known as Miller & Son. Ernest's brother Selwyn lied in the same block on the corner of Banks and Heale Street.     
     Mr E N Miller was Mayor of Thames 1919 to 1923, both he and his wife were active members of the community. During the 1918 influenza epidemic, Mrs Miller was in-charge of the convalescent hospital in Queen Street. Mr Miller also helped staff Thames Hospital during the epidemic.



What became of the house at the corner of Rolleston and Fenton Street?
     The good news is that while it did not remain in Thames, it was sold in 1996, and moved north to the Wellsford area. 

Hauraki Herald 23 March 1996

Mr Ernest James Napier Miller's Death Notice & Obituary. Thames Star 15 Oct 1947


Saturday, October 24, 2020

Thames (NZ): Finding Photographs of Thames

 Where can you find 'online' Photographs of Thames?

     The aim is to collect and list the internet sites that have photographs of Thames. In the majority of cases you will be able to download the images, while in some cases it may be necessary to pay for higher resolution images. If you download any photographs - Please remember to give the appropriate photo credit.
  • DigitalNZ Use desired 'search word' and thumbnails will appear for available photographs from all around New Zealand. If the results need refining, you can start by clicking on 'CONTENT PROVIDER' and restrict to selected content providers.
Screenshot of DigitalNZ and the Images available for "Thames'.

If preferred, search directly at a site that provides online images. My favourites are:
Screenshot of search results for 'Thames' at Museum of New Zealand.
  • Papers Past - While the images are not always clear, there are a large number of illustrations / photographs of Thames / Thamesites.
The following blog posts will concentrate on photographers who have captured the history of Thames.
A permanent database will be maintained for easy access. Photographers / Companies to be examined include: 
    AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHIC STUDIO; BARTLETT, Robert Henry; BISHOP, G W; BURTON BROS: Alfred and Walter Burton; CAUSLEY, Frederick John; CHESTER, W A; CHESTER’S STUDIO; CLARKE, CliftonCOAD, William; DOD, Charles E; DUNNAGE, Edward Askham; FOY, James Joseph; FOY, Joseph Michael; FOY Bros, FRITH, Henry Albert; GRIGG, John; HAMMOND, Thomas William George Howard; HASSELT, Van; HEWIN Messrs; ILES ART STUDIO: Arthur James Isles; LONDON PORTRAIT STUDIOS; LOVEWELLS, WING & CO; LOW, John; LOW & MANDER; MARIBOE, P; MOUNTAIN, P; MUIR & MOODIENEAL, William Henry; REDFERN, George; REED, William Henry; RICHARDSON, James D; SCOTT, Thomas Sydney; SEVERN, Henry A; STEWART, F E; STEWART Bros; SWALES, Charles Edward; VEITCH, James; WEBSTER, Arthur James; WELLS, Ernest Edward; WESTON, Mr; and YEREX, John Henry.

    In Closing - Take a Second Look in Colour:
    The view north along Brown Street from the Albert Street intersect transports the reader back to the goldmining days. Two storied buildings lined the block, the Bank of New Zealand a symbol of success in the Grahamstown business district.

    Take a few steps closer. Rickit's Stables and office are on the left, the Royal Hotel (corner Williamson & Brown Streets) in the centre, and the Lady Bowen Hotel on the right.

    Saturday, October 17, 2020

    Thames (NZ): Electorate History

    As Aotearoa New Zealand awaits the results of the 2020 Election it is timely to revisit the names of our past parliamentary representatives and the electorate names. The majority of this post is from a blog dated 19 September 2014.

         Over the years the boundary lines have varied as population fluctuations cause changes to all New Zealand Electorates. The present Coromandel Electorate has had boundary changes for the 2020 election: "The electorate includes many townships encompassing Coromandel, Whitianga, Thames, Whangamatā and Waihī among others. Recent boundary changes saw the electorate grow east to take in Ōmokoroa, and lose Te Aroha, which is now in the Waikato electorate." (NZ Herald)  NB.The Maori electorates are not recorded.


         Once the goldfields were established, the first Thames eligible males, were on the 1869 Franklin Election Roll.

    The Thames Electorate existed 1871 to 1946. The Members of Parliament were:
         Then the people of Thames were included in the Hauraki Electorate. This existed 1928 to 1987 and 1993 to 1996. The Members of Parliament were:
         The Coromandel Electorate was in existence 1881 to 1890, 1972 - 1978, 1987-1993, 1996-present day. NB. Thames may not always have been included. The Members of Parliament were:

    Thursday, October 15, 2020

    Thames (NZ): Take a second look in Colour - Moanataiari Creek

    The Moanataiari Creek Valley
    The view for today is of the Moanataiari Valley. Personally special as it was home to my Great Great Grandparents Clement and Barbara Cornes and their family. In total they had thirteen children - three passed away early and are interred at Shortland Cemetery, Thames.
         Clement Augustus Cornes was at various times a miner, mine manager and mine owner. Around 1868, Cornes was working the Just-in-Time Claim, Moanataiari Creek. By the 1875 Electoral Roll, Clement and his brother Alfred (and their families) resided at the Golden Calf Claim, which was to the south of the previously mentioned claim.
    1875 Thames Electoral Roll 
    Source:, Thames Library Edition

    Moanataiari Creek, Thames (c1869)
    Source:  'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 7-A16668' 
    PHOTO Description
    Looking along Moanataiari Creek, Thames, showing gold mining activity. The rail line going off to the left is going up to the Victoria Battery. This is the original rail line that Tookey put in from the beach to the battery and sold to the government when they began building the extension proper of the Moanataiari Tramway up the upper part of the valley to Punga Flat in 1869. One of the buildings in the distance is the (Grand) Junction Hotel. The track going up the valley to the left is to Eureka Hill.

    A Second Look in Colour

     What Do You See?

    • People walking along the tramline heading to Grahamstown or beyond. Perhaps going over the hills to Eureka or Waiotahi Creek School.
    • Devastation! The landscape dominated by mining, adits, tree stumps and wooden buildings perched on the valley wall.
    • A lone tree, but a memory of how the land was before the hunt for gold took over.
    • Piles of cut timber far left - is someone building a new hut, or for use in a nearby mine?
    Above: The children and women are immaculately dressed, while the men take a break. 
    Below: A miner is seated on the right, beside a small hut.

    Principal Buildings at the Moanataiari Creek Settlement
         Previously I confess I hadn't taken a great deal of notice of the buildings at the far right of the original photo. I was surprised to see the description which stated that one of the buildings was the (Grand) Junction Hotel. In the past I wrongly assumed the buildings were soley mining related. Look at the photograph snips below and follow the tramway up to the buildings. Not a place for the less fit!
         The steam driven Victoria Battery is nestled at the base of the hill, the battery's large chimney visible above the roofs.
         In the Thames Directory 1870, three businesses operated up the Moanataiari Creek: A general store (Mr T E Bush), Grand Junction Store (Mr R B Mason), and the Junction Hotel (Mr R S Browne).

     Above & Below: Various snips of the full colourised photo labelled 'Moanataiari Creek'.

    The Grand Junction Hotel & Store - Which is Which?
          The dilemma is which building is the Grand Junction Hotel? My money is on the 'larger' building, as accommodation would have been a core part of the hotel's business. We do know that a store was located directly adjacent to the hotel (more on that later) and that both were by the Victoria Battery.
        In the colourised view it appears there is a lamp outside the larger building, a requirement for hotels of this era. Does the writing say hotel or Store? (see enlargement below)

    The Grand Junction Hotel
         Hotels on the goldfield often took their name in relation to the nearest mine, so we would assume that the Grand Junction Hotel was named after the nearby Grand Junction Claim.
         The hotel opened c1868 and closed 1880. Known Publicans were: Matthew Vaughan (1868-69); R S Browne (1870); Sarah Jane Vaughan (1871); Louis Segar (1871-72); Elizabeth Isaacs (1872); George Burdett (1874-75); William Hetherington (1875-76); Samuel Barrett (1876): and Michael Driscoll (1878-80).
        Maori War veteran Mr Matthew Vaughan, built and operated the hotel . He married his barmaid in 1869, who subsequently left him for another man. Around 1869, Vaughan moved onto other hotels at the Thames while a string of new publicans graced this hotel up the Moanataiari Creek.
         The Grand Junction Hotel was used as a meeting place by the residents of the Moanataiari Creek. In 1871 for instance they gathered there to discuss the matter of town boundaries.


         Early in the morning 23 March 1874, there was a fire which burnt the Grand Junction Hotel and Bennett’s adjoining store to the ground. The fire reportedly started by a spark from one of the engine furnaces in the area.  Its not clear when the new hotel was built, but Publican George Burdett was in residence by 7 February 1875, when the sad news was published that his one year old son George had died at the Grand Junction Hotel.
         For many years the owner of the hotel was Ehrenfried Bros, who owned the majority of the hotels in the town. It was therefore the norm that hotels leased. Each hotel had a publican who was required to gain a license from the local licensing board.
         Another common use for a hotel on the goldfield was to act as a 'morgue' for the recently deceased. The person's body held at the hotel until the police arrived and / or an inquest was held. This was the case in October 1878, when there was a fatal accident at the Moanataiari Mine. Tributer Thomas Pugh was crushed to death by several tonnes of earth - his body was taken to the Grand Junction Hotel until the police arrived. The late Mr Pugh was then conveyed to his residence in Pollen Street awaiting an inquest and interment. Thames Advertiser 4 October 1878.
        In January 1880, there was another fire at the hotel leased at that time by Michael Driscoll. That appears to be the end of the Grand Junction Hotel!

    Grand Junction Store
         The store was owned by Mr Richard B Mason (c1870), and then operated by Mr T A Bennett (c1872-1880). There were two major fires at the store (outlined above) in 1874 and 1880. There are no details found (as yet) for the store trading after the last devastating event.

    Comparative Photographs
         There is another photograph of the Victoria Battery and the view up the Moanataiari Gully which compares the landscape changes. Then there is another one of the 'same' view.  Both are below, notice anything?
    Photo 1 (Left): Showing the Moanatairi Gully near Dauntless Mine, Thames  Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 3681-45
    Photo 2 (Right): "Showing the Victoria Battery at the Moanataiari Creek , Thames near the Dauntless Goldmine" Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections 4-3678

    Did you spot the difference? A flipped image...the correct one on the right? This matches the landscape landmarks in our photo of the day at the beginning of the article. [Auckland library have been notified regarding the images]

    Take the Challenge:
         Do you know the names of any of the mines / claims in the Moanataiari Valley area.
    Check out The Thames Illustrated Mining Map (part below) for some clues.
        Did you say: Auckland Consolidated, Belfast, Caledonia, Duke of Edinburgh, Galatea, Golden Calf, Grand Junction, Hazel Bank, Just in Time, Kellys, Morning Star, Otago, Pai Marire, Redan, Tookeys, or Young American? And many more!

    Thames Illustrated Mining Map
    Source: Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections NZ Map 4531

    Below: Crop of the above map.
    1. Victoria Battery; 2. Just In Time Claim; 3. Golden Calf Claim

    Suggested Reading:
    Goldrush to the Thames New Zealand 1867 to 1869, by Dr Kae Lewis. Parawai Press 2017.

    SIDE-BY-SIDE - Colourised & Original
    Moanataiari Creek, Thames (c1869)
    Source:  'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 7-A16668' 

    Monday, October 12, 2020

    Thames (NZ): Discoveries at Shortland Cemetery

     I often vent on this blog about the state of our historic cemeteries. I sincerely thank all the known and unknown folk who take the time to tend the graves, when and as they are able. Every bit helps.

    Eastern Boundary of the Shortland Cemetery Extension
         While carrying out a survey of graves in the Shortland Extension (area adjacent to Danby Street), it became clear that things didn't match up with what's on the ground and what is recorded in the council database. Where were certain plots located, let alone were there any headstones. (Area marked in blue below)
    The Shortland Extension, at Shortland Cemetery Thames.

    On The Ground at Shortland Cemetery
         Take a look at the photographs below; its difficult to imagine that Thamesites were interred here. You wonder whether the land has subsided? Been damaged by storms? Or are the maps incorrect.
         Known burials in the area this block at the eastern boundary are: Alexander LELEAN (Plot 3049), Frederick T MARSON (P 3051), William WISHART (P 3051), George ROBINSON (P 3060), Jack G TETLEY (P 3062), William COLLINS (P 3063), Thomas DOIDGE (P 3066), Christopher LYNDON (P 3067), Richard CRAWFORD (P 3068), Mary MUTTON (P 3072), Mary DAGGAR (P 3073), Kanu HELLSTEN (P 3073), Charles ROSS (P 3077), Richard W POLKINGHORNE (P 3079), John HAWKINS (P 3080), Catherine HAWKINS (P 3081); Alfred, William and James ISAACS.
         Nineteen interments (at least), in an overgrown section of the cemetery.

    View towards the eastern boundary of the Extension at Shortland Cemetery.

    A Second Look at Plots 3049 to 3082
        As regulars will know, when help is needed, call 'our' volunteer Graeme - who has the skills to clear, measure plot layout and most importantly find lost graves! Worthy of being an 'honorary cemetery archaeologist'!

    Left: View to the eastern boundary of the extension - land now cleared. 
    Right: Spot Graeme still hard at work at the top of the row.
    Below: A quick rest, before clearing the top of the row.

    Latest 'Finds' at Shortland Cemetery
        The Hawkins and Polkinghorne Plots were cleared at the top (south) end of the row. The biggest reveal came with the location of five year old Jack Granville TETLEY's grave. Part of Jack's headstone was found in the rubble and placed back on the grave.

    Jack's grave - (Plot 3062), Shortland Cemetery, Thames.

    The view of the plots that were previously covered by scrub and weed.
    Following the left blue line at the base is Jack Tetley's grave, and at the top of the 2nd blue line is the Polkinghorne and Hawkins' Plots.

         Also uncovered was part of a grave in the adjoining row. Excavation would be necessary to see whether it is an intact structure or rubble from a a broken grave that has become covered with dirt over decades. Just one of the many mysteries and finds in Graeme's exploration and 'work' at Shortland Cemetery.
    A section of grave wall and other rock debris found at approximately plot 3096, Shortland Cemetery.

    Another big Reveal!
         Further north down the hill and further miracles had been performed. You may have seen a previous article on the locating and clearing of John Miln's grave - now the area has been completely cleared (again thanks to Graeme).
         Further down the incline is located the grave of Mrs Sarah Glasgow. The photograph below, clearly showing the overgrown and inaccessible land around the plot. There was no way that I could get to it to take a better photograph! There are interments in all but two of the plots surrounding Mrs Glasgow's.
    It was pleasing to see that the actual memorial structure is intact.

    Above: Plot 4161 Sarah Ruth GLASGOW nee Underwood.
        Below: The area surrounding Plot 4161 has now been cleared (by Graeme). 

    Left: Mrs Glasgow's grave. Right: Northern side of the grave, looking south up the hill.

        Thanks to the area being cleared, we are now able to identify the location of the plot for 85 year old Mrs Mary Scown (Plot 4163). In the photograph below, the plot is second from the right end of the row - where the shadow of the tree is on the ground.
    Mrs Mary Scown's Plot at Shortland Cemetery.

    The Work Never Ends
        Sadly the day never comes for complacency, maintaining Shortland and Tararu Cemetery is an ongoing issue. Graeme carries an enormous load and help is always desperately needed (under the co-ordination of TCDC).
         In April 1939, a visitor to the town wrote to the paper about the shameful state of the cemetery. The newspaper report stated: It is poor respect to the dead who helped to build up Thames, to neglect their last resting place so dreadfully he urged. “A cemetery should be a garden of sleep and serenity, where relatives can visit in reverence, not a wilderness of overgrown graves and paths which merely advertise a community’s indifference and apathy.”
         The Mayor at the time responded, called a working bee and agreed the words were true. The question still alluded him and the town how to maintain Shortland Cemetery.

    Thames Star 26 April & 11 May 1939.
    If you know the answer to resolving these issues long-term, 
    please share with our local Thames Ward Councillors!