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Pruden Home at Rawhitiroa (near Eltham)

Journal by anafred

As yet I have been largely unable to find out much information about the home other than it was built by/for the PRUDEN family. I have personally visited the relics of the homestead many times and in its heyday it must have been a beautiful home. The photographs below were taken approximately 10 years ago (2004). There was at that stage still pieces of the original glass around the outside of the house although no windows were intact. The homestead is now in a very dilapidated state. it is situated on Rawitiroa Road. The driveway access to the homestead is only 700 meters approx from the gates of the Eltham cemetary. Rawhitiroa is on the outskirts of Eltham.

Surnames: PRUDEN
Viewed: 356 times
by anafred Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2014-03-09 01:42:28

anafred has been a Family Tree Circles member since Feb 2014.

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by ngairedith on 2014-03-09 03:14:22

hi anafred,
what a great photo!

Rawhitiroa school was first opened 11 December 1897 and it had 44 students. It was known as Anderson Road School because that was what the road was called before it changed to Rawhitiroa Road.
The school opened with two teachers. There was a paddock where the children put their ponies until school finished. After school the children would sometimes have to run around after their ponies for about twenty five minutes before being able to catch them.
The children made their own cocoa, a previous student said it tasted horrible sometimes.
There was a fire place in one of the classrooms, unfortunately, this was the cause of the first fire. The school was burnt down to the ground on April 1944 and reopened November 1945, during that time children went to the Rawhitiroa Hall to carry on with their regular classes. Mangamingi school was opened in 1903 with a role of 15 students.

I am going to 'walk' down Rawhitiroa road on google shortly. Can you tell me if the house is actually on the Anderson Road or where it turns into Rawhitiora road. Helps to narrow it down a bit

by ngairedith on 2014-03-09 03:29:00

any chance I can take and use that photo on the Arthur Frederick Pruden jurnal please Ann?

by anafred on 2014-03-09 07:18:01

All i can actually remember is that the house is on a rise and can only just be seen from the roadside, we needed to get the farm owners permission to actually go onto the site as he had had problems with squatters. Also its is near to the cemetery which is on Anderson Road. There is mention of the residence in several of the newspaper articles in the archives. I did find mention of it in a book also but have to renew my library status to "hunt it out" again. It would please me to no end if you used this in the Arthur Fredrick Pruden journal. I do have others on my computer but considered this to be the best angle. Note this is NOT the school but the Pruden residence. I also have contact with a lady locally whos mother was married to Lancelot Harold, I will ask if she is willing to email me some of the photos. One of them is taken near the house.

If you want to add some little bits about the house there is actually a "hidden" staircase behind the front fireplace (what i presume would have been the scullery/parlor) which leads to the attic which i was informed had been set aside for the "maids" quarters. The hallway of the house is wide enough to drive a small car down. From one of the top windows you used to be able to see the words "my love" in the stonework of the garden area. Unfortunately the last time I went there the cattle had destroyed most of this and it was just rubble.

Great idea to have a walk down the road care of google. I had never thought of doing so.

Ann

by ngairedith on 2014-03-09 07:29:28

hi Ann,
thanks for the permission on taking the photo - will do so in a moment
Yes, I know it is their home, I just added that bit about the school as trying to keep all the relevant info together on this family to help other researchers
All the journals 'get lost' and take a bit of finding individually

I 'walked' up and down Anderson road and a little in Rawhitiora road. Google has SO updated what you can do and see now - amazing. I didn't see the house so knew it must be a bit off the road or behind trees etc
I would really love to find the old cemetery
Looking forward to any more photos you have

You can only upload one photo at a time on here, which I presume you have found out, but you can add one per page with info :)

thanks again
cheers

by ngairedith on 2014-03-09 07:40:01

the photo is now on the journal of:
Arthur Frederick PRUDEN + Hannah Elizabeth BLOOMFIELD

by anafred on 2014-03-09 07:55:47

Have just had a really good look on the google maps myself the cemetery is on the corner of Anderson street and Rawitiroa Road. If you "walk" to the right of cemetery there is a area that looks a little like crop circles in the dirt. There is a house in there with a very rusty roof. This could be it although looking from an "above" angle is totally different to driving there. I can go for a drive out that way if you wish next weekend as we are currently in New Plymouth so its not a great travel distance.

Also an odd question to ask but did Thomas Barnett and Ethal Vera Pruden have a child? I have a photograph here that my Great Aunty told me was of Thomas and Ethal but she is holding an infant child.

by ngairedith on 2014-03-09 08:03:39

excellent Ann, I will go for another 'walk'
IF you could get a photo of the cemetery would be great. Don't suppose there are any headstones left of readable ...

I will see what I can find on Thomas & Ethel having children. They would be born after 1915 which starts to get a bit tricky. Always a chance the infant was a niece/nephew. Wish we all wrote on the backs of photos :)

by anafred on 2014-03-09 08:10:56

Oh ok understood re the info being put together makes sense. Sorry if i appear waffly at times as i said i am very new to all this research stuff. Ann

by ngairedith on 2014-03-09 08:12:48

well, if that is the cemetery surrounded by the trees then it is so much larger than I thought. I was thinking of a few family sites on someones farm, now with broken headstones !!

by anafred on 2014-03-09 08:27:59

looks like the cemetery to me, it is on a rise (the cemetery) so i think this fits. i have been known to be wrong which is why i would love to go out there for a drive, perhaps take note of the mileage (km) from the entrance to cemetery etc just to make things a little more accurate (you may figure i have a thing about accuracy)Perhaps even take some photographs of the cemetery etc as well. Yes you think of "early" cemeterys being a few headstones in a paddock way off in the hills :). Thanks I dont really want to post the picture on here until i have some kind of confirmation from my very unwilling family members.

by ngairedith on 2014-03-09 08:30:31

another photo of the Pruden House

by ngairedith on 2014-03-09 08:33:19

if you know where young Arthur Harold Pruden (1899-1902) is buried?? would be great
wonder who looks after the cemetery and if there are burial records re plots etc

by anafred on 2014-03-09 08:40:23

Wee Arthur Harold I suspect (although have no confirmation) is said to be buried in the early cemetery in Rawhitiroa. I'm still awaiting arrival of a copy of his Death Certificate from BDM its been 7 days since i ordered so hopefully not much longer. Am praying that this may give a lead to his actual burial place. Stratford District Council perhaps may have records...lol its 1.40am but i shall have a snoop on their website.

by anafred on 2014-03-09 08:44:41

Regarding photographs of the headstones in cemetery I shall do my best. Although where I think Arthur Harold Pruden is there are no headstones. Shall endeavor to locate and photograph any that are still readable out there though. It may be of some use to researchers.

by ngairedith on 2014-03-09 08:56:18

well, I couldn't find anyone so have emailed South Taranaki council and asked if they could tell me

any photos and/or data that you can find on the cemetery will certainly be of some use to ME at least ...

I know, so past bed time but never know when to stop :)

by anafred on 2014-03-10 02:17:01

Have been to cemetery today am posting an update on the house. So blessed to have the photographs that i posted. Needless to say today I'm very tearful. Have some gravestone shots of what appears to be the older section. will go through and post them slowly. Some of them are barely readable but i have managed to get quite clear shots of them. More on the cemetery shortly :)

by anafred on 2014-03-10 03:29:22

Ok another "walk up" via google maps 323 Rawhitiroa Road. if you travel backwards from 333 on the map you will see a bit old tree on the right hand side of the road and a very very long driveway. This leads to what is left of the old homestead. I have photos taken today. I stood there for a good 10 minutes crying at the waste of a beautiful old home - its a very sad sight. would you still like me to post updated picture?

by ngairedith on 2014-03-10 05:04:55

thanks for the link Ann. I took a look and there is no way you can see that from the road. Yes very sad that nobody bought and maintained it. These large old homes cost a fortune to maintain and no one wants to do all that house work that our grandmas did
Good you have some photos of how it was

the Pruden House as it is today

by kingarthur123 on 2014-06-16 01:59:42

george pruden built the house, he was a master builder, the house had a ballroom in it and when Lance got married george held a ball there. there were large wrought iron gates at the front. the house was built on top of the hill surrounded by bush. when george left england he was apprenticed on the ship as a carpenter and after the voyage the captain presented him with a bag of tools and he was on his own and that is how he became a master builder, he built several houses in NZ. he was my great grandfather and his daughter Gertrude my grandmother.

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