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Hope Farm, Petone

Journal by roger_nz

Back in 2001 I obtained a copy of the marriage register entry for my gg-grandparents, Thomas Rought DALLISON and Jane WILSON. They were married on 13 March 1867, "at the residence of Mr John Chapman, Hope Farm, Hutt Valley".

The question at the time was, where was Hope Farm?

The death registrations weren't overly helpful: Thomas's (1921) recorded the place of marriage as Wellington; Jane's (1922) as Pahautanui (=Pauatahanui).

There were some other references to the farm that I could find, which suggested Petone.

But local government has come to the rescue. A copy of the 7 November 2011 report of the Chairman of the Petone Community Board discussed Sir James Hector, and hidden in the report was reference to the farm and its location, given the adjacency of the farm to Hector's home. To quote:

In 1863 the Wellington Provincial Government had a road built along the boundary of the Bassett and Collett smallholdings to the foot of the Western Hills to provide access to a landlocked property above on the top of the hills, of 113 acres, initially in the hands of William Ebdon, but then in the hands of John and Jessie Chapman who ran a dairy farm, known as "Hope Farm". The lane is shown as a continuation of Udy Street in a 1901 plan. From the road a steep track, ran up a gully to the farm buildings in the vicinity of Akatea Road, Korokoro. "Hope Farm" ceased operating about 1890 : the land was eventually purchased by the Government for re-settlement purposes in 1900. To protect the interests of those farming above, William Woods had a right of way made on the land sold to Hector to cover a small encroachment: the bulk of the track was, however, on Maori land, which Hector leased in 1882, probably because he was using part for his carriageway. The track soon became known as the "Old sledge track". The question of continued public access through the Hector property was a matter which dogged the Petone Borough Council for years and was the subject of numerous complaints from the Hectors. The legal position was that the track up the hill was on private property : only the lane was a public road. As the Hectors were the only people to regularly use the public road, it became known as "Hector's Lane" and remained known as such for many years. An examination of street directories would suggest that in 1915 "Hector's Lane" became part of Riddlers Crescent. However in Government papers in 1943 the northern part is still named as "Hector's Lane".

So, question answered. I now know where the farm was, and also what happened to it.

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by roger_nz Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2015-01-23 23:38:51

roger_nz , from New Zealand, has been a Family Tree Circles member since Jan 2015.

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