Topic: North End Farm/Drake Homestead, 1365 Mountain Road (circa 1878)

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1365 Mountain Road 1998

1998 View: Taranaki Daily News, 27 June 1998

This attractive board and batten home was originally constructed for/by Thomas Drake Senior and his family in the late 1870s - it is one of the oldest surviving homes in the Inglewood District. 

Thomas Drake was born in England, and for a short time practiced as a lawyer at Holborn, London. He emigrated to New Zealand in 1875 with his wife and family on the Rodney, and after a year in Nelson, shifted to Taranaki. He opened "The Old Curiosity Shop" in New Plymouth, but soon shifted to the infant settlement of Inglewood.

After making the required improvements to the property, Drake was officially granted section 245 and part section 246, Huirangi Rural District, in February 1878 - it's thought construction of the present cottage was started around this date. 

Drake took a keen interest in Inglewood affairs, and frequently wrote letters to the Editor of the Taranaki Daily News complaining of the neglected state of Mountain Road and commenting on other matters of local and national importance; he was later to become the Inglewood correspondent for the Taranaki Herald and Budget. He was also for a time, in the mid 1880s, a land agent selling Inglewood property.

In March 1886, Newton King advertised that he had "recieved instructions from Mr thomas Drake (who is relinquishing dairying) to sell by auction at North End Farm... the whole of his dairy stock". Later, in May 1886, Newton King held another auction of Drake's remaining farm stock and tools, on account of Drake having leased his farm. It seems Drake retained ownership of the property, and later returned to the farm, as in March 1889, the Taranaki Herald published an article by James Kenworthy, describing his two days spent at North End Farm. 

On retiring, Drake and his wife moved to Hawera for a short time, and on his wifes death on 18 July 1904, shifted to New Plymouth, and settled in Fitzroy. Drake remarried in January 1905, and remained in New Plymouth until his death on 18th June 1917, at the age of 86.  

The farm was purchased by Thomas Drake's great grandson, Arthur Drake, in 1974, and he lived their with his family until the mid-1980s. David and Jane Garner owned the property for three years in the 1990s, before selling it in 1998. 

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North End Farm/Drake Homestead, 1365 Mountain Road (circa 1878)