Topic: 30 Pohutukawa Place (circa 1897-1901)

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30 Pohutukawa Place 2017

2017 View: By Hamish Crimp

This large two-storied villa was originally located at 16 Dawson Street, and was shifted to its present Bell Block site in May 2009 by owners Ian Carter and Enid Wells. 

Land Deed records show that Town Section 148 was purchased by L. E. Shaw from Mrs Wood in September 1897 - L. E. Shaw is thought to be Lydia Elizabeth Shaw. A purchase date of September 1897 coincides with the death of Lydia Shaw's husband, John Shaw in September 1897, and the transfer of the property under the Land Transfer Act in 1927, coincides with the death of Mrs Shaw in late 1927. 

The exact date of construction is unknown although was probably sometime between 1897 and early 1902. This is after Mrs Shaw's purchase of the section in 1897, and before the NPBC began issuing building permits in early 1902 (no permit can be found for the home). Two-storied villa's of this style were also common from the mid-1890s to mid 1900s. Whilst the architect is currently unknown, based on the style of the home, it is suggested that New Plymouth architect James Sanderson may have designed the building as it is in a similar style to the 1897 portion of Issey Manor designed by Sanderson. 

Mrs Shaw doesn't appear to have occupied the home, and isn't listed in street directories for Young or Dawson Streets during this period. It seems the home may have started life as a boarding house - first managed by Henry Vandyke in about 1902, and then by Henry Hurle until late 1904. It appears the boarding house did not do very well, and from late 1904 or early 1905 the house became the private residence of Frank Simpson and his family. Frank Simpson was appointed Chief Surveyor and Commissioner of Crown Lands for Taranaki in late 1904, and retained that position until his retirement in 1911. Frank passed away in April 1912, and it appears his wife moved out of the house soon after this. 

The house appears to have once again become a boarding house about 1928, with Leonard Heatley listed as the proprietor.

See Taranaki Land Deeds Index I5, page 407

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