Topic: Tuarua House, 141 Junction Road (1905)

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141 Junction Road

2017 View

This attractive villa was originally constructed in 1905 as a rental property for well-known New Plymouth businessman Walter Morey, who resided next door at the now demolished villa 'Noradene'.

A permit for construction of this villa was granted to Morey by the Borough Council on the 1st of August 1905; the estimated construction cost was £504, and although Morey is listed as the architect, based on the style of the house, Frank Messenger seems the more likely candidate.

As a rental property the house was occupied by a number of persons including dentist Augustus C. H. Collins; George Arrowsmith (of well-known bakery firm May & Arrowsmith); and Mrs G. C. Fair, who remained the occupier until the property was purchased from Morey by George Millar, a partner in the engineering firm of Rollo & Millar, during 1920.

Both George and his wife Gladys resided at the house for the rest of their lives, George until his death in 1962 and Gladys until her death in 1969.

In the year prior to Gladys' death, this house was purchased by the New Plymouth Council for Social Services Inc. who operated a retirement home for elderly ladies from the neighbouring villa at 95 Vivian Street (Bingham House). The Council purchased the house for £11,000 and soon completed £6,000 worth of renovations before the building was opened for residents on December 9th under the name 'Tuarua House'.

The house operated as a retirement home until 1989, when the organisation was wound-up and the property sold - both houses were later sold for removal, although the present location of Bingham House is unknown. The Vivian Street site remained vacant for some years before a doctors surgery was erected on the site during the mid-1990s.

See: Taranaki Land Deeds Index I1 page 266, I5 page 182 & I13 page 691; Taranaki Herald, 15 March 1989; Taranaki Herald, 20 September 1952; The Daily News, 28 April 1969; Taranaki Daily News, 12 August 2017 

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