Topic: Douglas Road (TDN 19/12/2020)

Topic type:

If you travel on the main road from Stratford out to Whangamomona, you will come to Douglas Road in the small settlement of Douglas. The road runs north to the Huiroa district, then on to the Waitara River.

There’s considerable uncertainty about how the road, and the district, got its name.

Plans for a small town there were being made as early as the 1880s. Land was sold several times before Canterbury famer John Moore surveyed and sub-divided the area. Prompted by the imminent arrival of the railway line, he started selling sections in 1903. By 1908 the town boasted a store, hall, school, boarding house and sale yards, as well as a diary factory.

An area of swampy land, donated in 1951, was developed into the Douglas Domain. It was officially opened in 1956. One spring, the Douglas cricket club invited the New Plymouth Old Boys’ team to play a pre-season game there. The Old Boys’ players arrived early at the ground, before any local players, only to find a dead sheep lying in the middle of the pitch. There was embarrassment and much laughter when the local players finally turned up. In the 1970s the Douglas club fielded a senior team talented enough to win the Taranaki competition.

There are several suggestions for the origin of the name ‘Douglas’. However, it’s most likely that the road and town was named after Charles Bloomfield Douglas, a surveyor in New Plymouth who was active in the area at the time.

*N.B. This version differs from the one first published in the Taranaki Daily News.

Discuss This Topic

There are 0 comments in this discussion.

join this discussion