Topic: Douglas Boarding House - 1906

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Ohura Road, SHW 43, Douglas

Douglas Boarding House - 2013Douglas Boarding House  


TARANAKI DAILY NEWS — 20 NOV 2012    Edition 1,    Page 9

A matter of life and death

Kelvin Day tours interesting places to find out about our region's settlers.


Douglas Boarding House


Adjacent to the Forgotten World Highway at Douglas is a two-storey wooden building.

The Douglas Boarding House dates from 1906, when local farmer Arthur Walter built a halfway house and stopping place for the many travellers who were passing through the district. A nearby stable allowed travellers to leave their horses there while they continued their journey by train.

The Needham family took over the boarding house in 1917, and the meals prepared by Mrs Needham soon became well known.

The boarding house was very much a community meeting place, and people would gather around the piano or participate in the card games in the commercial room.

During the 1918 influenza epidemic, the boarding house became a temporary hospital, with the dining room set aside for patients while the rest of the building continued to function as a boarding establishment. All the patients survived.

The licensed restaurant at the boarding house closed in 1928, and in 1941 the building was purchased by the Douglas Dairy Company, which converted the building into three flats for married staff.

Following the closure of the dairy factory in 1958, the nearby Douglas Brick and Field Tiles Company purchased the building for staff accommodation. With better transport in the 1960s, workers began commuting from Stratford, and the boarding house became vacant and derelict. In subsequent years it has been used by toymakers, silversmiths and herbal pharmacists. In more recent times it has become a private residence, and the building now carries a Category II New Zealand Historic Places Trust registration.

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Douglas Boarding House - 1906

Douglas Boarding House - 1906 by Ron is Copyright Act 1994