Topic: 99 Lemon Street (circa 1840s-60s)

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99 Lemon Street is the only example of a building style once common in early New Plymouth

99 Lemon Street 2017

 2017 View: By Hamish Crimp 

The history of this small cottage is largely unknown, however based on its style, it appears to date from the 1840s - 1860s. This is the only cottage of this style still standing in New Plymouth.

A photograph taken between late-1880 and late-1883 reveals that this cottage once had a second section in front of the extant section - this front section was removed prior to 1898, as a photo appearing in the Auckland Weekly News on 25 June 1898 shows the cottage with only the rear section remaining.

The 1880-83 photo appears to show a front section with a slightly steeper roof pitch than the rear section, and also appears to show a vertical board and batten cottage with a shingled roof. There are two double-hung twelve-light sash windows at the front, and a chimney to the side, constructed of what look like round river/beach stones - very unusual for a New Plymouth chimney.

99 Lemon Street circa 1880 close-up 

1880-83 view showing cottage with two sections: Cropped from image held in National Library Collection 

This cottage is very similar in style to some of the prefabricated cottages erected by early settlers - these were partially constructed before departure, and assembled by settlers after arrival. For an example of a prefabricated cottage erected in New Plymouth see the linked photograph of Shaw Cottage. If the front section of this cottage was indeed pre-fabricated, it may have been constructed of Baltic Pine - as was Shaw Cottage. However, Baltic Pine did not withstand the New Plymouth climate and rotted very easily - by the time Shaw Cottage was demolished in the 1930s, much of the Baltic Pine had been replaced with native timbers. It is possible the front section of this cottage met the same fate - although further research is certainly needed!

A photograph taken circa 1904 of a Chinese family outside the cottage is also known to exist - it is thought they lived here in the early part of the 20th Century.

History of Town Section 1581

- Register of Selection of Town Lands held at Archives NZ lists Issac Goodall as the owner of Town Section 1581. Date not noted, but probably 1840s-early 1850s

- The Crown Grant Record Map of New Plymouth lists William Old as the recipient of the Crown Grant for Town Section 1581 (27 December 1869); this is also noted in the land deed records, but not recorded until 1882.

- The first entry in the land deed register for Town Section 1581 is for a mortgage from 'Nelson' to 'Wood' (19 September 1857); it is unclear who 'Nelson' is.

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99 Lemon Street (circa 1840s-60s)

City:New Plymouth