logo

Lower Waiwhetu and Hutt River information

—–Original Message—–
From: Bill Sheat [mailto:billsheat@xtra.co.nz]
Sent: Sunday, 10 April 2016 2:36 p.m.
To: Courtney Johnston
Subject: Water Courses

HI Courtney,
1. After your talk to Probus last Thursday I mentioned to you the map of the lower part of the valley which shows the site of the shipyard on the Waiwhetu stream where Te Whiti Park now is The book is called “Rugged Landscape” by Graeme R. Stevens.

2. There was a water driven mill on the site of what is now Percy’s Reserve. The lower dam for this is still there as are various other water channels. I have quite a bit of material on this which dates back to when I was trying to launch a project to build a replica of the mill. There was a diorama in the Settlers which showed the mill.
I had doubts as to its authenticity. There was at least one other mill in the lower part of the valley.

3. The Hutt River used to wander all over the valley. There are some photographs showing the horses and carts used to build the early stop banks. Several of them were displayed on the walls of a coffee shop in His Lordships arcade (long since closed). There is one of these opposite page 51 of David Miller’s “Once Upon A Village”. It is credited as coming from the Turnbull.

4. Gear Island used to be just that. The Western arm was closed off in about 1908. Later that year there was a severe flood which washed out several bays of the Pipe Bridge.
There is a photo of the damaged
bridge which was published in the NZ Herald (and repeated in 2008 as part of a regular feature the Herald used to have of including photos from 100 years earlier.) The path of the western arm is easy enough to trace on the ground.
Cheers,
Bill Sheat