The following comes from the Auckland Evening Star.
17 September 1874.
Of "Noah's Ark" a correspondent thus writes: -- Sir: Having read a sketch of Noah's Ark in the Star of the 12th inst. I was induced to pay a visit to that resort of the homeless, and found it much in the same state as described in your journal. A number of unkempt lads, rough as colts on English commons, were there in glee singing negro melodies. Two women were also quarreling in the immediate locality, and exchanging unclassical words, until one pulled off her heavy show, and, not for good luck, flung it at her opponent's head. I noticed also a tenantless building close by, of the same delapidated character as the ark. "Noah's Ark" appeared to me to be in a very unsafe condition. The boys are continually in the habit of taking away the brick and decayed wood, which form the ararat on which the ark rests, so that possibly ere long the ark will come down with a crash on the heads of some of the half-stupified hapless slepers within. I learn that Mr. Goldie has been inspecting the ark, so that it is likely before long it will be finally removed, and no longer remain an impediment to the view from Baker-street. -- I am, &c.,RAMBLE.
[George Goldie was the city's Inspector of Nuisances at the time.]
25 September 1875
25 September 1875
"A new discovery has been made within the last few days in one of the silent shadowy corners of the now famous "Noah's Ark," and which will add interest to its many mysteries. The inhabitants in the immediate locality of Moreton-street keep numbers of fowls, in the breed of which they take very great pride. In truth, the ladies of Moreton street declare that their fowls are the finest in Auckland, and "thank God," as Mrs M--- says, "fowls are out of the pale of the city by-laws." Many of the finest of these birds, however, have lately been missing, and their owners have been puzzled about their mysterious disappearance. Mrs. M --- considered that they had suffered of the pip, and had crept into holes to die in peace, but Mrs W --- expressed it as her opinion that the fowls had been taken away by the foul hands of thieves, and her view was strengthened by the intelligence that a boy had been seen decoying the fowls into Noah's Ark with a handful of maize, for which the feathered innocents have a liking. "I believe that youngster stole my drake," said Mrs W ---. The women entered the echoing windy apartments of the Ark, and found in a sly corner a quantity of feathers, which plainly indicated that the lost fowls had been plucked, if not cooked and eaten, in Noah's Ark."8 October 1874
"A great deal of excitement has been created within the last few days in the immediate locality of "Noah's Ark," at the corner of Moreton-street. A poor woman went into the ark on Monday evening to find a bit of wood for the purpose of kindling a fire in order to prepare for a cup of tea, when she gave a loud scream and fell upon the ground. Some of the neighbours ran to her assistance, thinking she was in a fit, and applied vinegar to her temples. She appeared to be suffering from nervous debility, but upon recovering her consciousness assured her friends that she had seen very distinctly, the ghost of the unfortunate woman Macfarlane, who was found dead a few weeks ago at the ark. The announcement was credited, and every evening the women are looking out for a sight of the apparition with feelings akin to awe, and no one can muster sufficient courage to enter the hollow, haunted building after dusk."28 November 1874
"Noah's Ark, situated at the end of Moreton-street, is slowly passing away plank by plank; it is doomed but not as yet absolutely destroyed. This windy vestige of other days has been deserted for some weeks past, both by homeless women and colonial boys. The story that the place was haunted by the ghost of a woman has not been without its influence. If boys and women, however, have been deterred from venturing into the Ark after sunset and sleeping in its silent shadows; the fearless fowls have held unmolested revelry beneath its broken roof. The fowls roost on its dubious beam, and one old cock crows vociferously at break of day from one of the lonely chamber-windows. There also, the neighbouring cats "do congregate," and squeal unseen. One prolific hen belonging to a neighbour, has lately caused some disappointment as the spot where she secreted her eggs could not be found. Her disappointed owner rightly conjectured that the hen deposited her eggs somewhere. A hunt was made under the house, and along the hedge-rows, but without success. Yesterday, however, the secret hauling place was discovered, and a quantity of eggs found in a mysterious corner of the Ark. The foolish hen was heard cackling by the doorless doorway, and a shrewd colonial youth bawled out, "Mother, mother, old speckle-back has laid in the ark, I'll bet a bob on't." The unkempt urchin crept through the mystic chambers and to the joy of his mother's heart found the eggs in a corner, partly screened by an old pair of trousers left there possibly by the last lodger in this mysterious building."17 February 1875
"The demolition of the old delapidated building, known as Noah's Atk, was commenced yesterday, and on the appearance of this issue, its last vestige will be cleared away by the workmen. As soon as its doom was inevitably sealed by the City Council, without waiting for further order, the neighbouring lads began the work and carried away board after board, until the ark appeared but a hollow symbol of winter and age."