Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Major Nelson George's "Wapati"


Another one of those little gems found suddenly in the midst of hunting through old survey plans. This, from LINZ plan Deed Blue 52 (crown copyright) dates from some period after 1874 and seems to illustrate "Wapiti", the homestead of Major Nelson George. I don't often see perpective drawings like this in the plans -- it must have come from a real estate sale for the property just across Market Road, there in the Epsom-St John's area. Note the smoke coming from the chimney.

"Wapiti" was expanded and added to over time. Bought by the McCrystal family in 1920, according to The History of Epsom by the Epsom & Eden Districts Historical Society (2006), it ended up part of St Cuthbert's College campus in 1925, and converted into the Melrose House hostel.


  1. That is a lovely little snpashot; I know you said you don't often come across these drawings in the plans but was this a practice of real estate agents to present property with existing buildings insitu like this?
    Don't think I've seen anything like it in Oz.

  2. Hi Jayne. It was a practice now and then in the 19th century for the draughtsmen drawing real estate sales maps for the auctioneers to include landmarks for buyers to see just whereabout their section was. The sale of Colonel Kenny's secions in Onehunga was a classic example, but not quite a perspective drawing on the standard of this one (and usual, because it may not have been Major George's property being sold at all). We've become far more boring in this progressive age of ours. I've seen recent subdivision ads, and compared to two centuries ago they're quite sensible and dull.