Monday, June 18, 2012

Arch Hill -- why?

Detail from 1890 map of Eden County

From a phone call today came the enquiry: why is Arch Hill so-named? I hadn't much of an idea, so could only help the caller by pointing out resources. But I did start to wonder.

Arch Hill may to have come from the name of a farm on a hill, Allotments 32 to 35 and 37 of Section 5 and Allotments 20 & 21 of Section 7, Suburbs of Auckland, known as "Arch Hill Farm", first seen in the Southern Cross newspaper of 9 January 1855.


"Karangahapi Road" in those times was Great North Road.


Richard Beamish's name isn't to be found anywhere in the deeds indexes for the future Arch Hill area -- but Mr Young's name certainly is, over more than 60 acres. Possibly, Beamish was leasing part from Joseph Young on the handshake principle.

Southern Cross 14 June 1861

Before this sale, by 1860, the name "Arch Hill" for the steep incline of the old Great North Road (now Tuarangi Road) came to be adopted by the greater public. This incline was known latterly as Chinaman's Hill.

(From report on Auckland Provincial Council proceedings)
Mr. Cadman then moved No. 4 on the notice paper that the intention of the Government be called to the state of the Great North Road, from McDonald's creek to the top of Arch Hill ... also, a further sum of money for filling and cutting, so that the gradient of Arch Hill may thereby be so altered as to render that part of the Great North Road, and approach to the City easier of access.

Southern Cross 14 February 1860

Joseph Young's land sale wasn't all that successful -- he offered up Arch Hill Farm for lease to dairymen in 1863.

The boundaries of the new Arch Hill Road District were gazetted in July 1871, from the base of Chinaman's Hill along the southern side of Great North Road, nearly to Newton Road. It consisted of only 11 allotments in Section 7 of Suburbs, one of which was allotment 20, part of the original Arch Hill farm, so was probably the smallest of Auckland's territorial authorities. The first annual ratepayers meeting was held at Edgcumbe's Great Northern Hotel, 25 July 1871.
 
The district became known, rather unfortunately, for night soil depots in the early 1870s, termed "the Arch Hill Nuisance" in the press. The Arch Hill Brick Works was set up at the end of 1877, located within the district's boundary on part of the old Arch Hill farm. On the same site, right on the corner of Turarangi Road and Great North Road, the Arch Hill Hotel was opened in 1880, despite the residents best efforts to keep their small district dry.

By 1899, the district was sorting out a reticulated water supply, and had its own volunteer fire brigade with a fire station by March 1900, at around 252-258 Great North Road, adjoining the Arch Hill Road Board offices.

By 1912, Arch Hill was described as a densely-populated area -- but the siren call of Greater Auckland amalgamation with Auckland City was attractive for such a small district.
An important conference between the Mayor of Auckland (Mr C. J. Parr) and the Arch Hill Road Board took place last night, there being present all the members of the Board, the town clerk, and several ex-chairmen. His Worship sought information as to the financial position, indebtedness, and rating of the local body, which was fully given. The members said they desired to be informed by his Worship what the advantages would be if they came into the city. Mr Parr said it seemed rather absurd that 2,000 people with a ratable value of £12,400 should have a separate government, really in the heart of Auckland. No doubt the Road Board had done good work in the past, but all the best interests of the district could be promoted now by amalgamating and becoming part of a strong municipality.

One of the delegates mentioned the question of rates. Mr Parr said he thought it would not mean any increase in the general rates, but perhaps a decrease to the Arch Hill people, and quoted figures in favour of this view. His Worship said that any impartial person who cared to study the figures could come to no other conclusion than that the ratepayer of Arch Hill would benefit a great deal more than the ratepayers of Auckland by the union. The Road Board members thanked Mr Parr for the information he had given them, stating that it had never previously been put so clearly before them. They requested the Mayor to address a meeting of ratepayers. Mr Parr promised that if his engagements would permit he would do so, but at present he was unable to fix a date.
Auckland Star 11 October 1912

The district decided to join Auckland City in November that year, and amalgamation was official in 1913. Today, most tend to see the area more-or-less as part of Grey Lynn (although it was not part of that borough at all). But, the Arch Hill name does live on.

16 comments:

  1. Just speculating here - but I wonder if the Arch Hill name of the farm could have any relation to the very distinctive shape of the headland along which Herringson ave runs now.

    Viewed from the air via google earth it looks like an arch shape - and is the location of the original Arch Hill farm shown on this Samuel Cochrane 1863 auction map:

    http://www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/dbtw-wpd/exec/dbtwpub.dll?AC=GET_RECORD&XC=/dbtw-wpd/exec/dbtwpub.dll&BU=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.aucklandcity.govt.nz%2Fdbtw-wpd%2Fmaps%2Fmapskey.html&TN=Maps&SN=AUTO8329&SE=337&RN=21&MR=5&TR=0&TX=1000&ES=0&CS=1&XP=&RF=BriefHTML&EF=&DF=fullHTML&RL=0&EL=0&DL=0&NP=2&ID=&MF=WPEngMsg.ini&MQ=&TI=0&DT=&ST=0&IR=306&NR=0&NB=4&SV=0&SS=0&BG=&FG=&QS=&OEX=ISO-8859-1&OEH=ISO-8859-1

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  2. Sounds as good an idea as any, Crunchie. Cheers for that.

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  3. In the 1840s or 1850s a Henry D'Arch was employed as Customs Officer very briefly. He may have had land pass through his possession even if he didn't live there and it was very common for the owners name to become attached to said land. This might be an example of that.

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  4. Interesting, but the Crown Grantees were:
    Allot 20, section 7 - Thompson
    Allot 21, Section 7 - Buckland
    Allot 32, Section 5 - Richardson Gundry
    Allot 33, Section 5 - Cassidy
    Allot 34, Section 5 - Cassidy
    Allot 35, Section 5 - Chapman
    Allot 36, Section 5 - Chapman
    Allot 37, Section 5 - Chapman

    D'Arch may haved left his name behind at D'Arch Point at the Whangarei Heads -- but I don't see his name in the deeds indexes for Arch Hill's hill.

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  5. http://www.trademe.co.nz/a.aspx?id=486949864

    You may find this interesting... James Youngs house up for sale to members putside the family for the first time since 1885. I randomly came across it after reading your post!

    Lilli

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  6. Very, very cool find, Lilli! The house is at 47 Western Springs Road, "Breveg Villa". Quoting from the TradeMe page:

    "The house was built in 1885 by JAMES YOUNG, son of Joseph and Jane Young who came to Auckland aboard the Jane Gifford', arriving here on 9 October 1842. James was 10 - 11 years old at the time of the journey to New Zealand. His older brother (William John Young) and sister (Eliza Jane Young) were also aboard the ship. Eliza was older, and already married to Mr Archibald Scott, who did not follow the family to New Zealand until 1845, aboard the North Star'.

    The family first lived in Shortland Street. Joseph worked on the erection of St Paul's church in lower Symonds Street, the wages being 2/- 6d per day. The family later acquired some 80 acres of land in what were then the back-blocks. They named their farm Arch Hill', after the farm Joseph had been raised on near Strabane, Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Joseph died in 1880 on his Arch Hill' property at the age of 78.The district still retains that name today. The farm stretched from what is now Great North Road, down the gulley where now the North Western Motorway cuts through, and up the other side to the Morningside area."

    Called Breveg Villa after Anna Breveg, James Young's wife. Thanks -- I've saved the description from the real estate agent's page in my files. Cheers!

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  7. The house was built in 1885 by JAMES YOUNG, son of Joseph and Jane Young who came to Auckland aboard the Jane Gifford', arriving here on 9 October 1842. James was 10 - 11 years old at the time of the journey to New Zealand. His older brother (William John Young) and sister (Eliza Jane Young) were also aboard the ship. Eliza was older, and already married to Mr Archibald Scott, who did not follow the family to New Zealand until 1845, aboard the North Star'.

    The family first lived in Shortland Street. Joseph worked on the erection of St Paul's church in lower Symonds Street, the wages being 2/- 6d per day. The family later acquired some 80 acres of land in what were then the back-blocks. They named their farm Arch Hill', after the farm Joseph had been raised on near Strabane, Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Joseph died in 1880 on his Arch Hill' property at the age of 78.The district still retains that name today. The farm stretched from what is now Great North Road, down the gulley where now the North Western Motorway cuts through, and up the other side to the Morningside area.

    Lilli

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  8. whoops! you got there first!

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  9. No worries, Lilli. I'm excited by your find! I like that reason given for "Arch Hill" -- it fits much better than other ideas. Thanks again!

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    1. YES!!!! The reason the original farmland was called Arch Hill was because it WAS named after the farm Joseph Young was raised on in Strabane, Londonderry. Nothing to do with the shape of the farm or land. The extract from Lilli comes from the piece I wrote to go with the recent sale of our family home, Breveg Villa. I am the Great Great Granddaughter of Joseph Young. Hope this settles the origins of the name once and for all. Cool to have the newspaper pieces about grazing and the sale.

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    2. Thanks, Sue -- I'm glad the name question is now sorted, and thanks for providing the info. Cheers!

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  10. No problem - yes i liked it too!

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  11. I was very interested in your unraveling of the story behind the Archill/Arch Hill name. I, too, am a descendant of Joseph Young/William John Young and became interested in the Young family whilst doing another project closer to home a few years ago. I was hugely interested in the story about James Young and his family.

    In 1854 Joseph Young wrote about his impressions of early Auckland. He was returning to Ireland for a short time, he obviously felt very optimistic about NZ and its future.

    “……………I have been one of the earliest settlers here – Auckland on my arrival was almost a waste of fern – now it shows the fair proportions of a great and thriving city – I have, as many of you are aware “grown with its growth” and, I am thankful to say, participated in its prosperity. I long to see others of my native land, whose industrious efforts are so scantily rewarded at home, placed in such favourable circumstances as we enjoy in New Zealand; and when I arrive in the land of my childhood, I trust I shall be able faithfully to represent the advantages of this Province so as to induce many of the industrious inhabitants of that country, whose sons have ever distinguished themselves by industry, perseverance and integrity, in America as well as Britain’s own Colonies – to relieve themselves from rack-rent agents, tithe proctors and tenant-right agitation, and hasten to a country where such plagues have never yet, nor are ever likely hereafter to make their appearance – but where all enjoy rights as free as the air we breathe, and where the humblest individual may aspire to occupy the highest stations of honour and emolument our happy land can afford............”

    There is 1863 map available that clearly shows Joseph Young’s farm Archill. His final resting place is at St John’s Presbyterian Church in Otahuhu. He is buried with his wife Jane and next to his son William John Young and his wife, also called Jane (nee Runciman)

    The Young story is very similar to thousands of other early immigrants who gave so much to help build NZ in the early days of our colonization. Never the less it would great if their story could be told in greater detail one day.

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  12. Thabk very much for that, Mike.

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  13. Archill Politics
    by
    Nathaniel Beeswing: The Man About Town
    This column featured in the AUCKLAND STAR in 1870s “Dick” is supposedly Nathaniel Beeswing’s son
    This is an amusing and irreverent poke at local body politics c1870 by a Nathaniel Beeswing. I assume it’s not a real name and would curious to know who he actually was.
    I was interested in it because it was to do with Archill and I wonder the “Old Joe” mentioned in the article is in fact Joseph Young. I think it is reasonable to believe that “Edgebrush” also mentioned in the article was a Mr Edgecumbe who owned a neighbouring property to Joseph Young’s Archill.

    Part 1

    Auckland Star: 13th July 1871

    Speaking of Dick, reminds me of his last anecdote about Highway Boards. The young fellow is evidently intended for a chairman of one of these great institutions, and I shall let him have his bent, it seems that some twelve months ago, a large block of land, thickly populated, and termed the Archill district, was tacked on to the Mount Albert district at the request of the Board of this latter district. The Archill folks, feeling that they had not been fairly treated, petitioned the superintendent to be divorced, but their prayers were not granted. For twelve months they paid taxes – if not willingly, at least punctually- in the hope that at the next meeting of the Board they would have some influence in electing men who would look after the Archill district, over which it seems not a penny of their rates was expended. Arrived at the meeting, they were told they could not vote, and were shown a gazette, whereby it appeared that the Superintendent, having without their consent tacked them onto the Mt Albert district had, equally without their consent and without knowledge, sliced them off again. So for the twelve months the Albert Board had been getting the benefits of their funds, and without any intention whatsoever of returning them. This appears to Dick – and I think he is right – to be a most dishonest preceding, but these little pleasantries in a country district no doubt help to break the monotony of a settler’s life.

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  14. Part 2
    Auckland Star: 26th September 1871
    Dick has not yet got over his partiality for Highway Board meetings. He had an engagement last night to take his “gal” to Varley’s benefit, but he told me he should extract more fun from the Archill ratepayers, so he borrowed my stick and set off for a two mile trudge to attend the appeal meeting. The account he gave me when he returned was little bit confused. But I had better let him tell it in his own way: -
    “Well Dad, you see it was all right till I got to Archill, when I had an awful job finding the place. I wondered through a big paddock, and just as I had given up the search as hopeless, I saw a large palatial mansion at the foot of a large precipice. This I found to be Old Joe’s place, where the meeting was to be held, so I scrambled down, and by entering the back way I found 20 or 30 grumbling ratepayers assembled round a roaring fire waiting for their turn to be called in to state their grievances.
    In another room the Board were preparing for attack.
    Old Joe sat at the foot of a long table with a clean pipe and a big black bottle. Edgebrush was there beside the fiddler, both looking uncommonly uncomfortable, and as if they would rather have been out of it altogether. The Chairman, at the head of the table, seemed to enjoy his pipe and to care for nobody. Well, all the fellows were asked in, and told to wipe their feet, put out their pipes, and behave themselves. Every man asked to have at least £500 knocked of his valuation, because he would rather pay ten times the rate if the valuation was only reduced to nothing at all. One thick-headed Scotchman was pretty impudent, and said the Board had been doing just what they liked, and the whole thing was illegal. They had spent all the money on Commissariat, and there was none left to make roads with.
    The Chairman got warm, and asked what was the Board was for if they were not to spend the money how they liked, when they got it, which they had not done yet, and didn’t seem likely to do. (Dick: “Hear,Hear”)
    The man who had just spoken – he meant me, Dad – was a sensible fellow, and knew what he was about; and, perhaps , the Scotchman was akin to the Rollicking Rams, and wanted to get up a row, but if he did , he would get me to put him out. Here there was a general burst of indignation against the Scotchman, who eventually got kicked out on to the top of a bank of violets which grew in the utmost luxuriance about Old Joe’s place. In fact, I’m told he feeds his cows on nothing but violets and cowslips.
    The meeting then began to get stormy; the Chairman kicked them all out, and then the Board decided not to take a farthing from anybody’s valuation, except yours Dad, as they were afraid if they didn’t, I would show them up.

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