1839

In 1839, the New Zealand Company offered land for sale to the public.  The land in the Wellington area was sub-divided by the New Zealand Company into 100 acre sections. Section 23 and Section 24 are the Sections commonly associated with the history of The Halfway and the Halfway House.

In 1843, Section 24 was sub-divided into smaller blocks ranging in size between five and ten acres.

Book - Carman Arthur H, 1982 (reprint) Tawa Flat and the Old Porirua Road, 1840-1955 p73

1841

Anthony and Susannah Wall family provided accommodation and food for people resting on their journey halfway between the settlements of Wellington and Porirua. Their home, on Section 24, became known as The Halfway House.

1842 letter - http://natlib.govt.nz/items/22364318

Book - Kay Barbara and Robin Kay, 1996. Anthony Wall, Settler of Porirua: The Papakowhai Story. Fielding: Organising Committee for the Wall Family 150th Reunion.

 

1842

John Lodge and his wife and two children arrived by the first ship, The Aurora, on 22 January 1840.

Book -  Carman Arthur H, 1982 (reprint) Tawa Flat and the Old Porirua Road,1840-1955 p74

John Lodge is issued with the first “bush licence” at The Halfway.  Bush licences were issued for the sale of liquor without any rules for accommodation.

Book - Kay Barbara and Robin Kay, 1996. Anthony Wall, Settler of Porirua: The Papakowhai Story. Fielding: Organising Committee for the Wall Family 150th Reunion p39.

1843

Map reference to The Surveyors Arms in The Halfway locality.

Book - Carman Arthur H, 1982 (reprint) Tawa Flat and the Old Porirua Road, 1840-1955 p74.

Book - Kay Barbara and Robin Kay, 1996. Anthony Wall, Settler of Porirua: The Papakowhai Story. Fielding: Organising Committee for the Wall Family 150th Reunion p40

Editor note: Barbara and Robin Kay do not support the theory that "The Surveyor's Arms" is also the Wall's Halfway House.

1845

John Lodge sells out to Captain William Barnard Rhodes in 1845.  Anthony Wall takes over the bush licence for one year.

Book - Kay Barbara and Robin Kay, 1996. Anthony Wall, Settler of Porirua: The Papakowhai Story. Fielding: Organising Committee for the Wall Family 150th Reunion p39

1849

A pen sketch of the Wall’s house was drawn by Martha King in 1849 and is held in the Wall collection at the Alexander Turnbull Library. Its caption reads “House we halted Halfway to Pororua August 28, 1849”.

1849 pencil sketch - http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23075603

Walls move to Paremata (now known as Papakowhai). John McKain obtains a "Special Publican's License" in 1849 followed by a "bush license" a year later.

Book - Kay Barbara and Robin Kay, 1996. Anthony Wall, Settler of Porirua: The Papakowhai Story. Fielding: Organising Committee for the Wall Family 150th Reunion p39-40

McKain provides accommodation and a regular coaching stop at The Halfway where horses are changed on the journey.

Papers - McKane The History and genealogy of the McKane family; McKane Volumes One Early Days Volume Three John Ward McKain

"The first licencee was John Ward McKain, who held a Bush Licence from May 1849 until 1855, when Joseph Clapham took over."

Book -Carman Arthur H, 1982 (reprint) Tawa Flat and the Old Porirua Road, 1840-1955 p71.

Editor note: McKain was not the first Bush licensee. John Lodge and Anthony Wall held licences prior to him. However, the fact McKain held a Bush Licence during those times is correct.

Detail of 1849 Map

The Halfway House marked on an 1849 map signed by Captain A. H. Russell. Map drawn by surveyor Thomas Henry Fitzgerald. This map was to show the route of the new, upgraded road between Wellington and Porirua. In 1863 the part shown on the map as "Old Porirua Road" was renamed Stebbings Road after the Stebbings came to live there. In 1973, the first part of it was later renamed Glenside Road, after Glenside became part of Wellington City Council that year.

Alexander Turnbull Library Ref: MapColl-832.47gmbd/[1849]/Acc.460

See also:http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22334880?search%5Bpath%5D=items&search%5Btext%5D=thomas+henry+fitzgerald+1849 Ref: MapColl-832.47gmbd/[1849]

Editor note: Captain Russell's map shows the Halfway House on Section 23, and on the site/area of the existing Halfway House at 246 Middleton Road. The Wall family surmise that after the Wall's sold in 1849, the Halfway House operated from Section 23, not from the Wall's home on Section 24.

1850

The 9 February 1850 jury list shows John Ward McKain as a publican with a hotel on the Porirua Road. This hotel was known as Halfway House as it stood halfway between Wellington and Porirua. His Special Publicans License was Gazetted on 22 May 1850.

In August 1853 John Ward McKain leaves New Zealand for the gold diggings in Australia, returning in 1855.

Book - Angelini, Henry J.,  McKane Volume One Early Days

The Ngauranga Road Assn. meet regularly at McKain’s Halfway House to progress the building of the Ngauranga Gorge road as an alternative to the Kaiwharawhara Road.

Book - Carman Arthur H, 1982 (reprint) Tawa Flat and the Old Porirua Road,1840-1955 p239

The Gorge road is completed in 1859.

1855

Joseph Clapham takes over the McKain Halfway House.

1857

William Thomas Clapham succeeds Joseph Clapham.

Book - Carman Arthur H, 1982 (reprint) Tawa Flat and the Old Porirua Road,1840-1955 p72

c1865

William and Elizabeth Edward advertise accommodation in the Wellington Almanack from 1866 to 1868 at Edwards Hotel, Half-way House, Porirua Road - noted for its "excellent quality of its Wines, Spirits and Ales, as well as for the comfortable accommodation it affords to travellers. Good stabling."

Book - Carman Arthur H, 1982 (reprint) Tawa Flat and the Old Porirua Road,1840-1955 p63

c1872

Alexander Sandy Brown and wife Margaret arrive at The Halfway from Dunedin and manage an accommodation house and stables. Brown is a recognised good horseman. He introduced the double shaft wagon to New Zealand.

Brown's descendants say that Alexander operated a hostelry (public inn and accommodation) and way station (place for checking goods in transit) for stage coaches passing along the main road.

Book - Carman Arthur H, 1982 (reprint) Tawa Flat and the Old Porirua Road,1840-1955 p72

Oral history local resident Len Stebbings

Oral history descendant Stanley Purvis

1880 

The Halfway House is referred to in a newspaper advertisement (below) as the "Old Halfway House."  

FOR IMMEDIATE SALE, a Dairy Farm about 8 miles from Wellington, containing 100 acres, with 6-roomed House, and stock of Milking Cows, together with a Fire wood business; will be sold a great bargain to an immediate purchaser. Apply to Martin & Wall, on the premises next to Mr. Brown, Old Half-way House, Porirua Road.
Page 3 Advertisements Column 5
EVENING POST, VOLUME XX, ISSUE 280, 30 NOVEMBER 1880

c1880-1885

A new house is built by Brown behind the 'old' Halfway House. Brown leaves in 1890 for Hawera where he dies at the age of 67 in 1900. He is returned to Johnsonville for burial. The new house is given the name "Gowan Bank" however the name Halfway House is used by the local community.

Book - Carman Arthur H, 1982 (reprint) Tawa Flat and the Old Porirua Road,1840-1955 p72

Papers Past, Hawera and Normanby Star, 17 November 1900

Editor note:The internet (Gowan name meaning) informs us that Gowan is from a Gaelic word meaning "iron worker" or "metal worker" and is from the Gaelic 'Govha' meaning a blacksmith. This is interesting when considering The Halfway was a coach stop for resting horses. Presumably there was a blacksmith. Gowan also refers to a yellow or white field daisy. The book "A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland" (1846), pp. 586-588 describes a village called Gowan Bank in the parish of St Vigean's, County Forfar. No link has been yet been established between the Brown's, who were Scots, and this village. Also of interest is the May family of Peterhead, Scotland, who came to live at The Halfway in 1886. Their daughter Barbara Henderson May married Thomson Bruce (also from Peterhead, Scotland) in 1894 and moved to Paremata and called her new home "Gowanbrae".

1891

The old Halfway House, used by McKain, the Clapham's, Edward's and Brown, burns down.

"A four-roomed dwelling, known as the Half-way House, near Johnsonville, was totally destroyed by fire early yesterday morning. The house was owned and occupied by Mr Archibald Smiley. The building and contents were valued at £100, and were uninsured. The fire is supposed to have been caused by a defective chimney."
NEW ZEALAND TIMES, VOLUME LII, ISSUE 9357, 28 JULY 1891

"A tenement known as Half-way House, situated near Johnsonville, was burnt down early yesterday morning. Constable O'Farrell informs Inspector Thomson that it was owned and occupied by Mr. Archibald Smiley, and, together with the contents, was valued at £100. There was no insurance. A defective chimney is alleged to be the cause of the fire."
EVENING POST, VOLUME XLII, ISSUE 24, 28 JULY 1891

 

1898

Sandy Brown's house is for sale. 

WANTED to Sell, Halfway House (freehold), 99 acres 25 roods, being part Section 25 on plan of Porirua District, and all land in certificate of title registered at Wellington in volume 54, folio 248. Apply John Orr, City Buffet Hotel, Lambton-quay.
Evening Post, Volume LVI, Issue 122, 19 November 1898, Page 1