History makers on the go!

History makers on the go!

Fifty one members of the Wellington Branch of Historic Places Trust enjoyed a bus tour of historic Glenside on Sunday, 22 June 2008, organised by branch member Heather Nelson. The branch generously donated $200 to the Glenside Progressive Assn. Inc. for supporting the tour.


Sam the bus driver

Sam the bus driver

Our bus tour started at Johnsonville and went down Middleton Road, halting at Glenside Road. Here we walked along Glenside Road learning about the first families who settled on this road in 1841.This is what we discussed.

  • The farm and garden trees of the Barrow family. Their daughter Sarah-Ann was the first new migrant of 1840 to step ashore at Petone.
  • An archaeological site on the corner of Glenside and Stebbings Road that might be an early Halfway House.
  • The location of an early settler gravesite, visited by Bishop Selwyn on his first visit to Wellington in 1842.

 “We enjoyed seeing all the members on the road on Sunday and hope they enjoyed their tour.” Margaret of Glenside Road


Rural Glenside

We got back on the bus and journeyed along Middleton Road taking in historical railway sites and learning about the early settler farming families of Broderick, Nott, Rowell, Greer, and Harrison.

Heather at The Halfway House

Heather at The Halfway House

Back at Glenside Village we stopped for an hour to visit the historic Halfway House and enjoy a photo display in the building.

We had an opportunity to relax over a cup of tea at Herb’s Café and call in at the Twigland garden centre before returning to Johnsonville.


The Halfway House now and the future

We were invited to write words to describe the Halfway House as it is and how it could be. This is what was written:

  • House dilapidated
  • Grounds need more trees
  • I love the smell of the wood and dust.
  • It brings back memories walking in here.
  • Magnificent grounds to be redeveloped.
  • This property is “itching” to be restored
  • Picnic and play area
  • Conference venue
  • Wedding venue

 Ann McKain and Claire Bibby

Ann McKain and Claire Bibby

Early settler descendants on tour

The descendants of early settlers were on the tour:

- Ann McKain, descendant of John McKain who managed a Halfway House at The Halfway from 1849 to 1855.

- Beth Drummond, descendant of the Marshall family. James and Mary Marshall settled in Johnsonville in 1854. Their son Thomas E Marshall and wife Laura lived at The Halfway on present day Glenside Road. James’ younger brother Thomas and wife Ann lived at the Halfway from c1862-1870, near present day Richmond Hill. The ridgeline West of Middleton Road is called the Marshall Ridgeline and hosts Marshall Trig.


Tour organiser Heather Nelson

Some thoughts about the trip

"The selection of this area was an excellent idea. It revealed a lot of history to us and stimulated further research. Claire Bibby is an outstanding guide and raconteur. Bus and driver Sam fitted the bill perfectly. The opportunity to meet other members at Herb's Cafe was a good idea. Thank you very much Heather."
Helen and Bill, Wainuiomata

"I wish to thank the people who organised today's trip which was very enjoyable. Claire Bibby had a wealth of local knowledge to share with us."
Janice, Karori

"Heather, Thank you. Johnsonville will be best for me. The trip was one of the best in my over 35 years with the Trust!"
Deborah, Kelburn

“Heather, a quick note to say how much I enjoyed the company of your branch members. I found them the most interesting and engaging people to converse with. I only wish I had more time with everyone!”
Claire Bibby, Glenside