Sunday, July 10, 2011



Vicky Alexander has researched and written this wonderful Story about my Grandfather's brother Halvor and where he lived
Vicky allowed it to be printed in VALLEY NEWS AUGUST 1986
The story was sent to America by my cousin, Sandra Pedersen Halvor’s G Granddaughter and we are grateful for this addition to our family

Halvor,  Halvor James,  Mary , Mary Ann Fredricksen
With our new Marae becoming an established complex on what appears to have previously been wasteland, it may come as a surprise to learn that the same block has seen much coming and going over the years.  A quick look back to last Century shows us that in January, 1879, Sir William Fitzherbert, one time Superintendent of the Wellington Province, Legislative Speaker, Etc., was  given a Crown Grant backdated to December, 1869, which entitled him to purchase, at 5/5 (55c) per acre, Lowry Bay Section 21.  Section 21 was the large block which lay in the present-day Fitzherbert Road area of Wainuiomata, and it included 3350 plus acres through which the road that takes Sir William's name was later laid.  Fitzherbert Road was more commonly known to locals, until relatively recent times and for fairly obvious reasons, as "Swamp Road," and it may well be that the pools of water which once lay across the surface of this swampy area gave rise to the name Wainuiomata--water on the face.
Despite legal ownership being conferred in 1879, Sir William was in possession of the Fitzherbert Block as early as the 1850s.  An advertisement in the "Wellington Independent" for September, 1858 reads:
Valuable Investment:  Messrs Smith and Co. have received instructions from the proprietor, William Fitzherbert Esq., to sell all that valuable freehold Estate situated at Wainuiomata...this property consists of 1635 acres comprising a rich flat of several hundred acres sheltered by an amphitheatre of hills, partly cleared and partly wooded, a main drain has been cleared a distance of two miles through the centre of the flat, with an outlet into a branch of the Wainui-o-mata River.  It has been estimated by competent judges as capable of being made to carry 1000 head of cattle...few more eligible properties have been offered in this Province and should the Auctioneers not meet with a purchaser for the whole, the Estate will be subdivided into farms, and disposed of at Public Auction."
James. Mary Ann,  Halvor, Mary
It is doubtful whether today's aspiring gardeners and residents of the Wellington Road area would agree with the description "rich flat" or "sheltered by an amphitheatre of hills."  The "main drain" mentioned is still evident today, being the forerunner of the ditch containing our "Black Creek" which rounds the length of the original Fitzherbert Road.  Despite this initial attempt at drainage, residents of the Fitzherbert Road area at the turn of the century can still recall "banker" floods which lay across the Valley from where Arakura School is now right across the Berkeley Road in the Pencarrow area.  Sir William's vast tract actually lay, by today's town-planning layout, from the Fire Station on present day Fitzherbert Road, north to the crest of the hills at the top of the Valley from where one can look down into both Naenae and Whiteman's Valley.  The tract also rose to the top of the range between Fitzherbert Road and Moore's Valley.  Its western boundary was the gently sloping range at the foot of which our Marae is built today.  Sir William initially paid for 1600 acres under the mistaken belief that these comprised the entire "Fitzherbert" Valley, but he was quick to put matters right financially when the discrepancy in acres was pointed out.
Sir William's block did not sell in 1858 as in July, 1878, we find record of its conveyance, together with various appendages of land accumulated over the years, to his sons William Alfred and Henry Samual, engineer and solicitor, respectively.  The Fitzherberts had established a home in a fold of hills which runs north-east out of the upper reaches of the Fitzherbert
Mary Anne Frederiksen Pedersen

Valley.  Although the home is long gone--timber from it was used around the turn of the century for a barn which once stood on the premises of the car wreckers on Ipswich Grove (off upper Wellington Road)-- signs of the Fitzherbert tenure can still be found.  Fruit trees from their large orchard still stand, and the waterfall created to drive their waterwheel, which ran in conjunction with their flax mill, can also be seen on this property.  In the 1920s, the last vestiges of the waterwheel itself were still to be found.  By the  1860s the Fitzherberts were residing in the Hutt Valley, though in 1863 William Alfred came over to Wainui to manage the estate for a time.  He was followed by a succession of farm managers until, in July, 1881, the Fitzherbert brothers decided to quit their Wainuiomata holding.  A pictorial poster advertising their sale reads:  Small Farm Settlement, Lowry Bay District, Wainuiomata.

Mary Anne    Halvor
 The poster shows the vast Fitzherbert block, subdivided into 28 farmlets of acreages varying between 87 to 155.  Sale of the farmlets was slow, however, and a number of them were leased as a source of revenue for Henry Fitzherbert, who bought out his brother William in October, 1881.  It was not until the early 1900s that Henry disposed of the last of his Wainuiomata lots.  A good number of the farmlets went to various Scandinavians who had come out to New Zealand under the Vogel Immigration Scheme, and who first settled at the Forty Mile Bush in the north-Wairarapa.  It is a sale to one of these immigrants on December 19,1883 which concerns us:

Lars and Marie Fredericksen, Denmark, together with their children, three-year-old Mary Ann and Niels Peter, left London for New Zealand as assisted immigrants on the "Halcione" in 1873.  By 1883 the family was farming in Wainuiomata.  Their Naturalisation, witnessed by John Grace, JP, of the Coast Road, took place on April 14, 1885, and the spelling of their name as Frederickson was adopted then.  The Frederickson name was in Wainuiomata barely 10 years, but it was long enough for 18 year-old Mary Ann Frederickson to wed on March 25,1884, fellow Dane and farmer 29-year-old Halvor Pedersen.
Halvor Pedersen, often known as Halvor Peterson, came to New Zealand in 1874 at the age of 19.  He officially came to the Valley on October 30, 1883, when he borrowed (270 pounds) $540 and purchased Lot 1 of the "Wainuiomata Small Farm Settlement" for the sum of $877.  The transaction lists Halvor as a "farmer of Wainuiomata" so he may already have been working the property before the purchase.
James Andrew,  Mary
Lot 1 was a four-sided block of 87 acres 2 roods* and 30 perches**, lying left of the present-day Fire Station on Fitzherbert Road and running north following the left-hand side of the "main drain" as far up as Devon Street, its back boundary being the crest of the low range behind.  Four years later, in 1887 Halvor paid Henry Fitzherbert $716 for the 104 acres 2 roods and 23 perches (more or less!) being Lot 28 of the same subdivision.  Despite the difference in numbers, Lot 28 actually lay over the (Fitzherbert) Road from Lot 1, and ran back across the present upper Moohan Street/Nelson Crescent area and up on to the hill behind.

  In 1891, Halvor and Mary Pedersen's daughter Mary Ann enrolled at he Wainuiomata School to be followed, in 1893, by her brother James Andrew, known familiarly as
"Jimmy Pete."  14 years later Mary Ann would wed local boy James Burrow, about whom I have already written.
Mary Anne, Halvor James, Mary, 
On June 8, 1909, Halvor Pedersen arranged to sell his Lots 1 and 28 to the Hansen Brothers--Geprge, Arthur, and Albert.  For the sum of $3800, $2800 of which they borrowed from Halvor, the Hansen brothers gained over 190 acres, plus mortgage conditions which stipulated that they,  "Keep the hedges properly trimmed and in good condition and the land drained, and drains and ditches and land properly cleared, take effective measurer to prevent gorse, tawhinau, sweetbriar, burr thistle and other noxious shrubs and thistles, rabbits and vermin from growing or spreading on said land--plus maintain buildings and fences."
James Andrew Pedersen
 The Hansen name was not new to the Valley.  Anders Hansen Snr was for some years the lighthouse keeper at Pencarrow, while in 1906 son George had wed a local Scandinavian girl, Mary Jansen; a wedding which, judging from the surviving wedding photo, most of the Valley attended.  The Hansen boys built a new home nearer the Fitzherbert Road but in November, 1914, they sold their two lots to the Dickie brothers, David and Charles, Merchant of Wellington and Wainuiomata farmer, respectively.  Following the sale George Hansen become Manager of the "Orongorongo Station," a position he held for the next 20-odd years.  Charles Dickie is remembered for starting the co-op which built the "Mata Cheese Factory" behind the present day Village Hardware.  After renting the farm out for a time, in 1920, the Dickies sold to William Francis McGowan, farmer of Wainui.  W.F. McGowan, more familiarly known as "Frank", for some years prior to his death in 1969 held the position of Fire Chief in the Valley.
Halvor Pedersen with school kids

By  the 1930s Valley farmers were being approached by Wainuiomata Development Ltd who were taking options on tracts of Wainui land for their proposed housing scheme.  In 1930 Frank sold to the Development; from that date Lots 1 and 28 were leased out for interim farming, but were never again privately owned as one block.  In November, 1951, the first portion of Wellington Road, Devon Street and lower Dover Road were laid off, and this move heralded the closure of the length of Fitzherbert Road between the present-day Nelson Crescent bridge and Norfolk Street.  A portion of the original Fitzherbert Road still runs from Norfolk Street to the upper reaches of the Valley, while the length of reserve which runs along with Wise Street side of Black Creek from the Nelson Crescent bridge to Norfolk Street follows the former road.  The Nelson Crescent bridge itself replaces a rather curious model known to earlier settlers as the "crooked bridge."
Thank you Vicky for allowing our family to use this.  
there were eight children in the family, the oldest two went to New Zealand the other six came to Utah.  We miss them and write and visit them when we can.  Many have came to Utah.
Thank you Vicky
Gene Halverson 

  Lands & Deeds Records and interviews with the author.
*Rood:  A length of 5 1/2 to 8 yards; fourth part of acre, equal to 40 square rods or 1,210 square yards.
**Perches:   Lineal measure equal to 5 1/2 yards; a measure of area equal to 30 1/4 square yards.

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