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Nelson Historical Society Journal, Volume 2, Issue 1, 1966

Haven Road

Haven Road.

It is still there but now that the harbour front has been reclaimed it has lost much of its character. It was commenced at the beginning of the settlement and work has never stopped on it up till our day. At first there were setbacks when the tide and storms washed the road away and even in the 60's we read of the Dun Mountaintain Railway Company putting its men to work to replace the road and track that had been washed away.

In 1842 workmen cutting down the hillside found a seam of coal which caused great excitement and a rush for sections there. In 1843 workmen digging near the Custom House to get material from the hillside, were caught in a slip and one of them, a man named Keats, was killed.

In June, 1849, the following appeared in the Examiner:

"Repairs of Beach Road

A subscription having been commenced for the repair of the beach road we beg to impress upon the public how desirable it is that all should contribute a share to this work, as, should those repairs not be executed immediately, the road will become impassable, and a future heavy tax on the inhabitants of the settlement be rendered necessary to reform it."

Next week's Examiner printed a list of subscribers, 21 of them who had promised over 20 guineas.

In the 60's the Dun Mountain Railway line was laid along the outer edge of the road and travel to the Port by bus soon became possible. The line was not removed until 1901 and after that other conveyances followed. At one time the 6d bus ticket also gave admission to the Marine Baths in Wakefield Quay.

In 1879 the Nelson-Foxhill line was extended to the Port and old photographs show the two lines crossing at Saltwater Bridge. The road was widened and the Government railway line followed the sea wall while the Port bus followed all the curves in the road leaving an area between the two lines which was filled in and planted with grass and trees, A stone sea wall faced with Adele stone replaced the older wooden wall and although the stone cost 8/- per yard labour was cheap, as it was done by convict labour.