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Nelson Historical Society Journal, Volume 6, Issue 5, 2002

Town Acre 485 and the First Cottage

Town Acre 485 and the First Cottage

Town Acre 485 was granted to George Stansfield, who was probably an absentee owner, on 1 June, 1854. He sold it to George Coward, who is listed in various records as a printer, on 8 December 1854. According to the rate records of the Nelson Board of Works, Coward built a five roomed wooden cottage on the acre during 1856.

A cottage can be seen on the acre in a photograph from around 1859 taken from a hill at the western end of Halifax Street. It is on the southwest corner of the acre, near the Shelbourne Street boundary, facing north. The roof ridge runs east-west and there are verandas on the western, and northern sides. Another, taken about 1860 from above the eastern end of Bridge Street, shows a lean-to addition on the south side. The southern end of the veranda to the east has also been enclosed.

An inspection of the present cottage reveals that the floor of a one-roomed cottage was separately constructed, and a room added later to the south. Likewise, the enclosed veranda room was a separate addition on an outside wall which originally had weather boards on it. A doorway was cut through, which still provides access between the front and back parts of the cottage. The enclosed veranda addition is the site of the present bathroom. The front room fireplace, which corresponds with the position of the original chimney, has a very simply constructed surround and mantelpiece which may be original.

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Map showing Town Acres and reserves in Shelbourne Street.

Map showing Town Acres and reserves in Shelbourne Street.