Not a remarkable house but one with an interesting history

A house which is shortly to be demolished, Number 20 Stuckey Street is featured in this second article in our series about notable buildings in Levin compiled by local historian, Mr. F.C. Swanwick. Appreciation of the help of Mrs. Francis Duguid in the research for this article is expressed by Mr, Swanwick.

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Number 20 Stuckey Street was built for Mr F.G.Stuckey circa 1895-1900.  The house in its original form was not remarkable but its history is interesting. 

Mr. Stuckey probably came to Levin with the first settlers in 1889.  He was married with at least two children. 

In 1890 he built a two storied house in Bath St west, on the south side towards the end of the street.  This house and another owned by Mr Tantrum on Mount Lofty (near the corner of Kawiu Rd and Oxford St) were said to be the only houses in Levin in 1890.  The rest of the dwellings were only whares, except for a combined house and store owned by Rod McDonald sited about where Chainey’s is now, and a store on the corner of Oxford St and Devon St, where Hudson and Burnham’s used car court is now. 

Mr Stuckey’s Bath St house was “later burnt down” whenever that was and it is to be assumed that the Stuckey St house was built after the fire. 

Mr and Mrs Stuckey owned apparently all the land from Bath St to the then Gravel Reserve (Weraroa Recreation Ground) and along Weraroa Rd to at least Saxton St.  Mrs Stuckey’s maiden name was Saxton. 

Mr. Stuckey owned the first stock saleyards in Levin in 1892 somewhere along the Oxford St frontage.  The sales were conducted by a Mr Abraham who was probably of the later Abraham and Williams who conducted sales at the Queen St saleyards.  They were in business from 1906 in Queen St until later when Wright Stephensons, now Wrightson NMA, bought the business. 

It has been said the land for the Grand Hotel (now Cobb and Co) was bought from the Stuckey estate. 

Mr Stuckey took a leading part in establishing the one-roomed school in 1890 in Queen St opposite where the fire station is now and he was the first chairman of the school committee.  He and his son carted the materials for the school free by bullock wagon. 

When the first teacher Mr R.G.Pope left after nine months, son F.G.Stuckey carried on for seven months, then the Rev H.E.Tuckey (neither were qualified) taught for some time until the immortal James MacIntyre arrived in 1892. 

Mr Stuckey died in 1902 just before the present Levin school was built, something that he fought hard for. 

The house in Stuckey St was probably the only house on the block for some time as the area was known as the Stuckey farm. 

Originally the house faced east and probably Oxford St was the frontage.  Later the drive and path angled across what are now built-on sections on both sides.  The house is still on a half acre section.  It is not known whether Mr Stuckey built the house before his death or whether Mrs Stuckey built it. 

Mrs Stuckey lived in the house until circa 1920, then a daughter and her husband, Mr R.D.Wallace an accountant. 

Then Mr Percy von Hartitzsh lived in the house, probably when he came to Levin and built the Eclipse Garage in 1924. 

Mr and Mrs Mason bought the house in 1939 and lived there until 1958.  Mr Mason was an agent for Levin & Co. 

Mr and Mrs King bought the house in 1958 living there and later Mrs King alone until this year 1982 when Mr and Mrs Penketh of Foxton bought it. 

One feature of the house is one fireplace.  This is of steel having ornamental tiles at an angle down the side of the grate.  The house has had additions on both sides and at the front. 

It is to be demolished as Mr Penketh is building flats on the section.  These flats will have some of the spaciousness of the land that still surrounds the house.  Only six flats are to be built on the half acre section.  The minimum area is 250 square metres for a flat but these new flats will have 330 square metres of land each.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Not a remarkable house but one with an interesting history


Creator:Corrie Swanwick
Creation date:07/07/1982
Publisher:The News
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License
not a remarkable house but one with an interesting history by Pippa is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License