Topic: 51 Bath Street, Levin
The house at 51 Bath St was built by George Kenmer Douglas 1908-09 for auctioneer Guy and Catherine Marriott.The Marriott’s business partner went bankrupt in 1910, at which point the house was sold to F C Remington (a chemist) who lived there from 1910-1918. It was then sold to Hemi Ranapiri 1918 - 1923. The property was purchased by Mary Kilsby, widow of George who had been a farmer at Koputaroa, and whose farms had been taken over by their five sons.
In 1935 when Mary died the house remained in the estate and was let until 1942 when Francis (Frank) Kilsby purchased the house from the estate. Frank's wife Evelyn had died in 1942 and as Franks health deteriorated he and his daughter Margaret moved into the house and resided there until Margaret married John Joseph Keenan in February 1946.
Betty, Franks youngest daughter came to live in the house as she was then working as the Dental nurse at the Levin School. Frank died in 1949 and the house was then let until Eileen decided that she would retire there as her husband Raymond Kilsby had died.
By this time the house needed extensive repairs. The owners being Betty and Eileen Kilsby asked their nephew Peter Keenan to undertake the redevelopment of the section which included building three townhouses and renovations of the house. This was completed in 1984. Eileen Kilsby moved back into the house and lived there until she died in December 2005. In January 2006 Brendan Graham, a great grandson of Mary Kilsby, rebuilt the front windows to their original state. At present the house is let but is still owned by the Keenan (nee Margaret Kilsby) family.
The walnut tree on the back section has a significant place for the Kilsby descendants as when Grannie Kilsby lived there in the 1920's and 30's she had a swing in the tree for her grandchildren.
As part of the borough centennial celebrations some of the Kilsby descendants met and had a picnic under the walnut tree.
The present owner of 51 Bath Street is Miss Mary Kilsby.
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