Community Contributed

Swanwick Stories

Kete Horowhenua2020-03-23T16:53:22+00:00
"The unpublished book of Frances Corrison Swanwick (Corrie)"

Frances (Corrie) Swanwick wrote many stories on the Levin area and these were published in the Levin newspapers.

He wrote about a wide range of topics, including:

- Old Levin houses

- Early Levin identities

- The history of Levin

- The Weraroa settlement

- The Levin Coronation Baths

- The Levin Gas Works

Kete Horowhenua includes many of Corrie's published stories - both as PDF documents and typed text which is searchable by Kete.

Old Levin Houses:

A Spanish Look 1 Victoria Street, ... the first of the so-called Spanish house in Levin.
House was a Trendsetter 21 Durham Street, a well-preserved house of the 1920s.
Verandah Feature of Oldest Home 71 Winchester Street - attractively verandahed house.
Two houses combined to make distinctive home 553 Queen St was built for Mr William Ernest Kilsby about 1924.
History of Home Brings Response from Grandson in USA Response from Oregon, USA to article on 20 Stuckey Street.
Not a remarkable house but one with an interesting history 20 Stuckey Street - shortly to be demolished.
Bush cleared in Queen St for farm and home James Parson's house in Queen Street.
House on the Hill of Welcome Te Puke Naumai, Manakau.
An impressive house 74 Winchester Street was built about 1910 on five acres of land.
Prouse Home had First Electricity 48 Liverpool Street was built by 1924 if not earlier.
Creating a garden haven Mr Thomas Bevan moved from Manakau to Mabel Street.
Bevan Family Built Fine Homes Sedgemoor, North Manakau Road was one of these.
House in an Area ‘Fit for a King' 20a King’s Drive was built by Mr Henry Butler France.
Keeping the charm of the 1920s Number 10 Weraroa Road is owned by Mr Geoff and Mrs Jan Opie.
66-68 Weraroa Road Distinctive home was a wedding present.
27 Weraroa Road, Levin This house has been extensively altered.
Original iron lacework gives old world charm Number 7 Weraroa Road
Front Part of House Sledged from around Lake Horowhenua Part of 3 Mabel Street was sledged from around Lake Horowhenua in 1905.
Morgan Homestead, Roslyn Road Lovely old home has a long history.
Carnarvon Homestead Carnarvon homestead is north of Foxton.
Tatum Park (Manakau) National Training and Conference Centre of the Scout Association of New Zealand.
A Trip Back Into the Past Enjoyed by Levin People A visit to historical places in Palmerston North.

History of Weraroa:

Looking north from Weraroa George Yee’s fruit and dairy shop (circa 1956) and Jack Rankin’s Hairdressing Salon (1961).
Weraroa area forged ahead Weraroa was not, as the stories seem to indicate, founded before Levin.
Fascinating Story of The Weraroa Area The history and development of the Weraroa commercial area.
Weraroa important in Horowhenua growth History of the Weraroa commercial area.
The Weraroa Butchery The building was erected in 1896.
Settlement Of Weraroa - Township Based on Sawmilling Settlement of the land south of the Levin Village Settlement – Weraroa

Early Transport in the Horowhenua:

When coaching was the ONLY way to go Cobb & Company ran a regular coach service along the golden beaches.
The first Hector McDonald Ran the Cobb & Co Stage Post at Hokio Hector McDonald born in Scotland in 1812.
Tablet System - Continuing story of Levin’s railway station Train movements were controlled by the tablet system.
Levin's Railway The railway line opened on 3/11/1886.
Corrie's first car: Rover 2-cylinder Corrie Swanwick bought his first car in 1935.
Wartime Rationing of Petrol Corrie Swanwick recalls wartime rationing of petrol.
Battle to Get Rail Through Region The origins of the Manawatu-Wellington railway company.
Opening Horowhenua, Rail Only Way The coming of the railway, made settlement possible.
Disbelief greeted rail halt The Government’s decision to stop work on the Wellington to Foxton rail line.
Raising capital for railway slow The Wellington-Manawatu railway required capital of £500,000 to be raised from selling shares.
Rail’s route over tough terrain The route for the railway line was a difficult one in many places.

History of Early Levin

1900 - 1910 New Council holds first meeting The first meeting of theLevin Borough Council.
History behind modern frontage The story of two commercial properties in levin.
Early Building in Oxford Street has Seen Many Changes Camden House was built between 1896-1898.
Warehouse and shop built at Weraroa The story of the Bevan family continues.
Searching for Gold in the Tararuas Prospecting for minerals, especially gold, in the Tararua Ranges.
Sawmills closely linked with history 45 Mabel Street.
Timber was all heart as befitted a sawmiller’s house Early sawmilling in the Levin district and the Bartholomew house in Mabel Street.
Two rooms in a cottage were Levin’s first store The first store in Levin was built by a Mr Staff for Rod. A. McDonald in 1890.
Link with History Disappears Howard’s Hardware shop.
Stories Abound of Old Hotel The original part of Levin Hotel in 1889-90.
True stories of the past These stories from the past were collected by F.C.Swanwick.
Shaw Shop History The front part of the shop was built in 1912.
The Changing Face of Levin Over A Hundred Years The story of Levin's early history continues.
One Hundred Years in Levin - Part Two Grass seed was down in between the remains of the bush.
The Great Levin Fire The 1898 fire commenced in the Public Hall.
History of the Horowhenua Newspapers History of the newspapers in the Horowhenua up to the 1920s.
A Newspaper Steeped in History William Charles Nation, with his son Charles Cecil, arrived in Shannon in 1893.
History of the Levin Fire Brigade A public meeting held on November 3 1902 decided that a Levin Fire Brigade be formed.
Boys Training Farm The Weraroa Boys Training Farm was established in 1906.
Boys trained for farm work The Weraroa Boys Training Farm was established in 1906.
Shoppers well served in early Borough days Levin was well served with shops in its formative years.
Maori land claims have long history Early settlement of the State Farm – Horowhenua East Village Settlement.
Services Vegetable Project at Levin during wartime During World War Two.
Hoofbeats over 100 years - Part 1 The first race meetings in the local area were at Otaki.
Hoofbeats of over 100 years - Part 2 … continued from part 1.
Tough Times for Local Cadet Corp A few more stories of the Levin School cadets have been uncovered.
School Cadets Training - Model Exercise Infringements of Discipline Prompted Sharp Reaction.
Coach Care Medical First The first medical care in this district.
Medical History of Levin Numerous Doctors Practiced In Town - this piece details some of them.
Midwives’ Role of Great Importance During the era 1890 to about the 1930s there were several midwives practising in Levin.
Dy Bryson served Levin well Dr Bryson was a long-serving doctor in Levin.

Post Offices
History of The Post Office In Levin The transportation of mail in what was to become the Levin area.
Weraroa Post Office Changed Little over The Years The history of some of the smaller post offices which have served the district over the years.
Weraroa Post Office to mark 75th jubilee Weraroa Post Office celebrates its 75th jubilee.

Early Identities
Major Elsie Elizabeth Ward Major Ward’s grandfather came to New Zealand from England about 1887.
Major Ward A Familiar and Well-Loved Figure
Miss H. E. Bowen Miss H. E. Bowen epitomises philosophy of the pioneer women - deeds not words!
The Fighting in the Dardanelles A Daring New Zealander Swims To Bulair and Lights Flares.

Swimming Pools of Levin
History of the Levin Coronation Baths Bernard Freyberg was beaten once in the Levin baths.
History of Levin Coronation Baths - Fundraising at Carnival Levin’s Coronation Baths proved something of a fund raiser.
Coronation Baths: end of an era In 1990 the Coronation Baths in Levin were demolished.
Proud Mayor opens pool In April 1990, the new Levin pool was opened.
End of an Era - Coronation Baths Coronation Baths crash to the ground.

Police History in the Horowhenua
Policing the Horowhenua An incident in 1918 when a German war mine was found washed up on Hokio Beach.
Police history in Horowhenua 173 police officers have served in Levin and district since 1893.
Horowhenua policing:Tararua Range search A police search in the Tararua Ranges in 1925.
Levin armed constabulary has colourful history Boisterous millhands biggest bother in early days!

Gas in Levin
Supply of Coal Gas for Levin The new settlers of Levin early wanted some form of street lights.
Natural gas in Levin in 1973 The Minister of Energy, Mr Bill Birch, was in Levin to open the new gas showroom.
The Gas Works - Part 1 In 1907 the Levin Borough Council resolved to build a coal gas system.

Other Levin History
Newspapers Have Friends Every newspaper has its group of friends.
Those Heroes: The Delivery Boys 1930-1940 The story of The Chronicle delivery boys.
Memories of the Arapaepae Hall and Ihakara From the Horowhenua Chronicle, May 30, 1912:
Early days of the Ihakara Hall; Arapaepae Hall The opening of the Arapaepae Hall in 1912.
New, New World, Levin A history of four Levin supermarkets.
Patriotic Fundraising Levin District High School did its share of patriotic fundraising.
ANZACS Recalled Some of the letters from the original Anzacs.
Lest We Forget On December 6, 1916, the Horowhenua Chronicle published this account of life at the front.

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