20 Matariki Street, Broad Bay

20 Matariki Street, Broad Bay

According to the Certificate of Title for 20 Matariki Street (originally John Street, but changed in the late 1960s to Matariki after one of the early harbour ferries), the land was first purchased by Edmund Ward in 1899.  He lived on Harbour Cone where he was the cheesemaker at the Harbour Cone factory.  

The Harbour Cone Cheese Factory was established in 1877 by 11 shareholders who supplied milk to the factory excepting Edmund Ward who was the cheesemaker.  In 1881 a disastrous fire swept through the district and the wooden cheese factory was burnt to the ground. 

Alf Hanlon
Polly Hanlon

In 1904 Ward moved to a farm at Glenoamaru in the Catlins and sold 20 Matariki St to Mary Ann (Polly) Hanlon.

 In 1914 there was a mortgage on the property so this is probably the year the house was built, as a holiday home for the Hanlon family.  They enjoyed boating down on the harbour in Broad Bay.   

Mary Ann was the daughter of Mary and Richard Hudson.  Richard was the founder of the Dunedin biscuit making firm of R. Hudson and Company, which later became Cadbury Fry Hudson.

Mary Ann Hudson married Alfred Charles Hanlon in 1894.  They had three daughters and a son.   Alf became a well-known barrister and solicitor for over 50 years.  He was most famous for the Minnie Deans case.  Sport involved much of Alf’s leisure time and he often served as president in the administration of rugby, cricket, golf, boating, boxing and horse racing.  Polly died in 1940 and Alf in 1944.  They are both buried in the Andersons Bay Cemetery.

In 1928 the property was sold to Jessie Margaret and James Nyhon, farmers of Sandymount who also farmed on Harbour Cone.   In 1943 their only child Margaret Ann Nyhon owned the house although James and Jessie evidently lived there because James died there in 1948. 

In 1958 the house was sold to Thomas Wilson, a Dunedin accountant and in 1976 the house belonged to Jacquetta and (dentist) Peter Hay of Dunedin. 

In 1978 Laurel and Bob Dunn purchased the house and still live there in 2023.  Laurel was brought up in Portobello and Bob was from the Wairarapa.  Their three children attended Broad Bay School and Laurel was the school secretary for 28 years part time.

  • Possibly it was the Hanlon family that planted the rhododendrons
  • The driveway up to the house was put in by the Wilson family
  • When Laurel and Bob arrived there was a huge glasshouse (quite run-down), an outside bucket toilet and two old garages.  The house needed a new roof and a repaint and some of the section was very overgrown. There was also (and still is) a 7,000 gallon underground water tank.  Things changed of course once water and sewage came to Broad Bay in the 1980s.

By Laurel Dunn

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