Home for the generations open to offers 148 years on

Family home on sale for first time in 148 years

ALEX FENSOME
Last updated 05:00 23/01/2014
98 Majoribanks St
AS IT'S NOW: 98 Majoribanks St has been in the same family since 1866 and has never been sold.

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In 1866, carpenter Richard Edwards built a house overlooking the city of Wellington on the slopes of Mt Victoria.

Now, almost 150 years later, it is on the market for the first time.

The house has remained in the family since the day Mr Edwards bought the "town acre" - 0.4 hectares - at 98 Majoribanks St all those years ago.

Current owners Jocelyn and Bruce Shallard said it was sad to be parting with the old place, but the time had come.

Mrs Shallard is the great-great-grand-daughter of Mr Edwards, and grew up in the house.

Her mother, Joyce, finally moved out last year. She was 87, and the rambling five-bedroom family home had become too much for her.

The Shallards do not know much about Mr Edwards, but have a good idea of the kind of man he was, and why he chose to build where he did, high up a slope that was bare hillside at the time.

"The land was cheaper - he was a tight Scotsman from Dunedin looking for a good deal," Mr Shallard said.

"It would have been one of the houses on the hill.

"It's 30 years older than the turn-of-the-century stuff common in Mt Vic."

When Mrs Shallard was growing up at the house, there was a large Government-run boys' home behind it - home to troubled youths with unsavoury reputations.

However, she and her sister were allowed to play with them and, if the boys behaved, they would help her father with his cabinet-making business, which he ran from a workshop at the house.

The home was split in two, with her maiden aunt and bachelor uncle living in half of it. They enjoyed the sweeping views across the city. They also had chickens in the garden and an old greenhouse.

The house has been remodelled several times since Mr Edwards built it, and the old family furniture left with Joyce has replaced by a group of young male tenants.

Its rateable value is $1,150,000.

Remax Leaders real estate agents Pano Focas and Andrew Brodie are selling the property by tender, closing on February 12.

HISTORY OF A HOUSE

1866: Carpenter Richard Henry Edwards, recently arrived on the ship Bruce from Dunedin, builds a home on a "town acre" at 98 Majoribanks St.

1900: Small corner of section sold to pay off debts.

1916: Mr Edwards' daughter Ada and husband Thomas McNee move in to look after him with their five children, Winnie (born 1903), Bill (1907), Tom (1909), Noel (1914) and Harold (1922). Ada plants a pohutukawa to block out the view of the road.

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1925: Thomas McNee dies. On Ada's death, Noel buys out his siblings.

1946: Noel marries Joyce McNabb. Daughters Noelene (b 1948) and Jocelyn (1951) live in the house.

1982: Noel dies.

2009: Jocelyn's son Paul Shallard moves in for a while, making it five generations of the family who have lived in the house.

2013: Joyce moves to a retirement home in Auckland.

2014: Jocelyn and husband Bruce Shallard put the house on the market.

- The Dominion Post

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