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Graeme Murdoch brief history of West Coast

This document was prepared by Graeme Murdoch to describe the Human Heritage of the Bethells/Te Henga area in preparation for a Local Area Plan for that area. While it is primarily focused on that area, much of this history is relevant to the Piha area. backgroundrpt-part2-humanheritage

New interp for Piha macrocarpa

Local and Sports Parks West has installed a great new interpretation sign by the macrocarpas in Piha Domain. This follows the fencing off to save the trees from damage by cars driving over the roots, which has contributed to the decline of one of the two. The trees were planted by the Cowan and Ness  [ Read More ]

How the phone got to Piha

In 1928 a determined Horace Mobbs and his two sons, Fred and Alan, pulled a lone telephone wire through the bush from Anawhata to the Karekare exchange. Piha and Anawhata were at last on-line to Auckland via Henderson. It was slow work pushing their way through dense bush and securing insulators to the most accessible  [ Read More ]

Craw Homestead Open Day brings back memories

The Open Day at Craw Homestead organised by Auckland Council for Friday 20 January drew about 50 people – neighbours, Piha locals, and old aquaintances and friends of the Craw family. Moira Craw and her son Fenton and his family were present and enjoyed renewing friendships and sharing memories of Anawhata in times past. The  [ Read More ]

The Cowans of Piha

The earliest settlers in the Piha valley were the Cowans and Nesses. Peter Keith and Charles Cowan were the sons of Charles and Marion Cowan. Charles Cowan was the son of William Cowan, ironmonger of Edinburgh, and Ann Buchan. Charles is variously described as an iron monger or merchant. Marion was born a Mackay and  [ Read More ]

Works to protect historic macrocarpas

Wondered what the work is going on around the macrocarpas in the Domain ? These two macrocarpa trees are the survivors of a group of three. They are protected in the schedules of the District Plan because of their historic importance.  One tree is in serious decline, probably as a result of compression from car  [ Read More ]

History of schools at Piha

Schools have come and gone at Piha, according to the population and enthusiasm of education authorities. For most of their history the schools have had to make do, in houses, bachs and halls. In 1910 a school opened at the Usshers’ Ocean View House, but this moved to a site at the Piha Mill in  [ Read More ]

Into the West

Into the West: a goldmine of information about the early settlers of the West Piha resident, Jan Barnes, is a descendant of two of the oldest families to settle in the Waitakere Ranges. Edward Lovett, a shoe manufacturer from Leicestershire, and Sarah Usher farmed Edward’s Crown Grant in the upper Karekare Valley from1862. Their old  [ Read More ]