9 months ago

Fitzgerald's Town


MONEY AND MEASUREMENTS The systems for money, area and linear measurements employed in this work are those in use when Lincoln was founded. They were only superseded in the late 20 th century. Money: To allow for inflation since 1862 refer to the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s inflation calculator at One pound (£1) = two dollars ($2.00); twenty shillings = one pound; twelve pence = one shilling. Area: One acre = 0.0405 hectares (40 perches = 1 rood; 4 roods = 1 acre). Length: One mile = 1.609 kilometres; one chain (22 yards) = 20.908 metres; one yard (3 feet) = 0.914 metres; one foot (12 inches) = 0.304 metres. Weight: One ton (2240 pounds) = 1.016 tonnes; one pound = 0.453 kilograms. 2. The Lincoln Hotel, J. Shaw proprietor. Courtesy Lincoln and Districts Historical Society. ix

INTRODUCTION I came to live in Lincoln at the end of 1964 and bought an old cottage which like the rest of the village was not reticulated for sewage or water. To take a bath it was necessary to heat water in the copper, fill the bath with a bucket, and bathe in a dilapidated shed outside. During the forty or more years since there have been many changes, including the reticulation of sewage and water. The most spectacular, however, has been the rapid growth of the town, particularly over the last two decades, as it has spread beyond the confines of the four Belts – the original boundaries. As the population has increased there has been a corresponding burgeoning of business from the Market Square precinct to The Vale opposite the library and most recently the building of a New World supermarket opposite the Crown Research Institutes on Gerald Street. An interest in local history led to my involvement with the Pioneer and Early Settlers Association and the Liffey Cottage Action Committee. The first was concerned with collecting material relevant to early Lincoln, especially photographs, and housing it in the Pioneer Hall, and the second set about preserving a dilapidated 19 th century cottage in Market Square earmarked for demolition to make way for a supermarket. The cottage was saved, and known as Liffey Cottage now stands in James Street next to the Union Church. However, despite an interest in the past, the demands of work and family meant that my activities were largely restricted to those of a committee member and the occasional weekend working bee. During those years we would hear tales of the early days and some proved to be more fanciful than fact. One such was that village fairs were held in Market Square, another that the Coronation Library, and latterly until 2009 the Toy Library, commemorated the coronation of Edward VII, and yet another that a miller fell into the mill pond, was drowned, and sadly, despite the best efforts of all concerned, his body was never recovered. However, it was not until retirement that I had time to follow these up and although it was obvious that one should start at the beginning, it was not so easy to decide just how far forward to go. Since there was little hope of a newcomer knowing much about family relationships in a long established and stable community, and since details of the earliest times were sketchy, albeit with some exceptions, it seemed sensible to restrict interest to the 19 th century although research was carried forward to the 20 th century when it seemed necessary to do so. It was also apparent that because some of those involved in the events discussed lived outside the village and in other communities, it was necessary to stray into areas 1

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