2 weeks ago

Fitzgerald's Town

terrace. This was not

terrace. This was not good enough for the residents who in 1893 asked for a light traffic bridge but again were refused because the estimated cost of 60 pounds was considered to be too high. However, demand continued and five years later residents again asked for the bridge, but again the cost was considered too great. Instead, the Board decided to construct a ford to be paid for with money originally budgeted for an equally desired footpath on Robert Street 16 . A tender from T. Galletly for twelve pounds five shillings was accepted and the ford was constructed, but not without indignant comments by disappointed Robert Street residents. It is not known when it was replaced by the present culvert, sometimes referred to as “the dip”. The Liffey Reserve, bounded by Leinster and Kildare Terraces on either side of the L1, was set aside for the villagers when Lincoln was first surveyed, but it was not formally conveyed to the Crown until 1882 17 . The wording of the deed led the Commissioner of Crown Lands to conclude that the reserve was the responsibility of the Springs Road Board and was not to be administered by the Crown under the 1881 Domains Act. The Road Board contested this view and sought the help of A.P. O’Callaghan, the local member of the House of Representatives, with the result that in 1883 the reserve, known as the Lincoln Recreation Ground, was placed under the control of the Lincoln Domain Board, consisting of five members. These were John Wolfe, John Scott Brown, James Doherty, Joseph Henry Sluis, and Cornelius Kelliher 18 . However, villagers were concerned about the untidy state of the reserve well before the Domain Board was formed and in 1879 decided to make use of grants promised by the Selwyn County Council and the Springs Road Board to improve the area by building fences and planting trees. Messrs Brown, Doherty, Meyenberg, Ross and White were appointed to oversee the work, to decide on rights of way for the convenience of adjoining property owners, and besides the usual maintenance to ask the Acclimatisation Society for a grant in order to stock the river with trout. A year later residents again met to discuss progress, to volunteer their services for any work required, and to voice concerns about other matters affecting the village. There was dissatisfaction that parts of South Belt and the reserve had been divided by the railway line and it was hoped, in vain, that the government would offer compensation for this inconvenience. 68

24. A view of Lincoln Township looking towards the west near the intersection of South Belt and Robert Street with the Southern Alps in the background. The photograph is taken from the railway water tower. After 1881 the Domain Board negotiated either with the Selwyn County Council or the Road Board for grants towards maintenance, argued their responsibility to drain the area, and sought the appointment of a new trustee whenever a replacement was needed. The Domain Board referred to the trees in the reserve as the “reserve plantation” so by then plantings must have been extensive and probably the mature trees of oak and ash seen today date from this time. The Road Board was also asked to fund repairs to flood damage and since the river was dammed to form the mill pond, damage may have been due to the river overtopping its banks. Flood damage would not be of much concern today. Improvements continued and by 1885 walks had been formed on both sides of the Domain, and it was hoped to install gates and to build a footbridge across the river. Tenders of fourteen pounds five shillings for these works were accepted. Besides the planting, the forming of paths and the building of fences and bridges, the decision in September 1900 to move the Lincoln Library, now known as the Pioneer Hall, to the reserve at the western end of the bridge was of major importance to the village. The Road Board when asked 69

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