Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 38, September 1994
By C W Malcolm
A Public Works Plan dated 22 November 1894 supplied by Mr J A T Terry with his article in Journal 37 (foot of page 4) [see Journal 37: Paeroa Tramway - E] together with street plans kindly sent to me by the Editor, Mr Gary Staples, provide the answers to a number of questions recently raised concerning Paeroa's early history.
Because of its historic interest, I have here sketched on a larger scale parts of the PWD Plan:
The advent of the railway to OHINEMURI as PAEROA was then known, had a marked effect upon the routes of access to the township. Puke Road, from proceeding directly to the main street (Belmont Road. was diverted as shown to avoid the railway station yards). Junction road which for some years was a busy highway from the Junction Wharf at the confluence of the Ohinemuri and Waihou Rivers into the heart of the town was diverted northward to Puke Road and southward to join William Street where later, when the level of the railway was raised, the subway (S) was constructed.
The question, where, before it was severed, did Junction Road connect with the town's main street, is answered, both by the PWD Plan and the street plans made available. What is now known as Marshall Street, even after it was separated from its western part by the railway, is designated Junction road, crossing William Street and terminating at Hughenden Street. It is also now established that the passenger and freight tramway from the Junction Wharf as far as the Criterion Hotel was constructed from Junction Road, via Railway Street, Puke Road, and Belmont Road to Normanby Road. Incredibly devious route!
A further alteration to the town's access was made by the railway bridge built in 1895 which became a barrier to the ships that had entered the heart of the town at Wharf Street. An interesting fact emerges from the map dated 1925 which shows Normanby Road not only in its present location but also along what is now Wharf Street.
The value of the Ohinemuri Regional History Journal has been established as a medium for challenging memory, for correction error, and for establishing historical fact.
A possibly unimportant question raised in Journal 36 [see Journal 36: Paeroa's Tram Car - E] concerns the shaded area (xx) shown on the reproduced section herewith. This was a grass-grown metalled section of roadway used as a walking short-cut from Marshall Street (then known as Junction Road or Junction Street) to Belmont Road.
It was thought by some to have been where Junction Road from Junction Wharf originally joined the main street before the advent of the railway severed it. In any case, Junction Road in the sketch is not correctly located, and as is now known, to was continued into what is now Marshall Street (MM). The supposition that (xx) was originally part of Junction Road has apparently been disproven. But curiosity still exists about this somewhat mysterious piece of one-time road and factual information concerning it would be welcome. The sketch was obviously made from memory supported by the belief that (xx) must surely have been part of Junction Road. Even that shaded area may quite likely be incorrectly located. It had almost convinced the author of the sketch but his supposition has been proved untenable by what has been now established.