The Grove

To further his standing in the community and to offer a future to his sons George Clarke began to buy land on the families account. He had a comfortable private income from the farms.

Grove CottageIn 1840 Grove Cottage was built for the Clarke’s. Clarke left the mission to take up a position in the newly established colonial government. ”Protector of the Māori People, and commissioner for the purchase of wastelands”. He held the post for 6 years. They lived in Mataharihari (the Parnell waterfront). This is where Henrietta (his youngest daughter) was born in 1845.

During this time Aunt Rebekah Bloomfield (Martha’s spinster sister), Mary Clarke, (George’s sister) along with his two sons and a young farmer from England (Mr Joyce), lived at Grove Cottage.

In 1846, Henry Tacy Clarke, was joined by George and Martha and their unmarried daughters and occupied the cottage. This was where Henrietta grew up.

Sarah and Henrietta lived with George and Martha. Subsequently to the death of George the house was pulled down, because of much decay, and a new house was erected utilising some of the materials of the old house and costing in addition the sum of £570, which was solely contributed by the brothers.

Grove Cottage by Samuel L clarke (Painting)In 1888 the first A&P Show was at the Grove Cottage farm. Marsden was the first president. (Marsden died in 1889). John Clarke gave timber (kauri) for the Show Building. The farm then fell into the hands of John Clarke who was believed to have been living at a motel at Akarana.

Grove Cottage home was rented out to Rev. Philip Walsh Archdeacon of Waimate In 1902. Rev Walsh lived in Grove cottage for many years until his death in 1914.