Friday, 28 December 2018

Lemon House, 21 Willow Street, Tauranga

21 Willow Street, 1997
Image courtesy of Tauranga City Library, Ref 00-593
The house at 21 Willow Street is one of the few in central Tauranga that is still a dwelling. It is believed to have been on the site since 1886 and is a good example of the simple square pioneer home with a rectangular hip roof. The materials are the corrugated iron and timber weatherboards of the period. Joseph Hall, police constable, is listed at this address on the Tauranga Burgess Roll of 1886/1887. This was the electoral roll for the Tauranga Borough.

George Lemon, born in Plymouth, Devon and his wife Catherine (nee Meagher/Maher) married on a ship in New York harbour in 1850 and their first son, George Henry was born in the USA. The family moved to Australia and in 1863 George enlisted in the 1st Waikato Regiment No 3 Company of the militia in Melbourne and came to New Zealand on the Golden Age to fight in the New Zealand Wars. George received the New Zealand Medal which proved he had taken part in active service and he died in Tauranga in 1899. He fought at the Battles of Gate Pa and Te Ranga in 1864 and he also served during the Tauranga Bush Campaign of 1867. George Lemon served on the Tauranga Borough Council from 1887 to 1895.

George Henry Lemon's bugle, Waikato Militia. Tauranga Heritage Collection
George Henry Lemon who was fourteen years old when he enlisted in the Militia with his father, was sworn in as a bugler. Army details record his height at the time as three feet ten inches. He married Elizabeth Mannix of Tauranga and farmed at Paengaroa for many years. Lemon Road there is named after the family. A descendant presented his bugle to the Tauranga Heritage Collection.

Cayley Gore Robinson a farmer, later a builder, from Greerton bought the house in the early 20th century and his widow Florence resided there during the twentieth century.

Sources
Archaeological Report on Tauranga CBD Phillips & Arabin; Jenni Palmer, Lists of Waikato Militia; Tauranga Memories – Kete; Lyn Harpham notes THC.

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