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Ownership of Upton / Millett Property at 14 (later renumbered 24) Minnehaha Avenue, Takapuna

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Ownership of Upton / Millett Property at Minnehaha Avenue, Takapuna
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14 / 24 Minnehaha Avenue, Takapuna
14 / 24 Minnehaha Avenue, Takapuna

Minnehaha Avenue, Takapuna is located on the seaward side of Hurstmere Road, immediately opposite the former William John Hurst homestead “Hurstmere” which is at what is now 288 Hurstmere Road.


This road was part of the original 1843 subdivision of the Mahurangi Block.  It formed part of Lake Road, although it was known as The Drive from about 1895 to around 1913.  In 1914 the part of Lake Road from The Strand to Black Rock was re-named Hurstmere Road.


The property at the top of Hurstmere Road prior to the subdivision that formed Minnehaha Avenue was owned by Ellen Stuart Thorne, wife of William Thorne of the City of Auckland, solicitor (Certificate of Title 74/194 dated 21 May 1895).


Minnehaha Avenue was dedicated about August 1912.  It is thought to have been named after one of a fleet of small coastal schooners which regularly traded out of Auckland in the Nineteenth Century.  Minnehaha may also have been the name of a horse owned by a resident of the area.  However, its association with the tragic lover of American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s 1855 poem The Song of Hiawatha can not be discounted.  The name is said in the poem to mean “laughing water”, although its more exact translation is “waterfall” or “rapid water”.


The property that eventually became 14 Minnehaha Avenue was transferred by Ellen Stuart Thorne to Hannah Eliza Bennett on 23 January 1913 (Transfer no. 70907).


The Certificate of Title 203/56 dated 29 January 1913 for this property, Lot 25 of District Plan 7523, was in the name of Hannah Eliza Bennett, wife of Charles John Bennett of Auckland.


On 20 October 1920 Hannah Eliza Bennett transferred the property to Percy Henry Upton, General Manager for New Zealand of the South British Insurance Company Limited (Transfer no. 134654).


On 12 April 1946 Percy Henry Upton transferred the property to his eldest daughter Eleanor Florence Millett, wife of Edward Tracey Fletcher Millett of Auckland, insurance clerk (Transfer no. 401216).  They had married on 3 November 1938.


On 3 March 1967 it was settled as a Joint Family Home under the Joint Family Homes Act 1964 in Edward Tracey Fletcher Millett and Eleanor Florence Millett, his wife (A207730).  However, this was cancelled and on 30 May 1968 the property reverted to Eleanor Florence Millett (A289950).


On 20 November 1968 the property was transferred to Ted and Eleanor Millett’s youngest son Richard Tracey Millett, shipping clerk (A313866).  He married Creina Mary Dentith on 3 May 1969.


On 14 November 1988 it was settled under the Joint Family Homes Act 1964 in Richard Tracey Millett and Creina Mary Millett his wife (B.913594.1).


On 18 March 1996 the property was transferred to James Hendry Dowell of Auckland, company director and Monica Richards Dowell his wife (C.968687.2).






Anderson, Louise.  Takapuna – Milford walk.  Takapuna, North Shore City Council, 2002.  21 p.


Auckland Libraries.  North Shore street names.


Bartlett, Jean.  Takapuna: people and places.  Takapuna, North Shore City Council and North Shore Historical Society, 2001.  159 p.


Bates, Brendan John (licensed cadastral surveyor par excellence).


Certificates of Title 74/194 dated 21 May 1895 and 203/56 dated 29 January 1913.


Davenport, John.  Street names of Auckland: their story.  Auckland, Hodder & Stoughton, 1990.  255 p.


Verran, David.  The North Shore: an illustrated history.  Auckland, Random House New Zealand, 2010.  304 p.







20 May 2020