Elm Grove

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Elm Grove.




Elm Grove


Situated East of Greytown just on the outskirts of town on Kemptons Line. By the end of June 1856 the road (track) over the Rimutaka ranges had been completed and Thomas Kempton made the first vehicular crossing with a dray pulled by six bullocks. (Samuel Oates had earlier made the trip with his wheel-barrow on the earlier narrow track). Elizabeth and Thomas Kempton Jnr., son of Mary and Thomas Kempton began to buy Elm Grove in 1860, a property that eventually grew to a thousand acres at Greytown and another 1000 acres at Clareville.

Family knowledge dates the homestead as having been built in 1865. Built of heart totara it appears to have been built in two halves as one half has a higher stud than the rest, and there are exterior windows and walls within the present building. It is thought from family memories that Thomas Kempton Jnr., and his sons built the homestead between them, as by that stage seven sons of the family of 13 were in their late teens and 20s. On the death of Thomas senior his 13 children all received equal shares of the land and the youngest the homestead block. The present house is much as it was a basic rather than elaborate, six bed-roomed farm homestead set among gardens and still occupied by the fourth generation of Kemptons to have continuously lived there and farmed the land that is now 650 acres.

 NOTE: The information contained here is a result of Des De Stefano's own research and was current at the time he was working on the project.