Forest Flats

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Forest Flats.

Caption

048

Forest Flats

 

Situated East of Eketahuna on the road between Alfredton and Tiraumea.

John Smith the original owner of Forest Flats was one of the earliest settlers in the Alfredton district. His parents had arrived on the "Lady Nugent", and he was born in 1844 and educated in Wellington. John came to Alfredton and purchased 100 acres from the Crown in 1869, and later a further 400 acres. He was a fluent speaker of Maori and served in the Volunteer Cavalry and Militia during the troubled times. He married Miss McDonald in 1875 and their first home was very basic with a clay chimney. A second home was built but lost to fire shortly after. A third house was built which is still standing and over 100 years old, it features 25cm. wide rimu timber ceilings, but the veranda around 3 sides has gone. The land was rugged and steep, and when A.J. Smith took over from his father he purchased another 350 acres adjoining Brooklands, bringing the total to 857 acres. Forest Flats lies on an Earthquake fault line and during the Napier earthquake a 7 metre deep crack formed in one of the ridges and the veranda that went around three sides of the house moved 50cm. in places, more damage was done during the 1942 earthquake.

 

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.