Topic: Masonic Park (Tauranga)

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On 5 July 2015 the archaeological site in Masonic Park in Tauranga was photographed by Debbie McCauley.

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Site of the MASONIC HOTEL 1866-1995

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The Masonic was the first hotel in Te Papa (Tauranga), built around 1866 by James Campny and extended the following year. Mr Whitcombe was the proprietor for a record 22 years, from 1875 to 1897. In spite of attempts to save it, this historic building was demolished in 1993.


FOUNDATIONS FROM THE PAST - ESTABLISHED 1867 

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This archaeological site contains the remains of one of Tauranga's earliest European buildings, a bakery which operated here for around 100 years.

The brick foundations belong to two large ovens. The first, from the early 1870s, contains rocks which were used to insulate the oven during baking. Also from this time is the cobble stone floor. When the later oven was built these remains would have been covered over, ensuring their survival.

The site was uncovered during the redevelopment of Masonic Park in May 2014.

 

BELFAST BAKERY - ESTABLISHED 1867

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The first bakery on this site was the Te Papa Bakery, opened by Mr T Robertson in 1867 - three years after the battles of Gate pa and Te Ranga. It was in one of the busiest parts of Tauranga - next to the Masonic Hotel and close to the wharves.

John Maxwell (Johnny), an Ulsterman and veteran of the Taranaki War, took over the bakery in 1870. He renamed it the Old Bay of Plenty Bakery and then Belfast Bakery.

The Maxwell family owned the business until 1917 when John's son George Maxwell sold it to a Mr Moody. It traded as the Tauranga Bakery into the 1930s under various owners and then as The Strand Bakery run by S A Woods. The bakery continued through to the 1960s but we do not know exactly when it closed or when it was demolished.

 

The POWER of ADVERTISING - ESTABLISHED 1867 

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The Maxwell family believed in the power of advertising. Johnny Maxwell, and later his son George, regularly promoted their bakery and grocery business in the Bay of Plenty Times. Good humour and repetition feature prominently, along with an obvious rivalry with the Phoenix Bakery, located nearby on the corner of The Strand and Hamilton Street. 

 

 CHANGING TIMES - FOR THE BAKERY AND TAURANGA

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  • 1879: Bakery shop demolished and rebuilt.
  • 1872: Bay of Plenty Times established.
  • 1880s: Bakery business expands.
  • 1880s: Fire through central Tauranga
  • 1909: Major renovation of store.
  • 1914: Hospital opens.
  • 1920s: Becomes the Tauranga Bakery
  • 1922: Railway reclamation underway.
  • 1950s: Now called the Strand Bakery
  • 1955: Deep sea wharf opens.

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Masonic Park (Tauranga)


Year:2015
Location:


Latitude and Longitude coordinates: -37.6829245,176.16895350000004

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