The Onslow Historical Society was established in 1968 and has enjoyed strong membership and support from the community for over 40 years.

We continue to advance the cause of heritage and history in the north and western suburbs of Wellington and the adjoining land.

The area includes the original Onslow Borough, hence the name of the Society, but the boundaries extend further from Churton Park, Glenside, Grenada Village, Paparangi and Newlands in the north, to Ngauranga, along Hutt Road to Kaiwharawhara on the east, Wadestown, Wilton and Chartwell from the south, along the western hills bordering Crofton Downs, Ngaio, Khandallah and Raroa, over the hill to Ohariu Valley, and Johnsonville. And everything in the middle!

There is a rich history here. Maori pa existed at Makara and Ohariu, at Ngauranga and Kaiwharawhara. Maori travelled across the land, hunted in the bush clad hills and built and maintained their gardens. European settlement from 1840 saw this land purchased and became part of the NZ Company's first colony. The hundred acre blocks were carved out of this landscape and NZ's first organised farming scheme was devised. The early settlers followed Maori tracks to their new homes and so the Bridle Track and the first Old Porirua Road led settlers out of the city. Timber from the Ngaio Gorge and surrounding hillsides was felled for building in the new city of Wellington.

Our role as a Society is to provide information, education, entertainment and the opportunity for all to discover and participate in local history initiatives.

Each year we provide a programme of events. These include evening lectures, bus tours, visits to interesting places and buildings, sites, exhibitions and celebratory functions. We open our Historical Centre to the public on Sundays, 1 - 4pm, or by appointment. We publish regular newsletters and our magazine "The Onslow Historian" is free to subscribing members.

We welcome new membership and sponsors. A $25.00 fee, or donation, annually, makes it possible for the Society to continue its work. The size and scale of this depends on our finances. The continued work of the Society will ensure that our history is recorded, the archives are maintained and that future generations will enjoy the heritage that is their right.


The old Methodist church, on the main road, Johnsonville.

 

 


The local community engaged in many fund raising activities during the 1920's. This photograph was taken at the Johnsonville Queen Carnival.


K.A.T.E. and the general scene in 1928.
The steam engine travels on the main trunk line, running parallel with Khandallah Road, having passed the Ngaio station, and approaching the Simla Crescent crossing. The telephone exchange building has an addition to the rear, macrocarpa trees form the northern boundary of Colway Farm, and the Tarikaka Street Railways housing development is taking shape.