The Pines

Walking down the hill from my place you have to go past ‘The Pines’ at the bottom of Rose Street.

‘The Pines’ is Waipawa’s oldest surviving house being built in 1858 out of kauri shipped to Napier and then brought down to Waipawa by bullock wagon.

It has belonged to several people in its time but probably the best remembered is Dr Todd (with two d’s)

Doctor Todd was one of Waipawa’s early doctors who had a large dove cote built behind his house in which he kept homing pigeons. It is reputed that a pregnant lady, or other patient that may require his care (who might live in the far corners of his doctoring territory) was sometimes given a pigeon to take home with them, and then when they needed his care they would release the pigeon and it would fly back to the cote alerting him to the fact that he was needed. – A pretty nifty trick in the days before telephones or high speed internet don’t you think!

The dove cote fell into disrepair and was pulled down some time in the past, but back in the 1990’s it was reconstructed by the Waipawa Rotary Club to the original plans and pigeons happily live in it to this day.

Today ‘The Pines’ is beautifully restored. It is still surrounded by the large trees planted by Dr Todd all those years ago and also has very pretty gardens and a nursery where plants are for sale.

Elaine often has bus tours visiting her garden and it is a very peaceful setting to soak up some of our town’s history.

The Pines is situated at 2 Rose street

My family link to The Pines:

My family never lived in The Pines but I get the impression that my great grandparents (James and Mary Bibby), and their children did visit there and they knew the Todd’s very well.

I recently went through some of the photos that my grandfather collected in his life time and found a few photos of him and his brothers playing in the paddock up behind The Pines. And probably more interesting is the postcard picturing Dr Todd by the gate way of his house (I used the photo further up in this piece) which has written on the back of it….

Doctor Todd’s wife, Annie Mary Todd was quite involved in the Temperance movement – as was my great grandmother, Mary Glover Bibby. And when women finally had the right to vote in New Zealand Mrs Todd and Mary Glover Bibby were the first two women in Waipawa to vote.

Annie often referred to herself as “Mrs Dr Todd with two d’s” and I think this was because her friend Mary Bibby was, before she married, Mary Tod (with one d) and I think it started as a private joke between them. – but this is guesswork.

Mary Glover Bibby was also an artist. She painted and sketched and many of her artworks are shared around her vast number of descendants today. But one of her few artworks that remain of done of a Waipawa subject, is neither a painting or a sketch, but a rather beautiful embroidery of The Pines showing a very pretty garden – perhaps done in the early 1900’s.

It is nice to see that the house and gardens, after falling into a terrible state of disrepair and the house nearly being demolished in the mid 1980’s, are being cared for and loved today just as they must have been back then.