B9 Town Hall Site
Henderson’s first civic hall was a kauri hall built on this site in 1896, which burned down thirty years later. In its place the Henderson Town Board constructed a new reinforced concrete Town Hall, opened in January 1927, which later became the Civic Theatre. Forty years later it, too, was destroyed by fire, on 20 July 1967.
B10. Catherine Street
All the central Henderson streets were named after members of Thomas Henderson’s family. Apart from Catherine Street, named after Thomas Henderson’s wife Catherine (1811-1867), all have been renamed or no longer exist. Other streets named after the family were Thomas, Henry, John, Mary and George Streets.
B11. Henderson School
Henderson School opened in 1873. Classes were held in the Mill reading room and cookhouse until the school moved to its present site, donated by Thomas Henderson, in 1880. The first teacher at the new site, Miss Helen Hanson, lived in a house which once stood in the Baptist Church car park across the road opposite this sign.
B12. Newey’s Corner
Miss Eileen Newey, who lived on this corner, was a teacher at Henderson Primary School, where she taught for eleven years, finally as infant mistress from 1959 to 1963. She remained a well-known local identity right up to her death in 1987. She left her property to the Henderson Borough Council for development as a park.
B13. The original site of the Oratia / Falls Hotel
This hotel was built in 1873 to provide accommodation for the travelling public. Originally named Oratia Hotel after the Oratia stream, the hotel’s name was changed in 1890 to Falls Hotel, after the Waitakere Falls, which were a major tourist attraction in the late nineteenth century. The first proprietor was “Shepherd” John McLeod, Thomas Henderson’s farm manager.
B14. Fall’s Park and site of the Falls Hotel since December 1996
The “Falls Recreation Ground” was purchased and developed by the Henderson Town Board from 1923 to 1925, and was a popular picnic area, playground, swimming hole and overnight anchorage during the 1920s and 1930s. It was later occupied by the Henderson Women’s Bowling Club.