Armanasco House – its family history Photo of the Armanasco Family in front of their house One part of our heritage which has been saved is the historic Armanasco homestead, across the other side of the Green. It was built in 1890 by Stefano Armanasco, an Italian who came to New Zealand in 1885 and bought several parcels of land in Blockhouse Bay. The site he chose for his home was on six acres bounded by Heaphy Street and Blockhouse Bay Road.
On the weekend of 4th and 5th September 2010, the 150th Anniversary of the building of the Blockhouse, after which this district is named, was celebrated. A large mural of the Blockhouse was placed on the Village Green beside [[Armanasco House]] on 3rd September. An unveiling ceremony was held the following day in the afternoon, and guests were then invited to view a display in Armanasco House showing the history of the Blockhouse.
The Whau Blockhouse (Adapted from a talk given by Keith Rusden (Blockhouse Bay Historical Society), at the Blockhouse Bay Library during Heritage Week, on 7 September 2004.) The building which eventually gave our marine suburb its name was constructed in 1860. At this time the Land War in Taranaki was escalating and there were fears it would spread north and so a defence system for Auckland was actioned. Colonel Thomas Mould of the Royal Engineers was charged with planning the location and type of defence system needed.
Armanasco House — the historic home on the Village Green The historic house on the Village Green was built by Stefano and Maria Armanasco, early settlers in Blockhouse Bay. The house was built circa 1890 on their farm facing onto Wynyard Road (now Blockhouse Bay Road), just down from the Medical Centre at 497 Blockhouse Bay Road. Photo of the original home without its verandah The Armanasco family outside the front of the house on its original site on Wynyard Road, before the verandah was added
Christmas parade and market day 2007 Saturday, 8th December, 2007, was a perfect day for a Christmas parade. In spite of dire weather forecasts all the previous week, threatening rain and even thunderstorms, the day was perfect. Blue, blue sky, puffy white clouds, a gentle breeze and a record attendance all combined for a very successful event. The start of the parade The sea scouts Father Christmas in the parade With the street closed to traffic, the crowd was able to wander freely between the pavement stalls, and entertainment was provided by a series of groups offering every type of music.
Heritage Festival 2007 — Historic Photographs Display The John Davie Te Whau Performing Arts Centre at Blockhouse Bay Primary School was the venue for this display of historic photos depicting aspects of early life in the Bay. The photos were all from our extensive Archives, and by participating in the Auckland-wide Heritage Festival we were able to provide an opportunity for the wider community to view these. Heritage Week 2007 display Many of our members and members of the public took time to visit and browse, and relive memories of times past.
Auckland City Heritage Week, 16–24 September 2006 Auckland City Heritage Week was celebrated all over the city and the Society hosted a number of activities in Blockhouse Bay village. Armanasco House was opened and featured a photographic display from our archives from 16-17 and 21-24 September. Local residents took advantage of the occasion to visit the House as, although it is used as a meeting venue, it is not normally open to the public.
The Blockhouse Bay Yacht and Motorboat Club The Bill Glen Collection The Blockhouse Bay Yacht and Motorboat Club was founded on February 2nd 1944, lasting nearly 50 years before succumbing to mounting financial pressure in 1993. Many members were taken in by the French Bay Yacht Club in neighbouring Titirangi. The closure of the BHB club prompted longtime member Bill Glen to record and preserve the history of the club. Thus, the ‘Bill Glen Collection’ was born.
The Dunny at Armanasco House Armanasco House Dunny Photo of the dunny at Armanasco House When Stephano built in 1890, no pioneer house was complete without its little outhouse out the back. At that time they would have had a long drop, but later the night cart man called around the Bay in the night hours to empty the can. Keith has built a kauri board and battern thunderbox/dunny/privy/long drop, call it what you will, complete with the standard interior furnishings of kerosene lamp hanging on a nail, a coat hook, the bottle of Jeyes Fluid and, of course, the Weekly News neatly cut into squares and hanging on the wall.