Todd's Garage, Timaru 1930s -what happen to the bluestone?

In 1868 a fire swept from Church St. to Woollcombe St. and from that the new buildings were required to be constructed of brick or local bluestone. Some can still be seen like the Gladstone Building on Stafford Street and others are well camouflaged and much of the ornamentation seems to have been lost or obscured. This real photograph postcard was mailed from Timaru to the Sim family of Heriot. Charles Todd and his parents immigrated to Otago in 1870 and young Charles in 1884 joined his father in a fellmongery and wool-scouring business in Heriot. A year later he took charge of the business and ran sheep in association with it. During the next 31 years he diversified into auctioneering and in 1892 a country store was added. On 23 April 1895 in Dunedin, Charles Todd married Mary Hegarty. They were to have four sons and three daughters. Over the years he drew his family into his commercial ventures and eventually created one of New Zealand's largest family enterprises. Todd recognised the possibilities of the motor car and way back in 1912 Todd Bros., Ltd., then of Heriot, Otago, built a corrugated iron garage with a capacity of about 7 or 8 cars and held sub-agencies for motor-cars. In 1915 he founded the stock and station agency Todd Brothers and secured the local franchise for Ford cars. The business thrived and in 1923 the motor franchise became a separate firm, the Todd Motor Company. Todd acquired the New Zealand agency for Gray cars in 1923, an American car company that didn't last long.  In 1925 he sold the stock and station agency to Dalgety and Company and moved to Wellington. The Gray Motor Corporation was around from 1921 -1926 so the photo is from the period 1923 to 1926. To the right is a sign for Oakland. 

From the acorn grows the mighty oak.

This is the building where Gould's Transport operated out of, and when they were taken over by Mount Cook Transport, the building was taken over by Desmond Unwin's at 79 Stafford Street – The first building in that photo (moving left to right) is the original Salvation Army Citadel, then the garage, then the The City Hotel. This building is located on Stafford street opposite the east end of Woollcombe St. The era of the photo would be late 1920s to early 1930s. Todd Motor Corporation did have businesses in Timaru. The Showgrounds garage was part of their group.  Checked the few Wises / Stones directories from the period (namely the Stones 1921-22 and Wises 1927) and couldn’t find a listing for Todd’s in Timaru in 1921, but did find the Todd Motor Company in Christchurch & Timaru (79 Stafford) in the 1927 directory.


Number plate on car appears to read 20-276. The Great South Road has been known as Stafford St. since 1890. Looks like a Gray touring sedan being filled up by a hand pumped bowser.


The garage is brick to the street with a stone facade painted in those bright colours you see. No bluestone. What happened to the bluestone??
If it is the same building though then it does look a bit different now, as does the buildings on either side.


Looking at the photo the CITY hotel is extreme right, then old garage, then Saint Vincent De Paul Society building then Gladstone Building showing chimneys on left side of photo. The St Vincent de Paul, an op shop, 81 Stafford St., was demolished in May 2014. It is being rebuilt as it wasn't earthquake safe.

South Canterbury NZGenWeb Project

From Papers Past

Otago Daily Times 7 September 1870, Page 2
Messrs Patrick Henderson and Co.'s Clyde packet for June, the clipper ship William Davie. arrived off the Heads at midnight on Monday, the 5thh inst, after making, the smartest passage of the season from Home, either to New Zealand or any port in the Australian colonies; so far as distance is concerned. The Davie brings 167 passengers from the old country. An addition to them was made off; the Nuggets on Monday, when Mrs Todd, a steerage passenger, gave birth to a male child, which it is hoped in after years will prove a true nugget to its parents. No sickness, excepting that of sea and home, occurred on the passage (health being well looked after by Dr Barrett, the surgeon), which throughout, So far as the passengers were concerned, went as merry as a marriage bell. The Davie is under the command of Captain Hendry, late of the ship Robert Henderson, of the same line; his chief officer, Mr Duncan, who also sailed with him in that vessel, accompanies him in the Davie, as also some old faces in miner capacities. The vessel has arrived in port with 168 passengers on board, including a number of assisted emigrants, and the whole of her compartments are reported by the inspecting officer as very clean more especially that of the single females, under the charge of Mrs Stephenson, matron, an opinion which, from personal observation, we endorse. The inspecting officer also reported that the passengers expressed themselves as being satisfied with provisions and water, both as to quality and quantity. The passengers and emigrants will be brought to Dunedin this forenoon by one of the Harbour Company's steamers. Of her passage, Captain Hendry reports that the Davie left the Tail of the Bank, Greenock, at 7 a.m., on the 16th of June had moderate weather in the Channel, and took final departure from off Broad Haven (N.W. coast of Ireland), on the 19th. Favourable weather continued to losing the N.E. Trades in lat. 10 N., when she experienced variables to lat. 2. N. .S.E. Trades; were then caught, and the Equator crossed on the 11th of July, 25 days out, long. 28 W. The Trades were parted with in lat. 28 8 variable moderate breezes was then experienced for a week good running winds followed and continued to arrival. The meridian of Greenwich was passed on the 6th of August, in lat. 40 S, and the Cape of Good Hope on the 9th, in lat. 42 S. Her easting to Kergue'en Land was run down between the parallels of 41 and 43, from thence in 49 to 50, no icebergs being sighted. The Snares were passed at 2 a.m. on the 5th, thus making the passage from land to land a few hours over 77 days. Off the Nuggets she was caught in a sudden burster from S.E. which only lasted for a short time, and again hauled round to the southward, bringing her up to the Heads anchorage, she thus making the passage from Greenock in the short space of 81 days. The tug Geelong towed her up on the flood, and she was moored in a convenient discharging berth.

LIST OF IMMIGRANTS, DEBTORS TO THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT OF OTAGO FOR PASSAGE MONEYS, - (Assisted Immigration Passage Money Account.) Corrected from Treasury Books, 30th Sept., 1872 inclusive.
William Davie Arrived September 7, 1870
No. 5136 Todd, Charles 18 pounds

Otago Witness 12 May 1892, Page 25
Todd.— On the 8th May, at his residence, Heriot, Charles Todd, fifth son of the late John Todd, woollen manufacturer, Perthshire, Scotland; aged 56 years. Deeply regretted. Home papers please copy.

Otago Witness 19 May 1892, Page 21
The Tapanui Courier reports the death at Heriot on Sunday, the 8th, of Mr Charles Todd. Born at Alva, Perthshire, he was attracted to Victoria, where he took to mining. He returned to Scotland and engaged again in the trade he had learned woollen manufacture. Came to Otago in 1870, and after managing Messrs Murray, Roberts and Co's fellmongery at Milton he became manager of the Canadian reef company, afterwards of the North of Ireland claim at Blue Spur, and then of the Cromwell Company, Cromwell. His health giving way he returned to Heriot. He leaves a widow and a grown up family of three daughters and four sons.

Otago Witness 22 July 1897, Page 33
Hegarty — Todd. On the 24th June, at St. Joseph's Cathedral, Dunedin, by the Rev. Father Murphy, Henry, eldest son of the late Patrick Hegarty, to Catherine Kennedy, youngest daughter of the late Charles Todd, of Heriot.

New Zealand Tablet, 12 May 1904, Page 20
General regret was felt in the Heriot district at the death of Mrs Mary Todd, relict of the late Charles Todd. The deceased lady passed away on Monday morning, April 25, at the residence of her son (Mr. Charles Todd at Heriot. She leaves a sorrowing family of three daughters (all married) and four sons to mourn their loss. The deceased was a native of County Kerry, Ireland, a _ervent and devout Catholic who bore a serious illness of three or four months with great fortitude and Christian resignation, until it pleased her Maker to call her away. The funeral took place on April 29, the remains being followed by large numbers to the Tapanui cemetery, testifying to the high esteem in which she was held by the community. The burial service was conducted by Rev. Father O'Donnell, of Gore. R.I. P.  aged 63.

Tuapeka Times, 19 June 1909, Page 2
Messrs Todd Bros. and Co., of Heriot, have accepted the agency of Reid and Gray's well-known farm implements, and will be pleased to give farmers any quotations or information concerning Reid and Gray's machinery. It is their intention to carry in stock at Heriot samples of Reid and Gray's plows and harrows, and also to keep stock of extras to suit double furrow and digger ploughs and other implements. This should be a great convenience to farmers in this district. Reid and Gray desire to thank the farmers for their past favours and solicit a continuance of the same, and any enquiries made to Todd Bros, and Co., Heriot, will receive prompt and careful attention. Reid and Gray are now making the strongest and most up-to-date disc ploughs in the Dominion.

Otago Witness 20 July 1893, Page 45
Dear Dot,— This time I will describe Heriot, the place in which I live. The population consists of about 150 people. They are mostly all farmers. There is one hotel and three stores, also three carpenters' shops. Services of all kinds have up till now been conducted in the school, but now the Roman Catholics have built a church on a nice site in a convenient position. We have also a post office savings bank and money order office, as well as telephonic communication with Tapanui. We have also got a dour mill worked by water power and a flax mill worked also by water, the latter of which employs about 15 men and boys. Dear Dot, through illness I have not been to school for 15 months, but have been receiving home instructions from my parents. Yours truly, Mary Margaret Collins. Heriot, July 10.