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THE STORY OF MORNINGSIDE

Learn the history of Morningside, Auckland and it’s founder Allan Kerr Taylor.

The red pin marks the location of the Morningside Tavern on the original villa sites and allotments map drawn up by Allan Kerr Taylor

The red pin marks the location of the Morningside Tavern on the original villa sites and allotments map drawn up by Allan Kerr Taylor

 
 

Young pioneer Allan Kerr Taylor was told he was crazy to invest in the
rock strewn swampy land that he later developed into the industrious suburb of Morningside

Of Scottish and Indian descent, Allan Taylor was born in India in 1832 and schooled in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Facing lack of opportunity for those of mixed race, the family immigrated to Auckland, his father giving all four sons money to invest in land.

Allan’s older brothers bought sensible farmland in the East - Glen Innes, Glen Dowie and Glen Orchard (now St Heliers)
and at 16 years old Allan purchased his first 270 acres “Alberton” on the northern slopes of Mt Albert.
But the rocky, volcanic land was unproductive and the surrounding Cabbage Tree Swamp
(Gribblehurst Park to Eden Park) flooded for five months of the year.

Allan’s brothers thought he had gone around the bend, telling him he must be ‘mad’ to buy the land.
In jest they nicknamed Allan “Morningside” after an Edinburgh suburb known for its then prominent Lunatic Asylum.

Determined to prove that Fortune Favours the Brave, Allan expanded his property to 500 acres,
invested in timber and was an elected councilman and chairman, forging rail and roads through the area.
In 1865 without a loose screw in sight, he successfully subdivided and sold his first 120 villa lots, officially naming the popular suburb Morningside.

Allan Kerr Taylor and his wife Sophia Kerr Taylor

Allan Kerr Taylor and his wife Sophia Kerr Taylor

Head to www.alberton.co.nz for more historic information