Adventure Street_sign.jpg Adventure Street sign. Mike Gooch. Word on the Street image collection.

In 1910 Harry Marfell bought his father's land in what is now known as the Marfell area of New Plymouth, continuing his family's ownership of the area, which stretched back to the latter part of the 19th century.

Harry continued to farm there, but gradually subdivisions and new housing encroached. Around 1920, the south side of Omata Road was developed for housing.

Being childless, and knowing that they would eventually be too old for farming, Harry and wife Ivy had to plan for their future. So in the late 1940s, he sold the farm to the government and went to live in Papatoetoe.

Years later, some family members recalled that his heart was always in New Plymouth, and they were mystified as to why he had gone north. Marfell died in March 1971.

Despite New Zealand entering a massive housing boom in the 1950s, the government was slow to develop this land. It wasn't until February 1958 that the public were advised that some of the new streets in the area would be named to commemorate James Cook and his voyages to New Zealand.

Four streets were named after the ships he sailed to the South Pacific, Adventure being one of them. A barque in the Royal Navy, it sailed with the Resolution on Cook's second expedition in 1772.

A feature of the housing boom was the so-called "Parade of Homes", where a block of new houses was built and prepared for sale by private builders. It was all part of the government's efforts to promote home ownership.

February 1959 saw one such exhibition, with eight houses in Adventure Street and four in Banks Street on offer. They sold for prices ranging from £2555 to £2998.

A few weeks later, Adventure Street was in the news again. The owner of one of the new houses, obviously having had no time to build a fence, was reported to have looked out of his window one day to see a bull rampaging through his vegetable garden.

This story was originally published in the Taranaki Daily News.

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