There is a Word on the Street article for Cameron Street, Waitara, which refers to the great military commander Duncan Cameron of the Imperial Army in New Zealand from 1861 to 1865. It could be assumed that Cameron Street in New Plymouth had the same origin.

But no, the Cameron on this occasion is Angus Cameron, no direct relation to Duncan. Angus was a Canadian Scotsman who was well known locally as a bullock team driver. From 1865 to 1870, he used his bullock team to bring his drays of firewood from the outlying bush into New Plymouth. Bullock teams have something in common with railway locomotives in that they cannot easily negotiate steep grades. So you can imagine that, coming into (or going out of) New Plymouth from the south, he would have had great difficulty coming down (or up) the so-called "High School Hill" on Eliot Street beside New Plymouth Boys' High School. As a consequence, he made a track from the racecourse plateau on a spur at an angle to the direct route down the hill. This track became an accepted deviation to the steep grade and became Cameron Street when the chief surveyor decided to honour Angus for his efforts.

This story was originally published in the Taranaki Daily News.

Related plans:

Cameron Street DP115, ICS Pre 300,000 Cadastral Plan Index (Imaged by LINZ)

Cameron Street DP3748, ICS Pre 300,000 Cadastral Plan Index (Imaged by LINZ)

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