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Maps of South Dunedin

Place: 'The Flat' Established

The south Dunedin 'Flat' was a self-enclosed physical space, bordered by low hills to the south and west, and by the ocean to the north and east. Sea breezes blew across its wide, open fields. Real estate agents described it as 'a salubrious meadow'. In reality, the area was mostly a boggy wasteland (much of 'the Flat' was close to sea-level), occupied by a few scattered farms and market gardens. Small townships had begun to develop - at Caversham flanking the main road south, and at Parkside - catering for the gold rush traffic heading inland. Land here was cheap and from the 1870s both industry and housing gravitated towards the area.

View of CavershamThere was a wide variety in the size and quality of houses on 'the Flat'. Poorer families lived in small cottages on tiny sections of just one-sixteenth of an acre. Even so, nearly everyone lived in a single house on a section of its own. The present Hillside Road runs through the middle of this 1870s photograph to Cargill's (then Ogg's) Corner at the centre left. Two room cottages on very small plots of land predominate. (Otago Settlers Museum Collection)

Cargill's CornerThis Burton Brothers photograph from 1878 has Cargill's Corner in the centre right surrounded by a range of modest houses while the Dunedin gasworks and chimney are prominent features to the left. Beyond are the inner harbour and the present-day peninsular suburb of Vauxhall. (Otago Settlers Museum Collection)

main road St KildaOn 'the Flat' settlement spread along the tram routes. Horse trams began operating in the early 1880s. The main line went from the Oval to Cargill's Corner, (then called Ogg's Corner) and divided into two lines. One line followed the present Hillside Road to Caversham, the other the present King Edward Street to St Kilda Beach. Later another line was run from Forbury Corner to St Clair. In this undated photograph the St Kilda tram has stopped outside the location of the present day Beach Hotel, at the intersection of King Edward Street and Victoria Road. (Otago Settlers Museum Collection)

[Next: 'The Flat' Develops]

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