Edwin Jackson was a Petone settler, founder, entrepreneur and bricklayer, who gave Petone’s main street its name of Jackson Street.
Born in England about 1826, he married Harriet in 1848 and their first daughter Mary Ann was born in 1849. A son Joseph Enoch was born in Chorlton, Lancashire in 1852, followed by another son Edwin, who was born in 1854 but died the following year, aged 9 months. Elizabeth (Lily) Jackson was born in 1856 in Stockport, Cheshire.
Both Joseph Enoch and Elizabeth were baptised in Stockport, Cheshire on 14 September 1856, before the family left for the colonies. Their abode at the time was ‘Carrington Field’ in Cheshire.
They arrived in Wellington on the Indian Queen on January 30, 1857, a 1050 ton wooden ship built by the Liverpool ‘Blackball Line’ in 1851. The Indian Queen was later ”lost’ on a voyage from Liverpool in 1862.
Edwin Jackson and family soon moved from Wellington to the Hutt, where he bought 100 acres of land, part of Petone township. He set up his brick works business about 1859.
A founder of the Wesleyan (Methodist) Church, he gifted sections to the Church. He also gifted land for the Petone Naval drill and boat sheds, and to the Loyal Petone Lodge of Oddfellows. He was a long-time Town Commissioner of Petone, on the Town Board and Borough Council in the 1880s and 1890s.
With an eye for business in 1892 he built the Petone salt and artesian water swimming baths as the Gear Meat Works was discharging blood and offal into the sea, making it unfit for swimming and attracting sharks – read about Jackson’s Baths in the Hutt Heritage Blog Edwin Jackson’s Baths – Petone’s first swimming pool.
Edwin Jackson died on April 29, 1896 in his home at Nelson Street, Petone, aged 70 and was buried in the (now) Bolton Street Cemetery alongside his first wife Harriett. He was survived by his second wife Ann, his son Joseph Enoch Jackson, daughter Mary Ann Wakeham of Wainuiomata, and grandchildren.
Edwin Jackson cut up some of his land into sections for sale. He granted haphazardly rights of way to his sections without survey work, creating an unplanned and crooked Jackson Street. In 1876 Jackson Street as it is now existed in two parts – Barton Terrace west of Nelson Street, and Jackson Street to its east. Nelson Street, formerly Petone Avenue, was intended as the main street, but most people travelled west to work in the woollen mill, railway workshop …. – along Jackson Street.
The crookedness was a problem first considered in 1885, but not addressed until 1926 when major developments in Lower Hutt promised an increase in traffic and population.
The Borough Council began work to straighten and widen the street in 1926. 28 properties were affected, with most buildings jacked up and moved back about 20 metres, the work taking 12 years, finally completed in 1938.
Barton Terrace in Petone was renamed Jackson Street (to extend the street) in Edwin Jackson’s honour after his death.