Janet Doran

11/17/02

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Janet Doran & Thomas Scott

Janet Doran was the 5th child of John and Agnes Doran.

In 1866 Thomas was appointed the first Mahurangi postmaster.

In the words of Dulcie Bailey, the granddaughter of Thomas and Janet, "Both Thomas and Janet were very strict temperance people and deeply religious Anglicans".  Thomas and Janet inherited the Richmond Arms Inn and a boat building operation at Mahurangi, from Thomas Scott Snr.  The Inn was run by a Mr Short as publican.  After its destruction by fire, in the early 1870's, Thomas erected a two-storied Georgian style building in 1877 and extended four years later and operated as a hotel and boarding house.  Mr Short had left the area  to return to a life at sea.  The house later became used as the private family home.  Scott’s hotel did not have road access, and visitors today might wonder why a hotel was built in such an isolated location. However it was established at a time when the Mahurangi was a hub of shipbuilding and timber milling activity. Excursions by steamer from Auckland to places like Waiwera, Kawau Island, and the Mahurangi were also popular before motorised transport became widely available. Privacy was obviously not one of the attractions of the hotel– the partitions between the upstairs rooms are only one board thick!

Thomas was also involved heavily in construction of the wharf, which was destroyed in the 1990's by cyclone Bola.

Thomas returned to sea around 1883 as master of the S.S. Coromandel and Janet took on the running of the boarding house.  Shortly afterwards the entire family moved to Auckland and the house and business was leased to Mr Angus Grant (son of settler James Grant).

When the S. S. Coromandel was sold in 1895 to the Northern Company, Thomas remained as it's skipper for a time, before taking regular service on other vessels.  It was while he was working for the Northern Company that their daughter Ethel died 19 June 1908 aged 28.  When he retired from his last command, Kaniere, about 1910, Thomas and Janet returned to the house and soon after, Thomas died, on 19 Nov 1911, aged 76 years.  Janet stayed on at the home, until persuaded to move to her daughters home in Auckland.  She died there on 1 Oct 1922 aged 79.

Scott Homestead was extensively restored between 1972 and 1991 by members of the Civic Trust, who put in hundreds of hours of voluntary work to save the neglected building from demolition. Today the homestead is part of Mahurangi Regional Park. 

 

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This site was last updated 11/16/02