Pipiriki House, the Original, c. 1902-1903, Melvin Vaniman

We purchased this picture off TradeMe
It appears to be a unique image which is in fairly good condition considering it's over 110 years old.
Pipiriki House used to provide the first overnight stop for boats going upstream from Wanganui.
This building, as imaged, was constructed 1899-1903, it burnt down on the 10th March 1909 and was then rebuilt within 9 months.
It burnt down again in 1959 and was never phoenixed.

The newer build included vertical pseudo-Tudor decoration of gables, conservatory enclosing far-bottom verandah and encased near gable end top & bottom. The chimneys have pots and balcony fences are different as well. Most other photos available today are of the newer building, I guess because cameras became more prevalant and this building wasn't around for long.

Year of this image: 1902-1903 (the photographer arrived in Sydney in February 1903)

Click for a larger version. It's a cellphone montage so is of low quality

Pipiriki House, Wanganui, 1902-1903
Pipiriki House, Wanganui, c.1902

Similar Image technology
Platinotype Chromatype Salted paper print.
Large format ‘Cirkut’ panoramas, taken with specially designed rotating cameras and oversized negative film.
The result was printed onto specially sensitized matte platinotype paper by contact.
YouTube of similar camera setup. This photo was taken a 2-3 years before the Cirkut camera was manufactured so he couldn't have used that model camera.

Selected high resolution crops of the above image (apologies for the colour variation)

Wairere paddle steamer, the first to service Pipiriki:
Wairere Paddle Steamer

The photographer, Melvin Vaniman, has a colourful, if short, history.

Wikipedia entry for photographer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melvin_Vaniman


Older image (pre 1899) before the first big build

Taranaki Herald, Volume L, Issue 12170, 20 January 1903, Page 6

Currently the only images of the original buildings as in our photo:

Evening Post, Volume LXXVII, Issue 59, 11 March 1909, Page 7

The rebuilt Pipiriki House (post 1909)

Snippet of info from HERE:

In July 1901 Hatrick purchased Pipiriki House, the only accommodation house in the settlement, and in 1902 replaced part of the original building with a new tourist hotel. At the end of 1903 he extended the river service a further 89 miles to Taumarunui, which was then the terminus for the railway line from Auckland. The following year he had a large houseboat constructed in Taumarunui and floated down to the mouth of the Ohura River. It had accommodation for 36 guests and was fully equipped with modern conveniences including electric light. Hatrick was then able to provide a three-day service from Wanganui or Taumarunui, with overnight stops at Pipiriki House and the houseboat. In 1905 12,000 tourists stayed at Pipiriki House.

American writer Mark Twain visited Whanganui in 1895: LINK

Fri Mar 29 03:49:10 NZDT 2013 clark@kiwi.gen.nz