Burwood (Bottle Lake and Waitikiri) was once a food and resource gathering area for the Ngai Tahu. Eels and fish were gathered from the lake and native plants were collected for medicines and clothing.
The first Europeans to develop the area were the McLean Brothers (now remembered in the naming of McLeans Island) in 1860, and the area was either known ‘Ashfield’ or ‘Acheron Bank’. They sold out just two years later to Edward Reece who introduced ‘pinus’ seedlings to the land. When he died in 1885, his two sons inherited the lot. William built a fine home in which he named ‘Waitikiri’ which means ‘muddy waters’ or ‘a lagoon’ in Maori.
In 1880, a merchant named George King also built himself a fine home not far away on Bottle Lake Road. Known as the ‘Burwood Lodge’, it was named after George’s hometown in Australia. George’s son, George Augustus King Jnr (pictured on the left) was born in 1885. He became a very decorated military leader in World War I in which he would eventually lose his life – at the young age of 32.
George Jnr had spent his early life as a farmer, including working on his father’s farm ‘Gleniti’ in Nelson.
*image courtesy of http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/*