History of the Newcastle townsite
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Audio recording of Christine Meutzner's April 1998 presentation to the Nanaimo Historical Society about the history of the Newcastle townsite, just north of Nanaimo's city centre. Meutzner, of the Nanaimo Community Archives, focuses on the area’s development from 1875, when the Nanaimo city council started attempting to remove the resident Indigenous population, to the 1930s, when the economic downturn of the Depression saw the area being subdivided, with pieces of what had been valuable, larger estates sold off. She explains how after the 1890s, the Newcastle townsite was developed as an exclusive residential area with substantial houses by the city’s elite who wanted to not only show their status, but also their confidence in Nanaimo’s future. Meutzner introduces some of the area’s early white settlers, and describes some architectural design elements of the time period. Particular attention is given to the lives and homes of William Sloan and Thomas Kitchin. Meutzner concludes her talk by giving a brief outline of changes in the area since the 1930s, and by introducing the currently under development Nanaimo Community Heritage Register, on which several heritage homes from the Newcastle area will be included.