Whitford, situated on the Turanga Creek nineteen miles east of Auckland, was once an area of early settlement, the first settlers being brothers George and William Trice. Aboard the vessel “Katherine Stewart Forbes”, they reached Port Nicholson in 1841, but not liking the Hutt Valley, had travelled by cutter to Auckland. Looking for suitable land, they camped on an area near the end of Clifton Road. There they met Chief Te Moananui, after whom that estate has been named. He showed them the route around the Turanga Creek, across the white ford, so named from the whiteness of the stepping stones crossing it and from where the name Whitford originated.
The Whitford General Store was built in the early 1900’s and opened in 1910 when it was run by Mr A.P. Horne. The store supplied goods to the local community and also served as the local Post Office. The old bank safe is still in place and is today used as a wine cellar.
His eldest son, Ashley, ran a butchers business with a slaughter house on the water’s edge opposite the rear of the store. The mail carrier was Mr “Mop” Evans and twice weekly he would bring the mail across from Howick by Horse and Trap.
Over the years the store has been used for a number of different businesses from a knitting shop to a brothel and has been a restaurant since 1986.
It was Mr Horne who was largely responsible for the formation of the Whitford Hall Company and the hall that was built at that time. On its opening night the hall was packed and the crowd danced merrily to the music of Mr and Mrs W. Wiles which was played on a piano and violin.