Short Street

One of the mysteries in the naming of Masterton streets concerns Short Street – and it involves irony as well. The street is now literally a short street, as it runs from Harley Street to High Street, it being given this name when the long street, called Short Street, was broken into three streets, namely Hillcrest, Intermediate and Short Streets.

When Short Street was first constructed it did not include the piece now called Short Street. It ran from High Street across to a junction with York Street, then took a sharp turn up to the upper plain, where it joined the road which became known as Ngaumutawa Road.

It was a problem street for the council in the late 1870s and there are frequent notes in the minutes talking of the slowness of construction, of the trouble removing stumps, and the encroachment of some of the sections into the carriageway. The street is sometimes held to have been named facetiously. It is claimed that the mile long street was named in the time-honoured manner in which red headed men are called “Blue”.

It seems, however, more likely that the street was named in honour of Elijah Short, an early settler from the area.

For many years the street was known as the Kuripuni Railway Road, as it later lead to the Kuripuni Railway Station, now known as the Solway Station.

Pic: Augustus and Polly Cave's house 'Nympsfield' was in the short part of Short Street.