Under constant pressure from settlers wanting to occupy their land, William Mein Smith worked by candlelight to complete his 1840 survey of Wellington. As was common practice, Smith laid the town out as a series of grids. Town founders favoured the grid plan because land could be easily subdivided. But this ignored the actual lay of the land, which was not flat. Streets ran through or up hills rather around them, leading to expensive excavations or steep gradients. Strong calf muscles soon became a hallmark of Wellingtonians.
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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: MapColl 832.4799/1840/Acc.317
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