|dc.description.abstract||This thesis discusses the rise and fall of the Reid family and their large-scale nineteenth-century farming estate called Elderslie, which was situated near the small community of Enfield, in Oamaru. This discussion is instigated via an initial investigation of the only significant surviving relic of that estate, in the form of a sprawling Victorian bay villa known as Burnside homestead. Burnside continues to function today in near original condition as a private residence for Bruce and Alison Albiston, who purchased the property in the 1970s. However, very little has been written about the history of the homestead, the estate it was built on, or the original owners, despite the fact that Burnside was awarded a Category One distinction from the New Zealand Historic Places Trust in 1998, due to its architectural uniqueness. This thesis attempts uncover who the family was that commissioned Burnside, how they lived, how they fitted in with New Zealand society at the time and why the homestead is worthy of being regarded today as having an important historic link with the past, particularly with the former Elderslie estate.
The thesis begins by documenting the current condition of Burnside and all that the Albistons have done to restore their Victorian villa to its former glory. The next section then takes the reader back to the late 1890s, when the original owner, John Forrester Reid, began to prepare the site of his future home. John F. Reid's life at Burnside was a direct result of his father's ambition, wealth and social status. Therefore it is necessary to investigate how his father managed to become one of the most affluent and influential men in North Otago. Chapter Two goes back to the very beginning of the Reid family saga with the arrival of young John Reid in Dunedin in the 1860s. Subsequent chapters then discuss his accumulation of land, the building of his own luxurious homestead at Elderslie, his other business interests, social ambitions and children. Chapter five documents the demise of the Elderslie estate and the changes which led to its eventual dispersal in the early twentieth century. The final section arrives at the conclusion that Burnside homestead, as a glorious survivor of the former Elderslie estate, should be regarded as an important testimony to the luxurious, but isolated lifestyle that one wealthy family afforded, as members of New Zealand's early farming elite.||en_NZ