Melrose House was originally built about 1879 for Charles Fowell Willett Watts. Charles came out to New Zealand aboard the Will Watch in 1841 and worked as a surveyor for the New Zealand Company.
After his death in 1881, Melrose became the home of his daughter, Francis and her husband Percy Bolland Adams, a prominent Nelson lawyer. It was at this time that much of the planting of the grounds was carried out by Mr Adams’ man-servant, Joseph Busch.
Garden parties were held in the rose garden at the back of the house where Melrose Terrace runs today. Percy and Frances had one son, Noel Percy Adams, who eventually inherited the property. His wife became very interested in the Women’s Division of Federated Farmers - and was at one time a Dominion President. This association was acknowledged by Colonel Adams when he arranged for the Women’s Division to have use of the property, and for a number of years the W.D.F.F. used the house as a holiday-rest home.
The property was gifted to the Nelson City Council for the use of the citizens of Nelson. (5 years and 1137 days ago)