Re: Tagg family of Tagg's Island
Interested to read your message re Thomas Tagg.
I am the part owner of a double skiff ( trad rowing boat) built by Thomas Tagg at Hampton Middlesex in the 1870's.
I understand that the TAGG Family- originally Taag- came from Holland in the 17th Century to help drain the Fens.
I have a booklet privately published in the 1960s by a Mr Peter Chaplin who came from an old Hmapton family. In this he writes:
" In 1868 Tagg left his cottage in Molesey and moved in to the Island ( to be Tagg's Island) where he built boathouse with living quarters above. He did much to popularise boat letting and at the same time built up a great repoutation for his skill as a boatbuilder.
One of his early assignments was the building of a steam launch for the Russion royal family.The Beer House (an inn established byHarvey adjacent to Tagg's land on the island) proved inadequate and in consequence this was replaced with a new building the Island Hotel in about 1870/72. This hotel under Tagg's proprietorship gained great popularity amongst rowing men and boating people.
At the Paris Exhibition of 1889 Tom Tagg was awarded a silver medal for the excellence of his staeam launch Monaco. In November of that year Tagg celebrated his 50th birthday by entertaining all his empoloyees to a dinner- close to 60 members of the firm sat down to the dinner, provided in the dining room of them hotel- after the meal Tom Tagg announced that he was about to erect a large building on the Surrey side opposite the island.This was on a 3 acre site and was to be built in the Gothic-Dutch style.The ground floor was to be fitted up as boat club accomodation with large and spacious dressing and bath rooms.The ground sloped to the water's edge with railway metals for the transportation of boats to the river. The second tier will be laid out with sitting and waiting rooms, ladies' private rooms etc. Bedrooms will be provided on top as an overflkow from the hotel on the island.
In 1897 Thomas Tagg died at the age of 57. The business was carried on by his son George but unfortuneately with several bad summers, a severe flood and the coming of the motor car trade began to fall away and in 1903 the hotel and business went into the hands of a company. This was taken over in 1912 by Mr Fred Karno who replaced the building in 1913 with the Karsino Hotel.This was not succesful for long and was rejuvenated in 1928 as the Thames Rivieraand later became the Casino Hotel before closing in about 1970."
Hope this is of interest to you. We are relaunching our skiff no 1173 in late december and I should be happy to send you a photo if you provide me with an email contact address