Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 34, September 1990


By Lance Deverell, Athenree 1988

I was packed off with the family to enjoy a long summer holiday at a delightful old style farm, where all machinery was drawn by the faithful horse, January. With long dry warm days it was ideal to cut and harvest the oats. The reaper and binder drawn by three horses, moved at a steady pace around the field throwing out the sheaves.

The four men who resided at the old homestead, Robert Blakeny, William Tuthill,Mr Johnston and Mr Holms, very actively stacked the sheaves into stooks to dry out, 5 or 6 to a stook. When the fairly small area was finished it made a sight never to be forgotten. A second field followed this pattern, and then light wagons drawn by two horses went out to load the sheaves. Several neighbours came to help and it was exciting to be invited up on the wagon. The near-by barn was filled ready to cut and bag the chaff, from time to time. This required a pair of horses harnessed to a round-about which worked the chaff cutter in quite an excellent way. As the chaff went down the flume to floor level it fell onto the sack in the well and was tramped tight by a workman. Chaff was a very important crop and in great demand to feed hundreds of working horses in nearby towns.

Mt Stewart farm is situated on the harbour-side between Kauri Point and Tanners Point and was a quiet, rich paradise area, on the northern reaches of the Tauranga Harbour where I roamed and admired the whole hinterland. The Royal Mail and passenger coach, drawn by five horses was to be seen on the highway at that period. Mt Stewart was about 15 miles from Waihi.

[Adela Stewart mentions "Mount Stewart" in her book "My Simple Life in New Zealand". Mt Stewart Road is now called Tuapiro Road - E]