Tales of a Pioneer
Karangahake School and District 70th Jubilee 1889-1959
My Uncle, Bill Sorensen, used to tell us many tales of the early days. He was born in 1876, in a four-roomed cottage at the foot of Turner's Hill, but later his father built a six-roomed house which was pit-sawn from one large kauri tree. It was roofed with split wooden shingles. He and Bill Marsh went to the first Mackaytown School and Mr Sullivan, who later went to Paeroa as Headmaster, taught there. Daldy Williams ran a store and Post Office in an old hotel near the school.
Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 1, June 1964
By W.C. Kennedy, M.B.E., J.P.
It would be true to say that in 1875 more people were concerned about Ohinemuri's mining prospects than about its farming prospects. Yet there have always been people prepared to make great sacrifices in order to follow the lure of land-owning. Its meagre early rewards for long hours of hardship left the pioneer undaunted as he contemplated greater security for the generations that followed.
The Ohinemuri Coal Field
Ohinemuri Coal Mines
From: the Daily Southern Cross, 15 March, 1875
The. following account of the coal deposits in the Ohinemuri district is extracted from the letter of the Thames Advertiser's correspondent, which appeared on Saturday last.
"A great deal has, from time to time, been said and written about the coal seams of Ohinemuri and it will, no doubt, be of interest to many of your readers to know something definite regarding them. As you are aware, there are several claimants for the coal of this district, and one of the parties, Messrs Hennelly and others, have for the last few days been engaged in making search. On Thursday morning, Mr. Hennelly, accompanied by Messrs. Wright and Bayldon, surveyors, Mr. Cashell, and Mr. Smith (one of the claimants of the prospectors' reserve), started for the creek on which the gold had been found. This creek runs down at the back of Takerei's house, midway between Mackaytown and Paeroa. The party returned to camp on Thursday night, and I am indebted to Mr. W. C. Wright for the following information regarding this coal:—
Waihi Mayoral Chain
Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 32, September 1988
Talk to Waihi Historical Society on 23/9/87 by Owen Morgan
MA TENEI TOHU KA TANGAENGAE TE TOHU ARIKI
which translated by Mr, H. Tukukino, President of the Thames/Coromandel Historic Places Committee means;
BY THIS SIGN, LET IT BE KNOWN TO ALL MEN THAT THIS IS THE SIGN OF A GREAT CHIEF
There is some confusion in the literature regarding the early history of mining in Waihi. Matters are further complicated because both Nicholl and McCombie, during their lifetimes, wrote several different versions of early events (Philip Hart attempts to sort them out).
Two batteries were built more or less concurrently in 1882. The “Martha” (15 stamps) was on the eastern side of Martha Hill, for the Martha Company. The other (“Manukau” Jones’) was on the Ohinemuri River upstream of the present Victoria Street Bridge (20 stamps) for the Waihi Gold Mining Company. This Ohinemuri River battery was briefly called the “Waihi Battery”, but soon took over the name of the defective Martha Battery.