Ohinemuri Gold Rush
Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 34, September 1990
By Alistair M Isdale B.A.
It is to be hoped that the article under the above title on page 18 of the September 1989 Journal [see Journal 33: Ohinemuri Gold Rush - E] was read with due regard to the warning implied in the account of its origin by W Delisle Hay, in 1882, seven years after the event. That is too soon for historical research, but just the appropriate interval for pub lore to ripen.
The 1875 newspapers - and newspapers are not supposed to be noted for minimising things -give a more sober account.
The 1882 story starts: The chief Te Hira has been overruled by his counsellors, and has reluctantly consented to the sale of a portion of his territory".
Tramway Hotel, Karangahake
Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 32, September 1988
I have been asked to write my recollections of my days at the Tramway Hotel, Karangahake. It all seems a long while ago now, so forgive me if I quote my diary to get the facts right.
I arrived in Karangahake in April 1882 just three weeks after John McCombie, Alf Shepherd and their mates had discovered the large gold bearing reef, later known as the "Maria". What a wild, remote place it was then. No huts and even the tracks made by the original prospectors in 1875 had over-grown. Tents or rough huts that were hastily constructed from bush materials were the first accommodation, although we occasionally trudged back to Nash's Hotel at Mackaytown to enjoy the comforts it provided.
Our camp was at Battery Flat across the river from today's picnic ground. It often puzzles folk today as to why Karangahake's first store, hotel and Post Office were over the "other" side of the river, but that was where the mines were. There were no roads or settlement on the later "town" side of the river, and of course, no bridges anywhere.
Paeroa's Black Gold
It may be of interest to Paeroa folk that they had a mine well ahead of Waihi but it wasn't a gold mine but a coal mine which was situated up the Tarariki Creek.
Discovered in 1875 and recorded in the Thames Advertiser on March 15th 1875 as thus:
A Mr Hennelly accompanied by Messrs Wright and Bayldon surveyors Mr Cashell and Mr Smith, one of the claimants of the Prospectors Reserve, travelled up the creek on which the coal had been found. They came back that night with the following information. There were two seams overlaying each other about 50 feet apart. The lower seam being about 18 inches thick, the other on the same bearing 3 foot to four foot thick.
They sunk a hole four foot deep by six foot long onto the main seam and removed large lumps of coal which burnt well. They also found a little oil on the water which burnt with a slight flame.
Waihi Municipal Water Supply Dams
Achieving a plentiful and reliable municipal water supply was a considerable milestone for the new Borough of Waihi.
In a presentation made to the Premier, Richard Seddon, the Mayor pointed out "the urgent necessity for a pure water supply, and the inadequate supply they had now to put up with, which was practically useless in case of a big fire" (NZ Herald (?) May 1903 - From Waihi Borough Council Scrap Book, 1902 –1904). This supply may have been from the Mangatoetoe, via a pipe along the Bulltown timber tramway, to a small concrete reservoir on Martha Hill (personal communication with the late Owen Morgan).
The Waihi Borough Council's Engineer selected Walmsley's Creek as being most suitable for the new supply, and recommended that an area of about 900 acres within the watershed of Walmsley's Creek be reserved as a water conservation area for the Borough.
The Waihi Gold Mining Company had exclusive rights to the waters of this stream (and others around Waihi), and had concerns.
Two Early Paeroa Professionals
Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 25, November 1981
by NELL CLIMIE
Several incidents have provided us with interesting facets of Paeroa history, Mr. Frank Gillman recently retired Architect of Hamilton donated to our Museum some of his father's beautifully drawn plans of early Paeroa homes and other buildings. At about the same time Mrs. Colhoun (nee Raeburn), of Thames, gave us a photograph, taken about 1909 of business premises, "Dominion Chambers" in Belmont Road. This included the Office of her father "John Raeburn, Accountant", and "E.E. Gillman, Architect". Correspondence has revealed further information.