Reference: Papers Past
Timaru Herald, 6 February 1874, Page 4
The " Our Traveller " of the Bruce Herald writes :
As my stay in Timaru was very limited, I shall not be able to do it the justice it deserves. The business portion of the town is more regular and better formed than that of Oamaru. The hotels, such as the Club, which is built of brick, with white stone corner facing, and the Ship, of dark blue whin stone, are well served, and are handsome buildings. There are others of less importance m general appearance, which may, however, take nothing off their comfort. Of the general business houses, I may mention the stores of Messrs Hibbard and Cowan, whose well-stocked appearance gives assurance to the statement of the large trade done by that firm. The Post office, also, is much superior to our poking small town offices. Large shipping accommodation is to be found at this place, but it seems surprising that the lagoon on the northern end of the town is not formed into a dock or harbour. There does not seem to be so much enterprise here as at Oamaru in this way. Suburban Timaru is very pretty, and has many handsome private residences, which some day it may be my pleasing occupation to reproduce for the benefit of the public at home and abroad.
Passing the Washdyke, where are to be seen heaps of snowy wool, and the imposing works of the New Zealand Meat Preserving Company, I find my way over the Levels Station to Temuka. This is a red township, the general taste being in brick color. Churches, hotels, and livery stables seem to flourish here. The stores are busy, and the private residences gay with floral sweets. The town is built on a dead level piece of land, and has, therefore, the sameness of appearance peculiar to such places. Trees along the highway road would be a great boon here. The chief feature on this plain is the want of irrigation, pasture lands being only worth 10s per acre rental, against ours of £1. This can only be accounted for by the absence of water, and consequent depreciation in the growth of grasses ; yet water could be led on to those plains -touch more easily than in Otago. The plains would then become a rich mine of wealth to the district, and teem with population. Of the thousands spent experimentally yearly by the Government, why not try a few pounds m this line, more especially when a sure revenue would be the result.
Geraldine is a pretty but straggling village, twelve miles north of Temuka. I saw about fifty houses, of which three were hotels. Mr Reuben Johnstone is finishing a very handsome wooden hotel, which ought, from its appearance, to be able to do all the trade m the place. There are also a number of churches. I saw a farmer stalking after his one-furrow plough, which seems as far off as the Egyptian article now used in parts of South America ; but I trust to journey through this quarter on another occasion, and localise two, four, and six-furrow ploughs.
Advance Canterbury! Your roads are better, your timber better, your harbors better, and your Government better and more liberal than ours of Otago. Advance your agricultural and mining interests! There is good reason to believe that you are not deficient m mineral wealth, perhaps as great as your neighbor over the Waitaki. Conserve your main public interests ; sell no land to land-jobbers likely to contain minerals ; and work up your advantages.