Birch Hill Station was first occupied by Nicolo "Big Mick" Radove in 1868. His mate, John "Jimmy" Lloyd, helped with mustering but John contracted an incurable disease and spent his last days at the station. Each night Radove would carry his friend up to a hilltop behind the homestead so he could watch the sunset. When John Lloyd died, Radove buried him on that spot. The grave is marked by a headstone and a wooden fence. In 2002 a survey recorded the physical remnants at Birch Hill Station and found the sites of three homesteads, one woolshed, two ditch-and-bank enclosures, two graves, a sheep yard, a bivvy and a possible forge (Jacomb 2002). Was Jimmy a shipmate of "Big Mick" Radove?
Timaru Herald 25th September, 1872
September 16, 1872 at Birch Hill Station, after a severe illness, John LOYD, aged 36. Deeply regretted by Mr Radove, and respected by all who knew him. Tasmanian and Melbourne papers please copy.
John Brown's Grave
near Round Hill, Birch Hill
Lat: 43.8333 Long: 170.1128
John Lloyd's Grave
near Birch Hill
Lat: 43.8009 Long: 170.1087
4km from John Browns grave.
Latitude and Longitude
Christchurch 43°32'S 172°37'E Aoraki Mount Cook 43°36'S 170°09'E Fred Creek 43°83'S 170°11'E Round Hill, Birch Hill 43°83'S 170°09'E Mt Brown 43°85°S 170°05'E Pukaki L. 44°04'S 170°01'E Fairlie 44°05'S 170°49'E
Timaru Herald, 13 January 1873, Page 4
IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF TIMARU AND OAMARU
HOLDEN AT TIMARU.
VICTORIA by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen Defender of the Faith : To the next of kin, if any, and all other persons in general having or pretending to have any interest in the estate and effects of John Lloyd late of Birch Hill Station, in the District of Timaru and Oamaru Canterbury New Zealand station hand.
Whereas it appears by an affidavit of Nicolo Radove of Birch Hill Station aforesaid stockowner sworn on the twenty-fifth day of November One thousand eight hundred and seventy-two and filed in this Court that the said John Lloyd died on the sixteenth day of September last at Birch Hill Station aforesaid intestate a bachelor without parent brother or sister uncle or aunt nephew or niece cousin-merman or any other known I relative and that the said Nicolo Radove is a creditor of the said deceased. Now this is to command you that within thirty days after service hereof inclusive of the day of such service you do cause an appearance to be entered for you in the District Court of Timaru and Oamaru at Timaru and accept or refuse letters of administration of all and singular the personal estate and effects of the said John Lloyd deceased or show cause why the same should not be granted to the said Nicolo Radove a creditor of the said deceased And take notice that in default of your so appearing and accepting and extracting the said letters of administration the Judge of our said Court will proceed to grant letters of administration of the personal estate and effects of the said deceased to the said Nicolo Radove your absence notwithstanding. Dated the eighth day of January One thousand eight hundred and seventy three and in this thirty-sixth year of our reign. THOMAS HOWLEY, Clerk.
Citation, JOHN W. WHITE, Solicitor, Timaru, N.Z.
In the1870s John Brown, from the Isle of Skye, was the head shepherd for "Glentanner" was out snowraking with his friend Browning. Browning returned to camp and realised Brown had not returned from down Fred's Creek. Fred Creek(●) (aka Tin Hut Creek), some six miles upstream from Glentanner, was named after a Glentanner shepherd, Fred Baker, in the 1860s. Thinking Brown had gone to the Birch Hill homestead Browning did not look for him. Three days later Browning arrived at the Birch Hill homestead and Brown was not there. A search party was organised and Andrew Burnett advised that a Highland shepherd would place his shepherd's stick upright in the snow to aid searchers. Big Mick Radove discovered the mustering stick with Brown's hat on top of it and Brown was found in a snow drift, dead. A coffin was made by a Glentanner Station hand from rough birch timber and lined with a grey station blanket and he was buried on Birch Hill Station. Birch Hill was the last station before you get to Mt Cook Village but since 1912 it has been worked in conjunction with Glentanner Station. Starting on the left side of the lake just south of Lake Pukaki you have the Mackenzie high country stations Ben Ohau, Rhoboro Downs thence past Glentanner and on to Birch Hill and finally Mt Cook National Park. Mt. Brown, 2179m is marked with a (●). Wm. Vance writes High Endeavour that Mt. Brown is named after James Brown, formerly of the Dunedin Drapery firm, a Glentanner Station owner from 1886 - 1896. The Tasman River flows into Lake Pukaki. Across on the right side of Lake Pukaki you have Simons Pass at the bottom of the lake and north of the Tekapo River and moving up the right side of the lake - The Wolds, Irishman Creek, Braemar and Balmoral stations and finally Mount Cook Station and further to the right of these over the Forks River, Glenmore Station, then the Cass River and The Mistake Station at the head of Lake Tekapo. Mt Cook Station and Birch Hill Station were neighbouring stations only with the treacherous (quick sand) Tasman River bed separating them. Mick's Point is a tussock headland that juts into the Tasman River and was named after "Big Mick" Radove. At this point the Burnet's used to light a signal fire to tell the Birch Hill people of the arrival of the mail. On Godley Peaks station there is Mt Radove, 2431 metres. The scenery of the Cass River, up the Cass Valley, is bare and rather uninteresting, like most other Canterbury valleys, but is saved from monotony by the fine peaks which rise on either hand, notably Mount Radove on the east. Reference: Page 49 High Endeavour by William Vance.
"Big Mick" Radove
About 1858 "Big Mick" arrived in New Zealand. Previously he was a seaman, started off as a cabin boy, and served in the British Navy and then tried his hand at gold digging in Australia. From Nelson he drove sheep to Canterbury to the Ben Oahu Station. He became a "gun shearer." In 1868 Nicolo "Big Mick" Radove had saved enough and filled his dream and became the second owner but first occupier of Birch Hill Station. Nicolo Radove from Birch Hill took over the Mistake Station in 1875 and endured ten years of very hard times, heavy snows and low wool prices. By 1885 the Mistake was sold from under him, in a mortgagee sale to the Rutherford brothers and Radove was forced off.
In 1873 Sir George Bowen, Governor of N.Z, camped what is now known as Governor's Bush, Mount Cook Village, and visited the Tasman Glacier with Nicolco Radove as his their guide. Nicolco pointed out to the Governor the spot where a storm had trapped him for three days and three nights without food. Radove guided the party around the glacier region that formed the boundary of his property, taking them on to the Hooker and Tasman glaciers and leading them up Mount Sebastapol, magnificent. Was all that Bowen could have desired. Mount Sebastapol, an enormous bluff of rock, had been named by Radove after a battle he had fought in. Mount Sebastapol, 1200m, is four miles from Birch Hill Homestead and two miles from the old Hermitage in 1893. "Big Mick" died at age 54 and is buried in Timaru [new plaque] but his two infant children are buried in ornate graves at Burkes Pass.
Timaru Herald, 31 July 1888, Page 3
A MACKENZIE COUNTRY PIONEER
The present generation knows little of Nicolo Radove, whose death is announced in another column, but years ago everybody in South Canterbury nearly was familiar with his nick-name "Big Mick," though few indeed could then have been familiar with the man. A Sicilian [born in Palermo] of powerful physique, a soldier who had borne the severity of that historic winter in the Crimea, he came to this colony upwards of thirty years ago, and soon after strayed into the Mackenzie Country, where, in a climate so different from that of his native land— unless, indeed, he was bred on the heights of Etna— he found a home congenial to his grand and simple nature. For some years he worked as a station hand, usually at Ben More or Ben Ohau stations, where his strength and industry were net more valuable than his unfailing good temper and kindness of heart. "Big Mick" — he had been given this nickname on board ship, on the way out, and it stuck to him and he to it — "Big Mick" was a general favorite wherever he went. Temperate and thrifty, he saved money from his regular weekly wages and his shearing cheques, and presently finding himself the owner of a small stock of capital, he made a start on his own account, by taking up and stocking — very lightly indeed at the start— the run now well known as Birch Hill, which lies on the south bank of the river Tasman, and includes the southern spurs of Mount Cook as far as they are worth including, and probably further. It was as the owner, manager and staff of this run that Big Mick came to be talked about on this side of Burkes Pass, for his mountaineering exploits, performed, not for the love of the thing, as is the case with many modern mountaineers, nor out of a spirit of bravado or of emulation, as is the case with others, but simply in the pursuit of his vocation as a sheep farmer on one of the most rugged runs m the colony. Most old identities hero will recollect some stories of his lonely clamberings after wild sheep that led him anything but merry dances over splintery slate, the tumbled moraines and icy streams of the "second "and "first " order on his glaciated run, how on one trip he wore the soles off his boots and arrived home barefoot ; how on another he was out all night, and owing to the frost having made the hillsides like glass he was obliged to save his boots by hanging them round his neck and walking barefoot to be able to walk at all ; how on another occasion, determined to bring home as sheep animals which appeared to have become chamois goats, he remained out until be was fain to share their food, compelled to eat the roots of snowgrass to starve off the pangs of hunger. His adventures usually, if not always solitary, would make an interesting volume were they recorded. It will probably be many a day before another can safely say he has scrambled about the spurs of Mount Cook as much as Nicolo Radove. To be sure Mr Green and his Swiss guides out rivalled him, and so have others, in respect of altitude attained, but these were equipped for mountaineering, not for sheep mustering, and had climbing as a special end in view. Mr Radove sold out of Birch Hill about 1874, having done very well there, thanks to his industry and thrift. He went to the North Island to look for a run there, but found nothing to suit him, and acting on the advice of his old neighbour and friend Mr Burnett, he returned to South Canterbury and purchased Mistake Station, another rugged piece of country on the south bank of the Godley river, the chief stream flowing into Lake Tekapo, and draining a huge glacier of the same name. Here he missed the good counsel of his friend, Mr Burnett, who had formerly exercised some supervision over his business affairs for him, and by a continuation of bad luck with probably some bad management, the Mistake justified its name for him, only too well, and he was compelled to relinquish it about three years ago, leaving it empty handed. After a short sojourn m Timaru he and his wife obtained a situation at the Hermitage, where "Big Mick," as a guide, was a great favourite with tourist visitors as he had been in the old days with his neighbours. It was fitting, too, that the man who first set foot on the great Tasman glacier should, while he continued capable of it, have the privilege of introducing others to its chilly wonders and it« grand surroundings. Many a tourist of the past two or three seasons must remember him well. Those who knew him thoroughly will much regret his death. He was a rough diamond, indeed, but kind of heart, and when in a position to play the host, hospitable to a notable degree, oven in a region where hospitality in a sacred duty. For a long time past Mr Radove has suffered from a liver complaint. Becoming worse he was brought to Timaru, by the advice of Dr. Macintyre, about a week ago, but the disease had progressed too far, and he died on Sunday evening. He leaves a widow, but no children.
Marlborough Express, 11 August 1888, Page 4
BIG MICK, THE GUIDE
Many Marlborough people no doubt knew the late Nicolo Radove of Mackenzie country. A Timaru correspondent of the Lyttelton Times sends the following about him:— Nearly everyone in Canterbury some years ago had heard of Nicolo Radove, under his nickname of "Big Mick," though few could have had a personal acquaintance with the man, who as the owner of a small sheep run at the foot of Mount Cook, had done some remarkable feats of mountaineering. To be sure that was before the days of Alpine Clubs, but even were it not be, "Big Mick's" adventures were not to be judged by the same standard as those of men carefully equipped, and with climbing as their sole end in view. Nicolo Radove was a Sicilian by birth, a big powerful man, who had been a soldier, and served in the Crimea. He came to the colony about thirty years ago, and soon made the Mackenzie country his home. After working a few years on stations there, Benmore and Ben Ohau chiefly, and being temperate and thrifty, he saved enough to start on his own account. He took up the run now well-known as Birch Hill, which included the southern spurs of Mount Cook. It was as owner and working staff of this run in its earlier years that "Big Mick" came to be talked about as a mountaineer, his exploits being performed, and his adventures met with, while chasing wild sheep - from the mountains to the mustering yards. Many tales were told of his forced marches over the splintering spurs till the soles left his boots; of his staying out on determined mustering trips till he was fain to stave off the pangs of hunger by sharing the food of his quarry, seeking the roots of snowgrass - the nourishment his haversack could no longer supply. He sold out of Birch Hill for a good round sum in 1874, and after an unsatisfactory look over the North Island for a run, he returned to the Mackenzie Country, and purchased the Mistake Station, and another rough piece of mountain country at the upper, end of Lake Tekapo. There he missed the wise counsels of his old friend und neighbour, Mr Burnett, of Mount Cook Station, who had exercised some supervision over his , affairs while at Birch Hill'; and through bad luck, or bad management, or both together, he was obliged to relinquish the station about three years ago. He and his wife were then engaged by Mr Huddlestone at the Hermitage. As guide "Big, Mick" was as great a favourite with tourists as his unfailing good temper and kindness of heart had made him with his few neighbours in the old days. It was also quite an accordance, with the fitness of things that the man who first set foot on the Tasman Glacier should, while he was able to do so, have the privilege of introducing others to its wonders and grand scenery. Many a tourist will remember him well. He was a rough diamond indeed, but kind of heart, and when in a position to play the host, hospitable to a notable degree, even in a region where hospitality was a earned duty. He had been suffering from jaundice for some time, and this disease carried him off on Sunday. He died in Timaru, whither he had gone under medical advice about a week before. His age was fifty four. He leaves a widow, but no children.
Timaru Courier July 29, 2010 pg 7
Nicolo Radove, known as ‘‘Big Mick’’, was an illiterate man of powerful physique and genial nature, a high country identity said to have been born in Palermo, Sicily, and to have fought in the Crimean War. This was possibly imagination, as his death certificate gives his place of birth as Austria. He worked at Ben Ohau and beyond, where it was written: ‘‘. . . his strength and industry were not more valuable than his unfailing good temper and kindness of heart’’. He was a ‘‘gun’’ shearer who was known to shear 50 merinos before breakfast on Balmoral Station. In his early days he was temperate and thrifty and put his savings into Birch Hill Station, which he later acquired. He then left to buy the larger and more dangerous station ‘‘The Mistake’’ (part of Lilybank and Godley Peaks), a name which proved prophetic: he struggled and became heavily indebted, eventually losing the station to the British and NZ National Mortgage and Agency Company, after much litigation. Robert Pinney in Early South Canterbury Runs comments on ‘‘the tragedy of a magnificent, virile, but unlettered man, facing mortgages, liens, bills and powers of sale, and all that entanglement against which it is so hopeless to fight’’. He and his wife were then employed at the Hermitage. In July 1888, he died at Sarah St, Timaru, of a painful illness diagnosed as ‘‘rupture of blood vessel in intestine’’. Pinney says ‘‘of a broken heart’’.
Timaru Herald, 31 July 1888, Page 3
The 1888 Snow
BURKES PASS, July 28. It has been snowing, sleeting, and raining continuously since Tuesday morning, — thawing all the time. The depth of snow was at its greatest, on Friday morning, when it measured 17 inches. A thaw has evidently set in now. No word has yet reached us from the back country, but it is not expected that any part of the Mackenzie Plain has suffered like the front country. In fact, it is very unlikely that any snow that fell on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday reached further than the top of the Pass
BURKES PASS, July 29. Snow in the Mackenzie.— The back runs have not suffered so much as the front country. For about two miles inside Burkes Pass the snow lies 2 feet 6 inches. Towards the Grampians and Grey's hills, about 20 inches, and less at Black Forest ; at Tekapo bridge about 20 inches, and lighter towards the western and southern end of the Mackenzie plain. The weather cleared this morning, with hard frost. The snow will most probably lie some time.
FAIRLIE CREEK, July 30. Last Thursday it left off snowing and a downpour of rain commenced, without a break until Saturday morning, when it gradually began to clear up. The snow having considerably wasted away, the creeks and the river Opihi were in high flood and dangerous to cross. A little incident occurred which luckily passed off without a fatality. Last Wednesday evening Mr Close, undertaker, left here with a coffin for the burial of the late John McDowell. Owing to the great depth of snow he was travelling all night, and only reached Burkes Pass at 10 the following morning. It actually took him 13 hours to travel 13 miles. Only for his great presence of mind the result would have been serious. The Mackenzie Country road from Silverstream up is completely blocked, and the mails from here can only be despatched on horse-back. From the above notes it would appear that the storm was from the east of south, and that the eastern ranges precipitated the bulk of the snow as the clouds were carried over them. The foot hills on this side appear to be whitened to their bases, and the whole mountain region made a fine picture under yesterday's sun, and a perfectly clear sky. Settlers among the snow will scarcely be inclined, however, to dwell upon the pictorial effects of the storm. "'Tis distance lends enchantment to the view."
Why the runholders went bankrupted?
Hawera & Normanby Star, 24 October 1895, Page 2 LOSSES OF STOCK IN THE SOUTH.
A correspondent who has been through a great part of the Mackenzie Country during the last fortnight informs the North Otago Times of ascertained losses. Balmoral has over 12,000 skins, and all hands are yet gathering wool. Cowan's Tekapo, Hope's Richmond, and Rutherford's Mistake runs are clean swept — scarcely a sheep to be seen. Glentanner has close on 2000 skins, and probably over 2000 dead, out of 10,000 ; Arthur Sutherland's Birch Hill, over 4000 out of less than 6000. Half the run was mustered last week, and only 75 sheep were got. This run is to be let with the Hermitage Hotel. Rhoboro' Downs has 4000 skins out of 10,000 ; Ben Ohau much the same ; Benmore has over 10,000 skins, which means 20,000 dead. Lower down, towards Burkes Pass, the losses are quite as heavy ; while up the Waitaki, from Morvern Hills to Station Peak, the loss is so great that fewer shearers and other bands are to be put on this year.
LIFE WAS TOUGH, LEGENDS WERE MADE
By Nadine PORTER. 19 June 2000 Timaru Herald
He was big and he was eccentric. There is a hint of unsolved mystery by the quiet rumblings of Tasman Glacier and sometimes those who go to visit talk of eeriness ... an all encroaching coldness. It can prick the soul ... just as it must have done almost 130 years ago when a legendary figure moved in to the Mackenzie Country. Intrigue centres on a newcomer to the Mackenzie area in the 1860s. Austrian-born Nicolo Radove brought all his eccentricities with him it seems, and chose to take work at Ben More and Ben Ohau stations.
Very quickly he gained the name of "Big Mick". Large, burly and with a good physique, he gained quite a reputation for his work. A Timaru Herald obituary dated July 31, 1888, wrote "his strength and industry were not more valuable than his unfailing good temperament and kindness of heart ..." As he lay dying, Big Mick lay on the corpse and in a paroxysm of grief, he tried to breathe life into the lips and warm the dead body to life again, High Endeavour author William Vance wrote of Big Mick's attempt to help dear friend Jimmy Lloyd.
Alas, no amount of breathing would bring his companion back to life. He was a broken piece of work. Unfixable, unable to feel the wetness created by Big Mick's sobs. The frame would be forever frozen in his mind. He was a soldier serving in the British Navy at the Crimean War ... a good fighter ... a good stayer through the gripping pain of a Crimean winter.
Temperate, thrifty, he saved his wages from shearing and farm work. Legend would say that Big Mick was a gun blade shearer. Fifty merino sheep de-fleeced before lunchtime, so the whispered word was around the Mackenzie. He worked his way towards acquiring sheep and Birch Hill Station in 1868 from George Hodginson. The station was a picturesque property lying on the south bank of the river Tasman including the southern spurs of Mt Cook. Lachlan Macdonald became a partner in the property although the partnership dissolved in a quarrel that went to court. Life was tough and cheap in the tough sapping terrain as Big Mick was soon to find out. A kind neighbour, a first-class sheepman, and noted for his good dogs. Amid pastures green he'll keep his flocks, where living streams appear, and God the Lord from every eye, shall wipe off every tear. Those who come after are asked to take care of this grave and that of Jimmy Lloyd's at Birch Hill, the epitaph reminds. Death had come softly to Jimmy Lloyd. History says Jimmy and Big Mick were closer than brothers after they met in a Mackenzie shearing shed - and where one worked the other followed. So it was logical that Jimmy would come to Birch Hill Station with Big Mick. He helped muster Mick's sheep off the treacherous Mt Cook terrain. But he soon got very sick ... and Mick watched helplessly as Jimmy began the journey towards death. "He carried Jimmy up the hillock at the back of the homestead to see the sunset. There they sat watching the sinking sun transform to crimson the snow crest of Mount Cook. When dusk changed the blue MacKenzie sky to violet, and a crisp wind from the Tasman Glacier gave warning of approaching nightfall Big Mick, wrapping a blanket around his mate, carried him down to the homestead." There he watched him die ... Cheeky Nicolo emerged when sheep became scarce to buy in the high county. It began when Hugh Fraser created Ben Ohau station. Problems arose when he had to access sheep from Nelson because of the lack of sheep for sale locally. However, the sheep had to come through Levels Station to get to Ben Ohau. The owner of Levels Station, George Rhodes, was a formidable man who was bent on keeping scab out of his flock. The disease had already hit North Canterbury and Nelson flocks. Rhodes wouldn't allow any scabby sheep to pass through the run and when he saw the dust of an approaching mob he rode out to sort out the situation with a foreboding expression worn tightly on his face. But Big Mick was helping to head the sheep to Ben Ohau and knew what to do with the fearless George Rhodes. "Where have those sheep come from," Rhodes called. Big Mick replied "no comprehendo". That phrase was repeated many times as the exasperated George Rhodes barked at the large man before him. And the sheep passed through ... Big Mick looked after Jimmy as he got sicker. As his light faded he watched sadly. Big Mick's climbing adventures should have made Boys Own Annual. "Performed not for the love of the thing, as is the case with many modern mountaineers, not out of a spirit of bravado or of emulation, as is the case with the others, but simply in pursuit of his vocation as a sheepfarmer on one of the most rugged runs in the colony," The Timaru Herald reported in 1888. The book High Endeavour records an amazing record of his exploits on the mountain. Young Dr Julius von Haast, when on one of his exploring expeditions, said to his surveyor after they had climbed some hundreds of metres up the slopes of Mt Cook, "We are now higher up the slopes of Mount Cook than any man has ever been." Not so. Hardly had he spoken when from the ridge above them, a voice shouted, "Hey, by crikey, you down there ... you not disturb my sheep!" It's fair to add Dr Julius nearly collapsed with shock. [Big Mick then came down to tell them this 'unexplored' region was part of his regular mustering beat.]
Perhaps the highlight of Big Mick's life arrived in 1873 along with the Governor of New Zealand, Sir George Bowen, on a visit to the Mount Cook area. Nicolo was thrilled to meet the Governor, especially when he greeted him in Italian. Then he took him up to Mount Sebastapol, around the Hooker and Tasman glaciers and some distance up the slopes of Cook range. It was there that he pointed out the place where he was stormbound for three days and nights without food. Big Mick was so captivated by the governor that he ceased burning the bush at Birch Hill - a feat indeed for such a rugged pioneer. But another sad chapter was about to occur. It was just a flick of the whip but the horse lashed with his feet kicking William Wilkin in the stomach. He was mortally wounded. Big Mick fell towards the bleeding body... Big Mick took on a couple of cadets during his ownership of Birch Hill. No significance ... it was a good station to learn about. A member of a southern squatter family, William Wilkin wanted experience and came to Birch Hill, eager to do a good job.
Tragically on the last day of the cadetship William accidentally touched the flank of the horse with his riding whip. The horse lashed out... Big Mick took William Wilkin into the homestead - unable to believe what had happened. Again he nursed his patient, praying for a recovery, but William was never going to recover. He died a few days later. It was a long way from home. Big Mick did the only thing he could do for him, he buried him on a hillock at the back of the homestead alongside Jimmy Lloyd's grave. It was not long after that a wizened Nicolo sold Birch Hill. Perhaps death and the isolation made it easier to do so. Instead he bought Mistake Station, not far away. Big Mick took no heed of the name and went downhill along with the land he purchased. He did however, gain a wife, although death touched his young child. And that touch finally extended to him in 1888, although not to his character which still clings to the clear air around Mount Cook. A legend may have died, but the birth of a memory worth recording was clearly given.
Timaru Herald, 31 July 1888, Page 2
RADOVE. On July the 29th, At Sarah Street, Timaru, Nicolo Radove, of Mackenzie Country, after a painful illness, aged 54 Years. Deeply regretted.
Christchurch Probate file. Radove, Nicolo - Tekapo - Sheep farmer 1900 Christchurch High Court.
Timaru Herald, 20 September 1900, Page 2
In Chambers yesterday, on the application of Mr Raymond, probate was granted of the will of the late T P. Wooding, of Woodbury; and letters of administration to the widow of the late Nicolo Radove.
Burkes Pass Cemetery - Parents: Nicolo & Ellen Radove
RADOVE, Anna Maria, buried at Burkes Pass, 10 December 1880. Age 2 months. Plot 23, block B
RADOVE, Catharine, died 1 December 1881 and buried at Burkes Pass. Age four months. Plot 24, block B
Timaru Herald, 16 March 1874, Page 3 Death
WILKIN — On March 4th, at Birch Hill Station, Mackenzie Country, from the effects of a kick from a horse, William S. Wilkin, aged 28 years; second son of Mr J. T. W. Wilkin, late postmaster at Lyttelton.
Timaru Herald, 16 March 1874, Page 3
Fatal Accident at Birch Hill Station — We regret to have to announce that Mr W. S. Wilkin, who was kicked by a horse at Birch Hill Station, Mackenzie Country, has died from the injury he received. As the account of the accident we gave in our Wednesday's issue was short, and not altogether accurate, we now give the full and correct particulars. It seems that on Monray, March 2nd, Mr Wilkin returned from riding, and while tethering his horse out he slapped her on the back, when she immediately kicked him on the pit of the stomach. He was carried to the station at once, and it not being supposed that he was dangerously injured, a doctor was not sent for till Wednesday. A messenger was then despatched for Dr Kimbell, but that gentleman being in Timaru, he procured some suitable nourishment from Mrs Burgess, and on returning met Mr Popplewell going to Burkes Pass for assistance. Before the messenger returned, however, Mr Wilkin had expired, he having been sensible up to the last He was buried at Mount Cook on the Saturday following, four days after his death. Mr Wilkin, who was a son of the late postmaster at Lyttelton, entered into employment on Mr George Rhodes' station about sixteen years ago, and has been in the district ever since. He was well known, and much respected.
Otago Witness, 10 September 1881, Page 17 Marriage
On the 25th August, at the residence of the bride's parents, Otematata, by the Rev. J. Steven, Alexander Hector M'Kinnon, of Birch Hill Station, Mount Cook Canterbury, to Kate Helen Lavannah, eldest daughter of W. G. Munro, Otematata Hotel, Waitaki.
Timaru Herald, 12 January 1884, Page 2 Death.
McKeinnon.—On the 11th January, at Elizabeth street, Timaru, A. McKeinnon, of Birch Hill Station, Mackenzie Country, aged 28 years.
Many years before he turn guide the weekly coach to the Hermitage upset Nicolo. He cursed the tourists, wishing them to take away Mount Cook on their backs.
They often wanted a sheep for tucker.
Tourists and climbers often halted at Birch Hill for the night.
The ruts on the road became deep.
Timaru Herald, 22 February 1882, Page 3
In crossing the Tasman the second time the express was upset and had to be left in the river, the driver having a narrow escape. The party express themselves much indebted to Mr and Mrs Burnet, of Mount Cook station, and Mr [Duncan] Sutherland, of Birch Hill station, for their hospitality. Mr Green expects to return to Timaru about March 10th.
The High Alps of New Zealand By William Spotswood Green - 1883
We were anxious to get back to Birch Hill in order to procure another sheep, ..
The Alpine Journal - Page 6 by Alpine Club (London, England) - Mountaineering - 1884
We were now close to Birch Hill sheep-station, the last human habitation toward the glacier world. Its wool-shed (a building of galvanised iron) afforded us ...
Timaru Herald, 6 September 1884, Page 2
Travellers on arrival at Timaru can be conveyed by rail to Fairlie Creek, where they should obtain conveyances. During the winter months, from April to September, they can proceed by way of Braemar and Burnett's, crossing the Tasman river to Birch Hill, and thence to Governor's Camp, a distance of six miles by the Mueller Glacier. The Tasman is almost invariably low during the late autumn, the depth of water at the upper ford, which is a sound one, rarely exceeding two feet. Through spring, summer, and early autumn, the best route is by the Pukaki ferry, thence past Glentanner and on to Birch Hill, a road having been formed part of the way between these latter places. This road is stony in places, but is quite passable for vehicles at a slow pace. We understand that in a month or two an accommodation house will be erected at the foot of Mount Mogo, by the Mueller Glacier ; but until then tourists must provide themselves with all the necessary camping appliances and provisions, with the exception of mutton, which can always be obtained from the runholders.
Art - Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington
Green, William Spotswood 1847-1919
Birch Hill sheep station 
Watercolour on paper 171 x 249 mm mounted on card 270 x 370 mm
This a beautiful painting showing the Birch Hill homestead in 1882, then a small cottage, probably made with cob and native birch, probably situated to obtain the morning sun and an incredible outlook of the Tasman Valley. Has a corrugated iron roof with long overhangs as it snows here, a native rock and daub stone chimney on the outside, a verandah, a fenced vegetable garden and hens roaming the front yard.
Huddleston, Francis Fortescue Croft, 1844?-1922
Mount Cook area with Rotten Tommy and the Tasman River, 2 July 1891.
Watercolour, 254 x 355 mm
Looking east towards Mount Blackburn (also known as Rotten Tommy, the main peak on the left), with another peak on the right, the Tasman River bisecting the view, and a cottage in the left foreground on flat land among scrub. The cottage is likely to be part of either Birch Hill Station or Glentanner Station
South Canterbury NZGenWeb Project
Timaru Herald, 18 January 1896, Page 3
Mr John Gibbs' work is not all delicate, a large view of the Mount Cook road near Birch Hill being a massive picture.
Notes of Travel: Letters Sent Home from ... New Zealand - page 82 by James Currie - 1890
There was an artist with us, a Mr. Gibb of Christchurch, but he stopped at Pukaki to take some sketches. From that onwards I had only one companion in the buggy.