MACKENZIE COUNTRY, N.Z.
Fescue tussock - Festuca novae-zealandiae
The run would not be out of place as a park.
South Canterbury's heritage is tied to the large stock raising units known as pastoral runs. The runs are Crown lease land, either renewable crown pastoral lease land on a thirty-three year term, with permanent right of renewal and rental assessed on stock limitations or pastoral run licences. Very few farmers paid off their leases as the rental was low. Some did and this land became freehold, unrestricted ownership. May 30 1889 run leases were put up for auction by the Government. The Land Act of 1892 provided that, unless under special circumstances, no run shall be of greater extent than would carry 20,000 sheep. Most runs contain some flat river valley land that is intensively developed and contain much larger areas of rugged tussock land. Many of the runs were subdivided for closer settlement.
Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, 24 May 1856, Page 2
Discovery of Additional Sheep Country.� At the time Mackenzie was captured, a report was current that an extensive plain existed beyond the gorge of the snowy mountains through which Mackenzie was travelling when taken by Mr. Sidebottom. We understand that further search has confirmed the truth of this report, and that a plain of immense extent has been discovered, capable of depasturing sheep. � Ibid, May 10.
North Otago Times, 1 September 1868, Page 5
Timaru, 27th August, 1868.
Messrs Brown and Maude's run at Burke's Pass 55,000 acres, with 18,000 sheep, has been sold for L16,000 to Mr Hawdon and another. The Mount Nimrod Country, about 40,000 acres (belonging to the Otaio Station) lately bought by Messrs Tesehesmaker and Le Cren, has also been sold to Mr Elworthy, Pareora.
Timaru Herald, 16 November 1876, Page 4
SHEARING NOTICE. We, the undersigned owners and managers of Stations and Freeholds between the Rangitata and Waitaki rivers hereby agree not to pay more than SIXTEEN SHILLINGS and EIGHT PENCE PER 100 SHEEP with Rations during the present season ; also that no master employ any shearer for this season who has refused to shear in his shed for the sum of 16s. 8d. per hundred : �
C. and O. Association
Studhohne, Banks and Wigley
Teschemaker and LeCren
P. H. Russell
Walker and Clogstoun
Cooke and Raine
Brown and Gray
Kimbell and Buchanan
W. H. Ostler
Smith and Dennistoun
John A. Gamack
J. F. Mitchell
The Rush for Run - Timaru Herald 14 Jan. 1909 pg2
The Squatter's Beginning - Cox
The Mountain Runs
Early Land Laws
Pioneers of South Canterbury
THE ORIGINAL RUNHOLDERS
by T.D. Burnett
THE TIMARU HERALD, Friday, July, 10, 1925.
The men who took up the Mackenzie sheep runs were not mountain sheep farmers. With few exceptions, they had little or no experience of sheep; certainly not in mountainous country. They were much more at home in the management of cattle and horses. Most of them were well educated, some from the English public schools; a few had the advantage--or perhaps disadvantageof a college course. England and Scotland were about evenly represented. Ireland absent. Yorkshire and Devonshire had more than their fair quota, while the Scots, previous to the year 1860, were all Lowlanders, with the exception of the Frasers. And it is curious too, to note that Otago had no hand in the original settlement of the Mackenzie; all the runholders came from the north--some from mid-Canterbury, some from Christchurch and the bays, but most from Nelson. It was from Nelson that the horses came, and from Nelson came also the sheep. The Pattersons, the Darks, the Teschemakers, the Frasers, the Hodgkinsons, and MacMurdos all came from the oldest-settled corner of the South Island, seeking clean, fresh sheep country free from the taint of scab. They were a fine lot of men--we see that now, forgetting their faults--with very little that was mean or small in their make-up. And hospitality was almost the first law. Their code of honour was very simple, and is easily told. They hated with a bitter hatred the man who bought the freehold of a run; and no words could express their detestation of one who enticed a shepherd or a bullock-driver from anothers employ. Some quite classical fights were fought over this matter, and in the later years another law was added all unconsciously to the code: "that it was only a cad who would run a man for his house at auction."
Of "class" and "caste" there was none; all hands "tuckered" together, the squatter played cards with his shepherd, and there is nothing on record to show that either side lost anything by familiarity. Kennaway, Teschemaker, Stericker, and Gladstone, of Rhoborough Downs, could drive bullocks with anyone. It is only a small man newly risen who is nervous of losing caste if he "tuckers" or works with his men. The commercial instinct was totally absent too; at all events it had not developed in the fifties and sixties. The stress of fierce competition had yet to come; the country was wide open; one could ride from Timaru roadstead to the Alps without breaking half-a-dozen by-laws innocently, nor see anything to covert on the way. Loans were given, and accommodation provided without questions on terms, that would not be given to-day--half the Mackenzie flocks have been started with sheep "on terms." The only smartness that was indulged in was that in forstalling one another in taking up fresh country, and great were the rides to Christchurch, and secret the methods taken to secure that end.
As has been said, the first runholders were not instinctively mountain sheep farmers; one suspects they took more pride in their bullocks teams than interest in their flocks. And what had they to learn? It must have taken the stoutest heart of a pioneer to face the unknown, and be prepared to learn the alphabet of mountain sheepcraft. Here was a wild, mountainous country, unlike any other tract of land at that time opened up in Australia or New Zealand. It was known to be the land of snow storms,and shut off from the coastal country by high ranges. For wheeled traffic the only path was up the Tengawai and Opihi riverbeds, and thence over passes, which only the generals among the bullockies" could negotiate. The inland plains were densely carpeted with the bayonet-like leaves of spaniards, though which it was absolute cruelty to force a horse. The river banks were thickly fringed with tamatakauri scrub and snow grass, while the country was cut in three by huge glacial-fed rivers, through which the difficulty of forcing sheep across would harness the heart of a true sheepman. Withal, it was practically a treeless country; only in the Glentanner gorges could one say there was timber-and poor quality at that. For from fifteen to twenty years the chief feature of sheep management was boundary keeping; happy was the runholder who at least had on one side a natural boundary. Little was known of the native grasses; some of the early runholders thought the country wasnt stocked unless the coarse, white tussock was being topped. Truly, those old-time pioneers had everything to learn. And we, on our somewhat greasy prosperity--a Londons appetite, and a world-wide use of wool--are apt to belittle those pioneers efforts, and ask in our sixty-five years old wisdom; "Why did thy not do better?" For the world one cannot help doubting whether those self-same critics would have done as well.HOW THE RUNS WERE TAKEN UP
Of course, the plains, downs and frontal ranges were the first to be applied for. Men fought shy of the gorges for some years, and it is only a matter of "pot luck" to take what was left that forced them to applying for this latter class of country. Half a century of odds and ends of Arctic winters has somewhat altered their opinions. It is now impossible to give the proper sequence or order of taking up the runs; in many respects, the harvesting of tussock seed" is thirty years too late. But this is easily apparent--that 57 and58 noticed a rush of Mackenzie applicants. One shrewdly guesses that someone spied out the land, and than, as a matter of course, let ones friend into the field; and hence Yorkshire and Devon representation is explained. But the unravaller of the old run history is more often than not faced with well nigh insuperable difficulties in getting at the bed-rock truth as to whom belongs the honour of taking up the runs applied for and abandoned by the original applicant, without stocking, or sold; in the latter case, only the purchasers name appearing in the original license. Again, information gleaned from official lists and documents varies considerably what is undoubtedly reliable sources. Hence, we have at least three trickles of information coming down to us--the official, and then two popular versions, more often than not championed by the different families.
To add to the perplexities of the search, in some cases hearsay has seized on an agent or friend as the original applicant. It must be understood that sixty-five years ago Christchurch was as distant from the Mackenzie as Auckland is to-day, and if it were known that a neighbour was making a journey to Christchurch he would be asked to apply for a certain block of country. Such was the case with Birch Hill Station, taken up by Campbell, of Ben More, for his neighbour, George Hodgkinson, of Lake Ohau.
In 1857 Takapo Station was applied for by Ebenezer Hay, of Pigeon Bay, while his nephew, John, later of Barbarafield, Kakahu, took up 15,000 acres across the river on what is now known as the Glenmore Flat, Mt. John Station, and which included 5000 acres across the Fork river. John Hay managed the Takapo Station for his uncle, and the station homestead site was selected on the peninsula for the shelter afforded by a fine clump of big tumatakauri scrub.
Somewhere about 1868, John Hay sold out to the MacPhersons, brothers-in-law of Alfred Cox. The big snow storm of 70 crippled them, and eventually Cox himself took the place over. He worked it in conjunction with Balmoral until 1876, when he sold out to Andrew Cowan. The latter had a big up-hill fight from the outset, hung on desperately through all the lean years, saw his flock decimated repeatedly-almost annihilated once-and then, just when the flood tide of prosperity was setting in for the hill country, sold out to Schlaepfer. He is the most tragic piece of misfortune in the history of the Mackenzie.
John Hay partly stocked Takapo with sheep brought from the Levels Station, whose earmark was, and is, a top slit. When Alfred Cox sold the place he retained the earmark for Barmoral, and to-day the latter station has the same earmark, after a half century, as the Levels.
In 1911, "subdivision year," Takapo Station was cut in two-Schlaepfer bidding in the homestead run at auction, while F. Lake McGregor got the 17,000 S.G.R., now known as Mt. Hay. Schlaepher sold out about 1914 to Vivian LeCren, who still holds it. McGregor improved his run,bred a good stock, and, in 1918, sold (as military service was imminent) to G.McIlwrick. The later died in 1921, and the place was sold out to John Shea. The latter sold last May (1925), to John Scott. It is interesting to note that the present Mt. Hay homestead was the site of the pre-pakaha Maori fishing huts, as seen by James Hay, the elder, in 1858.
Irishman Creek: Original license dated April, 1857; area, 20,000 acres. It was popularly held that Andrew Patterson, subsequently a sheep-inspector in the service of the Provincial Council, was the applicant. But the writer's father holds that one MacIvor, who was associated with the Fraser's, took it up, and from him "Jock" bought it, to be sold later, (1860), to Patterson. The latter's son's, John and Jim, took it over to work it till the year 1877, when they sold it to William Grant. He kept it until Donald Matheson bought it from him in 1887. The place made then one of the quickest transfers on record, for within a day or two, William Saunders, owning the neighbouring Wolds, bought it, and by him it was worked with the Wolds until 1902, when the two properties were sold to William Grant. Apart from the big run of 20,000 acres, a smaller one of 10,000 in the corner next the Takapo run, was taken up by Fraser. At the subdivision of the Mackenzie Runs in 1911 Irishman Creek fell at the ballot to Arthur LeCren. He stocked and improved the run and then sold to Mrs Egerton Reid in 1916. Mrs Reid sold to W.H. Hamilton in 1923, and Mr Hamilton still holds it.
Black Forest, 20,000 acres, date of original license January 25th, 1858. First taken up by Tom Moorhouse. who offered this lease for �500 to Harry Ford, who refused it, however. It was sold finally, to Hugh Fraser, about 1860 or '61. In 1865, and three following years, it was in the name of Fraser and Budge; then came Duncan Sutherland. Armstrong and Hodgkinson; but in 1874 the station appears in the official lists as belonging to the Trust and Loan Company. The late James MacDonald held it for twelve months about 1880. Then Gunn and Donaldson bought it, and kept it until about 1889. Next a mercantile house had a turn at the place until J. Preston purchased it in 1900, and sold to R.K. Smith in 1907.
Black Forest has the distinction of being the only place within the basin where gold has been found in pavable quantities. It was never extensively worked, still it was a diggings of a sort, and the writer's father has a ring made of Black Forest gold, probably the only one in existence made of metal won in the Mackenzie Country.
About 1913 R.K. Smith sold again to J. Peston, who sold in 1917 to Simon Mackenzie, who, in turn, sold to Jas. Innes and John Innes in 1919, and they still hold it.
Glentanner: "Old Dark's" run was taken up by hi in 1858, and when all was taken up had a frontage of twenty miles in the Tasman Valley. To secure himself during the great land fever of '78 he bought 1,800 acres of freehold on the "gridiron" system. It is one of the few places in the Mackenzie Country where there has been Native bush of any extent, and was in the 'Seventies and 'Eighties notorious as being one of the favourvite worrying grounds of the Kea. Rough, mountainous country, it has always required extra careful management and failing that, the penalty was severe losses. The Dark brothers, Edward and Cornelius, were Bristol men, who first settled in the Nelson province where they followed a business that has since became a dead one, that of building cob houses. In Nelson too they owned a piece of bush, but suddenly getting clean away from the cob building and going in for sheep, they relised on the bush to buy stock for the run down south. "old Dark" first took up 9000 acres of what is now in the Ben Ohau flat, but having a frontage on the lake terraces. It is said he lived for a considerable time under an overhanging rock near the lake side, but eventually built a homestead at Star Hill. Here he lived for about five years, but selling Star Hill block to Campbell of Ben More, he shifted house and all to his old Glentanner block. Glentanner was a typical back country station, run by typical station hands of the olden style, carefree and careless of the future, who were fully persuaded that good times would always last. The old boys, "Old Dark" and Cornelius, were not unacquainted with such things as boyish brotherly rows, which no doubt helped break the monotony of the Pukaki solitudes. One occasion, at shearing time, there was one such little disagreement and Cornelius chased Edward out of the shed. Some time after the men in the shed heard a small voice coming in at the end of the board--"Good morning, men, you know I am not allowed on the board now." Old Dark, like Big Mick, of Birch Hill hated globe-trotting tourists with a great and healthy hatred. Londoners of wealth were, even in the Seventies, finding their way to the Tasman Valley, and with no Hermitage to accommodate them, thought the back gorge stations were simply there to put them up. There were others, and it is significant that they were North Canterbury people, for whom the Mackenzie people thought it impossible to do enough for; but the wealthy cockney thought he was doing everything necessary if he talked "shop," praised the scones and butter, and these men Dark hated. One evening, a party of three or so rode up at old Glentanner. They were put up for the night and strove hard to be agreeable, but their thoughts and expressions underwent a great change when Dark put them to bunk in an out hut infested with fleas; and the last scene took place after breakfast the next morning, when old Dark was seen speeding his disappearing guests by waving his arms, "Goodbye, my love, Good-bye." Dark had feuds with his neighbours. He had one with Dawson, of Ben Ohau, through the latter not giving notice when taking rams up to Birch Hill. The Glentanner squatter saw a fight was imminent, and accordingly went into training for it. A half sack of flour was hung by a tether rope to one of the bush rafters of the station hut and those with Dark during the training (Archie MacDonald and Black Sandy MacIntosh), say it was magnificent the swinging hits and deft upper cuts the old squatter got in on the flour bag, but it must be said that when the nights practice was over, Dark was Dark no longer, but white, and sad to relate, that in spite of all the veteran's training for the fight, when it came off, youth prevailed.
On another occasion, Dark was leaving for the Timaru cattle show in a hurry. He was in such a hurry that when he came to get into his "leading harness," he found the only suitable down country shirt was none too clean. They were working on the sheep up to the last moment, but as soon as it was over the old man very smartly got astride a creek and the shirt was promptly wrung out. Then "Reuben," a horse he took down from Nelson, was caught, the shirt was tired by the arms around his shoulders, and Dark set sail for the Takapo and the Show with the down-country shirt flying in the breeze. His favourvite song was "All ya fine fellows, come down to the village. And we'll taste Mrs Briggon's gooseberry wine."
Cornelius Dark died in 1882 and "Old Dark" sold out to Thompson brothers in 1883. They shifted the homestead up to its present site but one of the brothers being drowned at the head of Lake Pukaki, the remaining brother and sister, disheartened sold to Brown in 1887. The latter sold five years later to Herdman and another brown, who in their turn sold in 1898 to Simon Mackenzie and Bernard Tripp. Hardly twelve months passed when L.G. D. Acland bought it from them and held it for seven years, eventually selling the place to George Murray in April 1904.
In subdivision year Geo. Murray got the auction homestead run, while the lower portion let as a small grazing run was balloted to E. Gould of Op_ _ _ Valley. he sold to Miss McRae in 1914. Miss MacRae sold to Fred Lance of North Canterbury about 1916. In 1919, the run was sold to J. Valontine, who still holds it. Geo. Murray sold the auction run to E.R. Guinness in 1919 and Mr Guinness still holds it.
No better gauge of the low ebb to which the pastoral industry had fallen can be found than the price obtained for Glentanner Station as a going concern in 1896, the year following the great snow--when the station with 6000 merino sheep, 80 head of cattle and 20 horses sold for �1200, not twelve thousand--and local opinion held that if the purchasers had battled hard enough they would have got the place for �500.
Gray's Hills - 56,000 acres, taken up, in 1858 and 1859. Gray's Hills proper, 30,000 acres, was taken up by W.A. Gray and a brother in January 1858. They were brothers of the Honourable Ernest Gray. It appears they never took kindly to the run, not caring for the bad approach to the place, which they thought would be made by way of Gray's Creek. It cannot be said they worked the run; but sold it very shortly to John Hayhurst, with about 500 hundred two tooth ewes. Report had it that Hayhurst had made a good bargain. The latter held it until 1862, when he sold it to Field and Parkinson. Only about 2000 sheep were sold with the place, the rest Hayhurst taking over to Simon's Pass.
About three years later, Field and Parkinson went out and Gray's Hills, and George Gould put in J.A. Brown as manager for him, and then in '77 or '78 the place was sold to Edward Sydney Fletcher and William Sherris young men from Home, who had gained some station experience with Duncan Sutherland at Omarama. Three years passed and the station changed hands again, this time to Alexander Grant, who bought in April, 1881, and since then, 44 years of alternating tides of gloom and brightness, lean years and prosperous years, Arctic winters and summer droughts, the place has been held by father and son.
Gray's Hills approximates very closely in character to Australian conditions; at all events, it is one of those places where the merino's position is practically unassailable.
THE TIMARU HERALD, Friday, July, 31, 1925.
Haldon Station - This run comprised 57,000 acres, and was acquired by Frederick and Tom Teschemaker in December, 1857. Named by the latter after hills in Devonshire--his native country. First stocked by him with a hundred head of cattle from the Thomson's Otaio Station, and 300 ewes and 40 weathers from Delamain, of Rollesby. Their mother, Mrs. Fred. Teschemaker, is numbered among the pioneer women of the Mackenzie, and, like Mrs John Hay, was not wanting in admirable qualities. Let any one be ill or in need of help, and Mrs Teschemaker was ready to ride any distance to their assistance. In 1864, the Teschemakers bought a block of country now known as "The Balloon,: from the Fords and Fisher, of Grampians. In November, 1867, the whole of Haldon was sold to Smith, Denniston and Wallace.
Mrs Teschemaker lived for her boys Fred and Tom, and this is probably the reason why she was prepared to live in the Mackenzie wilderness in the latter fifties. Tom was a brave man, and he needed all his pluck and bravery in the latter years when the financing of the Otaio Station fell entirely on his shoulders. In 1868, Teschemaker Bros. and Henry Le Cren bought Otaio Station from the Thompsons; the place then consisted of 97,000 acres, and carried 36,000 sheep, but no freehold. In 1878 Henry LeCren withdrew from the partnership, and the following year Fred Teschemaker died. It is true that troubles never come singly, and the whole brunt of the hard times and the necessity of safeguarding the run by securing the freehold fell on Tom Teschemaker. He found it necessary to make a trip to England to raise the necessary finance, and probably it was his unflinching faith in South Canterbury that helped him win through after periods of very dark depression and hard times. Through it all he kept a smiling face to the world, and found time to be an ardent supporter of clean, healthy sport in all its branches, and he was an ideal employer, the old traditionary rights of property and property's obligations being absolutely safe in his hands. Absolutely fearless in what he considered his duty, nothing would turn him from a course of action once he had decided it was the right thing to do, either on a High School Board of Governors, in his dealings with men, or his clear line of duty as a steward on the South Canterbury Jockey Club. This trait of character of Tom Teschemaker's , the clear, undimmed flame of duty, cost him on one occasion a pretty penny. An extract from the "Timaru Herald" of May 31st, 1889, may not be here amiss. It describes the reletting of the South Canterbury runs by auction in the old Assembly Rooms, now the present Y.M.C.A. Buildings, Mr John H. Baker, then Commissioner of Crown Lands, Christchurch, wielding the hammer:- "A sensation was caused when the Otaio run, Mr T. Teschemaker's, was dealt with. There were several bidders for this at the outset, but the number was presently reduced to two, and then the shuttlecock flew sharply between them. The last bid was �670, and when it was announced that the purchaser was Mr George Rutherford, a storm of hisses and boo hoos greeted the news, and this was repeated when Mr Rutherford rose from his seat to sign the papers. 'I want it to bury the bones of Princess Royal in,' he exclaimed. Our readers will remember that about two years ago the present holder of the run (Tom Teschemaker) occupied a prominent position on the South Canterbury Jockey Club, when a mare, belonging to Mr Rutherford, named Princess Royal, formed the subject of a long and somewhat bitter inquiry, of which the conclusion was adverse to Mr. Rutherford. Hence, as he admitted his competing for Mr Teschemaker's run; hence the signs of the indignation given vent to."
Cunningham Smith, of the firm named above, afterwards became manager in London for a produce company; G.J. Dennistoun was the well known owner of Peel Forest Station; while Wallace died in Timaru about 1874. The latter was a lineal descendant of the Scottish patriot, and had two brothers in the Army- one in the Horse Artillery, and the other in the 74th. Highland Light Infantry. Haldon, perhaps, was the fancy spot of Mackenzie until rabbits and drought depreciated it sadly. No one can image its magnificent native grasses and herbs at the time when its first place in the Mackenzie where the killing of rabbits was seriously undertaken; for, in 1876, William and John Bain, with the late Frank Rossiter, earned the first rabbiting cheques there. At that time, too, turkeys were plentiful in these parts.
Some time in the early sixties, a Timaru party, of whom the late Mrs. Henry J. LeCren was one, visited Haldon, and climbed the small peak near the homestead. In honour of Mrs LeCren, it was named Mount Maggie. Nothing, however, has been named after the Teschemakers, and the same applies to the Grampians, taken by the Fords, In 1878, Smith and Dennistoun sold out to William Pringle at a very big price. Some ten years later J. Preston acquired Haldon, and shortly after had to put up a big fight to hold it at the run actions of 1889. Shortly after this the place was sold to Archibald Morton, of Timaru. These were the lean years of the early nineties, when the country was frosted with poverty and low prices for wool. And Haldon had on top of this the toughest of rabbit propositions to deal with. So that, after various vicissitudes, the station came into the procession again of J. Preston, who held it until 1917, when it was sold to Simon Mackenzie. Mackenzie sold it in 1919 to Jas. Innes (newly returned from the Great War), who still holds it. In 1911, subdivision year, the homestead run fell at auction to Jas, Preston, the Wether run (ballot) to Miss Christine Campbell and "The Ballon" (ballot) to Jas. Innes. The Innes Bros. are making a magnificent fight against the rabbit plaque, and are gradually, but surely, winning. At the same time they are transforming the merino flock.
Simon's Pass, (30,000 acres) was taken up in 1857 by John Hayhurst, a native of Lancashire. John Hayhurst was the father of all run speculators. Cold, shred, and calculating, he, of all the original runholders, had the commercial sense most highly developed, and foresaw most clearly of all, South Canterbury's future. Tradition says that at the time of taking up it was thought the Mary's Range run extended down into the Takapo-Pukaki forks. Hayhurst discovered that such was not the case, and applied for 30,000 acres, the present Simon's Pass Station. He was not bred a sheepfarmer, but was quick at discovering those who were, and in spite of an exterior coldness knew how to reward and appreciate loyal service. The personification of energy himself, he detested loafers and wasters. A firm believer in sane progress and careful, experimenting, it is well worth noting that he was the first to try English grasses within the Mackenzie Country, for in 1859 at the actual Simon's Pass he tried several imported grasses. He held Simon's Pass till 1863, when it was bought by Arthur Clowes. The later "under went" about the year '70, and the station was taken over by Gould of Christchurch. It was then sold to Matheson Brothers, one of whom sold his interests to the late Frederick LeCren. In sub-division year Simon's Pass was cut in two; the homestead run was bought by John Matheson, and the old station is still carried on by the family. The other portion known as Simon's Hill was balloted for and fell to Mr. Hoskins, who still holds it.
In the same year that he took up Simon's Pass, John Hayhurst also took up Ashwick Station. This latter he did not hold for long, for some two years later he sold to J.T. Brown, Edw. Maude and T.W. Maude.
Sawdon Station, (30,000 acres) was taken up by Edward Glave Stericker in 1857, associated with two members of the Hall family. John (afterwards Sir John) and George.
Edward Stericker, may be said to have seconded Sidebottom in leading the Yorkshire invasion of the Mackenzie. Stericker, the three Halls, two Purnells, Joseph Beswick, W.H. Ostler, all came from Yorkshire, and were among the first to select over the ranges. It strikes one rather forcibly that the Highlanders are not the only people who are clannish. Be that as it may, E.G. Stericker was in working partnership with George Hall in a station in the Ashburton Forks, when news of the great new sheep country in the South Island was noticed abroad. He was urged to select by John Hayhurst and the Purnells, and the upshot of it was the taking up of Sawdon in the spring of 1857, but stock was not put on to the new run until March of the following year. Sawdon is named after a village some miles out of Scarborough where the Sterickers settled centuries ago.
Mount Edward, a prominent peak of the Two Thumbs range, is named after the original applicant of Sawdon, as is also Edward's Creek.
The Halls and the Stericker dissolved partnership in 1862, the year following the great snowstorm. The Parkinson Brothers held it for about six or seven years, then came George Gray Russell, with Charles Delamin as a good manager. Delamin, was the best of good fellows and was known among his acquaintances as "laughing Charlie."
After the Russell regime came Lachie MacDonald, Poor Larchie came on a wave of prosperity and went out with the receding tide of bad times. Next a Trust and Loan Company, followed by William Sibbald, newly come from the Lilybank gorges. He joined the great majority in 1896, and then came Rittson Thomas, who sold to his brother-in-law, George Murray, in 1899. Murray took in hand the wind-swept plains, and in 1903 on the eve of a big snow, sold to David Burnett. The latter sold on March 1904, to Simon Mackenzie and Johinne Ross, took a trip Home, came back and bought Sawdon again, decided that there was worse places than the old Mackenzie in the world. In 1911, subdivision year, the run was cut into three--a small grazing run, ("Paddy's Market"), the homestead (auction run) and the ballot run. Colin Mackenzie drew the latter and Donald Burnett bought the auction run, while Hart of Timaru, got the small grazing run. After considerable changing of hands, Donald Burnett held the ballot run for nine years, Frank Dickson the auction run for six years, and today Charles Parker holds the auction run, and O.Don. the ballot run.
E.G. Stericker was managing a run for George Hall in the Ashburton Forks in 1856-57. He was paid �50 and fifty sheep per annum. He took up Sawdon in 1857, but sheep were not put on until March 1858--4000 and all ewes. He had helping him old Coulson, Charlie Wedderall, Jackson and another. So little was know of the front ranges in 1858, that when Stericker and his men reached Albury, or where Albury now stands, they were told they could not get sheep though Burke's Pass but would have to go through by MacKenzie's Pass. Let it here be noted that John Hayhurst and Tom Teschemaker were the first to make some attempt at forming a track for drays over Burke's Pass, and the year was 1858. It is also of historic interest that the first attempt at public life and spirit in the Mackenzie County was shown in 1864 by setting up the Mount Cook Road Board; that its first chairman was Teschemaker and that it held its first meeting at old Sawdon Station, now marked only by a grove of willow trees. And Sir Walter Kennaway was the first to take a bullock dray and team over Burke's Pass.
Otago Witness, 3 August 1893, Page 23
South Canterbury correspondent writes:� There is some talk of getting a Rabbit Board in South Canterbury to take the matter out of the hands of the -Government. It is said that the department is shamefully neglecting the rabbit fence and that Otago rabbits are coming in by the thousand every week.
Otago Witness Thursday March 17 1898 Page 13 column 4
Death of Mr Cunningham Smith
London, March 9. The late Mr W. Cunningham Smith was a son of a member of the firm of Lewis, Potter, and Co., of Glasgow, and came to Otago about 18 years ago. He was at first employed on stations that are now the property of the New Zealand and Australian Land Company, but subsequently, with two partners, took up the Haldon run, in the Mackenzie Country, and worked it for about 10 or 12 years, when they sold the run and dissolved partnership. Mr Smith was them employed by the New Zealand and Australian Land Company, and took charge of the Dunedin office. Next he became manager in Dunedin for the New Zealand Refrigerating Company, and, retiring from his position in 1894, accepted the position of manager of the Southland Frozen Meat Company, this involving his departure for Invercargill. Prior to his leaving Dunedin he was presented by the merchants and others with a substantial purse of sovereigns as a token of their esteem. He had held the office of the president and also that of treasurer of the Otago Agricultural and Pastoral Society just before his removal from Dunedin. He was next offered a superior appointment by the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Company to go to London to take charge of the company's produce department. To fulfill this engagement Mr Smith left Dunedin on the 24th December 1896. He was not then in the best of health. He was about 55 or 56 years of age. He was married to the widow of the late Mr James Davidson, and she accompanied him to England. There were no children born of the marriage.
Early Canterbury pastoral runs, between the Waitaki and Rangitata rivers. Reproduced in a few books, e.g. Acland's The Early Canterbury Runs, Hosken's, Life on a Five Pound Note, Vance's High Endeavour.
The above historical articles appeared in The Timaru Herald on Fridays in July 1925. They can be found in the Timaru Public Library basement. They were written by Thomas David Burnett M.P. 1877-1941, third son of Andrew and Catherine Mackay Burnett, pioneers of Mt Cook Station since May 1864. Donald Burnett was T.D.'s brother. Mt Cook Station is still in the procession of the Burnett family today. Spelling as found in articles.
Otago Witness 24 Nov. 1883 pg13
The Mackenzie County
Burke's Pass, November 20
Mackenzie County - We have lately taken a new departure, being now a county, with chairman, councillors, "and a' that,," the headquarters being situated at this township. The area is now subdivided into stations, chiefly freehold. Amongst those lying between this place and the Upper Waitaki are - The Whale's Back, held by the N.Z. and A. land Company, with Mr and Mrs Scott married couple. the Grampian Hills Station, belonging to Mr Chapman, a son of the late respected Judge Chapman and brother of your talented townsman Mr F.R. Chapman, barrister; Mr Grant's station, comes next. Then there is Haldon Station belonging to Mr Pringle, a Borderman. The gentleman's brother lives on the station as manager, and his wife is the housekeeper. A few miles further on comes Black Forest were Mr and Mrs Anderson "rule the roast"; and then comes a weary wildness, with no houses at all. Following the Waitaki River downwards and on its right bank, till the country opens out on Otematata Hotel (Mr Munro), across the river , with the station of the same name, about a mile back from the hotel. The Otematata Station is said to be an Otago education reserve, and is held by Messrs Teschemaker and Co. Mr Hector Stodart is a partner and manager, and the resident housekeeper is a widowed lady named Mrs Scott. .. That Travellers are not all of the kind mentioned in a recent otherwise well-written article in your paper - simply loafers. On the contrary, they are, as a rule, people in search of work, and are daily being drafted into work as they move along. Our swallow does not make a summer, and because "Henry Lapham" knew one worthless creature who loafed on the runholders, and apparently would not work if he got the chance, that is no reason why, in the columns of a first-class paper which circulates everywhere, he should be allowed to libel the whole class! Why, Sir, I maintain that almost everyman now in New Zealand has at one time of his Colonial experience carried a swag; and Sir Julius Vogel, who, unless I am greatly misinformed, stated publicly that he had done so in Victoria, once added, also publicly that no one could be considered thorough colonist who had not done so, or was ashamed to make the admission.
From The Lyttelton Times April 22 1863
The Benmore Station, 200,000 acres with 14,000 sheep, was sold on the 16th instant for 36,000, The bidding was very spirited Messrs Campbell and Lowe were the purchasers.
Additional reading material:
Appendices to the Journal of the House of Representatives:
1876 C-10 The Future Tenure of Canterbury Runs
1879 C-3 Canterbury Pastoral leases
National Archives of New Zealand, Christchurch Regional Office
N.Z. Dept of Lands and Survey. Canterbury District Office
Index to licences for pastoral runs, 1884
Otago Witness Saturday January 14 1854 pg 12
Strayed from Benmore Station, Waitaki, about a month ago, a Black Mare, over five years old, near shoulder, J'M near rump. Any person who shall give information as to her recovery to Walter M. Moffat, shepherd, Benmore Station, shall receive the above reward. Benmore, Dec. 24, 1864.
Daily Southern Cross, 4 May 1869, Page 4
In station property we hear of the sale of Raukapuka, Mr. Alfred Cox's property, in the Geraldine district. Full particulars of the sale have not transpired, but we believe the following to be au approximate statement of the p propeities included in the sale, viz. : � 20,000 sheep, 4,000 acres freehold, a good deal improved, 45,000 acres leasehold, and a first-class residence with grounds. The price we understand to be �28,000. Delivery is to be given after next shearing. The purchasers are Messrs. Hood and Tancred. We hear of a sale of about 2,000 mixed sheep at 1s 6d each, which is considered the lowest price yet taken, as only a moderate proportion were old sheep.
Timaru Herald Monday 27 April 1874 page 3
The Ben Ohou Station, Upper Waitaki district, was sold yesterday to Mr Ostler for �20,000.
Timaru Herald Thursday Evening 28th Oct. 1875
Mr Hugh Fraser's Black Forest Station, comprising of 20,000 acres and 10,000 sheep was sold yesterday by Messrs Russell, Ritchie and Co. to Mr Duncan Sutherland for �9000.
Grey River Argus, 18 March 1919, Page 2
A Christchurch syndicate has just purchased Mr G. I. Hamilton's Clayton Station of approximately 40,000 acres, a few miles from Fairlie. The station comprises about 7000 acres of freehold, the balance being Crown leasehold.
"The sheep stations founded in the early days of pastoral settlements in most cases developed and retained their personality, their identity - though they are now reduced in size and have changed ownership as years passed." A.E. Woodhouse
Approximate acreage and year occupied.
|Year||No.||Run||Earliest Occupier||Year came to NZ||Acreage|
|1853||Orari||Macdonald Bros.||1855 Spray via AUS|
|1853||490||Holme Station||D. Innes||34,000|
|1853||Waikakahi||Harris & Innes|
|Pareora was taken up by David Innes, he owned it, but ran it in partnership with Harris of Waikakahi. When that partnership was dissolved in 1864, Innes very soon after entered into partnership with Edward Elworthy. Later that same year,�the Pareora was divided between�them, Elworthy�having the�inland,�Upper end, and Innes the Lower, eastern half. For a while they both retained the name Pareora, which of course created a deal of confusion.�During Elworthy's absence in England his manager, Mr Ford, started to refer to the upper Pareora as Holme, to remove the confusion. The name was adopted by Elworthy on his return. Elworthy bought Innes' remaining interest in 1865.|
|1853||30||Opuha||Wm Hornbrook||1842 Tobago||22,500|
|1854||411||Peel Forest||Francis Jollie||1853 Nelson||27,300|
|1854||69||Te Waimate||Studholme Bros.||33,000|
|1855||308||Mt Peel||Tripp Bros.||1855 Royal Stuart||20,000|
|1855||Orari Gorge||Acland and Tripp||1855 Royal Stuart|
|1855||Albury||Rev. John Raven T.H. Adams||40,000.|
|1856||223||Opawa||Kennaway Bros., F. Delanain + Rev. J. Raven & Thomas Adams||1853 Adams Minerva||30,000|
|1856||45||Mary's Range||Francis Sinclair|
|1856||Blue Cliffs||George Buchanan & Henry Poingdestre||1850s||25,000|
|1856||233||Three Springs||Dunnage Bros.||15,000|
|1857||Mount Nessing||Croft Marsack||25,000|
|1857||331||Mount Four Peaks||Aikman Bros.||30,000|
|1857||Raincliff||M.J. Burke||1851 Sir George Seymour||15,000|
|Sherwood Downs||M.J. Burke
John Henry Caton
|1851 Sir George Seymour Burke||20,000|
|John Hay||1841 Mandarin||35,00|
|1857||Simon's Pass||John Hayhurst||via AUS||15,000 +15.000|
|1857||250- 253||Richmond||T. Augustus Purnell||1853 John Taylor||35,000|
|1857||Mesopotamia||Phillips and Caton|
|1857||184||Rollesby||W. Kennaway & Delamain||1852 Tasmanian Kennaway||25,000|
|1857||68||Rhoborough Downs||Henry John Gladstone||1854 Ashmore||10,000|
|1858||275||The Wolds||Wm Henry Ostler manager for T.W. Hall||1857||20,000|
|1857||225||Haldon||Teschemaker Bros.||1855 Royal Stuart||20,000|
|Lake Ohau||John Fraser for Archibald McEwen
Alexander McKune (probably same man)
|1858||Irishman Creek||Andrew Paterson||20,000|
|1858||253||Gristhorpe (Glenmore)||Joseph Beswick||1853 John Taylor||20.000|
|1858||Glenmore||E.G. Stericker & G.W. Hall||1853 Royal Albert||40,000|
|1858||273||The Mistake (Godley Peaks)||John & T.W. Hall||1853||16,000|
|Balmoral||G.W. Hall & E.G. Stericker||
|1858||Sawdon||E.G. Stericker & John Hall||1853 John Taylor Stericker,
1852 Samarang Hall
|1858||Black Forest||Hugh Fraser||20,000|
T. W. Hall
John (Jock) Fraser
|1853 Mohammed Shah to Aus.
|1858||Gray's Hill||Wm Gray||30,000|
|Cornelius & Edward Dark||Glentanner||20,000|
|1857||300||Ben Ohau||Hugh Fraser||arrived 1840||60,000|
|1858||238||Rangitata Islands||Macdonald bros.|
|Glen Lyon||George Hodgkinson||25,000|
|Ashwick||J.B. Brown & T.W. Maude
Maude 357 - homestead block
Maude 358 6.000 acres (where Airies is)
|1855 Royal Stuart||
|1859||331-370||Clayton||Kennaway, Lee, Acton + Aikman & Le Cren||38,000|
|1867||257||The Tasman Islands||Archibald McDonald||2,100|
George Hodgkinson for W.H. Ostler
|1860||Whalesback||George Duncan Lockhart||1851 via AUS||35,000|
|1864||Mount Cook||A. Burnett & G. McRae||15,000|
|1857||158||Hakataramea||Sir William Congreve||1848 to Nelson||20,000|
|1857||163||Hakataramea Downs||Joseph Longden|
|1857||208||Waitangi||Edmund Gibson||to Nelson||30,000|
|1858 & 1859||311
|Te Akatarewa||John Hayhurst and T.W. Maude||20,000, 22,000|
|Hunter Hills||George Matson & P.L. Francis||1851 Steadfast Matson||25,000|
|1854||412||Station Peak||Herbert Meyer||25,000|
|Rocky Point||Joseph Longden
H.J. Le Cren
|1866||Birch Hill||George Hodgkinson||30,000|
Beyond Lake Tekapo
If any restless English traveller, wearied with the moderised, tourist-covered Chamounix, Zermatt, or Interlaken, and the road-cut, hotel-studded, Swiss and Italian passes, - wishes for new earth, new oxygen, and a new sensation, let him take his portmanteau, and a berth on board a Southampton mail steamer. In forty-nine days, with a little more than three weeks at a time at sea, he will find himself in New Zealand,- and once there, if he will but push into the interior, I will promise him new and rich experiences to his fill. He shall get back into a lifeless, soundless desert of hills, - he shall climb to unnamed mountaintops, - he shall cross untrodden, virgin glaciers, seamed with green crevases, - he shall see avalanches puff out their white clouds from snow-slopes which no one but himself has seen, and all this he shall see and do, without the presence of a single human sigh or soul to break the ghastly solitude about him.
The memory of the Old Man
How can it pass away
With their names of music
On each mount and stream and bay;
Once T.D. Burnett advertised in the Timaru Herald for men in the form of a poem. looks like he obtained the idea from a newspaper advert. He helped a few of his shepherds who lasted into a Mackenzie country run. It is tough country to farm. The ad went something like this.
Wanted men who can stand
The cold like an Arctic hero.
Mustn't have a car.
Must have dogs.
Stay five years.
North Otago Times, 31 May 1889, Page 2
SALE OF CANTERBURY RUNS. Timaru, May 30. The sale of runs in Smith Canterbury, held here to-day, drew together everyone closely connected with the pastoral interest in the district, and not a few from a distance. Except by the present lessee, who were forced to offer high rents in order to retain their holding, the results of the sale seem to be generally regarded as satisfactory. All the country consists of higher or lower mountain ranges and minor hills, ranging from the precipitous spurs of the Southern Alps to the rounded downs at the bases of foot hills, with the shingly Mackenzie Plain and patches of shingly land east of all the ranges. The country abutting on the plains was all well competed for, except one or two runs, the present holders of which are well known to be very well to do, and not likely to yield their holdings for the sake of a few hundreds a year. The runs on the sunny side of the Mackenzie Country were also well competed for, but one on the plain, and all the rougher and colder ones on the west side were knocked down to the present holders at the upset. Ten found no bidders at all. These lie on the wrong side of the Tasman rabbit fence, and further south in Vincent and Lake Counties. Only three of the present holdings and a portion of a fourth change tenants as a result of the sale, these being Nos. 4 (Peel Forest station), 47, (Otaio station) 48, 49, 50, (Waimate) and 69 (part of Haldon).
The following rentals were obtained at the sale of runs to-day ; the first set of money figures in each paragraph being the upset, and the second the price obtained :
Mount Peel station�Ran 1, 42,500 acres, 14 yean fixed tenure, Ll050, J. B. Acland.
Mount Peel station�Run 2, 58,000 acres, (16,000 barren), 21 years fixed tenure, L900 J. B. Acland, L 1220.
Mount Peel station�Run 3, 2700 acres, 10 yeas, L9O, J. B. Acland.
Peel Forest station�Run 4, 4000 acres, 10 yeas, L550, W. Postlethwaite, L550
Orari station�Run 5, 24,000 acres, 14 years fixed tenure, L 770, C. G. Tripp.
Orari station�Run 6, 22,800 acres, 14 yeas fixed tenure, L580, C. G. Tripp, L860.
Four Peaks station� 10,300 acres, 14 yean fixed tenure, L 330, L. Walker, L6l0.
Clayton station�46,800 acres. 14 years fixed tenure, L 990, Hamilton
Sherwood Downs station �44,300 acres (22,000 barren), 14 years fixed tenure, L420, Colonial Real Property, Ll000.
Ashwick station- 32,900 acres, 14 years fixed tenure, L300, Wm. Brown, L1340.
Sawdon station�27,100 acres, 21 years fixed tenure, L 350, British and N.Z. Mortgage Co.
Tekapo station�27,900 acres, 21 years fixed tenure, L 275, Chapman.
Richmond station�87,000 acres (30,000 barren), 21 years fixed tenure, L 440, A. Hope.
Lilybank station�70,000 acres (50,000 barren), 21 years fixed tenure, L220, Grant and Ross.
Mistake station�Run 80, 82,000 acres 62,000, barren), 21 years fixed tenure, L350, R. Rutherford,
Three Springs station� 3400 acres, 10 years, L110, N.M. and A, Co., L 230.
Albury station� 2800 acres, 10 years, L 35, A. McLark.
Albury station-6400 acres, 10 run fixed tenure, Ll50, Bank of New Zealand, L 230.
Rollesby station�Run 24, 3500 acres, 10 years, L110, Captain Hayter, L150.
Rollesby station�Run 25, 18,500 acres, 14 yeas fixed tenure, L 370, Captain Hayter
Opawa station�Run 26, 4600 acres, 10 yean, L160. J. Rutherford
Opawa station-Run 27, 8000 acres, 10 years fixed tenure, L300, J. Rutherford.
Mount Nessing station� 15,000 acres, 14 years fixed tenure, L 421, R.E. Rutherford.
Cannington station� 2700 acres, 10 years, LlO5, J. M. Ritchie, Ll40.
Pareora station� l4,060 Acres, 14 years fixed tenure, L 435, E. Elworthy, Ll70.
Bluecliffs station� l7,000 acres, 14 years fixed tenure, L460, R. H. Rhodes.
Otaio station� 15,300 acres, 14 years fixed tenure. L 435, George Rutherford, L 670.
Waimate station� Run 48, 4350 acres, 10 years, L 135, Alpheus Hayes, L 220.
Waimate station �Run 49, 4300 acres, 10 years, L130, Alpheus Hayes, L320.
Waimate station� Run 50, 6300 acres, 14 years fixed tenure, L 175, Alpheus Hayes, L 230.
Hakateramea station� Run 51, 15,500 acres, Education Reserve, and Run 61a, 7000 acres, total 22,500 acres, 14 years fixed tenure, L 485, N.Z. and A.L. Co., Ll040.
Hakateramea station� Run 62, 5400 acres, Education Reserve, and Run 62a, 9700 acres, total 15,100 acres, 14 years fixed tenure, L 320, N.Z and A.L. Co., L 460.
Hakateramea station� Run 64, 11,800 acres, 14 years fixed tenure, L2l0, N.Z. and A.L. Co.
Hakateramea Downs station� ll,800 acres, 14 years fixed tenure, L 275, N.Z.L. and M.A. Co.
Waitangi station� 48,900 acres, 10 years fixed tenure, L 1225, J. A. Sutton
Akatarewa station -Run 67, 29,200 acres, 10 years fixed tenure, L900, A. T. Miller.
Black Forest station� 20,800 acres, 21 years fixed tenure, L460, Donaldson and Gunn, L9l0,
Haldon station� Run 69, 19,238 acres, Educational Reserve, 21 years fixed tenure, L 350, J. Murray, L900.
Haldon station�Run 70, 37,200 acres, 21 years fixed tenure, L690, J. H. Preston, Lll40.
Grey's Hills station� 29,862 acres, Education Reserve, 21 years fixed tenure, L600, A. Grant, L1160
Grampians station � 45,000 acres, 21 years fixed tenure, L630, N.Z. and A.L. Co., L1200.
Part Gray Hills and Whale's Back Flat station� 32,500 acres, 21 years fixed tenure, L240, A. Grant.
Whale's Back Run Station� 32,500 acres, 21 years fixed tenure, L400, N.Z. and A.L. Co.
Glenmore station� 53,000 acres (13,000 barren), 21 years fixed tenure, L 470, Macgregor.
Balmoral station� Run 82, 29,000 acres, 21 years fixed tenure, L260, N.Z.L. and M.A. Co.
Balmoral station� Run 82, 40,000 acres, 21 years fixed tenure, L 340, N.Z.L, and M.A. Co.
Mount Cook Station-25,000 acres (15,000 barren), 21 years fixed tenure, Ll50, A. Burnett.
Irishman Creek Station� 23,500 acres, 21 years fixed tenure, L32O, W. Grant.
Wolds station� 42,300 acres, 21 years fixed tenure, L 550, W. Saunders.
Simon's Pass station� 30,600 acres, 21 years fixed tenure, L400, Matheson and LeCren, L600.
Tasman Island station� 3250 acres, 10 years, L20, N.Z.L. and M.A. Co.
Tasman Island station� Run 91, 1000 acres, l0 years, Ll3, N.Z.L. and M.A Co.
Upper Willkin station� 56,000 acres 51,000 barren}, 21 years fixed tenure, Ll0, T. Kerrin.
Makaroa Peak station� 32,000 acres (37,000 barren), 21 years fixed tenure, L 25, J. Kerrin. In the above where no figures follow the name of the purchaser the run went at the upset.
For the following runs there were no bids : Ben Ohau, Rhoboro Downs, Glentanner, part Benmore, Lake Ohau, Birchwood, Upper Wanaka, Stewart's River, and Hunter River.
The Star, Christchurch Friday 1st May 1891 page 3
Station sold - Ben Ohau -
Messrs Wright, Stephenson and Co, today sold the Ben Ohau station, Mackenzie Country, comprising 54,700 acres, leasehold, and 17,000 sheep etc, ------------ to Mr James H. Preston, Haldon Station.
North Otago Times, 2 June 1868, Page 2
Timaru, 28th May. 1868.
It is said the Otaio Station (late Thomson's) about three miles to the south of Timaru has changed hands, the purchasers being H. C. Le Cren, and Teschemaker Brothers. The price is stated to be about L30,000 ; the run, comprising 100,000 acres, with 31,000 sheep and improvements. The barque Susan Jane will leave this, the end of this week, for Sydney, with a full cargo of grain.
North Otago Times, 5 June 1878, Page 2
The Otaio Run in the Waimate district, comprising 17,000 acre 3 freehold, 20,000 acres leasehold, and 24,000 sheep, has been purchased at auction by Mr Thos. Teschemaker for L191,000.
North Otago Times, 10 August 1878, Page 2 LAND SALE AT OTAIO.
There was a very large attendance yesterday at Messrs Ford and Co. sale, under instructions of the Messrs Teschemaker, of land at the Otaio. The area sold totalled up to 3380 acres for which the gross total of L43,730 was obtained, or, roughly, Ll3 an acre all round.
North Otago Times, 1 September 1868, Page 5
Messrs Brown and Maude's run at Burke's Pass 55,000 acres, with 18,000 sheep, has been sold for L16,000 to Mr Hawdon and another. The Mount Nimrod Country, about 40,000 acres (belonging to the Otaio Station) lately bought by Messrs Teshemaker and Le Cren, has also been sold to Mr Elworthy, Pareora.
Evening Post, 28 February 1911, Page 8
BALLOT FOR McKENZIE RUNS.
TIMARU, 27th February. A big crowd of people are interested in the ballot for the Mackenzie runs. The examination of applicants lasted from 9 a.m. till 5.30 p.m., and the ballot from 7.30 p.m. to 10.30 p.m. The results are as follow : �
Haldon, 18,500 acres, rent �390 (in the ballot 131), James Innes, stock agent, Clinton.
No. 2 Haldon, 18,800 acres, rent �360 (in the ballot 52), Miss C. R. Campbell, Pleasant Point, a farmer's daughter.
Grampians, 15.000 acres, rent �320 (in the ballot 122), Miss M. Annis, Tekapo, hotelkeeper's daughter.
No. 3 Grampians, 14,000 acres, rent �330 (in the ballot 150), Miss C. C. Waring [sic G.F. Waring], farmer's daughter, Fairlie.
Whalesback, 14,500 acres, rent �2GO (35 in the ballot), Mrs. Veda Quirke, hotelkeeper's wife, Timaru.
No. 2 Whalesback, 18,000 acres, rent �320 (in the ballot 75), Mrs. Maud G. Bruce, bank clerk's wife, Timaru.
No. 2 Sawndon, 14,000 acres, rent �200 (in the ballot 31), Colin Mackenzie, farmer, Geraldine.
No. 2 Richmond, 48,500 acres, rent �250 (in the ballot 10), Miss Mary C. Pringle, sister of the present holder.
Glenmore, 36,900 acres, rent �180 (in the ballot 149), Miss Roma Hope, farmer's daughter, Timaru.
Balmoral, 29,000 acres, rent �200 (in the ballot 40), William Sams, present manager.
No. 2 Balmoral, 40,000 acres, rent �290 (in the ballot 20), J. W. Skinner, hotelkeeper, Timaru.
Irishman Creek, 23,500 acres, rent �250 (in the ballot 177), Arthur LeCren, farmer, Timaru.
Wolds, 12,700 acres, rent �220 (in the ballot 49), Mrs. (Dr.) Bowe, Fairlie.
No. 2 Wolds. 16,200 acres, rent �200 (in the ballot 59), Mrs. Annie McLean, baker's wife, Temuka.
Dominion, 27 March 1916, Page 8
Timaru, March; 25: The Irishman Creek Station in the Mackenzie, Country (23,530 acre's, with stock) was submitted at auction as a going concern in the estate of the late E.H. Reid: Bids began at �8000, and at �13,000 the property was knock down to Mr. Andrew Grant, subject to acceptance of the bid by the trustee.
Our New Zealand Cousins - by James Inglis- 1887 - 311 pages
Of the kindly group which used to sit round the table in the old station. Of the rollocking old hands that used to applaud my songs in the vast shadowy woolshed. Thus I pondered as I idly strolled down the street, when suddenly I bethought me that one of the old station hands had found an anchorage in Timaru and was now to be a wealthy burgess and a well-to-do livery stable keeper. Away then I hurried to King's stable. there sure enough, with, I could almost have sworn, the same Glengarry cap, -there stood old Jim King, the "orra man" pf the station in my younger days. Jim was a douce shrewd ploughman, I think, Donside, and many a day he cut and I pushed and pulled the heavy cross-cut saw, or wielded axe and maul together in the Otaio bush on the olden days. We had not seen search other for over twenty years, and yet the old bush, the woolshed, the whare, with its idle group of Crimean-shirted, black-bearded stockmen, shepherds, bullock-puncher, horse-breakers, fencers and general rouseabouts, as they used to muster on the quiet Sunday, all came back to us; and as naturally, as if no time had elapsed, bug changes to both of us, we reverted to the old days; and long forgotten names and incidents came to our lips.
"Once a mate always a mate" in the colonies.
Timaru Herald, 23 March 1866, Page 2
The Waiho Station. We believe that W. H. Harris Esq., has disposed of his station to Messrs. McLean, the purchase money being �40,000. The station comprises about 60,000 acres of country 30UO of which are freehold, the whole being well fenced. The stock included m the purchase consists of about 30,000 sheep.
Grey River Argus, 23 March 1878, Page 2
SALE OF STATION PROPERTY.
Christchurch, March 22. The Haldon Station, South Canterbury, comprising 50,000 acres, with 20,000 sheep, was sold yesterday to Mr Pringle, of Timaru, for L22,500.
Evening Post, 30 August 1889, Page 3
The following new patents have been applied for :
Thomas Pringle, manager, Haldon Station, Mackenzie County, for wire-straining;
Thomas Pringle, of Haldon Station, Mackenzie County, for a temporary fencing standard
North Otago Times, 13 May 1890, Page 3
LAND SALE AT TIMARU.
The auction sale of the late Andrew Grant's landed properties by Messrs Gracie, Maclean, and Co. on Saturday was largely attended, but very little business was done in the freeholds. The executors, it was explained, desired to sell the properties rather than carry them on in the interest of the legatees, and therefore would sell at anything like a fair price, Mr J. Hay, the vendors' solicitor, read the descriptions of the lots and the conditions of sale, and Mr D. Maclean was auctioneer. Springfield, formerly the homestead of the Paterson estate, one of the very earliest selections in the Temuka district, 442 acres, put up in one lot, elicited no bid, and it was then offered in sections. The first lot, 95 acres of stubble, was started at Ll6 and passed in at Ll8 10s. The second lot, 60 acres, Started at Ll6 and run up to L 22, at which it was knocked down to Mr Henry Lee. The third lot was the homestead, 61 acres, with all the farm buildings. This was started at L 24, bid up to L 27 10s, and was then passed. Three other lots of 60, 67, and 100 acres were started at L15, and passed in at Ll5, Ll6, and Ll7 10s. The Washdyke farm of 106 acres with cottage, hung fire, but at length was started at Ll2, run up to Ll5, and then withdrawn. An odd paddock of 14 acres, next to the Washdyke saleyards, two acres of which are leased to the saleyards company at L 26 a year� a good accommodation paddock, with water race through it � was started at L20 and passed in at L 24. No offer was made for 1200 acres of grazing land just over the Orari, opposite Mr M 'Donald's homestead. The goodwill of a High School reserve near Milford, 147 acres, rent 10s 6d per acre, lease 12 years to run, after a long wait was started at L50, run up to Ll40, and then withdrawn. For 100 acres of plantation at the Hinds, near the railway station, offers from 20m up to 35s an acre were made, and declined. Mr Mclean said he could not compliment those present on their bidding perhaps they would show more anxiety to secure some of the properties when they come to him later on to buy privately. The last lot of this estate was the Lilybank station, on the Godley (above Lake Tekapo) formerly Mr Sibbalds, 70,000 acres, of which 20,000 are well grassed, rent L220 a year, tenure 20 years, together with 20 acres of freehold and 13,500 sheep. The first bid was L5OOO, and the price was run up by a very limited number of bidders by Ll00 to L 6500, at which figure Mr W. Pringle became the purchaser.� Timaru Herald.
RUNS TO BE LEASED
Tuapeka Times, 3 February 1897, Page 3
RUNS TO BE LEASED
The area of pastoral runs to be offered for lease by the Lands and Survey Department next month comprises 1,370,116 acres, and of small-grazing runs there will be 45,522 acres, The pastoral runs are in Nelson, Marlborough, Canterbury, Otago, and Southland. Two runs in the Mackenzie Country are of an area of 48,887 acres, one of them forming part of the Haldon Station, while the other is Gray's Hill Station. Five runs in the Mackenzie, Waitaki, and Vincent Counties aggregate an area of 201,300 acres.
Evening Post, 1 May 1891, Page 2
Dunkdin, 30th April. Wright, Stephenson and Co. to-day sold the Ben Ohau Station, Mackenzie Country, containing 54,700 acres leasehold and 17,000 sheep, &.c for �7700 to James H. Preston, Haldon Station.
Otago Witness, 29 October 1891, Page 22
Lyttelton Times. On Tuesday at Christchurch the lease, for 19 year four months, of Haldon station, 19,025 acres, in the Mackenzie Country, was submitted to public auction by Mr Marchant, Chief Commissioner of Crown Lands. After some competition, the lease was knocked down to Mr James Henry Preston at a rental of �500 per annum, �150 above the upset rent.
Otago Witness, 25 July 1895, Page 18 THE RECENT SEVERE WEATHER.
Information has been received in Timaru that a young man named Home, a rabbiter on Haldon station, rode away from the homestead with a message bo no great distance, and on returning was caught in a blizzard. The horse took him back to the station, where the young man had to be lifted off the saddle, frozen stiff. He was well rubbed with snow, but both legs are severely frost-bitten. The horse died after the journey. Mr M'Intosh, head shepherd on Ashwick station, whilst out after the sheep, was caught in a snowslip and carried half a mile down hill. He was not buried, and was got home very much bruised.
Hawera & Normanby Star, 27 July 1896, Page 2
The Colonial Bank.
Mr Archibald Morton, Haldon Station, Mackenzie Country. Debt, �348 18s 9d (shortage on advance on shipment of wool) This was a case of a man who lost everything by last year's snowstorm. From being a runholder he had been reduced to the position of a shepherd.
Otago Witness, 13 February 1901, Page 40
There are poplars at Haldon station of great height and fully 7ft in girth at the base.
Mr Preston, of Black Forest station, has a good garden well irrigated, and a patch of yellow globe mangels that would do credit to the best Taieri farmer. Rabbits appear to have been well kept under since the severe check given them by the rigorous winter of 1895, but the annual expense is still a heavy one, and will continue to be so to the end of time.
Wanganui Herald, 2 May 1891, Page 2
Wright Stephenson, and Co , of Dunedin, have sold the Ben Ohau Station, Mackenzie Country, containing 54,700 acres leasehold and 17,000 sheep, &c , for �7700 to James H. Preston, Haldon Station.
Ashburton Guardian, 1 March 1909, Page 1 SALE OF PASTORAL LEASES.
Timaru, March 1. On Saturday, in Timaru, the sale of six South Canterbury pastoral leases took place, bidding being very brisk. The sale resulted as follows:
Run No. 3, part of Mount Peel, 2700 acres, upset annual rental, �135 � K. Mackenzie, Geraldine, �303.
Run No. 4a, part of Peel Forest, 2142 acres, upset rental, �200 T, Blair, Peel Forest, �275.
Run No. 4b, part of Peel Forest, 1240 acres, upset rental, �150 Mr A. Brown, Geraldine, �201.
Run No. 4c, part of Peel Forest, 585 acres, upset rental �75 �D. F. Knight, Ashburton, �143.
Run No. 68, Black Forest, 20,800 acres, upset rental �460� R. K. Smith, Morven Hills, �460.
Runs: 90, 91 and 207, Tasman Islands, 4800 acres, upset rental �49� W. J. Black, Timaru, �64.
Mr McClure (chief draughtsman in the Lands Office at Christchurch), acted as auctioneer in the absence of the Commissioner.
Evening Post, 22 December 1911, Page 7 Land Ballot
Timaru, This Day. At a ballot for the Mackenzie runs, drew
No. 1. W. Hunt, Timaru
No. 2. F. L. Macgregor, Fairlie
No. 3. Charlotte Black, Kimbell
No. 4. G. Harkin, Ashburton
No. 5. Ellen Gould
There were 246 applicants for the five runs, the area being from 220 to 20,080 acres.
Ashburton Guardian, 23 December 1911, Page 8
THE MACKENZIE RUNS. RESULT OF BALLOT
Timaru, December 22. The following is the result of the ballot for five small grazing runs m the| Mackenzie Country, which took place today .�
2200 acres at Burkes Pass, W.H. Hunt (Timaru), builder;
part of old Tekapo run, 17,000 acres, F. Lake McGregor (son of Mr John McGregor), who has been 50 years in the-Mackenzie. The winner was born at Glenmore, across the Lake.
Part of Glentanner, 20,000 acres, Mrs Ellen Gould (Rainciife). Mrs. Gould is a woman with a large family Glenmore,
on the west side of Lake Tekapo, 15,500 acres, Mrs Black (wife of Mr Walter Black) a well known settler, of Fairlie, and he was formerly Stock Inspector there;
the lower part of Simon's Pass, the best of the five, 16,200 acres, W.J. Haskins, carpenter (Ashburton).
There were 140 individual applicants admitted to the ballot. The Chairman of the Board impressed upon the applicants that the residence conditions would, be strictly enforced.
They loved flying.
The Haldon station was owned by the Innes family. Tragedy struck this South Canterbury family. David (Dave) Innes was killed at age 22 when he was hit by an aircraft while on a tractor as he mowed the Taieri airfield in 1979. His father was James. James 59, and his son Andrew John Innes, 30, died 20th July 2008, Saturday, (temp. 100F) when their Hughes 500D crashed minutes after taking off at 1750m or 5700' asl, from Carbon County Airport, near Price, Utah. James Innes was reportedly flying the helicopter home from a three-day fishing trip when it went down shortly after refuelling. 19 Dec. 1998 James' his eldest son, Daniel James Henry Innes (Dan), age 26, was killed in a helicopter accident with two other New Zealanders while rounding up desert bighorn sheep as part of a contract for the family-owned helicopter animal recovery operation in Mexico in a Hughes 500. In NZ, James Innes will be remembered for pioneering irrigation, deer development and cattle group breeding at Haldon Station, which he inherited from his father in the 1970s but was forced to sell because of financial difficulties. James loved the outdoors and loved to fly helicopters and he was good at it.
David Boy of the High Country. Photography by George Kohlap. Text by Gay Kohlap. Published in 1964. Seven-year-old David Innes and his sister Rose, who lived on Haldon Station in the Mackenzie Country. A photographic exploration of a young boy's life in New Zealand. Publisher: Collins. London. 1965.
Horses had to earn their keep.
Former South Canterbury farmer James Innes and son Andrew killed in
helicopter crash in Utah, USA
21 July 2008 Newstalk ZB
Utah chopper crash kills 2 NZers
Two South Islanders have been killed in a helicopter crash in the US. James Innes and his son Andrew were returning from a fishing trip in Utah on Saturday when the Hughes 500D helicopter came down half a kilometre from Carbon County Airport. Mr Innes is the former owner of Haldon Station, a 14,000 hectare farm in South Canterbury. Another man onboard was also killed. The craft had just refuelled when the tragedy happened. The helicopter lifted off without problems but crashed into brush east of Price City. Jeremy Johnson, who was piloting another helicopter with the group, thought the helicopter could have been carrying too much weight. He says flying in and around Price is challenging because of high temperatures and altitude cause thin air, which put a strain on helicopters. Investigations have been launched by local police, the county medical examiner and the National Transport Safety Board.
The Press | Monday, 21 July 2008
Kiwi helicopter pioneer James Innes was at the controls of a luxury chopper when it crashed in the United States at the weekend. Innes, who was in his 50s, was killed along with his 30-year-old son Andrew when their Hughes 500D helicopter crashed half a kilometre from Carbon County Airport in Utah after a fishing trip on Saturday. James Innes was the former owner of Haldon Station, a 14,000 hectare farm in South Canterbury and was a helicopter industry pioneer. He took the skills in capturing and tagging wildlife using helicopters in the High Country to the US in the 1980s. Andrew Innes had recently married and had just returned to Utah from Chicago where he had been working. A friend told The Press James Innes was at the controls and had just refuelled when the accident happened. The surviving members of the family live in Auckland and Wanaka. The only recognisable parts were a tail rotor and some of the main rotor blades. James has lived in the United States for 17 years, where he owned an insurance business, and worked in live animal recovery. Thirty-year-old Andrew Innes recently moved to Utah to work with his father. He was also well known in the dance music scene. Four months ago he came back to Wanaka to get married. The New Zealand family members are gathering in Wanaka to support each other. David Innes, the older brother of James, was killed when he was hit by an aircraft while driving a ride-on mower near Taieri airfield in 1979. In New Zealand, James will be remembered for pioneering irrigation, deer development and cattle group breeding at Haldon Station, which he inherited from his father in the 1970s but was forced to sell because of financial difficulties. He cornered the market in wildlife-recovery operations for various North American agencies and had his own helicopter business. It is a triple tragedy for the family who lost another member Dan - James Innes' son and Andrew's brother - in a helicopter crash in Mexico in December 1998. The men were working for an animal recovery company, Western Slope Helicopters, owned by Mr Innes' father James, and were rounding up bighorn sheep when the crash happened. Tiburon Island is a reserve, with only a small transient population of people, but contains 39 species of reptiles and 52 species of land mammals, including the borrego cimarron, a desert species of bighorn sheep. Mexico's biggest island, it is about 50km long and 25km wide at its widest point, with an area of 1205sq km. Dan was born October 30, 1972 in Fairlie to Belinda Jane and James Ian Stanley Innes. He was raised on Haldon Station in New Zealand. Dan led a lifestyle with his family that most people only dream about. After leaving Lincoln College, Christchurch, NZ he worked on various sheep, cattle and deer stations throughout the South Island and became a very competent stockman. In 1992 he moved to Utah to help with his father's wild animal capture business, Helicopter Wildlife Management.
29 November 1990 National Business Review
Haldon Station, a 14,000 hectare farm established in 1903, was owned by the Innes family until the mid-eighties. However financial difficulties faced by owner James Innes around this time led to him filing for bankruptcy in May, 1988. Investment Finance Securities, the lending arm of the failed Investment Finance Corporation (in receivership) which advanced funds to Innes assumed ownership for the station, choosing to keep the station operating rather than selling at that point. The station runs 25,000 stock units. By April 1991 year stock numbers will stand at 6,000 red deer, 670 cattle and 13,000 Merino sheep. Haldon Station has a government valuation of $4.3 million, but the Innes family is looking for about $8 million. The stock alone is worth more than $3 million and they are in good health.
20 September 1991 National Business Review
Haldon Station, one of the most diversified and intensively farmed of the South Island's high country properties, has been sold to Auckland's Klisser family. The Klissers, owners of Klissers Farmhouse Bakeries until the company was sold to Goodman Fielder Wattie last March, bought Haldon from IFC Securities, a subsidiary of Investment Finance Corporation (in receivership). Hans and Jenny Klisser featured in this year's NBR Rich List with an estimated worth of $25 million. Paddy Boyd came to work for James Innes in March 1982 as Stock Manager and stayed on as manager. Paddy said the Klissers had been hands off, allowing him to get on with development. All development was done out of farm income.
Haldon near Tekapo in the rabbit-ravaged Mackenzie basin, was owned for almost a century by the Innes family until May 1988 when in one of the most spectacular farming collapses of the 1980s the then owner James Innes filed for bankruptcy with debts of over $6 million. The property then passed into the control of IFC, which was the principal creditor and already in receivership at that time. Innes at the time of the bankruptcy blamed crippling interest rates, the deep price crash as a result of the livestock tax regime, and the collapse of a major deer sale. The 14,000 ha property is not large by Mackenzie standards but is one of the most intensively stocked, with about 1,100 ha under irrigation. Under Innes' stewardship between 1970 and 1988 stock numbers increased from 7,000 to 30,000. Innes claimed at the time of his collapse the property had a turnover at its peak of $9 million a year with a 10% return on capital, and lamented it would probably be eventually sold "well below its true value" as a going concern for about $10 million.
30 July 1857: F W Teschemaker, of Haldon Station, diaries that he received four letters from England. They came via the Suez Canal and only took 77 days.
PUTTING IT RIGHT Michael Vance, 8 August 2007
The Press (Christchurch) Ray Ward-Smith notices that The Way We Were (August 4) referred to Greys Hills Station in the Mackenzie Country. The correct spelling is Grays Hills. This is an embarrassing error for a columnist whose father wrote the history of the Mackenzie, but excuses abound.
The Press of 1888, from which the reference was taken, wrote "Grey's Hill". The Timaru Herald, in whose circulation area the station is, used the "e" spelling, its database told us. But had we looked further we would have found the Herald also occasionally spelt it with an "a". The station is not listed in the phone book.
William Vance's High Endeavour, The Story of the Mackenzie Country, which can be taken as authoritative, spells it Grays Hills.
Timaru Herald, 20 October 1893, Page 3
At one of the municipal elections down South last week, one of the ratepayers was asked to vote for a certain wealthy sheep owner.
"Why should I vote for him ?" was the inquiry
"What qualification has he for a councillor?
"Well, you know, he is a big man among sheep."
" Yes, admitted ; but also, I'm afraid, a big sheep among men."
Evening Post, 21 March 1891, Page 2
In Double Harness : Poems in Partnership. By George Phipps Williams and W. P. Reeves, joint authors of "Colonial Couplets." Christchurch : Lyttelton Times Company.
Most of the poems are amusing, and descriptive and characteristic of phases of colonial life. The " Pastoral Plaint," which opens the volume, excellently depicts the discomforts and annoyances of station life for the hard-up squatter, who in the end
feels a little better
When the mail-bag brings a letter
With the news that greasy wool is on the rise.
The "Burnt Homestead" has a touch of pathos in it, but the gem of the collection will probably be pronounced to be "The History of Mr. and Mrs. Miggs� a tale of New Zealand Land Laws." It is excruciatingly funny, and yet has a moral in it. Most people will agree with the following extract : �
Now the laws throughout New Zealand with regard to buying land,
Which at divers times and places have been variously planned,
Form a code that's something fearful, something wonderful mid grand.
You can get a thousand acres, and you hav'nt got to pay
Ought, but just a small deposit in a friendly sort of way.
But you mustn't own a freehold, and you mustn't have a run,
And you must be no relation to a party who has one;
And you have to do some things of which you hardly see the fun!
The experience of Mr. and Mrs. Miggs is not singular. The " Man with the Bill " and "Farming in the Future" are both excellent, and so is " Wanted � Some Metaphors," in which the peculiarity of colonial slang are happily hit off.
The land was irreversibly altered 150 years ago by graziers, with mobs of sheep grazing down to the bare earth. Anything left was claimed by rabbits. Hieracium, patches of brown top and wilding pines took over. That resulted in extensive soil erosion, which could most effectively be saved by planting grass, which could only be maintained with water and fertiliser and economic use of the land. Without that, the land would become a weed infested wasteland, Mr R. Peacocke said in 2010. Left alone, the land would not revert to tussock but to wilding pines, hieracium (mouse-ear hawkweed (Hieracium pilosella) and depleted wind blown soils.
Ashburton Guardian, 13 July 1917, Page 2
53 YEARS AGO. CANTERBURY IN 1864 [spelling - sic]
(By Duncan Ross)
We all landed in small boats at Lyttelton from the sailing ship Eastern Empire, after over five months' voyage, and walked over the hills to Christchurch. The City of the Plains was then a plain, but not much appearances of a city. I believe there were two or throe churches. Old St. Andrew's was one. The Minister was the Rev. Fraser. No proper roads in fences. I had a billet to go to in the Mackenzie Country. Mr Clews had the station then at Symon's Pass, go I started by Cobb and Co.'s coach, crossed the Rakaia River by boat. At Burkes Pass, there was a stopping place kept by John Burgess. Some of the early squatters then were:�
Sturriker Sodan, Ford Henry, at Grampion Hills.
Herst, at Gray's Hills.
John Hay, at Takapo Lake.
Hugh Fraser, at Benahine.
Town Hall, at Irishman's Creek.
Patterson, at Lake Pukaki.
Dark Brothers, at Glentana.
I do not think any of, these early settlers made money. Prices were very, bad, sheep selling as low as 1 s 6d per. head, and a great, difficulty in getting the wool away. The wages then were: Shepherds, �50 per year; this same for bullock, drivers 1 (all found, of course); shearers, 15s per 100; musterers, �1 per week. Bad sleeping accommodation. The food served in a rough, way, but plentiful. Clothes were dear. A good pair of boots cost 30s to 32s. The people, for the most part, seemed content and happy. No grumbling. What a blessed country New Zealand would be if the drink was never allowed to enter. I have known so many fine men fall under on account of it.
In the year 1868 we experienced the heaviest fall of snow on record here. Kept on without ceasing from Monday till the following Sunday. In some places seven feet without a drift. Great floods in some places. Road-making and fencing were now in full swing, and men were looking to get small holdings, and some thinking of making homos and getting married and getting more in the saving line. Then came improvements. The Rev. Preston (English minister), and Mr Barkley (Presbyterian) came turn about from Geraldine to hold service at Burkes Pass. People came from five to 20 miles to the services. The men were much liked. It was wonderful the amount of work and fatigue they went through. Mr Tripp and Mr Acland took up Mount Possession Station. Later they sold out, and bought Orari Gorge and Mount Peel. Mrs Walker and Cloughstow had Four Peak Station. Jason and Battler were at Mesopotamia, and Clayton bought them out. Mr Peters owned Anama Station. There was then a boarding-house at Mount Somers, kept by a man named Harris.
In Timaru there were two hotels, the Royal and the Milton. Goods coming to Timaru were landed in surfboats. There were few shops at that time, and, if I remember rightly, no churches there in the year I landed. When first I passed through Ashburton I only remember two or three houses made of cobb and slab. One was kept by Mr. Turton. It was then a lonely-looking place. In the year 1865 the great rush to the West Coast gold mines was in full swing. Some made money, and some, lost. Price of wool, 6d per llb. Working men at present have far better houses to live in than most of the squatters had in the year 1864, and for many years after the early settlers had to put up with inconveniences that would surprise the present dwellers, and did so cheerfully. The women had their share of hardships, too, and helped to make New Zealand what it is.
Ben Ohau Station extends from the Pukaki River to the lower slopes of the Ben Ohau Range. pdf
Ben Ohau (run No. 87) was first applied for by High and Samuel Fraser in April 1857 and named "Be Achiu" gaelic for "Hill of the Dog". The run included all the land between the Pukaki and Ohau rivers and in 1856 a further 12000 acres of the Ben Ohau range was added, making the total area 80356 acres.
In 1867 this was sold to Messrs. Ostler and Dawson for 7500 pounds. Ostler died after straining himself to stop a bale of wool falling off a wagon and into the Ohau River. Mortgagees Godsborough and Company took over the property and Ben Ohau had three different managers until a sale in 1889. There was no bid due to the rabbits. In 1891 James Preston bought the property for 7700 pounds which included all the 16800 sheep. Preston lost 6000 sheep in the great 1895 snow. Because of the devastating rabbit plaque and a salt and lime deficiency, Preston considered it to be a bad risk and made an effort to abandon it, eventually succeeding in 1897 when his manager nephew, J.E.P. Cameron was granted a lease at a special rental due to the rabbit depletion. In 1911 Ben Ohau was reduced in area to 57277 acres.
In 1920 Cameron rescinded 41806 acres to the Crown for soldier resettlement, retaining 15471 acres of the original homestead block as a small grazing run. In 1982 Ben Ohau was reduced to 14359 acres (5811 hectares) following hydro electric power development.