Press, 17 March 1911, Page 9
BEGINNINGS OF SETTLEMENT
Much that has already been written descriptive of the adjoining district of Geraldine also applies to that part of South Canterbury that lies south-east of the Geraldine Road District to the son, and south to the Opihi River. The soil is chiefly of the same nature, only that it is richer, for the shingle brought down from the ranges has not reached so far, except along the river courses, but the finer alluvial deposits have spread out and formed some of the most fertile agricultural land to be found in the Dominion. Towards the sea coast it runs into the rich bolt of swamp land that extends from the Washdyke lagoon just north of Timaru, and with a few breaks, almost to Amberley, in North Canterbury. As in the Geraldine district, too, there were two classes of pioneer settlers who were first tempted to make their new homes within what is now the Temuka district. They were the bushmen and the pastoralists. There was, on the advent of the white men, a splendid piece of native forest, some, hundreds of acres in extent, lying between the Temuka and Opihi Rivers, and just west of the present railway line, which for some years gave employment to a number of pit-sawyers, in providing building material for Timaru and Temuka settlers' homesteads on the plains, and in splitting fencing material. The bush was finally destroyed by fire in 1863, and its remains were consumed in the homes of the settlers. Mr Geo. Rhodes took up the land on the south side of the Opihi; west of the Temuka River Mr W. Hornbrook, whose homestead was erected at the upper end of the Arowhenua bush, as it was called, took up his run in 1854, with its southern boundary on the Opihi. Beyond Mr Hornbrook came Mr Campion, whose headquarters wore among the Kakahu downs, the site of which was known in after years' as "The Old Station." Mr Alfred Cox, as was mentioned in the article on Geraldine, took up all the country, from the Opihi to the ranges, lying between the Orari, Temuka, and Hae-Hae-Te-Moana.rivers, and part of the country west of the latter river.
CHANGES IN NAMES
There was a large settlement of Maoris at the Arowhenua bush, and some of their descendants still remain in the neighbourhood, and by them the Temuka river and probably the immediate district was known as the Umukuha, "the place of the flax," for on the rich alluvial soil flax made a prolific growth that is now never seen, at least in the South Island, for such land has all been found well worth cultivating. The Temuka River was commonly called by the early settlers "Tommy's Creek," after an old Maori chief, the course of the river having been changed by a flood and brought past the chiefs whare. The Opihi River was formerly known as the Arowhenua, as was the district on both sides of the river adjoining the settlement at the. bush. Then the settlement at the bush between the rivers was called Georgetown, after Mr George Rhodes. In later years Georgetown, disappeared, and the district is now known as Epworth. When Mr Samuel Hewlings, who had purchased the site of Temuka, laid out the township, in the survey work of which he was assisted by Mr Geo. Levens, still a resident of Temuka. He named it Wallingford, after his native place in England, but all that now remains of this name is its application to one of the hotels in the township. A township was formed in later years east of the railway line, and adjoining Temuka, and until its absorption into the borough of Temuka, it was called Arowhenua.
THE EARLY SETTLERS
A monument erected in the Temuka Domain by the pioneers of the Temuka district prior to the flood of 1858, in commemoration of the 60th year of the late Queen Victoria's reign, has inscribed upon it the names of most of the early settlers and the year of their arrival. First on the list are the three members of the Rhodes family who arrived in South Canterbury in 1847, and next appears Mr F. W. Stubbs in 1852, and Mr W. Hornbrook in 1854. The following are the names of other pioneers, many of whom are well known and are still living:—1855, Messrs T. Dunn and F. Oliver; 1856, J. Batterbee; 1857, A. Cox, Dr. T. O. Rayner, and C. Wedderell: 1858. M. Gaffney, J. Hayhurst; W. Hopkinson, T. Palmer, and C. G. Tripp: 1859, J. Blyth, G. J. Levens, J.M. Martin, T. White, and J. A. Young; 1860, J. E. Ackroyd, J. T. M. Hayhurst, J. Meyer, E. Pilbrow, and J. Pilbrow; 1861, Geo. Cliff. T. Hawke, G. Rippingale and D. Taylor; 1862. W. Findlay, J. Findlay, F. R. Flatman, H. J. Gladstone, H. R. Goodeve, D. McLeod, J. Mendelson, A. Patterson, and J. Wallace; 1863, J. and W. Benbow, A. Grant, T. Hobson, J. Maze, I. L. Morris. R. Thew, and R. Turnbull; 1864, J. Brown, S. Cain. A. Clyne, P. Coira. T. Connolly, D. Cunningham, A. Edgar H. Elkers, W. Hawke, and J. B. Wareing; 1865, Rev. Geo. Barclay, R. A. and A. L. Barker, R. Edgar and J McS. Gentlemun; 1866, J. B. Binley. J. V. Glasson. J.. Hay, E. Lee, J. Marshall, S. Norton, C. J. Rayner, E. Waddell, J. Whitehead, and G. and J. Woodhead; 1867, J. Austin, J. Kelland, R. Irvine, N. C. Nicholas, and R. Wood. There were other early settlers whose names are not in the list, probably through the difficulty of obtaining the date of their arrival Messrs Archie McKinley, T. Hammond. M. Riley, D. Fergusson, sen., B. Gibson, the Popplewells, Wyatt, Peryman Massey, W. Begis, W. Bennett, and Martin Connolly were among the men who were first working in the Arowhenua bush, or connected with the first settlement. The first store at the Arowhenua bush, or Georgetown, was carried on by Mr A. McKinley, then by Messrs Dyson and Wood. The latter went Home, and on his return voyage was drowned in the wreck of the London. Mr J. A. Young was also associated with the business. Mr J.M. Martin also had a store in the bush. Mr Fergusson was the first schoolmaster.
THE BEGINNING OF TEMUKA
Mr G. Levens was the first to erect a house on the Temuka side of the river, near where he now resides on the main road, and it is interesting to note that near by is growing the first bluegum tree planted in South Canterbury, from seed brought from Cooper's Creek, South Australia, by Mr Malcolm Mathias, nephew of the Ven Archdeacon Mathias. Mr Levens first started in business as a butcher and obtained his sheep from Messrs Hornbrook and Cox, to supply the Georgetown settlers. The next building in Temuka was a store built by Mr Copestake, afterwards taken over by Messrs Clarkson and Turnbull, of Timaru, and was on the site of Mr J. Brown's present business premises, Messrs Brown and Plante being the proprietors, prior to the former buying his partner out. Next came "The Nuggets", accommodation house, now the Crown Hotel, built by Mr J. H. Dean, who has for many years since been a resident of Woodbury. Mr Dean had previously built the Arowhenua Hotel, on the south side of the Opihi, on the main road, where, in the coaching days, Mr J. V. Glasson was the well known proprietor. Mr J. A. Young had also been a licensee of the Arowhenua Hotel, and he built the Winchester Hotel in 1865, the Royal Hotel (in Temuka) in 1860, and later on, the Moseley Hotel, at Winchester. The Royal Hotel passed through a number of hands in the early days, including Messrs J. H. Dean. Geo. Dyson, P. D. McRae, A. McKinley, and J. Stranks, and Mrs Stranks, who afterwards became Mrs F. Arenas. For many years Mr P. Caird was associated with the Royal Hotel, and the Temuka and Wallingford Hotels were later erections. The accommodation houses or hotels in Temuka were important places in the early days of travelling, as Temuka was the principal stopping place south of Christchurch till Timaru was reached. It was the regular place of call for the bullock drivers, as there was plenty of both feed and water for bullocks, more so than at Timaru. The Opihi River in those days was difficult to negotiate, and a punt ferry service had to be maintained. Tommy's creek was a favourite place—if the term may be used—for bullock drays to get stuck, and the loss of both human and animal life was not unknown in crossing the rivers when in flood.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF FARMING
As time went on the country began to be taken up, the easily worked and rich alluvial soil being first cultivated, and gradually the swamp land towards the sea coast was drained and broken in, and now produces great crops, of grain, roots, and grass. Some of the earliest farmers settled along the main road between Temuka and Winchester, among them being Messrs W. Neal, G. Cliff. S. and J. Cain, W. Budd, and S. Clyne. Mr J. Hayhurst, who had taken up sheep runs in the Mackenzie Country, came down from Ashburton with sheep, and secured some of the land at Green Hayes, as his estate was afterwards named, and built a house about 1861. The block of country he acquired was converted into one of the finest agricultural properties in the Dominion, and was leased to tenants, the happy relations existing between landlord and tenant being evidenced by the fact that in a number of cases no changes have been made, and some of the original tenants have purchased their farms. Another fine property in the district is Trevenna, a farm owned by Mr Jas. Guild, which may be called the Longbeach of' South Canterbury. Mr Guild, before purchasing Trevenna, was farming at Flaxton. Trevenna was first taken up by Mr W. Gosling:, and for a time was owned by Mr J. Grigg. Another noted property was Riversleigh, which formerly belonged to Mr A. Cox and then Mr A. Gammack. Early farmers towards the coast from Temuka wore the Woodhead family, noted for their success in dairying. All through the Milford district between Temuka and the Orari, and down to the sea, the land is extremely rich, and among the farmers who have held or hold farms there are Messrs T, Connolly, J. Austin, J. B. Wareing, Mathews and Trezise, S. Medlicott. J. Masse, Park, A. W. Ensor, and J. Pilbrow. In former years Mr R. Wood, an uncle of Messrs Wood Bros., the well-known millers, had a flour mill at Milford, and, in the days before the frozen meat trade there was also a large boiling down works in, the same district. Over the Opihi river, on the main road to Timaru, Messrs M. Gaffney, S. McBratney, and J. A. Young took up farms, and Mr M. Kirby, who had previously worked for Mr John Anderson in Christchurch, had a blacksmith's shop on the bank of the river near the Arowhenu Hotel.
THE '68 FLOOD.
The great flood in Canterbury in February, 1868, seriously affected the new settlement at Temuka, and gave it a set back. Several days of exceptionally heavy rains brought down the rivers till the whole of the low lying country was inundated to such an extent that several lives were lost, including those of Mr Martin, the storekeeper, and two of his children. Heavy as the flood would have been in any case, it was made still worse by the Orari River overflowing its southern bank, where the railway line now crosses the river, which added considerably to the volume, of water coming down the Waihi, Hae- Hae-Te-Moana, and Kakahu rivers. Passengers by train can now see the protective banks on the Orari to hold back the water and prevent scour, that were erected to prevent such an overflow I again taking place. The railway line runs over these embankments. Though the lower parts of Temuka have since been affected by floods, it is doubtful if such a flood as that in 1868 is likely to occur again, even with the same amount of rain. The clearing and draining of the land now causes the soil to absorb more moisture in a rainfall, and the better drainage will enable flood waters to get away more rapidly. The greatest danger may lie in the growth of broom and gorse in the riverbeds, which will prevent the free flow of combined flood waters in the lower reaches of the rivers.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF TEMUKA
Notwithstanding the set-back. Temuka ultimately began to go ahead again. The destruction of the Arowhenua bush assisted to confine the extension of settlement to the north side of the river. Other business places were established. The earliest blacksmith was Mr W. Bryant, Mr K. F. Gray for many years carried on a similar business, particularly in connection with farm implements, and Messrs D. and J. Findlay wore also in the blacksmith and engineering trade. Among the storekeepers were Messrs Mendelson and Morris, who had already started at Pleasant Valley. J. W. Velvin, A. Wilson, sen., and for a few years before taking up farming pursuits, Mr J. B. Wareing was in business in Temuka. Mr J. Blyth settled down in Temuka as a builder after a trip to the diggings, and Mr E. Brown opened a timber-yard. Mr E. H. Bremer attended to the wants of settlers in the way saddlery, and does so to this day. Messrs Ackroyd, E. Lee and E. Pilbrow, opened butchery businesses; Mr C. J. Raynor was the first chemist and druggist, Mr J. B. Birley the first aerated water manufacturer. Messrs Caleh, Maslin, and Copestake were among the earliest carpenters and builders, and Dr. T. O. Raynor the first medical man, and for many years he took a prominent part in public affairs The brewery near the Temuka Bridge, now known as "The Old Brewery," was started by Messrs Forward, Williams, and G. H. Thompson, in the sixties, with Mr A. Metcalfe as brewer. Mr Thompson, who was in partnership with Mr Geo. Levens, was afterwards better known in connection with livery stables. Messrs Marshall and Donnelly were the first bakers in Temuka. Westward of Temuka is the farming district of Waitohi Flat, among the early settlers on which were Messrs J. Talbot, W. Wright, S. Currie, McCullough and M. Moore. The Arowhenua station afterwards came into the hands of the New Zealand and Australian Land Company, and some years ago was bought by the Government for closer settlement.
In 1899 Temuka was constituted. a borough. Previously it was a town district, and adjoining it was the town district of Arowhenua. In the formation of these town districts and their subsequent union. Mr J. Blyth, who had been a member of both Boards, took a prominent part. In 1909 the population of Temuka was 1680. That the township is now enjoying an era of prosperity and steadily gaining is evidenced by the fact that there are no empty houses, but a keen demand for them, and a number of new buildings are in course of erection. The first Mayor of the borough was Mr J. T. M. Hayhurst, who held office from 1899 to 1903, Mr T. Buxton followed from 1903 to 1907, and from 1908 to 1911 Mr D. McInnes occupying the mayoral chair from 1907 to 1908. Mr Buxton also has the honour of representing the district in Parliament. The Town Clerk is Mr Edward Cutten. For a township of the size, Temuka is well-served in every way. It is on the main line if railway, and only twelve miles from the seaport of Timaru. Its main business street has been practically rebuilt of late years, and now possesses two lines of shops, hotels, banks, etc., and a handsome post office, such as few country townships can boast of. The main, business part has an underground system of drainage, and the drains and side-channels are flushed by a water supply brought in from the Winchester creek. There is a good volunteer fire brigade, and now it is proposed to go in for a loan for a high-pressure water supply for fire prevention and other purposes. The main streets are lighted by gas provided by a private company. Temuka is also well-served in the way of means of recreation. Few districts provide such splendid roads for pleasure drives, in any direction; there is a domain of 133 acres for public gardens and recreation grounds, and the Arowhenua Domain of 11 acres. The Temuka Domain is well laid out with shady walks through extensive plantations, and there are cricket and football grounds, cycling track, lawn tennis courts, and bowling green, and the local club also has golf links. Temuka is evidently growing in popularity as a residential area, which naturally adds to its business opportunities. There have been many handsome residences erected of late years, and a number of retired farmers, are making their homes there. The climate is remarkably mild and bracing, without the extremes of either heat and cold. The district is so well planted with trees that it suffers little from winds. The various religious denominations have substantial churches, several of which have been rebuilt of late years. The Roman Catholic Church is a prominent landmark in the township. Temuka also "possesses a very fine public school. A volunteer corps has been maintained since 1868, and of the original members Lieut. Findlay and Colour-Sergeants Levens and Coira still reside in Temuka.
Manse footbridge bridge 1913 was built by a Mr Elder. It was a COE vicarage across the river, not a manse.
In the 2009 Temuka book on page 168 there is a photo of the footbridge over the Temuka River. The caption states that the old manse in the background was built in 1880 and demolished in 1910. After looking in the Temuka Anglican Church history book, it states that the manse was first lived in by New Years Day 1879. And it was destroyed by fire on September 10, 1910. The house that is there now was built in 1911, this building was sold in November 1951 to Mr E. Hide. The third manse was built in Vine St, Temuka. Richard Pearse's parents home "Landue" is further along the Temuka - Waitohi Road, near the intersection with Epworth Road.
Timaru Herald, 8 January 1896,
Mr Dickson, drawing attention to the weak state of the west approach to the footbridge at the Manse. The overseer had attended to the matter, and in accordance with his suggestion it was agreed to make further improvements by the erection of two panels of fencing on Mr Frew's side.
Timaru Herald, 18 May 1867, Page
Last Sunday, Mrs Young, of the Royal hotel, was walking over the Temuka footbridge with her youngest child m the perambulator when one of the straps giving way, the young occupant was just caught in time by Mrs Young or it would have rolled into the river, as it was the baby was considerably hurt by the fall.
Timaru Herald, 7 March 1868, Page 3
I hear that it is the intention of the Road Board to erect a temporary footbridge over the Temuka river, which will be a great convenience to persons on both sides, and not least to the children attending the school here from the other side, who of course have not been able to come since the carrying away of the old bridge.
16 January 1886, Page 4
A lad of about ten years of age, a son of Mr Copestake, of Temuka, had a narrow escape from drowning on Thursday last. It appears that while playing with a companion near the footbridge at the Temuka river he managed to fall in at a place where the water was considerably beyond his depth. His companion ran for assistance to the Manse, and the Rev. Mr McIntosh's groom, a young man named Thomas Oliver, quickly responded to the call. On reaching the spot he found the lad had grasped a portion of an old pier used for protection purposes, to which he steadfastly held, although almost unconscious. On getting him ashore Oliver, with commendable presence of mind, turned the lad on his face, and succeeded in emptying from him some of the water he had imbibed. In a short time the lad was completely restored to consciousness, and is now little the worse for his ducking.
Timaru Herald, 24 June 1896, Page 4
The temporary footbridge, greeted while the main bridge is being dismantled, was comparatively useless, as there was a good stream at each end. A firm of Temuka butchers whose slaughterhouse is on the south side of the river were unable to take their carts across, and had to back one to the cud of the bridge and carry their meat across to another on the north side. Pedestrians had to avail themselves of the railway bridge.
Star 27 June 1896, Page 6
On Friday the weather cleared a little. The roads are very heavy, and there is no prospect of a resumption of carting or farm work for a few days. The Temuka River fell sufficiently to admit of horsemen crossing, and one or two venturesome persons crossed with traps, but the river was high enough to deter the majority of people. The supports of the temporary footbridge scoured out in one or two places, and had the structure not been secured by strong chains to the piles of the old bridge, it would have been swept away. A temporary addition over a small stream at the south end side enabled pedestrians to cross. The Opihi rose, but not dangerously. The protective works were in no way affected by the flood.
Northern Advocate 10 September 1910, Page 5
The Opihi and its branches were in high flood oh Sunday, and the traffic bridge over the Opihi, on the Main South Bond, a footbridge, over the same stream, a few miles higher up, and the footbridge over the Temuka river, near Holloways, have been rendered dangerous and impassable, and are notified as mob by the Temuka Road Board.
AN ANGLER'S PARADISE WHERE ANGLERS CONGREGATE. TROUT FISHING
To the visitor who is an angler, the Temuka district possesses a particular charm. Its rivers and streams provide the best fly fishing in the Dominion, outside of the Hot Lakes district in the North Island. Trout were liberated in the Winchester creek and Opihi and Temuka rivers many years ago, and Mr J. A. Young jealously guarded the first fry he liberated in the creek by his residence at Winchester. He lived to see Winchester the centre of trout fishing in Canterbury for many years, but as the fish spread, and the Opihi and Temuka rivers became famous for the baskets that could be made, Temuka attracted visiting anglers. The oldest and most experienced disciple of Izaak Walton in Temuka is Mr N. C. Nicholas, and what he does not know of the sport and where it can best be obtained is not worth troubling about. Beside the anglers attracted from many parts of the Dominion, visitors from Home and Australia, some of them making an annual trip, whip the streams in the district, for besides the main rivers, their numerous tributaries almost to their very source contain trout, and provide sport both for the experienced and for the novice.
THE TEMUKA ROAD DISTRICT
Outside the borough of Temuka the district is under the control of the Geraldine County Council, and more immediately by the Temuka Road Board. The road district comprises some 70,000 acres, running as far east as the Rangitata River. To the west it takes in the Waitohi flat, its northern boundary being the Geraldine Road District, and its south the Opihi River. It was formed in 1872, having originally been part of the Geraldine Road District. The chairmen of the Board have been Dr. T. O. Raynor, and Messrs R. Wood, R. A. Barker, S. Currie, J. Fraser and W. J. Talbot, the latter for a long time, up to the present day. The roads throughout the district are a credit to the controlling bodies. The Temuka and Opihi rivers, which in the early days were so difficult to negotiate, have long since been spanned by bridges, and the old timber bridge over the Opihi has recently been replaced by a substantial ferro-concrete structure.
The present and current (2012) Manse Bridge across the Temuka River, on the Waitohi Temuka Rd was built in 1939 and officially opened on the 27th January 1940. underneath Flood. stopbank
The pretty little village of Winchester, formerly known as the Waihi crossing, is about five miles north of Temuka on the main road and railway, and is still a popular resort of anglers. It has undergone hut few changes for a good many years, beyond the erection of a few more dwellings. As has been noted, Mr J. A. Young was an early resident, and was until his death one of its best-known inhabitants. For many years Mr Geo. Taylor's store was a well-known business place, and Mr In wood's flour mill on the creek was am equally well-known and useful adjunct to settlement. Near by is the well known farm of Mr De Renzie's, owned by Lord Lyttelton, which before Mr De Renzie's time was occupied by Mr A. Wilson, sen., and Mr James Roberts. The Smithfield Estate, owned by Mr Robert Smith, is in the same locality, and Mr H. S. Smith still carries on the wool scouring business in Winchester with which the two brothers have long been associated.
The old accommodation house at Orari. opened in 1856 by Mr J. W. Giles, and afterwards carried on by Mr T. Wadsworth, was a well-known place of call in the early days on the way to and from Christchurch, and as a stopping place for Cobb and Co.'s coaches before the erection of the Upper Rangitata traffic bridge, when they came round via Geraldine. The old house, near to which Mr D. Taylor had his blacksmitlh's shop, was burned down many years ago, after it had ceased to be occupied, the license having been transferred to the hotel erected near the railway station. Among those who took up land in the Orari district was Mr J. Stranks, of the Crown Hotel, Temuka; Mr T. Dunn, of the Stumps farm; .Mr H. J. Gladstone; Dr. Barker, of Ohapi farm, Mr W. Stewart, Mr G. Bissett, Mr A. B. Barker lived until he death at Ohapi, and his brothers, Messrs A. L. Barker and F. H. Barker, still own farm, in the district. Across the Orari river, and north of the railway line, is the Belfield settlement, established some thirty years ago, and south of the railway line, and near the sea, is the Clandeboye settlement, which was lately increased by the purchase of land from the Rolleston Estate. The latter settlement is becoming a prominent dairying district, the rich land being specially adapted for cow pastures.
South Canterbury NZGenWeb Project