Sawmilling was started in the Geraldine bush in 1866 by McKissack and McKenzie. Two sawmills were started in the Waihi Bush by Messrs. Taylor and Flatman and Messrs Webb and Perry. Timaru Herald 25 March 1874.
On Sunday 28th January 1877 a fire in the bush was observed about two o'clock, and, fanned by a strong wind, spread rapidly in a southerly direction. It burned for a week and destroyed the sawmill of Messrs Flatman and Taylor and a dwelling, the house of Mr A. McCormick. The fire started at the McCormick property. The smoke was plainly visible from Timaru on the 29th. Other fires were burning in Canterbury during the same time period as it was the middle of summer.
Two days before the fire started.
Timaru Herald Jan. 29 1877,