Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
Article image
This article displays in one automatically-generated column. View the full page to see article in its original form.

THROUGH WAIKATO.

I . ♦ I .- • ITS CONDITION AND PROSPECTS. "' r , No. XI. b [nr OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT.] I, In this week's issue I continue my notes on , THE RAGLAN DISTRICT. 5 The Maoris are by no means numerous, , are a well-conducted lot, and get on f capitally with their European neighbours. 1 I was sorry to see the old Maori mission I station a scene of desolation and ruin with gorse, swectbriar, and thistle, seeding the | whole district around. The same mysterious , and inexplicable policy appears to be i adopted here by the ecclesiastical author ii ties as I had seen in operation in the North, 1 nt Maungunu, Hokianga. It would be far ' better to lease the land for the rates and I maintenance, than to leave it as a hideous i object lesson, defacing the landscape, and ■> " causing the enemy to blaspheme." At Okete are the new residences of the Messrs. Johnstone Brothers, one being , in the centra of the si to of tho old i redoubt, occupied during the Waikato . campaign by the 2nd Waikatos. On the opf posite side of the road is that of Mr. R. V. ; has bought 600 acres of land from . Mr. Stewart. Ho has built a nice house, and fenced. There is also the new resilience of Mr. 11. A. Wallis, as well as his flaxmill, ; situate at the Okete Falls, near the mouth of tho Okete river, on one of the besb sites : for that purpose in the district. He has i unfailing water power for driving the mill ! and flux-cleaning, and as the Okete empties itself into the harbour, the cost of transit to i the port of Raglan is greatly minimised. In fact, it is said, owing to the great natural advantages ho possesses in his site, Mr. Wallis could make flax remunerative even as low as £12 per ton. Mr. Wallis has been carrying on flax operations here for years past. He has also a good orchard. At the Kauroa are the new residences of Messrs. Lascelles and Hardytwo new sottlers recently come to the district. The former has a farm of 500 acres, and is going in for sheep-breeding principally. Ac the back of Kauroa is a block of Government land (limestone), about 4000 acres in extent, of fair quality. Messrs. Langley Brothers have just taken up a thousand acres of it. At Mata and Ruapuke are also signs of progress. At Karioi are the homesteads of Messrs. Mitchell, Pegler, Vercoe, Schnackenberg, McJanet, and Savage, etc., ranging from 100 to 500 notes. The latter has also an apiary, and Mr. Rendell, of Raglan township, a fiaxmill and rope factory. He meets with a steady demand for tho manufactured rope. Raglan district contains fifteen flaxmills, although at present, owing to tho low price of flax, they are not all working. Beyond Ruapuke, ate Messrs. Phillips and Brown, Thompson, Liddell, Given, Swann, and W. Duncan, some of whom have lately enlarged their residences. Adjacent is a large block of native land belonging to the Ngatiliikairo tribe. Near the Pakoka river, Bregman's flaxmill is now in full operation, and next to it is Mr. Proctor's homestead. Ho has a nice block of country, but has been sadly troubled with landslips, and will have this autumn about 800 acres in young grass. Ho has lately erected a woolshed. The sheep are doing first-class in the now country. Mr. T. B. Hill was desirous that I should go over witli him to the Aotea and Kawhia districts, but it was fortunate for both of us that I did nob accept his kind proposal, as tho storms and floods had caused such havoc on the road in the way of landslips, (I afterwards learned from officers of the Survey department) as to make it positively dangerous for travel. Some repairs are being effected, though the job is a somewhat expensive one. Messrs. Langley Brothers have two flax mills at Aotea, Ouo of them, driven by a Pelton wheel, is capable of turning out a very largo quantity of flax. Government have, I learn, secured their first block of land of any size in Kawhia, about 12,000 acres of limestone country, between the Awaroa and Hakaunui rivers. It is stated to be of fair quality bub broken, and no doubt as soon as the land is available it will be taken up by pioneor settlers. There is said to be coal in the district, which will bo an inducement to the Government to push on vigorously the acquirement of additional territory. The Messrs. Langley Brothers have stores and a flaxmill at Kawhia. I was sorry to hoar that at Kawhia the natives are retrograding and declining, and their cultivations going back into a state of nature. THE KARIOI PLEASURE RESERVE. At the south head of the harbour Woody Head (or Karioi) rises to a height of about 2SGO feet, clothed with magnificent timber to tho vory summit. The Government have very wisely set apart upwards of 3000 acres of the mountain as a reserve. Tho view from the different peaks on afino day is very grand, as Mount Egmont, Ruapehu, and Tongariro are easily seen. When Raglan becomes, as it will do in a few years, a popular watering place and health resort, all these adjuncts will add to its attraction to tourists. There is to be seen at Karioi Point, ib is said, the imprint or outline of a woman's foot on a ledge of basaltic rock. The Maori legend is that a ehieftainess who had some trouble with her spouse placed one foot on the rock and skipped oub with tho other to Uannet Island, where she ultimately remained. This frisky Maori matron, like somo of her pakeha sisters, must have "pub her foob down" somewhat firmly, as the impress of ib remains on the basalt until this day. Among other attractions are the WAIRENGA OR BRIDAL VEIL FALLS. They are situate about 12 miles from Raglan, whore the Pakoka River makes a perpendicular fall of 180 feet into a basin below. Tho Raglan people are very proud of their Falls, which they havo named the Bridal Veil Falls. Ib is to be hoped that a good road will soon bo constructed to make them more accessible. The Government have had a road survey, and reserved 040 acres around the Falls as a domain reserve. MAORI ROCK CARVINGS AT KARIOI. About five miles from Raglan, just under Mr. Savage's farm, on the coast line, Karioi, are some curious rock carvings, or tattooing formations. Tho Maoris know nothing about them, nob even in the shape of tradition, and as the Maoris have shown no proclivity for rock-Carving, and have nothing of the kind elsewhere in existence they are necessarily shrouded in mystery. The rock carvings are five in number, anc| some investigators conjecture that they were boundary stones in the olden times between different tribes. Mr. Cheeseman, curator of the Auckland Museum, has photographs of these curious rock carvings in the Museum.' The carvings, assume all the spiral formations characteristic of Maori carving, so thab there is no reason to doubt tßat they are the handiwork, at some time or other, of the Maori raco. Mr. Cheeseman contemplates, during tho ensuing summer, visiting the Waingaro Hot Springs, and a cave six miles distant, said to contain some fossilised remains. I trust that he will find time to visit Raglan, and elucidate if possible the mystery shrouding the foreign wreck near Aotea, and the Maori rock carvings at Karioi. There is a fine beach leading to the latter spot, and it is a favourite resort of picnic parties. A MYSTERY OF THE SEA. There is lying buried in the sand, 18 mills from Raglan, in a bay near the native settlement of Makaka, nob far from Aotea harbour, tho hull of a vessel, apparently of ancient data and foreign build, of the existence of which natives and Europeans were wholly ignorant until the wreck was accidentally discovered. The discovery was made under the following circumstances :—ln 1875 Mr. T. B. Hill, of Raglan, and Mr. R. J. O'Sullivan, Inspector of Schools, were bathing on the Ruapuke beach, at Aotea, when the latter looking up at the mouth of Mr. Hill's boundary river, the Toroparu, which empties itself into the sea, a little to the north of Aotea harbour, remarked with surprise, There's the wreck of a vessel up there !" . On Mr, Hill looking in the direction indicated by Mr. O'Sullivan, he found thab such was the

case. They at once dressed, mounted their horses, and on getting to the place jumped on to the wreck of what they' considered the deck of a vessel, sloping upwards to the stern, the other portion being embedded in the sand. The vessel seemed to have come in stern foremost. On getting the late Mrs. Charlton to come down and see the wreck, she at once saw that the course of the river had been altered. The sand had fallen down and changed the course of tho river into the old channel, in which it was known to have flowed in the olden times, thns accidentally exposing and revealing the wreck. The portion of the wreck exposed was five thicknesses of two-inch timber, a sorb of pine, bolted together with copper bolts and lignum vitas screws as numerous as they could be utilised. Mr. Hill cut off a piece of wood with an inscription carved upon ib in a foreign language, which he handed to the late Air. Henry Falwasser, ab the time correspondent for the Southern Cross, and believed to be portion of the name of the vessel. On seeing a photo of a part of a ship's bell which is at the Auckland Museum, and referred to in the Transactions of the New Zealand Institute, he thinks the name is the Mohoyd Bak, and as far as his memory serves him is the same as the inscription on the wreck. For years past the wreck has been covered up with sand, and the recent February gales again partially exposed it, but in Mr. Hill's opinion nob the same portion as seen in 1875. Captain Austen, of the 8.8. Glenelg, is of opinion that ib is the side only of a large vessel which has drifted over from the Australian coast, and settled up soon after being stranded. Others think that it is the remains of a vessel built in Java or Japan, and constructed with bolts from the wrecks of other vessels, as the bolts are not uniform. Owing totho lateflood the portion exposed will be soon left dry again, as tho river has changed its course once more, so that anyone will be able to dig around and satisfy their curiosity, or mayhap settle the mystery. The strangest parb of the business is thab the Maoris should know nothing about the existence of the wreck, though a largo Maori settlement has always been on the point just over it. In the month of October, 1892, Mr. Samuel Harding, C.E., of Mount Eden, was over in the Raglan district, and he paid a visit to the wreck, making some notes, as also a sketch of the locality and of the portion of tho vessel exposed, and in the course of conversation he gave me the following particulars. The wreck, which had been partly exposed 17 years ago, was again visible in the sands on tho beach near the southern bouudary of tho farm of Mr. W. Thomson, J. P., Ruapuke,and a few miles north of the headland known as Albatross Point.neartheentrancetoAoteaHarbour. Ab the locality of the wreck thereisa magnificent sandy beach extending for three miles, and the stream flowing out thab escapes to the sea, is lost in seasons of drought when the scouring force is at the minimum, both wind and soa choke the entrance, obliterating the watercourse and causing its position to be altered until some heavy fresh reopens or causes it to force a new channel. This accounts for the wreck being buried for so many years in the sand, but again being visible. Mr. Harding says he had no means of knowing how much of the wreck was covered with sand. The superficial area was 55 to GO square feet, the surface flat, and composed of planks generally nine inches, with a few six inches wide. This deck, or whatever it might be, was composed of five planks in depth, each plank nominally two inches thick, giving a total of 10 inches in thickness. The timber was like inferior pine, with many knots, bub though discoloured and somewhat "dosed," in a fair state of preservation. But the construction was remarkable, each layer of planking being at an angle of 45 degrees from the last layer, the top and bottom planks were therefore parallel with each other. These planks were bound together by hard wooden screws, a little under 1J inches in thickness. The thread on two of the screws, the only ones available for examination, did not seem as if formed with a screw-plate, or mechanical contrivance. There were angular projections on the timber as if cut with a knife, but not sufficiently rough to impede screwing home. There were sixteen iron boltt. Mr. Harding could nob ascertain if the ends had been in the screw-plate; they were of the same thickness as the wooden screws. There were also a few spikes like the six inch spike wo are accustomed to. They were driven at irregular distances, and might have been used for subsequent repairs. There were therefore 83 screws and bolts, holding together an area of about GO square feet of deck, or whatever ib might have been, constructed and designed in the strongest manner. Mr. Harding says as the stream ab the bend where the wreck is is only ankle deep, a few boards on edge so as to direct the current on the wreck, as suggested by Mr. Cheeseman, would lay bare the timber work, aud so inexpensive a modo would bo worth trying. A few fascines made from the adjacent scrub and jammed down would be equally as efficacious. RAGLAN TO THE HOT SPRINGS, WAINGARO. As I was desirous of visiting the Hot Springs (Waingaro) district, on my road back to Auckland, Mr. Hill kindly undertook to guide me in, and placed a horse at my disposal. I took the mail coach from Raglan to Waitetuna, where, ab the turn-off to the Hob Springs (12 miles distant), I joined Mr. Hill, who brought a spare horse with him. Shortly after getting into the Raglan-Hob Springs Road, we crossed the bridge spanning the Waitetuna River, and entered a limestone country, the outcrop being seen at intervals along the road. Two miles from tho junction is the farm of Mr. Cogswell, a member of the Raglan County Council, and Government overseer of the roads in the district. We called in, and received a hospitable welcome. He has a nice farm of about 300 acres ab the mouth of the Waitetuna, where ib falls into Raglan Harbour. Mr. Cogswell has some fine Jersey cattle and Shropshire Down sheep. His orchard is admirably situate in a sheltered basin, and the show of fruit was splendid, the branches of the.trees breaking down with the weight of fruit. Mr. Cogswell is an old Taranaki settler, who came to Raglan County in 1854, and after occupying several sections in Raglan, finally settled in the Waitetuna district, on his present holding, which was then in a state of nature. He was one of the first pioneer settlers in Raglan, outside tho mission families, and was there during the Waikato campaign of 1863. Mr. Cogswell left Taranaki in 1854, seeing thab native troubles there would ultimately eventuate in war, as ib did in 1860. Landing ab Aotea, he received a letter from the late Rev. John Whiteley, commending him and his family to the protection of tho well-known chief Wirerau Nora to Awaitaia, and the chief faithfully fulfilled the trust reposed in him. Mrs. Cogswell shared with her husband all the hardships incidenb to pioneer settlement. Leaving Mr. Cogswell's, we passed a mile further on the new residence of the Messrs. Matthews, and the flax mill close by, on the beach, fronting the harbour, of Messrs. Wilson, of the Hot Springs. Then passed through a large block of native and, in the centre of which is the steam flax mill, known as that of the Raglan Flax Mill Company, managed | by Mr. Bishop. Ib is situated on the Ohautira Greek, from whence the prepared flax is boated to Raglan Wharf. Both Europeans and natives were working together in the paddocks, and even the native women and children were busily engaged spreading and drying the flax. The potato crops at some of the native settlements were very good, nob having suffered from the late floods like those of the Waipa natives. At the end of the Maori Reserve Block there is a finger-post showing the road to the Hob Springs landing at the mouth of the Waingaro River, on the north arm of Raglan Harbour. Here a road strikes off totheKerikeri settlement, where thefarms of Wilson Brothers, Burgess, Goat, Wheeler, Richards, and C has. Matthew are situated. These settlers are energetic, and are doing a lot of work on their sections. The Messrs. Wilson Brothers hare been there since 1868, and were the pioneer settlers of the district, and Mr. S. L. Wilson, of the Hot Springs Hotel, informed me that the grass originally ***? i is better to-day than when put in. ■.'."... .j ~«..''•'. - ■ Just alter passing this point of inter- *&>'% we struck the Waingaro Rivfr, and

• kept along its proper left bank, passing the 1 farms of Messrs. Picking, J. K. McDonald 1 (a member of the Raglan County » Council), Shelson, and S. L. Wilson. 1 Mr. Picking has 1000 acres, on which he > keeps sheep and cattle. He is also paying > some attention to agriculture, as he has 200 i acres of river flat, and as we passed i ploughing was busily going on. Mr. ■ Picking had also fallen a quantity of bush, : and was only awaiting fine weather to get a i good burn. On the opposite side of the river Mr. Shelson has a large area fallen, and has built a new residence. Mr. McDonald devotes his attention principally to dairy produce, for which ho finds a ready local sale, but also pays some attention to the breeding of sheep and cattle. On the road up the banks of the Waingaro we saw most luxuriant patches of grass on the alluvial flats at the river bends, the most 1 noteworthy being that at Mr. McDonald's, which seemed to consist entirely of white clover in blossom, and looked a perfect picture. Mr. McDonald, who has been settled some four years, has 45 acres cleared, 90 acres in grass, and the balance of his 400 acres is open fern land and bush. His orchard, planted out with the usual varieties of fruit, was doing well. In it were also the chaffa or ground almond, ■ butter-nub, ordinary walnut, black walnut, ' and two acres in the pecan nut, and hops.. There were excellent; patches of mangolds and potatoes, grown without manure. Mr. McDonald has started an apiary, but, > owing to the web weather, the season had i been a bad one for honey. Climbing up the peak opposite his residence, we had a grand view of the surrounding country, around Raglan, Karioi rising sharp and clear in the 1 distance against the evening sky. Mr. McDonald, who is a brother of Mr. D. B. McDonald, sharebroker, of Auckland, served in the Taranaki Rifle Volunteers at the engagement of Waireka, and afterwards at that of Mahoetahi, in which WetiDi Taiporutu and the flower of the Waikatos were slain. Mr. McDonald has added to his homestead, school accommodation for the neighbourhood, where a half-time school in connection with the Akatea Public School is conducted by Mr. Bylos. Mr. Byles resides at Mr. McDonald's. In his early youth he had some experience in boatbuilding, which he has now put to a practical purpose, having built in his spare hours an 18-feet boat, and safely taken it down the Waingaro, shooting the rapids to the Kerikeri landing, and thence it goes to Raglan. Shortly after leaving Mr. McDonald's place—who at Raglan, when attending the County Council, gave us a cordial invitation to call — we came to the junction of the Kahuhuru and WaingaroRivers, where a new bridge spans the river. A finger-post is urgently needed here to prevent visitors to the Hot Springs turning to tho left and up the Kahuhuru Valley by mistake. Twelve miles from the Waipa-Raglan Road we suddenly came in sight of the Hot Springs Hotel (Mr. S. L. Wilson proprietor), where we pub up, and enjoyed a hot bath after the day's travel of 22 miles from Raglan. The recent floods had caused landslips near Mr. Matthew's place, and Mr. Cogswell was about to take the matter in hand. Along the latter portion of the Raglan-Hot Springs route the road led past a forest of mixed bush, consisting of kahikatea, maire, akeake, tarata, ribbon or lace wood, and other woods, interspersed with punpa or tree ferns. At intervals were to be seen heaps of flax recently cut by natives for transport to the various flax-mills, and which had been principally arranged for by Mr. A. Ormiston.

This article text was automatically generated and may include errors. View the full page to see article in its original form.
Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NZH18930603.2.77.5

Bibliographic details

THROUGH WAIKATO., New Zealand Herald, Volume XXX, Issue 9217, 3 June 1893, Supplement

Word Count
3,578

THROUGH WAIKATO. New Zealand Herald, Volume XXX, Issue 9217, 3 June 1893, Supplement

Working