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OUR COUNTRY SURROUNDINGS.

KEPRESENTATJVK PTONEEES. WILLI&M THOMAS GALPIN, Esq. OF WOODLAND, SfABTON. ' (Br Ouit" Special.) * a Continually we hear the shibboleth of "land for the people," "no land raonopoly," and "small holdings," and yet innumerable instances can ho prefaced that where the opportunity haß been offered very few, if any, have availed themselves to establish a home for themselves, more especially where such estaba£s:S2* w °uW have entailed the hardships and difficulties of pioneering. It is true that a very few in years gone by, unmindful of immediate privations 1 a.u,d continuous labour, set themselves to ■) * c- •" * '■ ■«

tho herculean task of compelling scrub and forest to smile, but ovon of those few a moiety threw up tho hard fight and retired into the ranks of the obscure, but the remainder bravely breasting tho difficulties and dangers of a pioneer life, reached the goal which placed them in comparative competence and thenceforth made them the mark for the poisoned shafts of the lazy and unsuccessful, who with the crios of "no monopoly" and "no large estates " merely branded themselves as incompetent and unworthy. Of those then who, totally regardless of privations, incessant labour, and a species of self-abnegation, marked out a certain course for themselves and undeviatingly pursued that course, the subject of this sketch may be accounted a worthy example. Mr William Galpin, the father of our subject, who was born in Woymouth, in Dorsetshire, left the shores of England in 1839 in the ship Adelaide, and under the auspices of the New Zealand Company landed in Wellington in 1840, thus being one of the first, if not actually the first, of the settlers who reached thia colony. Pursuing various callings for a livelihood, among which was that of a butcher, he eventually purchased a small plot of land and commencedjdairying and farming on a small fcale. Steadfastly working his way he next acquired the property which is now known as Johnsonville, a few miles out of Wellington. Gradually adding to his savings, in 1856 he sold his properties there and coming to the Upper Rangitikei purchased 800 acres of land, which after being cleared and fenced was christened Sedgecombe, When in Wellington he was the first to attempt droving cattle to Now Plymouth, and his earliest venture was made with six heifers and a bull. During the tenure of Bedgcombe 300 acres of dense forest, the noucleus of Woodland, and another property on tha Hunterville road were also acquired, and after a residonce of twenty years in Rangitikei Mr Galpia desiring to take that ease which his careful husbandry and hard work had entitled him to, elected to revisit the Old Country, where in 1876 he passed away. On the departure for England of Mr Galpin, senr., his eldest son, Charles Mace Galpin, who was born on the voyage out in '39, together with William Thomas Galpin and a younger brother, carried on. the management of the three properties in partnership until the marriage of the youngest, when a dissolution took place, he (the youngest) receiving as hip portion the estate on the Hunterville road. Thereafter for three years the other two brothers continued their labours in conjunction and Woodland soon increased to 11,000 acres, Another dissolution occurred, and the eldest brother, Charles, ehooding Sedgecome, Woodland fell to the lot of Mr William Thomas Galpin, Mr William, who is & native, was born atTe Aro Flats, near . Wellington, and received a very desultory education at Johnsonville, commencing his pioneering life with the advent of his father Rangitikei. When barely 12 years old he was called upon to bear his share in the sattling of Sedgcombe, and afterwards of Woodland. Woodland, which is situated about eight miles from Marton, and reached by a metalled road which dwindles into a bridle track a mile and a half past the homestead, is a property consisting of 4000 acies or freehold and an educational leasehold of 2000 acies, making in all 6000 acres. On leaving Marton and passing the holdings of Messrs Ingles, Ross, the two Mcßeths, and others, holdings that Comparatively seem composed of flat land o r very slightly undulating, the rider gradually entei-s a country which gives every indication of becoming quite rugged farther on, and this is born out when a bill with a creditable road binding along it is reached. Gaining by an easy gradient the top of tbis hill, a vast expanse of very hillv and broken country is seen, and this so far as the eje reaches to the right and left and to the front, with the exception of a wedge, is Wood, land. And very appropriately has it been named, for despite the evidence of the gigantic work of ringing axeß for years, despite the hundrads of thousands of feet of fallen timber that meet the eye in every direction, the clumps of trees that stand every here and there are veritable dense forest?, and suggest to one the untiring energy and sheer hard work that must have been expended in reclaiming thousands of acres of vh gin wood. ' Prom the gateway leading to the homestead quite a panoramic view ' is obtained, and the heaping of hi!) upon hill, with valleys and gorges and lakes and streams, is simply ideal, and those who prefer the rugged and sublime to the plateau could not halp giving vent to pleasurable exclamations. The property is thoroughly watered, the^utaenui and Manganho Crseks running through }t, the latter being a tributary of the Turakina River, In addition to these several smaller breams course through the place, and two lakes in particular with a great depth of water are most romantically situated ( and abound in carp, perch and eels which often in season furnish the table of the houEewife, Woodland is hounded on the north west and north-east by the educational lease land,'on the east and west by the proEerty of Smith Bros,, and on the south by y that of Newman. From different coigns of vantage, clear viewa of the sea line and even of KapiMcan be obtained, as well as views of Marton, Mount Egtnont and New Plymouth. Of the gigantic comprising 6000 acres notv greets the eye, forest which once stood where Woodland, only 350 acres in various clumps and patches have not been cleared. Entering the gate which leads to the homestead; the wooished ds first seen, and is well worthy a description. Having inspected several of thuse structures, it is incumbent to state that none can compare with the one in question. Built of beEt drossed timter, this building, 100 feetlong by 45 feet wide, is ventilated and lighted by innumerable glass windows and gives one the idea, by its neat and excellent appearance, of being more a row of artißanb' cottages than a shed. Entering the building it will be found that it is divided into two distinct compartments lengthwise, the one being fitted up with a double row eight pens frith a passage between, and the other with a Woolsey's Shearing machine, which admita'-'of seven man working in aline. Past this is the press room, with oce of Murray's faraouß ia.sk and levar presses, and a loft for the storing of wool and the feeding of tho prees. On the left of this again are the sheepyards with dipping troughs, etc. A commodious buggy bhed and stables adjoin the wooished, and flanking {his is a larp'e orchard filled with every variety of ft nit tree?. A'room attached to the shed'is exclusively lued for t)ie staying of fhe neoessary machine; p|)eaiing gear and a grinder. A six.; htrso power traction engine during the season is |;be motor u?ed. Some distance to the right of the shed is the homestead, where a hospitable welcome awaits any visitor whether friend or stranger, from tne pleasant, affablo and courteous hostess, who in her maidenhood •was Miss Hammond, and who was born near Johnsonville, Wellington. Mr Galpin haß a family of fi7e boys and two girls, the oldast three of the former being 21, 20, and 17 respectively, and ivonderful specimens of tbe "strapping colonial." Requirements have outgrown the present horn estead and Mr Galpin, now having a little time to epare, has determined on erecting anologant and substantial buildiugon ft ?oo acto paddock nearly opposite tho preEent homestead lot. , Guiding the affairs of Woodland solely forthe past 16 yearp, Mr Galpin, in addition to a few small paddocks surrounding tho house, has divided his property into 14 sections, the largest of which embraces' 1100 acres. In thete section?, ll.OOfi sheep, 400 cattle, and about 20 horses find pasturage, '■ T{i6 sheep are principally Lincolns bred by rams "produced ori the esliite (to(n a chfice'selectibri of William Wilson's and Vu'|.on's breed. The clips as a rule are htjfvy, no fewer than 200 bales having] jlßon sent Home last season. This wool fromtji to Bjdper 11), fetching os high as Od for lambs fleeces. The cattle are a cross between Poll Angus and Shorthorn, and this breed Mr (jalpin assures me ia the most placeable on tho market. Very many purebred Pole Angus and Shorthorn bulls loam a special paddock set apart. Two roomy ond handsome cottages for the overseer and under-ovprccer, and two other cottage3 stand on different portions of the eßtite, and it may here be mentioned that Mr Gilpin'a character as a master itands enviable inasmuch as his overseer has been with him for tho past

17 years and is much attached to tho place. During the busy season as many as IS hands are employed, and these are treated in a very considerate manner, for instead of being relegated to shearers' hutß the men find sleeping acaommodation in two rooms above the wooished, witli stretchers and other articles of furniture, and to use tho hackneyed though homely coniDßrison, the floors of theso rooms are so clean that one could eat his dinner off the boards. Knowing the manly and up-hill fight that Mr Galpin has fought with Dame Fortune, and fully cognisant of his integrity and kindheartedness, the residents of Marton do nst scruple to express themselves in laudatory t9rms of one who has proved a desirable settler and townsman in nvery sense of the word, and were he so inclined there is no function on any public body in Marton that could riot be secured by him, but his labours until very recently so taxed his time that with the exception of a three years service on the Rangitikei Road Loard, he has found himself unable to devote either time or energy to such matters. However, by his energy in another direction, he has set an example to the rising generation which if followed, will conduce not only to the I benefit of the district, but to that of the colony at large.

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OUR COUNTRY SURROUNDINGS. Wanganui Chronicle, Volume XXXVIII, Issue 12120, 22 October 1894

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