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Waihi Borough Council Diamond Jubilee Booklet 1902-1962

Mr William Littlejohn was engineer for the Ohinemuri County Council from 1891-1895, and it was he who was responsible for the initial work on the Karangahake Gorge Road. The preliminary surveys had been made by Mr W. Tetley during the previous two years when he held office, but when at last finance was available, Mr Little John faced this major engineering feat which we must remember was accomplished with a minimum of mechanical aids. Workmen were sometimes suspended in cages over the steep cliff faces and "blasting" in these circumstances must have been extremely difficult.

Mr Littlejohn, who lived at Mackaytown, died in 1895, before the road was opened for traffic, but his family formed later connections with Waihi. His eldest son W. D. (Douglas), was metallurgist at the Grand Junction Mine after being at the "Crown" in Karangahake. He also managed the Golden Dawn at Waikino [Owharoa – E]. He died in Waihi in 1952 within a day or two of the death of his brother, Charles, in Auckland.

Their sister, Jean (Mrs Timanus) still represents the family in Waihi. She nursed at the Public Hospital there from 1906-1913 and later married Mr Frank Timanus, who was connected with Geophysical Research. They have two daughters and three sons.