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Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 15, June 1971

By IVY BALL (85)

[for part one see Journal 14: The Shepherd Family of Karangahake - E]

Thank you for publishing my story in No.14. I would like to make it clear that after building a cottage at Karangahake in 1879 my father built (not bought) the first Tramway Hotel in front of it, later adding a second storey and a high wall to enclose the whole premises including the Post Office and Store. This was necessary on account of the considerable sums of money sometimes on hand. We had a large St. Bernard Dog to keep guard.

There were no bridges across the river in those days and the road through Scotchman's Gully had not been opened. All supplies, including Barrels of Beer, were carted from Paeroa across the Ford at Mackaytown, up Hill Rd., towards the mountain and then lowered with the aid of ropes and windlass, down the steep hill behind the Hotel. I was just a very small child, when the bridge was built and terrified my parents by crawling across it before it was completed.

The Hotel, being so close to the river suffered in times of flood as did my first home after I was married. It was on the lower Rahu Road opposite the Mackaytown Hotel, and in 1910 when both the river and the creek rose, the water swirled through our house and ruined everything including my Broadwood Table, Grand Piano, furnishings and bedding, but I still have a beautiful Silver teapot bought at Hague-Smith's in Paeroa. The swing bridge to the Mackaytown Station was rendered unsafe and I believe the river even flowed through the tunnel.

My husband was a "Sampler" at the mine but after the flood we moved to Auckland where my mother was then living and in 1913 came to Australia where I have been ever since. I am sending a few old family photographs but would be glad to have them back some day. Also you might like to see my little 80 year old painting and the accompanying letter from Mr. Linnett. I remember Mick Crosby, Ernie Fathers, Shorty Moore, as well as Ryans, Tetleys, Vuglars, Shaws, Barretts, McConachies, McNamaras and many others. Did you know that when the Right Hon. Dick Seddon was Prime Minister he used to call at Karangahake to visit old miners he had worked with in the South Island! Mary Martin's father was one of them. I have sold my home at Punchbowl and am now living at Bateau Bay, Sydney, but I shall never forget Karangahake.


NOTE : We sincerely thank all who have loaned family photographs for reference or use. Ed.)


KARANGAHAKE - JUNE 14th 1892

To Mr. & Mrs. Shepherd,

Kind and esteemed friends. With untold pleasure I beg of you to accept this small token of respect for you both, in the name of your daughter Ivy, from one who will ever treasure vivid recollections of her as she now stands before us in her childish innocence.

With the warmest wish of true friendship, I am sincerely, E.I. LINNETT