Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 19, June 1975


It should be noted that, until the official Opening of the Goldfield, "Paeroa" was referred to as "Ohinemuri" and for ten more years it continued to be part of the Thames County. Part 2 of this Chronology deals with events which took place after the establishment of Boundaries for Native Reserves, Mining Sites and Reserves for Settlement and Business. Mr. Malcolm kindly indicates Journal No. and page from which items were researched.) Ed.

Continued from Journal 18. [See Journal 18: Ohinemuri Chronology (part 1) - E]

(Note: WN refers to Weekly News).

1875 Mar 3

Proclamation of goldfield at Mackaytown - 800 miners’ rights issued. (Journal 2.17) The RUSH to open the field. (J2.27)


Church service conducted by Rev. Willis in large outbuilding attached to Imperial Hotel. (Journal 2.20)


Mr. John Ritchie opened private school in Paeroa. (Journal 2.28)


Paeroa-Waitekauri Track blazed (Court House - Wood St. - Old Rifle Range - ridge on north bank Tarariki Street [stream? – E].(J.5.31)


Alfred Thorp buys land from Maoris on west bank of river in Rotokohu area. (Journal 15. 24).


Part time school opened at Mackaytown (John Ritchie). (J. 2.28)


James Robson opened first large Store in Paeroa. (J. 8.37)


First trig stations - Karangahake - Government surveyor J. Baber (8.11)

1877 Aug.

Paeroa - first public school building erected.

1878 Sep. 5

James Mackay at meeting in Thames advocated railway from Grahamstown to Hamilton or Cambridge, thence via Taupo to Foxton to be part of the Auckland-Wellington Main Trunk.

1878 Dec.

Sir George Grey led deputation from Thames to Hon. McAndrew Minister of Public Works urging Thames - Waikato Railway. £30,000 had been voted but work not started.

1878 Dec. 18

Banquet at Thames - 200 attended - Hon McAndrew hoped to return in 12 or 18 months for the opening of the railway. (It was to be 20 years !!!)

1878 Dec. 28

Thames: Sir George Grey turns first sod of Thames Railway on beach near foot of Mary Street. Estimated cost of line from Thames to Te Aroha £178,000. "I thank you for having allowed me the opportunity of assisting at the commencement of so great and noble an undertaking". 400 children sang "Our own N.Z. Home and National Anthem." Luncheon at Volunteer Hall - 250 guests.


Martha Mine, Waihi, located and named by W. Nichol.


Bank of New Zealand, Paeroa opened in a small building (J.9.33)


First Criterion Bridge (Wooden).


Tetley family established at Mill Road, Paeroa. (Journal 13. 13)


Samuel Chalton first settler at Netherton. (Journal 13.42)


Road Paeroa - Te Aroha via Rotokohu and telegraph line open. First settlers: Sheehan, Brown, and Barrett. (J. 15.24).


St. Mary’s Parish R.C. Church opened by Very Rev. Monsignor Fynes. June 26 Prior to 1881 mass (and church services of other Churches) in Paeroa Central Theatre.


School opened at Owharoa. (Journal 1. 25).

1882 Feb. 24

Thames-Kopu railway line section under construction to be completed with little delay promises Hon J. Hall Premier and Min. of Public Works. He then proceeds overland to Paeroa, thence by river to Te Aroha by p.s. PATIKI which becomes stuck for some hours.

1882 Mar

Bradley and Co. commence daily coach service Thames - Paeroa.

1882 April

Deepening of Waihou River: Capt. Sullivan of the KOTUKU instructed to erect groynes narrowing the flow and deepening the channel: 15 ft. lengths of 2-inch piping with loose cast iron points driven in til 3 ft. above water; willows and teatree interlaced. Three sets installed. Sand soon built up behind. At No.3 - 126 ft. long - depth increased from 10 inches to 3 ft. 3 inches.

1882 Apr. 27

Telephone communication opened between Thames and Paeroa (Mr. Phillips’ Store. "There has been quite a rush on it today".

1882 May 2

In consequence of the press of business the telephonic communication has been concerted to telegraphic.

1882 July 8

Hamilton railway bridge: first cylinder 80 ft. below river bed has reached solid foundation. From Hamilton towards Te Aroha railway formation almost complete for 18 miles.

1882 July 25

Thames River Steam Navigation Co. have taken over steamer VIVID for the remainder of Mr Spencer’s charter. She will run on alternate days with the PATIKI. Price Bros. are constructing a fast passenger steamer for the upriver trade to the order of the T.R.S.N. Co.

1882 Oct. 17

A Thames committee met representatives of English capitalists and resolved to form a Thames Valley Railway Co. with a capital of £150,000 in £1 shares. 10,000 shares taken up in the room.

Oct. 25

Enthusiastic meeting at Thames and 13,000 further shares were taken up. Inclement weather kept many away!

1883 WN July 7

Te Aroha railway bridge contract let for £8,000, also for the formation between Morrinsville and Te Aroha. Rails will shortly be laid from Hamilton to Morrinsville.

1884 Sept. 30

6 p.m. first train from Auckland reached Morrinsville opening the line to this point.

1884 Nov. 1

Railway Grahamstown to Kopu (4½ miles) almost complete.

1884 WN Dec. 13

Large deputation causes Mayor of Thames to send telegram to Minister of Works urging construction of railway from Kopu to Te Aroha. Favourable reply received.


Ohinemuri gazetted a separate County. (Journal 4 Page 6)

1885 WN March 21

Government has taken over the Thames to Kopu railway. Railway excursion run from Auckland to Te Aroha - by train to Morrinsville then coach to Te Aroha. Fare 1st Class 38 shillings; 2nd Class 28/- return.

1885 July

Messrs Larkin’s and O’Brien’s contract for Kopu - Hikutaia section of the railway accepted.


Te Aroha railway bridge opened for use as road bridge.


Railway from Hikutaia to Paeroa obstructed by chief Tukukino.

1886 Jan

Paeroa: public meeting to urge Government to purchase the freehold of the township from the Maoris.

1886 Mar. 1

Opening of Railway Auckland to Te Aroha.


The County Council has obtained a grant from Government for the Puriri - Hikutaia Road "which will be commenced at once".


Meeting held with Ngatiriwhiri tribe ends their interference with the surveying of the railway between Paeroa and Te Aroha.


Colonel Nepean Kenny commenced his 21 years’ term as clerk to the Ohinemuri County Council. (Journal 8. 46)

1887 Jan.

Messrs Heath and Irving [spelt below: Irvine – E] commenced the Hikutaia. - Paeroa section of the railway.

1887 WN

Paeroa storekeepers complain bitterly of the scarcity of money.

Jan. 22

There are 2 large stores in Paeroa (J.M. Robson and J. Phillips and Son), several small ones, 5 hotels, and two or three churches.

1887 Aug. 1

His Excellency the Governor has created the Ohinemuri County Council a River Board with legal control of the Ohinemuri, Waihou, Waitoa, Piako, and Hikutaia Rivers, as from 1st August, 1887.

May 28

Government has passed and taken over the Kopu to Hikutaia section of the railway.

1887 WN Aug. 13

Paeroa: Several wages men have obtained judgement against Heath and Irvine [spelt above: Irving – E], contractors for the Hikutaia - Paeroa section of the railway.

1888 WN Jan. 28

Paeroa: The Flax Industry is making great strides here. Mr. Gibbons of the Junction Mill who has large orders for the Home Market is in course of construction on the Waihou River.


From an advertisement: Bradley and Co’s Royal Mail Coach leaves Thames for Te Aroha daily 8 a.m. arriving 2 p.m. From Sept. 1 a coach will also start at 7 a.m. daily from Paeroa arriving, Thames: 10.30. Return Thames 3 p.m. arriving Paeroa 7 p.m.

1888 June 2

At meeting of Ohinemuri County Council contract let for erection of County offices to Albert Moore for £148. "The price is very low".


School in Karangahake opened by John Ritchie.(Journal 2.29)


Mr. Joseph Brenan commenced business in Paeroa as farrier.(J.11.39)

1889 Apr. 29

Deputation urged the completion of the railway to Paeroa. Government would do so only if adequate traffic was assured. Government under no circumstances intended the line to go past Paeroa.

1889 May 14

ENTERPRISE made her first trip to Paeroa from Auckland. She is likely to get all the up-river trade easily since the laying-up of the KOTUKU. Captain Moore in command.

1889 June 22

Paeroa: Government having given its assent to the proposed deviation of the Main Thames - Ohinemuri - Tauranga Road via Karangahake, the County Council are about to call tenders for the formation and cutting of the deviation. Estimated expenditure is £1,400. Government subsidy of £2 for £1. for Gorge Road.

1889 Oct. 5th

At a meeting of the Ohinemuri C.C. the hill between Paeroa and Ohinemuri townships ("Fisher’s Hill") was ordered to be cut down, W. Barrett being the contractor to remove 1225 yards of earth at a cost of £48/9/0d.


HUBBARD family settle at Komata. (Journal 11, Page 34)

1890 Jan. 4

Mr. Swanson’s tender for the enlargement of the Paeroa School for £197 has been accepted.

1890 July 1

Netherton. First public school opened. A.J.C. Hall, Head Teacher. [See Journal 13: History of Netherton School - E]

1891 May 16

Paeroa: a monster public meeting to urge Govt. to proceed with Paeroa – Te Aroha railway. Mr. E. Edwards pointed out that the wood supply of the Waihi Gold and Silver Mining Co.’s reduction works was diminishing and it was absolutely necessary for COAL supplies to be brought from Huntly or Waikato. Also the ‘Big Pump’ at Thames had an enormous consumption of coal which could be railed to Paeroa and shipped to Thames. A similar meeting was held at Te Aroha.

1891 WN Oct. 10

Paeroa Main Wharf extension - Ohinemuri C.C. lets contract on account of advent of 2 new steamers.


1891 WN Oct. 24

The arrival of the Hauraki S.S. Co’s new steamer PAEROA on Tuesday (20) at her name port caused quite a joyful stir in that quiet little township. A vessel adequately suited to the requirements of the Ohinemuri district.

1891 Nov. 20.

The steamers PAEROA and OHINEMURI which left Auckland together arrived at Bagnall’s on Nov. 20, the PAEROA being 15 minutes ahead.

1891 Dec. 5

Paeroa: telegrams from Hon. R. Seddon promise early start on railway construction.

1892 Jan. 13

Paeroa: Mr. Vickerman, resident engineer, arrived here on Wed. I3th and was besieged by applications from men desirous of working on the railway. There were about 50 or 60 here, 100 at Te Aroha, and 90 men from Thames.

Jan. 18

Paeroa: 250 men, all who have applied, have been taken on. The works commenced on this date.

1892 WN Feb. 27

The Bank of New Zealand intend to erect a large 2-storey building in Paeroa. (cnr. Normanby Road and Victoria Street).

1892 WN Aug. 6

Miss Minnie Shaw has been appointed pupil teacher at Paeroa School making four on the Staff.

1893 Jan. 28

Paeroa: A direct mail is now to be sent to Auckland by steamer.

1893 Apr. 1

Paeroa Gymnasium and Athletic Club recently formed is likely to be a big success.

July 22

Much dissatisfaction is caused by the extreme smallness of the Staff of Paeroa Post Office, Mr Brown inundated with work.


Father Hackett first resident R.C. Priest in Paeroa. (Journal 9.48)


Geo. Crosby settled in Paeroa and purchased Bradley and Co. and other coach lines.


Paeroa Hotel in Wharf Street demolished and Royal Mail Hotel built by Geo. Crosby. (Journal 7.44).


Menzies and Co. cordial manufacturers Paeroa Branch est. (7.44)

1895 Mar 11

Paeroa Railway Bridge: first pile driven by C.F. Mitchell of Hauraki Tribune and Edwin Edwards of Ohinemuri Gazette, the representatives of each paper holding one crank of the winch.

1895 Mar. 13

First railway train Paeroa to Te Aroha (race meeting) from other side of river as bridge not built. Return fare 2/-.

Mar. 16

Saturday (Sunday being St. Patrick’s Day) Paeroa Races; a train ran from Te Aroha to Paeroa (far side of river) with 250 passengers.

1895 WN June 15

Paeroa urgently needs a postal delivery; letter from County Council to Postmaster-General who sends favourable reply.

1895 WN Sep. 14

Telephone communication now established between Paeroa and Waitekauri and telegraphic communication between Paeroa and Auckland.

1895 Oct. 23

Paeroa Volunteer Fire Brigade established.

1895 WN Dec. 7

Ballast engine and 15 trucks crossed the completed railway bridge into Paeroa.


Criterion Theatre Paeroa opened with a concert and dance in aid of Paeroa Hospital. Theatre second to none in Auckland Province.

1895 Dec. 20

Friday: at Paeroa - opening of railway from Auckland (Details in next Journal).


New Post Office cnr. Willoughby & Victoria Streets (6.33).


Maurice Power builds new Ohinemuri Hotel in Normanby Road. (7.44).

 NOTE - The Chronology recording a period of great development will be continued [See Journal 20: Paeroa Chronology (Part 3) - E]