Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 36, September 1992
By C W Malcolm
Vitally important and interesting history will be lost unless someone can answer the questions posed by this article.
Before the railway came to Paeroa in 1895 the town possessed a tram (or trams), horse-drawn along rails to transport passengers from the river wharf at the junction of the Waihou and Ohinemuri Rivers. The rail track ran along Junction Road, Belmont Road, and Normanby Road as far as the Criterion Hotel. The numbers 1 to 8 follow the route.
Question 1: Can anyone give a description of the tram or is there a photograph available?
Question 2: Photographs have been published showing the rails along Belmont Road and Normanby Road (the main street). The question is this: how did the rails get from Junction Road to Belmont Road - from 4 to 5 on the above plan? Did Junction Road before the railway came continue in a direct line to join Belmont Road? It can be seen how the arrival of the railway station cut through Puke Road which then necessitated a deviation of the road to enter the township; did this also cause Junction Road to deviate via Railway Street and William Street to reach Belmont Road?
Question 3: Station Road was obviously so named because it ran directly to the railway station. But was it there before the railway? If so, what was its original name? And finally did it originally connect with Puke Road in a direct line?
The history of Paeroa will be incomplete unless these questions of an interesting era are answered before time and memory render it too late. I appeal for every possible effort to complete the picture.