As we have just seen, the Martha Gold Mining and Quartz Crushing Company was created circa July 1881, and they would proceed to build a battery on the eastern slopes of Martha Hill. It would be known as the Martha Battery, and was the first to be operating, in May 1882. This battery was short lived, and its name would soon be transferred to the battery at the Ohinemuri River.
The Waihi Gold Mining Company was formed in early August 1881, amalgamating Manukau Jones's claim with the Little Lizzie and the Waitete. ‘Manukau’ Jones had taken up a claim on the southern end of the spur (Martha). Much fewer contemporary sources of information have been found for this early company and battery.
The Waihi Company would build their battery on the Ohinemuri River, at the confluence of the Mangatoetoe Stream. It would be known, briefly, as the Waihi Battery, and then as the Martha. Are you keeping up?
D.H. Bayldon, the leading mining surveyor at from Grahamstown Thames is engaged by both companies to attend to the required surveying. His expertise would no doubt help in establishing the most suitable locations for the batteries and infrastructure. Bringing in water power was a critical factor.
Thames Advertiser, 30 August 1881:
Mr Bayldon completed the survey of the Martha company's water race and battery site yesterday. This race will be two (2) miles and a quarter in length, giving a fall of seventy (70) feet; and the pressure will be equal to the work of driving 30 head of stampers. Mr Bayldon starts to-day with the survey of the Waihi company's race, and tenders for the construction of both will be invited immediately after the plans and specifications are completed.
An article in the New Zealand Herald, 18 August 1881, mentions the Waihi Goldmining Company in this regard:
Mr. D. H. Bayldon is engaged surveying a water-race, tramway, and battery site for the Waihi Gold-mining Company, which it is expected will be completed in time to allow of the plans and specifications being prepared before Saturday next, when tenders will be called for the construction of the tramway and water-race and the erection of the battery. I believe it is intended to remove the Flora McDonald battery and re-erect it for this company.
Flora McDonald Battery? This was a battery at Tararu Creek, Thames ; presumably for sale. However, the Thames Star, in July 1884, reports that this battery was being used as a polling place, so it looks like it never came to Waihi.
Tenders were called for the construction of the water race, tramway and erection of the battery for the Waihi Gold-mining Company with this advertisement appearing in the Thames Advertiser, 17 August 1881:
Tenders. NOTICE TO CONTRACTORS.
A SURVEY of Water Race, Tramway and Battery Site is now being done for the Waihi Gold Mining Company. Specifications will be seen on and after Saturday, the 20th inst, at the Office of D. H. Bayldon, Grahamstown, and Tribune Office, Paeroa.
A. PORTER, for Directors.
H.H. Adams was successful with his tenders for both companies, and he would build both batteries more or less concurrently.
Of interest is the various water race licenses applied for at this time. Already on the 16th February 1881, Adam Porter had applied for a water race.
APPLICATION has been made by Adam Pouter for a License to construct a Water Race for Mining purposes near Waitete, Ohinemuri, commencing at a point on a branch of the said river, near the road to Mataora, and terminating at a point on the said river, as shown on plan to be lodged here within fourteen days. The length of such race is about one mile and a quarter; and its intended course is south-east and north-west. The race will be capable of carrying eight sluice heads of water...
Hart reports that "in late May Nicholl was granted a water race to provide motive power for a small battery" . Hugh Roberts (Manukau) Jones applied for a race on the Waitete stream in August 1881, presumably for the Waihi Battery.
Warden's Office, Thames, 16th August, 1881.
APPLICATION has been made by Hugh Roberts Jones for a license to Construct a Water Race at Waitete, in the Hauraki Gold Mining District, commencing at a point (marked A on sketch plan lodged with the application) on the Waitete Creek and terminating at a point on the said creek (marked B on said plan). The length of such race is one mile and a-half, and its intended course is northerly and easterly; the mean breadth and depth of such race is two feet six inches by two feet six inches; it is capable of carrying two sluice-heads of water...
If "Waitete Creek" was not a mistake, then it appears this race was never built. Had they planned to build the battery on the lower Waitete Stream? Two sluice-heads is not much (a sluice-head is usually given as one cubic foot of water per second). But the description of northerly course suggests that the stream in question was the Cabbage Tree Creek (Waimata Stream), which they did in fact use. No mention of applying for a Cabbage Tree Creek water race has been traced.
Joshua Cuff applied for a rather odd water race license on 5th October; an extension to the water race already surveyed for the Martha Company.
Warden's Office, Thames, 5th October, 1881. No. 7.
APPLICATION has been made to me by Joshua Cuff for a license to construct a Water Race for mining purposes, commencing at a point at the termination of the Water Race surveyed for the Martha Company at Waihi, and terminating at a point in a southerly direction, to be shown on plan. The length of such race is about twenty chains, and its intended course is southerly. The mean breadth and depth of such race is three feet by eighteen inches. It is capable of carrying five sluice heads of water, and the number of sluice heads of forty inches each, which it is intended to appropriate, is five.
Had the proposed location of the Martha Battery changed, requiring a longer water race? And who is Joshua Cuff? The New Zealand Herald sheds some light:
Mr. Joshua Cuff, solicitor, from Poverty Bay, has commenced the practice of his profession at the Thames. Mr. Cuff is a sound sensible lawyer, and was much esteemed in Gisborne, where he resided many years, for his integrity and gentlemanly behaviour.
He was "personally interested in two of the claims" at Waihi. He had applied, with two others, for the Little Tommy Claim on Martha Hill in April 1881. His other "interest" has not been traced.
On 22 November a new application was made for the now combined water race.
APPLICATION has been-made by Joshua Cuff for permission to construct a water race for mining purposes commencing at a point on Walmsley's creek, Waihi, where Messrs. Bayldon and Crump commenced their survey for the Martha company, thence running along the surveyed water race to the Martha battery site, at the commencement of his other application for a water race, and terminating at the last mentioned point as shown on plan to be deposited. The length of such race is about two miles and sixty chains, and its intended course is southerly. The mean breadth and depth of such race is three feet by one foot six inches; it is capable of carrying six sluice heads of water...
In the meantime, on the 5th October, 1881, both Adam Porter and J. H. Nicholls apply.
Warden's Office, Thames, 5th October, 1881. No. 7.
APPLICATION has been made to me by Adam Porter for a License to Construct a Water Race for Mining purposes, commencing at a point on the Ohinemuri river, and terminating at the Waihi battery site, as shown on plan lodged with application. The length of such race is five miles or thereabouts, and its intended course is north and south. The mean breadth and depth of such race is three feet by two feet. It is capable of carrying five sluice heads of water...
This is another, larger and much longer, water race intended for the Waihi Company battery. It is not constructed either. A similar race is applied for (and forfeited) by the Martha Extended Company in 1887.
Warden's Office, Thames, 5th October 1881. No. 9
APPLICATION has been made by J. H. Nicholls for a license to construct a Water Race for Goldmining purposes commencing at a point on the Mungatoitoi [Mangatoetoe] Creek (marked XXX on sketch plan lodged with application) and terminating at the junction of the Mungatoitoi Creek with the Ohinemuri River, as shown on said plan. The length of such race is about one and a-half to two miles, and its intended course is down the side of the said creek. The mean breadth and depth of such race is three feet by two feet, and it is capable of carrying five sluice-beads of water...
Surely this is Kerry Nicholls. What is he up to? The "junction of the Mungatoitoi [Mangatoetoe] Creek with the Ohinemuri River" is where the Waihi Battery is to be built.
There is more on water races, and possible "shepherding" later. So back to our story...
The Martha Battery start operating in May 1882, the Waihi Battery in June 1882.
Thus two companies are actively mining the Pukewhau spur, what we now call Martha Hill. Our modern tendency to think of the Martha Hill as the Martha Mine can mislead us.