Paeroa's Black Gold
It may be of interest to Paeroa folk that they had a mine well ahead of Waihi but it wasn't a gold mine but a coal mine which was situated up the Tarariki Creek.
Discovered in 1875 and recorded in the Thames Advertiser on March 15th 1875 as thus:
A Mr Hennelly accompanied by Messrs Wright and Bayldon surveyors Mr Cashell and Mr Smith, one of the claimants of the Prospectors Reserve, travelled up the creek on which the coal had been found. They came back that night with the following information. There were two seams overlaying each other about 50 feet apart. The lower seam being about 18 inches thick, the other on the same bearing 3 foot to four foot thick.
They sunk a hole four foot deep by six foot long onto the main seam and removed large lumps of coal which burnt well. They also found a little oil on the water which burnt with a slight flame.
Waihi Municipal Water Supply Dams
Achieving a plentiful and reliable municipal water supply was a considerable milestone for the new Borough of Waihi.
In a presentation made to the Premier, Richard Seddon, the Mayor pointed out "the urgent necessity for a pure water supply, and the inadequate supply they had now to put up with, which was practically useless in case of a big fire" (NZ Herald (?) May 1903 - From Waihi Borough Council Scrap Book, 1902 –1904). This supply may have been from the Mangatoetoe, via a pipe along the Bulltown timber tramway, to a small concrete reservoir on Martha Hill (personal communication with the late Owen Morgan).
The Waihi Borough Council's Engineer selected Walmsley's Creek as being most suitable for the new supply, and recommended that an area of about 900 acres within the watershed of Walmsley's Creek be reserved as a water conservation area for the Borough.
The Waihi Gold Mining Company had exclusive rights to the waters of this stream (and others around Waihi), and had concerns.
Two Early Paeroa Professionals
Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 25, November 1981
by NELL CLIMIE
Several incidents have provided us with interesting facets of Paeroa history, Mr. Frank Gillman recently retired Architect of Hamilton donated to our Museum some of his father's beautifully drawn plans of early Paeroa homes and other buildings. At about the same time Mrs. Colhoun (nee Raeburn), of Thames, gave us a photograph, taken about 1909 of business premises, "Dominion Chambers" in Belmont Road. This included the Office of her father "John Raeburn, Accountant", and "E.E. Gillman, Architect". Correspondence has revealed further information.
Glimpse at Early Beekeeping
Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 52, September 2008
(by Alex Spinks, Hikutaia)
With development of the Ohinemuri District towards the end of the 19th century, came an increasing number of fruit orchards and backyard fruit trees. It became essential that there be an abundance of honey bees to pollinate the fruit trees and therefore produce honey.
In 1905 the Government's bee expert, Mr J. Hopkins, visited the Ohinemuri District and looked at possibilities of establishing bee farming in the area. He met with local orchardists and interested people. No doubt prior to this visit there were hives of bees in the district and honey was being produced.
Waitawheta Water Supply
Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 4, September 1965
Undoubtedly the biggest undertaking ever attempted by the Borough was the Waitawheta Water Scheme and it was a most protracted affair. First mention in the records was in 1923 when Hauraki Plains County initiated discussions on a joint scheme but it was received without much enthusiasm despite the fact that the 1923/24 Summer was a very dry one.