History of the Waiorongomai Goldfield
Re-produced by the Te Aroha & District Museum Society in 1978 with the kind permission of Mr A.G. Matheson, author Historical Soc. Journal, publishers.
Probably few people other than residents of nearby districts know where Waiorongomai is. But nearly a century ago the area was a scene of bustling activity, when it was opened as a gold field. The field promised to be one of the best in the colony, but the ore proved to be refractory and of a low grade and the terrain difficult. Fortunes were lost time and time again as massive capital investment in plant and development was only rewarded by gold in low quantities. Only eleven years after the opening of the first crushing battery, there were reported to be just sixteen men left on the field. The town, which at one time boasted three or four thousand inhabitants and a hall, three hotels, and a number of shops, was all but deserted. Today, some 96 years after gold was first discovered at Waiorongomai, the only signs of the once-thriving town are a couple of old chimneys standing in a paddock. Further up the valley, the bush has not yet claimed all the relics of men's struggle to win fortune from the earth.
Hauraki Agricultural and Pastoral Association
Diamond Jubilee of the Ohinemuri County 1885 - 1945
Valuable Service Given
BENEFIT TO COMMUNITY
Celebrating its 47th year of operation with a "Victory" Show this year, the Hauraki Agricultural and Pastoral Association has from small beginnings grown into an organisation of considerable proportions and fills a most important part in the district's activities.
Catering chiefly for the farming community, the Association also enjoys the generous support of the business people of the Borough of Paeroa and neighbouring towns.
Memories of Hikutaia
Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 3, April 1965
by R.W. Lowry.
In the year 1904 my parents and nine of our family of 13 sailed from Northern Ireland in the "Gothic" to settle in New Zealand. They bought a farm at Hikutaia township for £22 per acre - a record price at that time. Shortly afterwards I worked at £1 per week for Alley Bros. who then owned about 1,000 acres of the land which was originally part of McCaskill's Grant. They dealt extensively in cattle and sheep, supplying butchers throughout the district. This land has now been divided into about 20 dairy farms carrying approximately 1400 cows, mostly supplying a very modern cheese factory near the Hikutaia Railway Station.
Karangahake School and District 70th Jubilee 1889-1959
On December 7, 1957, Karangahake was en fete for the official opening of its new hall. Over 400 people from as far afield as Auckland, Hamilton and Rotorua, gathered to celebrate the biggest community achievement since the mining period. The hall had been tastefully decorated with flowers to enhance and not detract from the very attractive contemporary colour scheme. Bunches of balloons added a festive air to the novel ceiling effect. From beginning to end the evening was one of healthy, happy enjoyment and friendly, sparkling conviviality. The official opening ceremony commenced with Mrs N. S. Donaldson's reading of the verse she wrote especially for this auspicious occasion, after which Mary Cotter presented the lady guest of honour, Mrs A. E. Kinsella, with a spray of pink carnations. Mr J. Cotter, chairman of the Hall Committee, welcomed the official party and traced the history of the building of the hall from the planting of the trees some 60 years ago on one of Karangahake's heights. He then announced that the oldest resident, Mrs Ritchie, was 83 years old that day and she was presented with a spray by Pauline Henry. Other speakers were Mr W. Crosbie, on behalf of the old identities, Mr W. H. S. Browne, riding member, and Mr H. R. Morrison, county chairman. Mr A. E. Kinsella, member for Hauraki, then officially opened the hall and he and his wife led off in the first waltz. The Havills' Orchestra, truly one of our most prized assets, did an excellent job throughout the evening and a delicious home-made supper was served by the local ladies.
Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 8, October 1967
By the late Courtenay Kenny
In the year 1877 the first trig-stations in this district were established by a Government Surveyor named J. Baber, and one of these was fixed on the sharp peak of Karangahake (1786 feet). There were others on most of the prominent mountains, notably Te Aroha, which were not less than five miles away. These are called Primary Stations. The lines joining such points form a network of large triangles over the whole of New Zealand.