The Early Canterbury Runs: Containing the First, Second and Third (new) Series
Woodstock — (Runs 109, 260 and 270, afterwards all joined and re-numbered 653)
(Runs 109, 260 and 270, afterwards all joined and re-numbered 653)
I can only give a sketchy account of Woodstock as since my notes were burned I have never met anyone who knew it well in the early days.
Woodstock lay on the north bank of the Waimakariri above View Hill. It was bounded by the Waimakariri on the south and west, and by the Harewood Forest on the east and north. The homestead is close to the cliffs overlooking the gorge and was a wild, romantic-looking place in the early days. A good deal of the Harewood Forest was included in the run. The Puketeraki Range, at the western end of Woodstock, runs down in spurs to the Waimakariri. The leading spur drops to an open saddle at the source of the Townshend River, by which stray sheep passed be tween Woodstock and Snowdale.
Woodstock was originally three separate stations. Run 109 was allotted to George Matson on 1st August, 1853, and he transferred it to Captain James Row on 5th September, 1854. In June, 1855, Row transferred page 256it to Robert Chapman. I do not know how long Chapman kept it. He still had it in September, 1856.
Run 260 was apparently allotted to John W. Smart in May, 1858. On 1st May, 1860, G. F. Day took over the leases of both Runs 109 and 260, after which they were always one station. The next record I can find of Woodstock is in 1865 when it belonged to Ekersley, Welsh and Wilson, known as Wilson and Company.
Run 270 was taken up by David Kinnebrook in August, 1858. His country began on the Waimakariri three miles above the gorge. Kinnebrook died about 1864 and his executors sold his run to W. Foster in 1866.
Also in 1866, Wilson and Co. sold their station to James Drummond Macpherson. In March, 1869, Matheson's Agency took it over from Macpherson, and Matheson's must have bought or taken over Foster's station soon afterwards, as in November, 1872, the licenses for all three runs were cancelled and a new one (No. 653) issued which included them all in one.
On 29th August, 1878, Matheson's Agency sold Woodstock to George, Henry and Francis Ffitch (Ffitch and Sons) from whom it passed to the National Mortgage and Agency Company in 1885. In the late 'eighties the National Mortgage sold it to R. and W. McKay (McKay and Co.). W. McKay died in 1901, and in 1902 the station was offered at auction when R. O. Dixon, the present owner, bought it.
After the 1914-18 War the Government resumed about half the Woodstock country and settled a returned soldier on it.
Of the early owners I cannot identify Matson or Smart. Row was the owner of Wai-iti and Chapman was the owner of Springbank. G. F. Day may have been the owner of the run on Kaiapoi Island. I know nothing of W. Foster. Ekersley is not a common name so this is probably the man who once had a brewery at Kaiapoi. Wilson was a shepherd at Broomfield after leaving Woodstock. He designed the yards there about 1866. I know nothing of their partner Welsh.