The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Auckland Provincial District]
Tirau is a flag station on the Morrinsville-Rotorua branch line of railway, thirty-eight miles from Rotorua and 131 from Auckland. It stands at an elevation of 335 feet above sea level. The surrounding district was originally named Oxford, and was for a number of years the terminus of the railway from Auckland. A hotel and a few stores constitute the township. The Okoroire homestead is rather more than a mile from the station, and there are a few scattered settlers in the district.
The Tirau Post And Telephone Office was established as a post office about the time the railway line was opened at Tirau. It is connected by telephone with all the stations from Rotorua to Morrinsville, and the room originally occupied by the stationmaster at Tirau is set apart for this purpose. Mrs. McIlwraith is postmistress and telephonist at Tirau.
The Tirau Railway Station is a wooden building of the usual type, and includes a ladies' waiting room, a public vestibule, and an office with a lobby. It has a goods shed and the usual passenger platform. There is no stationmaster and the office is at present used by the Post and Telegraph Department.
The Tirau Public School was established about 1888. It has accommodation for sixty pupils, and there are now (1901) twenty-seven names on the roll. Miss M. Cossey, the teacher, was appointed in 1895.
Oxford Royal Hotel (Frank Rose, proprietor), Tirau. This hotel was built in 1880, and was purchased by the present proprietor in 1883. The building has been several times enlarged, and now contains about twenty rooms.
Mr. Frank Rose, the Proprietor, was born in County Mayo, Ireland, in 1853, and came to Auckland by the ship “Benvenue,” in 1876. He was the proprietor of the Masonic Hotel, Cambridge, for seven years before settling at Tirau. Besides managing the hotel, Mr. Rose has a general store and butchery, and a saddler's shop.
Benton, William Paterson, Blacksmith, Tirau. This business was established in 1884 by Mr. T. Gemmill, of Cambridge. Mr. J. L. Begg afterwards took it over and the present proprietor has owned it since February, 1895. Mr. Benton was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1869, was educated at Hamilton near that city, and came to Auckland in 1883 by the s.s. “Westmeath.” He was four years at Kihikihi and came to Tirau in 1891, to work for his uncle, the previous proprietor of the business. Mr. Benton's residence is on the main road, where he holds five acres of land. He was married, in 1895, to a daughter of Mr. W. Howie, formerly of Cambridge, and later of Paeroa, and has one son and one daughter.
Mr. and Mrs W. P. Benton and Children.
The Waimakariri Trout Hatchery at Tirau (F. D. Smale, manager) was established in 1893. The property, which is thirty-five acres in extent, is owned by the Auckland Acclimatisation Society, which conducts the hatchery. There are about 1200 breeding stock of rainbow trout, which are capital sporting fish, and are very active and hardy. About half a million eggs are gathered every year, and in the season of 1900 over 200,000 were sold, and about 150,000 young fish were sent off to various parts of the colony. The Waimakariri affords splendid water all the year round, and never floods at the hatchery. There are seven beautiful trout streams, within a radius of eight miles of the hatchery, where good catches are made every season, and there is first-class accommodation for anglers at Okoroire, Tirau, and Putaruru, overlooking the different streams.
Okoroire Station, which is one of the estates under the supervision of Mr. John McCaw, of Matamata, adjoins the railway line between Tirau and Okoroire station.
Mr. David Goodwin, Shepherd in charge at Okoroire Station, was born in Limerick, Ireland, in 1856. After some experience in Queensland, he came to Auckland, in 1878, and took a position under Messrs Maclean and Co., at Okoroire. He continued to hold a position on the property during the ownership of the Auckland Agricultural Company, and since the Assets Realisation Board took over the management, has remained on the Board's estates. For nine years he held the position of sub-manager at Horo-Horo, and for four years he had charge of Paeroa and Horo-Horo stations. He has been in charge of Okoroire station since 1898, and also supervises the stock on several of the other stations belonging to the board. Mr. Goodwin was married, in 1882, to a daughter of the late Mr. William Pearson, of County Limerick, and has two sons and two daughters.