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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Auckland Provincial District]



Mamaku was opened as a settlement about 1894. There is a village reserve in acre sections around the railway station, and a large area of good land held under perpetual lease, with the right to purchase, is mostly covered with rimu and tawa bush. There are two large saw mills in the district, worked respectively by the Mountain Rimu Timber Company and Mr. A. W. Roe. About thirty settlers reside within a short distance of Mamaku station, and hold from 250 to 1000 acres each. The district, which is about 2000 feet above the level of the sea, is remarkably healthy, and will very likely become a health resort in the near future. On each side of the railway approaching Mamaku there is a reserve 15 chains in width, and as the land is covered with thick bush, the traveller sees no signs of settlement. The railway station is at the highest point reached on the journey to Rotorua—namely, 1884 feet above sea level, and is fourteen miles from the terminus, and 158 from Auckland. Besides large quantities of timber, Mamaku sends away cocksfoot grass seed in considerable quantities, and Maori women and children collect ferns and vegetable caterpillars, which they offer for sale to the tourist en route.

The Mamaku Settlers' Association was established in 1896 to take any steps deemed necessary to promote the welfare of the district by the opening up of roads and similar works. Officers for 1900: Messrs A. W. Roe, chairman, and J. J. Ross, secretary and treasurer. Twenty-five miles of roads have already been opened in the district.

The Mamaku Cricket Club, which was established in 1896, has two very good teams with a membership of thirty-five. The recreation ground near the Mountain Rimu Company's mill is used for practising. Officers for 1900: Messrs F. Henderson, president, A. W. Roe, vice-president, A. McColl, secretary, and A. Jackson, treasurer.

The Mamaku Football Club was established in 1897, and holds its practices and sports at the recreation ground at Mamaku near the Mountain Rimu Company's mill. There is a strong team of about forty members. Mr. W. H. Herries, M.H.R., is president, and Mr. A. McColl, secretary and treasurer.

Ross, James Joseph, Butcher and Farmer, Mamaku. Mr. Ross was born at Kaiwaka page 798 in the north of Auckland in 1870, brought up to agriculture in his native place, and has had a large experience in the management of cattle. He settled in 1896 at Mamaku, where he bought 500 acres of land, and founded the butcher's business since conducted by him. Mr. Ross takes an interest in local affairs generally, and has for some time acted as secretary of the Mamaku Settlers' Association. He was married, in 1899, to a daughter of Mr. E. O. Amoore, of Ngaire, Taranaki.

Mr. J. J. Ross.

Mr. J. J. Ross.

Mountain Rimu Timber Company, Limited. Directors: Messrs H. C. Wick, chairman, C. Rhodes, W. G. Nicholls, J. S. Hope, and F. Barling; Mr. F. Henderson, manager; Head Office and mills, Mamaku. This company was incorporated on the 24th of January, 1898, to purchase the mills of Messrs Kusabs Brothers. It owns 4000 acres of splendid rimu bush, and the mills and the head office are situated about three miles and a half from the railway station, with which it is connected by a tramway. The machinery is driven by a twenty-five horse power stationary engine. There is a full sawing and planing plant, capable of turning out 12,000 feet of sawn and dressed timber daily. A market for the timber is found throughout the Auckland district, and a good deal is exported to Australia. A large quantity of firewood is cut and shipped to Rotorua.

Mr. Francis Henderson, Manager of the Mountain Rimu Timber Company, was born in 1862, in Dunedin, where he was apprenticed as a carpenter. For about fourteen years Mr. Henderson took contracts for railway construction, and was subsequently for seven years at Masterton. He then removed to the Thames and started a mill at Grahamstown, and at a later date he bought the Dalefield mill. Mr. Henderson was afterwards milling at Hosking's Bush, and his firm, D. Henderson and Co., was subsequently incorporated as a limited company. Mr. Henderson was appointed manager at Mamaku in June, 1900.

Mr. Alexander McColl Secretary of the Mountain Rimu Timber Company, Límited, was born in 1873, in Wellington, and is the youngest son of the late Mr. Ewen McColl, Parliamentary Librarian. After a farming experience of six years in the Wairarapa and Hawke's Bay districts, Mr. McColl became clerk to Mr. A. Hall, of the Wellington City Tramway, and held the position for two years. He was then for three years in the Colonial Bank at Wellington. In 1897 he removed to Auckland, where he had some experience in mining, and became clerk to Messrs Kusabs Brothers, at Mamaku. On the formation of the Mountain Rimu Company he became accountant, and was promoted to the position of secretary in February, 1899.

Mr. A. McColl.

Mr. A. McColl.

Roe, Alfred William, Sawmiller and Timber Merchant, Mamaku, near Rotorua. This business was established in 1898. The machinery, which includes a full saw and planing plant, is driven by a 24-horse power steam engine, and the mill has a capacity equal to 70,000 feet per week. It is erected in the centre of one of the best rimu forests in New Zealand. The timber secured for this mill is estimated at not less than thirty millions of feet, and as much more is available. The bush is close to the highest railway station in New Zealand—a station which stands 1894 feet above the level of the sea; and the timber is of the best quality, very lofty, and averages four feet in diameter, and is full of heart. The picked timber for cabinet work comes from this forest. Mr. Roe is a son of the late Mr. M. H. Roe, of Onehunga. Mr. Roe's father was one of the oldest and largest sawmillers of his day, and he brought his son up to his own business. In the early days of the Ohinemuri goldfields in 1883, Mr. A. W. Roe and his brothers erected a sawmill at Waihi, and cut the timber for the first Martha battery and water-race, and while thus engaged they had great trouble with the Maoris of the neighbourhood. Mr. Roe afterwards started a sawmill for Mr. John Read at the Thames river, and was manager for Mr. Read for over fifteen years. In 1898 he removed to Mamaku, and established a business for himself. Mr. Roe was married, in 1889, to a daughter of Mr. F. Cock, of Paeroa, and has two daughters and one son.

Mr. A. W. Roe.

Mr. A. W. Roe.

Mr. James Napier Lavery, at one time a partner in the firm of A. W. Roe and Co., was born at Napier in 1869. He was educated at the Thames, served an apprenticeship as a carpenter at Te Aroha, and afterwards worked at his trade in the Ohinemuri district. He is a son of Mr. James Lavery, of Te Aroha.

Mr. Joseph Edward Morland, who was formerly a partner in the firm of A. W. Roe and Co., of which Mr. Roe is now sole proprietor, was born in Essex, England, in 1856. He arrived in Auckland with his parents by the ship “Golconda” in 1864. As a lad, he joined the late Mr. M. H. Roe, at Onehunga, and remained with him till he retired from business, after which he had full charge of the Onehunga mill for about fourteen years, and he and a partner subsequently rented it on contract for two years. Mr. Morland then removed to the Thames, where he found employment with Messrs Bagnall Brothers, and was for two years with that firm. Mr. Morland was married, in 1880, to a daughter of the late Mr. J. Goodman, of Nelson, and has two daughters and one son.