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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]


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The township of Rotherham is situated seven miles from Culverden on the main coach road to Waiau and Kaikoura. The settlement possesses a hotel, a store with a post and telegraph office, and a public school. Most of the population find employment in country work, and some have small farms in the vicinity of the township. There are two large stations within a short distance of the settlement, namely, “Achray” and “Mount Palm.” The township is in the Rotherham riding of the Amuri county, and has a population of 146. A mail coach arrives and departs daily.

The Public School, Rotherham, was established about the year 1881, on part of a section of one acre, upon which there are some well grown ornamental trees. The building is of wood and iron, and contains a class room and a porch. It has accommodation for fifty children, of whom there are twenty-six on the roll, and the average attendance is twenty-four. A public library is cernected with the school, which is used on Sunday for church services in connection with the Anglican and Presbyterian bodies.

Mr. William Dickie, Headmaster of the Rotherham school, was born at Blackwall, London, in 1858. He was trained as a teacher in England, and served for four years under the London School Board. After arriving in Port Chalmers by the ship “Marlborough” in 1884, he was stationed in various parts of the colony, as a teacher, till he received his present appointment in 1902. Mr. Dickie was married, in 1881, to a daughter of the late Mr. C. Bohli, of Blackwall. This lady died in 1891, leaving two sons and one daughter. In 1893 Mr. Dickie was married to a daughter of the late Mr. W. Smith, of Christchurch, and has two sons by this union.

Rotherham General Store (Albert Waters and Hugh McKay, proprietors), Rotherham. This business was established by Mr. W. Farrley and then bought by Mr. R. McBride, who carried it on until 1886, when it was taken over by Mr. Fraser, and in 1901 it was bought by the present proprietors. The shop was rebuilt in 1889, with a neat dwelling on an adjoining section. The stock consists of groceries, drapery, fancy goods, boots, ironmongery, and saddlery. There is a post and telegraph office at the store, and mails are received and despatched daily.

Mr. Albert Waters was born in Kent, England, in 1873, and came to Lyttelton in 1879. He was educated at Ashley school, and went in 1887 to Rotherham, where he engaged in the storekeeping business with Mr. Fraser, with whom he remained until 1901, when he and Mr. McKay bought the business.

Mr. Hugh McKay was born in Sutherlandshire, Scotland, in 1865, and was brought up to farming. In 1884 he arrived in Lyttelton, and engaged in shepherding on various stations throughout Canterbury, including “Achray,” where he was head shepherd for seven years. In 1901 he bought his present business, with Mr. Waters.


Achray Station (A. Macfarlane, proprietor), Rotherham. This station, which was formerly part of the St. Leonard's estate, comprises 18,000 acres, and was bought by the late Mr. John Macfarlane in 1877. The property, which was originally tussock land, has been greatly improved by the erection of a fine homestead, now almost hidden by the tall trees that have been planted around it. A large shearing shed and other convenient outbuildings have been erected, and the whole property is well equipped as a sheep run. There is a flock of 14,000 half-bred sheep.

Mr. Alexander Macfarlane, Owner of “Achray,” is referred to elsewhere as a member of the Amuri County Council.

Castles, James, Farmer, Rotherham. Mr. Castles was born in County Armagh, Ireland, in 1843. He was brought up on his father's farm, which he managed for some years, and became proprietor in 1863. Twelve years later he sold his interest, and came to New Zealand. After his arrival he engaged as boundary shepherd at St. Leonard's station for two years. Mr. Castles then took up his present farm of thirty-five acres freehold and fifty acres leasehold. He was married, in 1863, to a daughter of the late Mr. Joseph Mayers, of Lorigan, Ireland. Mrs. Castles died in 1897, leaving four sons and three daughters.

Mr. J. Castles.

Mr. J. Castles.

Crampton, Matthew L., Farmer, Willow Burn Farm, Rotherham. Mr. Crampton was born in Amberley, in 1877, and received his education at Southbrook. He was brought up to farming, on his father's property at Amberley, and worked for some time on various stations about Canterbury. He was then contracting about the district, chiefly in the neighbourhood of Amberley, until he started for himself in 1902 on his present farm of 458 acres of freehold land. Mr. Crampton runs a flock of about 500 crossbred sheep, and has greatly improved his property by the erection of a neat cottage, and necessary fencing, as well as by ploughing 200 acres for cropping. He has also planted an orchard and shelter trees. Mr.
Mr. L. M. Crampton.

Mr. L. M. Crampton.

page 593 Crampton is a member of the Amberley Lodge of Rangiora.

Devine, Hugh, Farmer, Greenbank Farm, Rotherham. Mr. Devine was born in 1853 in County Donegal, Ireland, where he was educated and brought up on his father's farm. He came to Lyttelton in 1870, in the ship “Mary Shepherd,” and engaged in farm work and shepherding throughout Canterbury. He was head shepherd for six years at Parnassus station, eight years at “Balmoral,” and four years at “Leslie Hills.” In 1896 he began farming for himself on thirty acres of freehold, and he has seventy acres of leasehold; since then he has added 100 acres of freehold to his areas, and he carries on mixed farming. Mr. Devine was for some time a member of the Rotherham school committee. He was married, in 1877, to a daughter of the late Mr. William Bryant, of Lyttelton, and has three sons and two daughters.

Mr. and Mrs H. Devine.

Mr. and Mrs H. Devine.

Harland, Thomas, Farmer, Rotherham. Mr. Harland was born at Whitby, Yorkshire, England, and brought up on his father's farm. In 1878 he came to New Zealand, and was ploughman on St. Leonard's station at Culverden for two years. He was afterwards contract ploughing, cropping, and shearing about the district, until he settled on his present farm of 120 acres.

Mr. T. Harland.

Mr. T. Harland.

Mount Palm Station (T. Chapman, proprietor), Rotherham. This station is situated in the Amuri district, on the south side of the Waiau river, with Cheviot adjoining its eastern boundary. It comprises 13,000 acres of freehold, and originally formed part of St. Leonard's estate, which comprised 96,000 acres, and was cut up in 1877. The station has been greatly improved by the proprietor, who has erected a nine-room residence on well laid out grounds, with large and convenient outbuildings, surrounded by a plantation of shelter and ornamental trees. About 1500 acres have been sown in English grass, and there are flourishing plantations, which cover fifty acres. The whole property is surrounded by a substantial rabbit-proof fence, and carries about 12,000 Merino and half-bred sheep and 200 head of cattle.

Mr. Thomas Chapman, Proprietor of “Mount Palm,” was born in Christchurch, in 1852, and educated at Christ's College. After leaving college he was engaged in the office of Messrs Miles and Co., merchants, until 1877, when “Mount Palm” was purchased by his father, the late Mr. Robert Chapman, of Springbank. Mr. Chapman managed the station, and at his father's death, in 1884, became part owner with his brother, the late Mr. E. Chapman. In 1886 he took an eight months' pleasure trip to England, Scotland, and Ireland, the United States, and Canada, and returned by way of Suez and Australia.

Standish and Preece Photo. Mr. T. Chapman.

Standish and Preece Photo.
Mr. T. Chapman.

Oliver, Lionel M., Farmer, Meadow Bank Farm, Rotherham. Mr. Oliver was born in 1876, at Puketapu, Hawke's Bay, where he received his education. After leaving school he came to Canterbury, to learn sheepfarming under Mr. Davison, at St. Leonard's, where he stayed for twelve years, during part of which he was overseer. In 1902 Mr. Oliver took over his present farm of 756 acres leasehold, with a flock of halfbred breeding ewes. He is a member of the Amuri Mounted Rifles, and has been a member of the Brackenfield Hunt Club since 1895.

Standish and Preece, photo. Mr. L. M. Oliver.

Standish and Preece, photo.
Mr. L. M. Oliver.