The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Nelson, Marlborough & Westland Provincial Districts]
Takaka is one of the most flourishing districts in Nelson; it has five sawmills, two butter factories, and a flour mill, and keeps seven or eight small vessels trading constantly to the port of Waitapu, three miles distant. It has also a weekly newspaper, and several hotels, and is connected by coach with Collingwood and Riwaka, and by a steam tram service with East Takaka, which is eight miles and ahalf further up the valley. Takaka is fifty-three miles north from Nelson, with which it is connected by a good main road. The township is finely situated, and commands a good view of Golden Bay and two or three lakes. It has post, telegraph, money order, and other Government offices, and a savings bank. There are beautiful limestone caves in the neighbourhood, and the the Waikaremumu and Bubu springs are within easy distance. The Episcopalians and Presbyterians have well-built churches, with resident ministers, at Takaka, which has several fraternal lodges, and cricket, football, racing, and tennis clubs.
The Takaka County Council was formed by special Act of Parliament, in April, 1904, and holds its meetings monthly in the Council Chambers, Takaka. Mr. Robert Bartlett is chairman, and Messrs Frank Page, J. G. Page, A. H. Bartlett, W J. Reilly, and George Winter, junior, are councillors. Mr. W. Baird is county clerk and overseer.
Mr. John George Page was elected to the Takaka County Council in July, 1904, and was formerly a member of the Road Board. He is also a member of the Anatoki school committee, and president of the Golden Bay Agricultural and Pastoral Association.
Mr. Frank Page was elected a member of the Takaka County Council, for the Waitapu riding in July, 1904. He was born in Takaka, and is a son of the late Mr. John Page, one of the earliest settlers of the district. Mr. Page is engaged in farming at Takaka, on a freehold property of 120 acres, and has been very successful in his operations. He is a member of the wharf committee, is chairman of the school committee, a director of the Golden Bay Dairy Company, and expresident of the Golden Bay Agricultural and Pastoral Association; and a Past Arch Druid, of Lodge Takaka. Mr. Page married a daughter of Mr. W. Richards, of London, England, in the year 1900, and has one son.
Mr. and Mrs F. Page.
Mr. William James Reilly was elected to the Takaka County Council for the Waitapu riding, in the year 1904. He was born in Takaka, in 1865, and is a son of the late Mr. James Reilly, who was one of the first settlers of the district, and a councillor of twelve years' standing. Mr. Reilly was educated in Takaka and Nelson, and afterwards engaged in farming. Subsequently he became a cattle dealer, and successfully followed that business for ten years. He bought Messrs Page, Cobb, and Co.'s sawmills, in 1893, and has since then conducted them. He is a member of the wharf committee; chairman of directors of the Golden Bay Dairy Company, one of the trustees of the Takaka Recreation Ground, a vice-president of the Agricultural and Pastoral Association, and a member of the Farmers' Union; was for seven years president of the Golden Bay Rugby Union, and has also been president of the Takaka Racing Club. Mr. Reilly married a daughter of Mr. William Page, of Takaka, in the year 1893, and has three sons and two daughters.
Mr. G. Winter.
The Takaka Mounted Rifles , which are known as C Company of the 1st Battalion of the Nelson Mounted Rifles, were formed in the year 1900, with Captain J. J. Langridge in command. The corps is attached to the Nelson Mounted Battalion, and has a strength of sixty-four men. Parades are held monthly, and a week's encampment, for training purposes, is held once a year. On two occasions the corps won the first prize in volley firing, and one of its members has won the badge for the best shot in the Mounted Battalion for two years in succession. Each member finds his own mount and saddlery. The present officers are; Captain S. Fittall, and Lieutenants W. H. Boyes, J. D. Barnett, and G. A. Almgren.
Capt. S. Fittall.
The Takaka Post And Telegraph Office was opened by Mr. J. F. Fabian in 1880, up to which the postal business had been conducted by Mr. William Page, storekeeper, of Waitapu. The buildings are situated less than three miles from the port, and seven miles from the East Takaka post office. The business is steadily increasing yearly. There is a bi-weekly sea service with Nelson, and an overland mail arrives on Thursday afternoon, and is despatched at 8.45 a.m. the following morning. Mr. Henry Bussey, the postmaster, entered upon his duties on the 7th of January, 1897.
Takaka Public School is situated two miles and a quarter from the central school, and about four miles from the school at Motupipi. The first school in the district was opened in the early fifties, and the present building was erected about 1886. It has seating accommodation for 120 scholars; there are ninety-five on the roll, and the average attendance is seventy-eight. The staff consists of the headmaster, Mr. William Henry Boyes, and two assistants.
Mr. William Henry Boyes , the Headmaster, entered upon his duties in October, 1894. He was born in Motueka, and was for six years teaching in the Motueka school. He was subsequently in charge at Dovedale for seven years, and then took up his present position. One of his pupils won the Tinline scholarship for girls in 1895, with the highest marks in the whole of Nelson and Marlborough. He holds a D1 certificate
“The Golden Bay News” was established in the year 1889 by Mr. George Girling-Butcher, and was then known as the “Takaka News.” In 1899, the paper was acquired by Mr. Fittall, who re-named it “The Golden Bay News.” It is a four-page weekly paper, with a two-page supplement, published every Thursday, and has a circulation throughout the Golden Bay district. The paper is edited by Mr. Samuel Fittall, and a competent staff is employed. Mr. Fittall is further referred to as Captain-in-command of the Takaka Mounted Rifles.
Adams, Robert Noble (M.B. Ch. B., New Zealand), Waitapu, Takaka. Dr. Adams was born in Dunedin, Otago, in the year 1875. He was educated at the Boys' High School, and subsequently at the University of Otago, where he also studied surgery and medicine, and received his degrees. In 1901, Dr. Adams was appointed house surgeon to the Auckland Hospital, and was subsequently engaged in locum tenens work in Otago. In July, 1902, after a few months spent in Motueka, he commenced to practise his profession in Takaka, where he has since resided. Dr. Adams is surgeon-captain of the Takaka Mounted Rifles, and is surgeon of the local lodges and courts of the Oddfellows, Druids, and Foresters. In 1903, he married a daughter of Mr. John Leslie, of Motueka, formerly bank manager in Picton, and has one son.
Dr. R. N. Adams.
Mr. C. W. Boyd.
Smith, John, Builder and Contractor, Willis Street, Takaka. This business, which is the leading one of its kind in the Takaka district, was founded by Mr. Smith in 1880. Since that time the trade has gradually increased, and amongst the buildings that testify to the excellence of Mr. Smith's workmanship may be mentioned “Abbotsford,” the residence of Mr. Andrew Sinclair, and Mr. W. C. Baigent's Central Hotel, Takaka; in fact, nearly all the leading residences in the valley have been built by Mr. Smith. As a cabinetmaker, he is considered an excellent tradesman, and does a large trade in the manufacture of sideboards, mantelpieces, whatnots, and so forth. Mr. Smith keeps a large stock of fancy timber at his premises in Willis Street, and makes a specialty of knotted timber, chiefly totara and red pine. He was born in Nelson in 1849, and is a son of the late Mr. George Smith, miller, who landed in one of the first three immigrant ships in February, 1842. Mr. Smith was associated with the original Nelson Artillery Corps for a few years, and he sat on the East Takaka school committee for about twelve years. He married a daughter of Mr. Hastings, at one time in business in Wellington.
Golden Bay Butter Factory Limited Liability Company , Takaka. Established 1895. This factory, which was formerly owned by Messrs J. J. Langridge and Co., was bought, in 1902, by a limited liability company. It is situated about half a mile from the township. The main building is forty-five feet long by twenty-five feet wide, and the engineroom is fitted up with a four horsepower engine, a six horse-power boiler, with the latest De Laval separator, and a pasteuriser by the same maker, and both have a capacity of 400 gallons of milk per hour. Milk is pasteurised before being separated, and the skim milk is carried away by a No. 6 De Laval pump, and returned to a stand on the platform, whence it is handed over to the suppliers, less eighteen per cent. On the same platform there is a churn, which holds 300 pounds of cream, and also a butter worker manufactured by A. and T. Burt, of Dunedin. After being passed through the churn and butter worker, the butter is carefully placed in a large trough, and immersed in cold water. Then it is thoroughly worked up, taken to the packing-room, and made up into pounds or bulk, and packed in cases ready for export; brand “Rifle— J.J.L.” The factory is fitted up with the latest appliances, including a Lawrence cooler, and a Babcock tester (worked by steam), etc. Dairy butter forwarded to the factory is thoroughly worked, milled, graded, and afterwards packed into boxes. The produce of the factory has been graded first-class, and as high as ninety-four and a-half—a very satisfactory per centage. The residual skim milk is conveyed by pipes to a pig tank, about 300 yards away from the buildings. The company finds a ready market for its butter, which is well known throughout New Zealand.
Mr. John Campbell , Manager, has had considerable experience in the business, and since taking charge in September, 1897, he has made several improvements at the Golden Bay factory, and has added to the plant a pasteuriser, water cooler, and a new Babcock tester. Mr. Campbell was born at Papakura, Auckland, and was for four years at his trade under Mr. Hugh Campbell at Dannevirke. He was afterwards for two seasons at the Eltham Butter Factory, where, besides butter, the cheese industry forms an important feature of the business. Whilst at Eltham Mr. Campbell studied at the Dairy School at Stratford, and availed himself to the utmost of the opportunity thus placed within his reach. Under his supervision and direction, the Golden Bay Butter Factory has become one of the most flourishing factories in the district of Nelson.
The Junction Hotel (George Gibbs, proprietor), Takaka. This hotel was built in the year 1902, and is a large two-storied wooden building, situated in the centre of the township. It contains sixteen bedrooms, exclusive of those used, by the family and servants, a dining-room capable of seating one hundred guests, four parlours, a large commercial room, and a billiard room, fitted with a fullsized Alcock's table. The bar is stocked with the choicest brands of wines, liquors, spirits and beer, and the service and attention shown to the traveller is everything that could be desired. The hotel is furnished with a degree of page 219 elegance rarely found in country hostelries, and it is lighted throughout with acetylene gas. Sulkies, buggies, and saddle horses can be hired, and an omnibus plies between the hotel and the wharf, to meet all steamers. Mr. Gibbs has built a reputation for himself, as a landlord who thinks first and last of the comfort of his patrons.
Mr. George Gibbs , Proprietor of the Junction Hotel, Takaka, was born in London, England, on the 5th of November, 1848, and is a son of the late Mr. William Gibbs, an old settler and magistrate of Golden Bay. Mr. Gibbs came to New Zealand, with his parents, in the year 1852, in the ship “Duke of Bronte,” and settled in Golden Bay. After a number of years spent in mining and coastal trading, he started a sheep run at Wainui; and, later on, he, bought a farm at Motupipi, and conducted it for many years with considerable success. In July, 1903, Mr. Gibbs bought the Junction Hotel, Takaka, and has since conducted it. As a Freemason, he is a member of Lodge Golden Bay, No. 2194, English Constitution; he is a member of the Takaka Lodge of Druids, and is vice-president of the Takaka Jockey Club, and of the local football and cricket clubs. Mr. Gibbs has also been a member of the Motupipi school committee. He married a daughter of Mr. Thomas Eden, of the Waimeas, in the year 1887, and has one son and one daughter.
Mr. and Mrs G. Gibbs.
Edgar Brothers (Frederick M. Edgar and James Edgar), Farriers and General Blacksmiths, Takaka. Established, 1897. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand, Nelson. Agents for Massey, Harris and Co., Booth, and Macdonald. McCormick and Co., and Andrews and Beaven, Christchurch. The smithy is 45 feet by 30 feet, and has two forges, besides a complete stock of tools and other appliances usually found in an up-to-date establishment. A very large business is done by the firm, which executes work for settlers throughout the Golden Bay district. Horse shoeing receives special attention at the hands of Messrs Edgar Brothers, who have taken first prizes at the agricultural and pastoral show. General iron work is undertaken, and machinery carefully and expeditiously repaired, by the firm.
Mr. James Edgar was born at Nelson in 1871, and was educated there and at Motupiko. He learned his trade as a blacksmith with Mr. Rutherford, with whom he served four years, after which he was with Mr. John Vorbach, of Renwick, for nine months. He also worked in Reefton for some years, and has had about fifteen years' experience.
Mr. Frederick M. Edgar was born in Nelson, in 1875, and learned his trade with Mr. J. R. Rutherford. He afterwards went to Wairau Valley, where he was employed by Mr. William Imrie. For eighteen months he worked for Mr. G. Ingram, of Richmond, and he also worked in other parts of the province. His brother and he bought the present business and built the shop now occupied by them.
Mr. F. M. Edgar.
Langridge, J. J. And Co . (John J. Langridge and James B. Sadd), General Merchants, Takaka. Bankers, The Union Bank of Australia, Ltd. Nelson. Telegraphic address, “Langridge, Takaka.” This old established business was founded by Mr. Thomas A. Cook nearly thirty years ago, and taken over in 1892 by Mr. Langridge. The business is by far the largest and most important of its kind in the Golden Bay district. The premises have three entrances from the street, with a frontage of about eighty feet, and an average depth of forty feet. The main building is replete with art the conveniences necessary for carrying on the trade. The grocery and drapery departments have full assortments of new and seasonable goods. At the back there is a commodious boot department, and a suite of offices. There are splendid stocks of crockery and furnishing ironmongery, and a portion of the premises is devoted to the storage of produce.
Mr. John J. Langridge , the Senior Partner, was born at Temuka, South Canterbury, in 1863, and is a son of Mr. John Langridge, builder and architect. At the age of fourteen he was placed in the old established business of Mr. J. Mendelson, at Temuka, and there gained his first ideas of trade. When Mr. Mendelson died, Mr. Langridge went to the West Coast, where in a year or two he and Messrs A. Lees and Jonas Masters opened a retail store at Brunner. Mr. Lees afterwards retired from the business, which was then carried on for seven years by Messrs Langridge and Masters. The business prospered exceedingly until the big strike, when the firm was very hard hit. Mr. Langridge subsequently purchased the old Takaka business of Mr. T. A. Cook. Three years later Mr. Sadd joined him, and now the firm has the largest general store in the locality. Since he was fifteen Mr. Langridge has been an enthusiastic volunteer; he began in the Temuka Band, and ended as captain of the Brunner Rifles. At Brunnerton he was a member of the Borough Council, and at Takaka he is church secretary and choirmaster, and also superintendent of the Sunday school.
Mr. James B. Sadd , the Junior Member of the firm, was born in Nelson in 1868, and is the second son of Mr. J. B. Sadd, of that city. He was educated at Nelson College, and served eleven years with the well known firm of Sclanders and Co., whose employment he left to join Mr. Langridge in partnership. Mr. Sadd is honorary secretary of the local tennis club, and of the Golden Bay Rugby Union, and he has represented the province on the football field more than once.
Mr. J. B. Sadd.
Kirk And Co . (Robert Kirk and Richard W. Kirk), General Storekeepers and Produce Merchants; also proprietors of the Takaka Tramway, Takaka. Bankers, Union Bank of Australia, Limited. Telegraphic address, “Kirk, Takaka.” Private residence. Mr. Robert Kirk, Heathcote, Christchurch. This important business was founded as a going concern in April, 1897, although for many years previously Mr. R. Kirk had done a steady trade with the residents of Takaka and the surrounding district. Formerly, the premises had a frontage of about forty feet, and a depth of twenty feet, but were extended to cope with the steadily increasing trade that has marked the business from its inception. Adjacent to the shop there is a commodious storeroom, with the offices and dwelling situated at the back. Messrs Kirk and Co. deal in nothing but the best of groceries, and they have the sole agency for the “Crown” brand of teas, the merits of which are well known, and in every packet of which there is a coupon which gives the holder a chance in a distribution of prizes.
Baigent, H. and T. (Henry Baigent and Thomas J. Baigent), Sawmillers, East Takaka. Messrs Baigent are the pioneers of the sawmill industry in Takaka, and have done much towards opening up the valley. The business was established in 1873. The plant is most complete for a country mill, and consists of a vertical saw, an iron travelling bench, breast-bench, and planing mill, and the power is obtained from one of Clayden and Shuttleworth's sixteen-horse power engines. Twelve persons are employed in the industry, and the output is about 3500 feet per diem. Timber is shipped to all parts of New Zealand, and especially to Lyttelton, Kaiapoi and Nelson.
Mr. Thomas J. Baigent , J.P., was born at Wakefield, Nelson, in July, 1849. He was educated at the local schools, was placed by his father in his mill, and thenceforward continued to be connected with the sawmilling Industry. He has been a member of the Collingwood County Council, and of the Motueka licensing bench. For many years he was the only Justice of the Peace in the district. Mr. Baigent is also a Freemason, an Oddfellow, and a member of the Nelson Education Board.
In 1875, he married a daughter of the late Mr. Charles Best, of Appleby, and has a family.
Baigent Brothers (W. C. Baigent, managing partner), Sawmillers, Central Takaka. Established 1887. Bankers. Union Bank of Australia, Nelson. The mill is driven by a fourteen horse-power engine and boiler, and is capable of turning out 3000 feet of timber per day. Red and white pine are the woods chiefly in use, and the bulk of the product of the mill is shipped to Canterbury. Eight persons are constantly employed.
Mr. W. C. Baigent , the Managing Partner, carries on sheepfarming on an extensive scale. He was born in Nelson in 1857, and has been engaged in the sawmilling industry all his life, either at Takaka or in the Waimeas.
Mr. W. C. Baigent and Family.
Manson, Jefford, Farmer, Takaka. Mr. Manson, who was formerly a member of the firm of Manson Bros., of Motupipi, severed his connection with it in 1896. He had two years previously taken up his present property, which consists of 150 acres of freehold, and is close to the township. The land is somewhat heavy on the flats, but on the hillocks and high ground is of a light loamy and clayey nature. It is considered to be admirably adapted for grain growing, especially wheat. The property is well fenced and subdivided, and has water throughout during the driest seasons. About 300 Romney Marsh sheep are depastured on the property, and they are entirely free from all sheep diseases.
Reilly, James, Farmer, Takaka. Mr. Reilly was born in Takaka in the year 1867, and is the second son of the late Mr. James Reilly, who was one of the first settlers in the district, and for many years a member of the County Council. He was educated in Takaka and Nelson, and was afterwards engaged in farming with his father. Subsequently, Mr. Reilly built and conducted the Junction Hotel, but retired from that occupation to again engage in agriculture. He was for nine years a member of the County Council, before the new Act making Takaka a separate county, came into force. Mr. Reilly is president of the Golden Bay Rugby Union and Takaka Football Club, a member of the committee of the local Agricultural and Pastoral Association (of which he has also held the office of vice-president); a provisional director of the Bacon Company; and a member of the Athletic Club committee. Mr. Reilly founded the Takaka Racing Club; he has been a member of the local school and library committees, and for a number of years was secretary and treasurer of the Takaka Regatta Club. Mr. Reilly married a daughter of Mr. P. Byrne, of Takaka, in 1897, and has three sons.
Mr. J. F. Rose.
Staples, Berne, Farmer, “Jess, mond Farm,” Takaka. Mr. Staples was born in the district in the year 1882, and is a son of Mr. John Staples. He was educated at the local school, and afterwards assisted his father in the management of the farm, of which he took entire charge in 1904. Mr. Staples was a member of the Eighth New Zealand Contingent during the South African war, and is a member of the Takaka Mounted Rifles. He is also a member of the Golden Bay Football Club, and takes a lively interest in all outdoor sports. “Jessmond Farm” is a freehold property of 100 acres of flat land, and dairying is the chief industry. About four acres are devoted to the cultivation of hops, which yield an average crop of fifteen hundredweight to the acre. Mr. Staples has been most successful with his root crops, especially potatoes, which have yielded an average of ten tons per acre. The property is near the centre of the township, and the land is extremely fertile.
The Late Mr. H. Abbott.
Mr. Alfred Dodson , sometime of Takaka, held twenty-three acres of land, having disposed of the balance of his property to his sons. Originally he had one hundred acres at Long Plain and a small section at Waitapu. He was born in Wiltshire, England, in 1832, and arrived at Nelson on the 15th of February, 1842, in the the ship “Lloyds”; his father had landed six months earlier in the “Will Watch.” Mr. Dodson, senior, resided in Nelson and at Wakapuaka, and passed away in the ninetysecond year of his age, his wife having died three years after their arrival in Nelson. Mr. Dodson, junior, settled at Takaka in 1854; he worked at the coal mines at Motupipi, and was engaged in farming at Long Plain and Takaka for many years. He served on the Takaka Road Board, and was at one time chairman, of the Long Plain school committee. He was also a member of the Independent Order of Oddfellows. Mr. Dodson left a family of four sons and five daughters at the time of his death, which occurred some years ago.
The Late Mr. W. Gibbs.
Mr. Andrew Mcdonald , sometime of Central Takaka, owned 160 acres of land, of which he cropped 100 acres, the balance being cleared and grassed. Mr. McDonald was born at Blanefield, Scotland, in 1829, and he died on the 16th of December, 1898. He was a sailor for eleven years, but left the sea when he was twenty-seven years of age. He arrived in Nelson in 1856, and worked at Wakefield; and he was sawing and gold- page 222 mining at Collingwood, where he did fairly well. In 1864 he settled down on his farm at Central Takaka. He was a member of the Takaka Road Board for many years, and took great interest in the Golden Bay agricultural shows. Mr. McDonald was highly respected throughout the district, and was much liked by all who came in contact with him.
Mr. John Staples , of “Jessmond Farm,” Takaka, was born in Lincolnshire, England, and was brought up to an agricultural life. He came to New Zealand in the early sixties, and landed in Nelson. For several years he was farming in the Motueka district, but subsequently removed to Takaka, where he has since resided. Mr. Staples has been a member of the local school committee, and is an Oddfellow of many years' standing. He married Miss Susannah Boyce, of Motueka, and has a family of five sons and five daughters.
Mr. Andrew Sinclair was born in the Shetland Isles in 1841, and was trained in a mercantile office. In 1861, he emigrated to Victoria, in the ship “Prince of the Leal.” Mr. Sinclair came to New Zealand in the following year, and worked with considerable success on the Otago and West Coast goldfields. In 1872, he settled at Takaka, and engaged in farming; he also joined Mr. Abbott, and for twenty years managed his business. Mr. Sinclair has taken a prominent part in all matters affecting the social and commercial welfare of the district. Besides filling the office of chairman of the Collingwood County Council, he has served on all public bodies, including the road board and school committee. He is one of the leading members of the athletic club, and has been associated with the agricultural and pastoral association since its inception. Mr. Sinclair was one of the founders of the local Lodge of Freemasons, and is the oldest Past Master in the district. He now (1905) lives in retirement.
Mr. A. Sinclair.