The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Nelson, Marlborough & Westland Provincial Districts]
Onamalutu is a long narrow valley. It extends about seven miles in a north-westerly direction from the north bank of the Wairau river, and the township, which stands midway in the valley, is situated fifteen miles in a direct line north-west of Blenheim. Most of the country is hilly, and some of it exceedingly broken. The Onamalutu creek passes through the valley, and is well stocked with trout.
The first settlers in the district were Mr. J. J. Ward, who arrived late in the fifties, Mr. Charles Smart, and Mr. J. I. Barton. There was, at one time, some flaxmilling in the district, and a little goldmining and sawmilling is still carried on. Sheep and cattle and dairy-farming, however, have largely taken the place of these industries. The township of Onamalutu has a public school, a sawmill, and a few farm residences, and a good road connects it with the Blenheim-Nelson route. There is also a post office, and the mail is brought twice a week on horse-back from Kaituna.
The Onamalutu Public School was established many years ago, and is situated in the township on a site of about an acre. It is a small wooden building, and has accommodation for about forty pupils. The number on the roll is thirty, and the average attendance is twenty-eight.
Miss Elizabeth Charles was appointed mistress of the Onamalutu public school in February, 1904. She was born in Canterbury, and is a daughter of Mr. William Charles, of Oxford. Miss Charles was educated at the Waddington public school in West Canterbury, where she afterwards served four years as a pupil teacher, and then went to the Normal School in Christchurch for a year's training.
She subsequently became mistress, successively, of the Greendale and Carlton public schools, before her appointment to Onamalutu.
Folster, Heinrich, Farmer, Onamalutu. Mr. Folster has a farm of 300 acres, on which he grazes crossbred sheep. At the homestead there is a handsome six-roomed house; of which Mr. Folster was both architect and builder. Mr. Folster was born in Holstein, five miles from Hamburg, in Germany, and learned the trade of a bricklayer and plasterer. He landed in Queensland in 1865, and shortly afterwards came to New Zealand. Prior to settling at Onamalutu, Mr. Folster resided successively in Auckland, Taranaki, Nelson, and Christchurch.
Mr. H. Folster.
Smart, James Farmer, Onamalutu. Mr. Smart is the second son of the late Mr. Charles Smart, and was born at Blenheim in the year 1866. He was educated at the Gibsontown public school, and was afterwards employed at general work, chiefly horse driving, until 1897, when he took up his present farm. The property consists of about 550 acres of sheep grazing land, and carries about 360 sheep, and three hundred head of cattle. Mr. Smart married Miss Warmoth, in August, 1898, and has two sons and one daughter.
The late Mr. J. I. Barton.
The late Mr. C. Smart.