The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Nelson, Marlborough & Westland Provincial Districts]
Renwicktown is situated seven miles due west of Blenheim, on the right bank of the Wairau river. The site of the township was first noted as a stopping place for bullock drivers on their way down the valley, and was a favourite spot for this purpose, owing to its central position, and the absence of the poisonous tutu plant, which played such havoc among cattle in the early days. Its first settler was Mr. John Godfrey, who opened an accommodation house, which was known as the “Sheep-skin Tavern,” from the fact that it was largely made of sheepskins. This house, primitive as it was, was a great boon to travellers in those days, and for several years supplied the want of a half-way resting-place. In the year 1855, however, Dr. Renwick took up the Delta run, from Mr. Green, of Nelson, and immediately laid off part of it as a township, which was shortly afterwards named Renwicktown, in honour of its founder. This spot soon became a Scotch settlement, and has remained so more or less to this day. Shortly after the foundation of the township, Messrs Lakeman Brothers opened an hotel, not far from Godfrey's accommodation house. This house was known as the “Woolpack,” and for many years was the centre of a large trade. It long since passed into decay, and was removed. It was at Renwicktown in the early fifties that the first horse races were run in the province, and the contests took place on ground now included in one of Mr. Brydon's paddocks. A public school was soon established, and it was in Renwicktown in 1875 that the Rev. D. Nicholson put up the first church in the Wairau. Renwicktown has steadily gone ahead, and the township now (1905) has a Government building, with a post, telephone, and telegraph office and other departments, a large public school, two churches, two hotels, several good general stores, cabinet-making, blacksmithing, engineering, and other establishments. The surrounding country is closely settled, and is devoted to sheepfarming and agriculture, for which it is highly suitable. Renwicktown is on the Blenheim-Nelson coach route, and is in daily communication with Blenheim and Havelock. Three good metalled roads connect the township with Blenheim. Renwicktown has a population of about 350.
Gibson, William, Blacksmith and Farrier, Renwick. Established 1890. Mr. Gibson has by industry and good workmanship succeeded in building up a lucrative trade. He is a native of Marlborough, and, after leaving school, served his time with Mr. W. Boyle, sometime of Renwick. For a time he followed various callings throughout the Middle Island, and then returned to Renwick, where he established his present business.
Mr. W. Tapp.
Bary and sons (G. Bary, senior, G. Bary, junior, and John Bary), Grovers, Drapers, and Produce Merchants, Renwicktown. This firm has a complete butter plant, by which all butter received from the neighbouring farmers is treated, and then shipped direct to England. The store was established in the year 1881, and is replete with every line of goods required in a farming district. The building is situated in the main street, and the business portion covers 1300 feet of floor space. The post and telegraph office was kept in the store for a number of years, but owing to the place growing rapidly a Government post office was erected.
Mr. Bary, Senior , who established the business was born in Tornea, Sweden, in 1832, went to Melbourne, Australia, in the early fifties, and was engaged in mining at Bendigo. Thence he came to New Zealand, and went to Collingwood, in the Nelson district. After some time there, Mr. Bary removed to Renwick, where he arrived on New Year's Day, 1857, and at once began to turn his hand to anything in the way of work. Bullock driving or general station work was all that was then obtainal le, and these he engaged in for a short time. Mr. Bary erected the first wire fence in Marlborough. He was subsequently appointed manager of the late Mr. Henry Godfrey's flour mill. After some years at milling, he was appointed Inspector of River Conservation Works in Marlborough. In 1881, Mr. Bary started a small store, of which the present large retail and produce business is a development, and it now has trade connections with all parts of New Zealand.
Avondale Station , named after the river Avon, which runs through the property, consists of nearly 80,000 acres of rugged sheep grazing country, and is situated in the Waihopai Valley, about seven miles from Renwicktown. It extends from the Waihopai Valley, to the Awatere river, and embraces what was formerly Summerlands, Redwood, Glenlee, and Avondale runs. About 30,000 acres of the property are freehold, and the station at present (1905) carries about 20,000 sheep. The homestead is situated in the Waihopai Valley on the old Avondale run, and there is also another homestead on the Glenlee portion of the estate, with wool sheds, etc.
Mr. Charles de Vere Teschemaker , Proprietor of Avondale station, was born in Devonshire, England, in the year 1836. He came to New Zealand, and landed in Port Chalmers in 1854. Mr. Teschemaker spent some years on large stations in Southern Otago, and then took up the management of “Taipo,” his brother's run at Oamaru, whence he removed to Avondale. He has been connected with various local bodies, and is now (August, 1905), in England on a pleasure trip.
Mr. Charles Gordon Teschemaker , Manager of the Avoldale station, was born near Oamaru, in November, 1872, and is the second son of Mr. Charles de Vere Teschemaker. He was educated chiefly at Sherbourne School, England, and since his return to New Zealand has devot-his whole time to Avondale station. He is a member of the Wairau Road Board, the Marlborough Agricultural and Pastoral Association, and the Marlborough Racing Club. Mr. Teschemaker married Miss Dillon, of Leefield, in the year 1905.
Macey, photoMr. G. H. Bishell.
Brookby Farm , Goulter's Valley, Renwicktown. This farm was originally a part of Messrs Ward and Seymour's run, was afterwards held for a time by Mr. W. B. Parker, and was bought in two blocks by its present owner; the first of 360 acres in the year 1893, and the second of 240 acres, in March, 1902. It is first class level and undulating land, embraces almost the whole of the upper part of the valley, and is well appointed for all classes of farming. The farm has a north-easterly aspect, and is well sheltered from the prevailing winds. A permanent flock of nearly 600 sheep is depastured, and about 300 acres are annually placed under cultivation.
Mr. and Mrs M. O'Connor.
Brydon, John, Farmer, Renwicktown. Mr. Brydon is the second son of the late Mr. William Brydon and of Johanna Brydon, who are further referred to as old colonists. He was born on the 3rd of December, 1852, was educated at the Renwicktown public school, and brought up to farming under his father. Since his school days, Mr. Brydon has spent the whole of his time on his parents' property at Renwicktown, and now (1905) holds a portion of this on lease from his mother, and farms it on his own account. He is a member of the Renwicktown Rifle Club. Mr. Brydon married Miss Eliza McDonald, and has two daughters.
Craigieburn Farm , Fairhall Valley, Renwicktown. This property is an extensive area of freehold country, and was farmed for many years by Mr. Charles Goulter, and afterwards for a time by the late Mr. John Fleming. In 1895, it was bought by its present owner, Mr. James Laidlaw. “Craigieburn” consists chiefly of fertile downs, and is well watered by a stream running through the property. Nearly 600 sheep are depastured, and about 113 acres are devoted to crop.
Mr. James Laidlaw was born on the 3rd of July, 1842, near Moffatt, Dumfriesshire, Scotland, where he was educated. He learned shepherding in the Highlands, and towards the end of the year 1879 came to New Zealand in the ship “British Empire.” Mr. Laidlaw landed in Nelson, went to Marlborough and worked for two years on the Dumgree run, after which he was appointed manager of the Delta station, for the Renwick family. Nine years later, he resigned to take up the management of Tulloch Mains at Kaikoura, for Mr. G. F. Bullen. Mr. Laidlaw is a member of the Marlborough Agricultural and Pastoral Association, and of the local branch of the Farmers' Union. He married Miss Jane Thomson, daughter of Mr. James Thomson, farmer, Blenheim, in 1882, and has two sons and two daughters.
Cowslip Farm , in the Waihopai, near Renwicktown, was acquired by Mr. John Newman, in the year 1889; part of it he bought from Mr. Joseph Ward, and the rest, some years later, from the late Mr. Samuel Eves. At his death it fell into the hands of his eldest son, Mr. Charles Newman, who was soon after joined in partnership by his brother, Mr George Newman, and the firm has since been known as Messrs Newman Brothers. Cowslip Farm consists of 500 acres of excellent valley and undulating country, and is given up to agriculture and sheep farming. It is in first class condition, carries about 500 sheep, and grows nearly 100 acres of crops—chiefly wheat, oats, barley, and peas.
Mr. G. Newman (standing). Mr. C. Newman (seated).
Hawkesbury Station is a property of 1160 acres, and is owned by Mr. Charles Goulter. It is situated in the Five Mile Valley, close to Renwicktown, and was originally part of the Hawkesbury estate sold to the Government some years ago. “Hawkesbury” is well known as the home of some excellent prize sheep and prize cattle. In regard to sheep, Mr. Goulter confines his attention to stud Merinos, and as a prizetaker he is probably unequalled in Marlborough. Besides money prizes, he has won forty gold and silver medals for prize Merino sheep at shows in Marlborough and Canterbury, and five medals and five diplomas won in all parts of the world, including one gold medal recently won at the St. Louis Exhibition. The Wolsley Cup, to be won three times in Canterbury, was won by Mr. Goulter for the year 1904, and a £50 cup, given by the Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Association for the most valuable scoured fleece, to be won three times before becoming the exhibitor's property, was won by him in the year 1902. All the members of Mr. Goulter's prize flock are registered in the New Zealand Flock Book, and his Jersey cattle, which are registered in the Jersey Cattle Breeders' Association Herd Book, have also won special distinction. Mr. Goulter's sheep pens, yards, and their surroundings show that the proprietor has exercised great care and forethought throughout the whole arrangements. About 2200 Merinos graze on the property, besides a fine herd of Jersey cattle. About one hundred acres are cropped. Mr. Goulter is also proprietor, in conjunction with Mr. Bernard Ward, of the Blairich estate, of 19,000 acres, in the Awatere district, eight miles from Seddon railway station.
“Golden Prince,” Champion Ram. Bred by Mr. C. Goulter.
“Leefield” is an extensive sheep station of 32,000 acres, situated in the Waihopai Valley, about eleven miles from Renwicktown. It was originally taken up by the late Hon. Constantine Dillon, afterwards came into possession of his son, Mr. P. G. Dillon, at whose death, in March, 1890, it fell into the hands of his widow, who still owns it. For many years after the death of Mr. Dillon the run was ably conducted by Mr. Corbett, a capable and experienced manager; and since his resignation, in the year 1905, to take up a similar position at “Bank House,” the estate of the late Mr. Alexander Monro, “Leefield” has been managed by Mr. F. N. Dillon. The greater part of the station consists of rugged mountainous country, but in the Waihopai Valley there are some good agricultural areas, and excellent pastoral downs. The estate is given up almost entirely to pasturage, and a permanent flock of about 12,000 sheep is depastured. The homestead is one of the prettiest in the province, and stands on an eminence overlooking the Waihopai Valley.
Macey, photoMr. F. N. Dillon.
Mr. J. Maher.
Norwood Farm (Messrs McCallum Brothers, proprietors), Fairhall Valley, Renwicktown. This farm was originally a portion of the Hawkesbury station, and was bought by its present owners from Mr. Redwood Goulter, in the year 1900. It comprises 750 acres of good agricultural land, nearly all level, and is fenced, subdivided, and highly improved. The farm is devoted to agriculture and sheep grazing. About 550 acres are annually placed under crops—chiefly, barley, oats and peas, and a permanent flock of about 300 sheep is depastured. The present residence of the owners was erected in the year 1902.
Mr. John McCallum , of Messrs McCallum Brothers, was born in Blenheim, on the 11th of February, 1871, and is the eldest son of Mr. Duncan McCallum. He was educated at the Blenheim Borough School, and afterwards assisted his father in farm work until 1900, when he entered into partnership with his brother to take up Norwood Farm. Mr. McCallum is a member of the Agricultural and Pastoral Association. He married Miss M. Janson, of Wellington, in February, 1903, and has one son.
Mr. James McCallum , of Messrs McCallum Brothers, is the second son of Mr. Duncan McCallum, of Blenheim, and was born on the 3rd of November, 1872. He was educated at the Blenheim Borough School, and then assisted his father until taking up Norwood Farm in conjunction with his brother. Mr. McCallum is a member of the Marlborough Agricultural and Pastoral Association.
Watson, Sidney, Farmer and General Carrier, Renwicktown. Mr. Watson is one of the pioneer settlers of New Zealand, and when only a child he came to Wellington with his parents in the ship “Clifford.” His father was the first pressman in Wellington in 1842, when he was connected with “The Independent” and “Spectator.” Mr. S. Watson was born in 1841 within the sound of Bow Bells, London. He remained in Wellington with his parents till 1859, when he removed to the Marlborough district, which was then in its native state of swamp, flax and raupo. In 1871, he settled in Renwicktown, and started business as contractor, carrier, and farmer. His farm of 150 acres is all level, and is worked to the best advantage, although Mr. Watson makes a specialty of the carting business. In his time, Mr. Watson has been a very keen sportsman, and was well to the fore at local races in the early days. He owned the course on which these races were run, and did everything in his power to encourage sport generally. He is still a member of the Marlborough Racing Club, and although not quite so enthusiastic as he was in his younger days, he still rejoices in the name of a “Good old sport.” He was at one time a member of the Omaka Road Board.
Mr. S. Watson.
Mr. F. P. J. Ward.
Mr. William Brydon was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, where he was educated and learned tailoring. Having determined upon a pioneering life, page 429 he sailed for New Zealand in the ship “Whitby,” on the 17th of April, 1841, as a member of the expedition under Captain Wakefield. Mr. Brydon landed in Nelson, and for some time was employed as a surveyor or engaged in farming. He then farmed for about a year at Takaka, and afterwards went to the Waimea Plains, where he and his wife applied themselves to butter-and-cheese making. In May, 1849, Mr. Brydon and his family removed to the Awatere, spent about twelve months at dairy farming there, and in July, 1850, took up land in the Waihopai Valley, where they were the first settlers. Shortly afterwards he acquired property at Renwicktown, which he worked until his death in August, 1883. The property, which has since been worked by his sons, now consists of about 900 acres of the best land in the district. Mr. Brydon left a widow with sons and daughters.
Mrs Johanna Brydon, of Renwicktown, is one of the oldest settlers in the province of Marlborough. She was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, on the 26th of April, 1819, and was educated at private schools. In the year 1836 she married Mr. William Brydon, who came to New Zealand in 1841, in the expedition under Captain Wakefield, and was followed in February, 1842, by Mrs Brydon Mrs Brydon, whose husband died in 1883, has about two hundred grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Mr. Philip Gerald Dillon , formerly of “Leefield,” was born in Nelson in the year 1848, and was educated in England, at Cheltenham and Sandhurst. During his college days, he was a prominent footballer, and on one occasion played for All England. He returned to New Zealand in 1870, and lived for the remainder of his life, partly in Nelson, and partly at “Leefield.” Mr. Dillen took an active interest in all matters affecting the country, and was a useful member of many local bodies. He died in Blenheim, in March, 1900, leaving a widow, one son, and four daughters.
The late Mr. M. Maher.
Mrs M. Maher.
Mr. John Newman , sometime of Waihopai, near Renwicktown, was born in Hampshire, England, in the year 1825, and landed in Nelson by the ship “Bolton” in 1842. For a time he farmed in Nelson, and then went to the Wairau, where he was known for many years as one of the fastest shearers of his day. About the year 1855, Mr. Newman bought some land in the Waihopai Valley from Mr. Joseph Ward, and from the late Mr. Samuel Eves, which he called Cowslip Farm. He married Miss Maria Eves, eldest daughter of the late Mr. Samuel Eves, in the year 1858. Mr. Newman died in July 1888, leaving six sons and five daughters.
Mr. S. Eves.