The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Nelson, Marlborough & Westland Provincial Districts]
Dillmanstown , or the township of Dillman's, as it is familiarly known to all West Coasters, is situated about a mile from Kumara. It is in the Arahura riding of the county of Westland, and in the electorate and provincial district of Westland. Dillmanstown first came into prominence about the year 1870, when Cashman and party found paying gold. In 1875 gold was obtained at the farther end of the township, and in July, of the following year, the general “rush” set in. It is estimated that at one time fully 3000 men were digging between Dillman's and Kumara. In 1883, the Government put down a water-carrying plant known as No. 1 Channel. The yield of gold of late years has, however, slowly decreased. The public school is attended by about 120 children, who receive instruction up to Standard II, and are then transferred to the main school at Kumara. There are six hotels in the township, which has also a post office and telegraph station. The roads are good for cyclists, fishing and shooting are obtainable in the neighbourhood, and greenstone is found in the district.
The Dillmanstown Side School is a branch of the Kumara public school, from which it is about one mile distant. Children receive instruction up to a certain point, and are then transferred to the Kumara school. The building is of wood and iron, contains one class room and a porch, and there is a playground and shed. Miss Elizabeth M. Stark is sole teacher in charge.
The Larrikins Sawmill Company (Mrs McGrath, senior, and Thomas McGrath, proprietors; Mr. Gilbert London, working manager), Sawmillers and Wholesale Timber Merchants, Dillman's. Bankers, Bank of New South Wales, Greymouth. The mills are situated about three quarters of a mile from Dillmanstown, and were originally the property of Mr. William Morris. The present proprietary took them over in the year 1896 and is fast building up a large local trade. A Pelton wheel, three feet in diameter, is used, giving a pressure of sixty-five feet and equivalent to eighteen horse-power. The milling plant consists of three saws (circular and breaking-down) and breast and block-cutting benches. The bush, which is 500 acres in extent, is worked by day labour, and the plant is capable of an output of 6000 feet daily. Logs are hauled out of the bush by means of a patent steam winch, with wire rope. Messrs McGrath and Co. give constant employment to ten men, and have two timber carts running daily.
Union Sawmill (Robert Watson and Sons, proprietors), Dillmanstown. This mill is about one mile from Dillmanstown, with which there is communication by a good metalled road. The plant includes the usual breaking down and breast benches, a fourteen horse-power portable engine, a ten horse power hauling engine, and machinery for cutting blocks for mining purposes. The output is 4000 feet per day, and about eight persons are employed. Two three-horse teams are employed in carting.
Mr. R. Watson.
Messrs Arthur And Francis Watson , Partners in the firm of Robert Watson and Sons, sawmillers, are the second and third sons of Mr. Robert Watson, and have been brought up to the timber trade from boyhood.