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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Nelson, Marlborough & Westland Provincial Districts]



Kotuku is a small settlement on the Greymouth-Jackson line, and is twenty-one miles from Greymouth, twelve miles from Stillwater, and thirty-one from Otira. It is in the Red Jack's riding of the county of Grey, and in the provincial district of Westland. Two sawmills are actively at work in the neighbourhood, and one of these is a very large one. There are indications of petroleum near Kotuku, and boring operations have been undertaken on an extensive scale. The local railway station stands at an altitude of 287 feet above the level of the sea. The nearest post office is at Moana, two miles distant. The population was returned as eighteen at the census of 1901.

Messrs Jack Brothers (William Jack, Thomas John Jack, and James Francis Jack), Sawmillers, Kotuku. The mill of Messrs Jack Brothers is one of the largest on the West Coast, and is situated about a mile from the
Ring, photo. Mr. J. F. Jack.

Ring, photo. Mr. J. F. Jack.

Kotuku Siding, to which timber is conveyed by a tramway. There is a boiler and engine, each of thirty-five horse-power, and two breast benches; the steel breaking-down bench, with wire rope attachment, was the first of that description fitted up on the Coast. The output from the mill is large. Messrs Jack Brothers have the command over some good timber country, and a large amount of white pine is shipped to Australia. In addition to the ordinary timber-sawing, a good deal of silver pine sleeper-cutting is also carried on.

Mr. William Jack , of the firm of Jack Brothers, is a son of the late Mr. Jack, of Winton, Southland, who was for thirty years a sawmiller. He was born in Tasmania in the year 1860, came to New Zealand with his parents about 1864, and was educated in Invercargill. Practically, his whole life has been spent in sawmilling work, with his father, and later on in partnership with his brothers. The present mill was established in the year 1902.

Mr. Thomas John Jack , of the firm of Messrs Jack Brothers, was born in Tasmania, and came to New Zealand in the year 1864. He has had a life-long experience in the sawmilling industry. Mr. Jack is married and has six children.

Mr. James Francis Jack , of the firm of Messrs Jack Brothers, was born in Tasmania. He came to New Zealand in the year 1864, was brought up to sawmilling, and has since continued in the trade in partnership with his brothers.

Marshall and Company (John Marshall), Sawmillers, Kotuku. The sawmill of Messrs Marshall and Company lies about four miles from the Kotuku siding, and is connected with it by tramway. The mill is devoted practically to the cutting of silver pine sleepers, and a large area of good silver pine bush is controlled by the firm. A ten horse-power portable engine supplies the power, and there is a breaking-down and a breast bench. The output of the mill averages about 130 sleepers per day, and a large amount of squaring is also done.

Mr. John Marshall , the principal owner and the manager of the
Ring, photo. Mr. J. Marshall.

Ring, photo. Mr. J. Marshall.

page 588 mill, was born in Stirling, Scotland, in the year 1861, came to New Zealand with his parents in 1863, and started sawmill work at eleven years of age. For about eleven years he was in the Catlins river district, and, later on, went to Southland for eight years. Mr. Marshall afterwards went to the North Island for a year, and in 1890 removed to the West Coast, where he worked at sawmilling. He started his present mill in 1904. For many years Mr. Marshall competed with success as a long-distance runner in the Otago and Southland districts. He holds a number of medals for his running at the Invercargill Caledonian games, and at the sports held at Kaitangata, Balclutha, Gore, Mataura, and other places. Mr. Marshall is married, and resides at Kotuku.