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The Early Canterbury Runs: Containing the First, Second and Third (new) Series

The Lakes — (Runs 202, 207 and 212)

The Lakes
(Runs 202, 207 and 212)

Roughly speaking, the Lakes took in the whole country in the forks of the Hurunui and ran back to the main range on each side of the Taramakau Saddle.

The Lakes was originally two separate stations. Runs 202 and 207, of twenty-five thousand acres altogether, were taken up in July and August, 1857, by Henry page 281Taylor. George Mason explored the country, and may have had a share in it for a short time. I cannot find when or to whom Taylor sold his run. Taylor, before taking up this country, was employed by Elliot, of Nelson. He brought a mob of Elliot's horses overland from Nelson for William Thomson to sell. He was afterwards drowned in a river on the West Coast and his body brought to Christchurch to be buried. He either sold or went out in 1867, for in 1868 and 1869 the leases were held in the names of the financial firms, the Trust and Agency Company of Australasia, and Matheson and Jardine.

Mathias Brothers (sons of the Archdeacon) bought the station about 1876 and sold it again in 1880 with 8000 sheep to William Parkerson, the man who bought Mesopotamia from Butler, for about half what they gave for it. Vincent Mathias managed it for himself and his brothers. He had been a cadet with Ensor at Rollesby and with his brother at the Desert. and afterwards managed Mt. Grey for Ensor for many years. Then he was valuator for Canterbury College for near thirty years and died in Christchurch in July, 1931.

Run 212, of twelve thousand acres, was taken up in September, 1857. The earliest occupier I can trace is J. B. Wemyss. He was probably the first, as in 1853 he took up Rokeby near Rakaia and let it to his manager shortly before Run 212 was taken up. He lived in Nelson, and represented the Nelson Suburbs in Parliament.

Wemyss and Taylor married sisters, but neither of them had families. Wemyss afterwards came into an estate called Wemyss Castle, in Scotland.

He transferred the run to M. E. O'Connell and John Russell on 2nd September, 1875. Russell was a brother of Mrs O'Connell of Mt. Grey and of G. G. Russell of Anama. He also came to New Zealand from Australia, not long after his brother. He had managed Mt. Grey for his sister. M. E. O'Connell was his nephew Maurice. They transferred to George McMillan (afterwards of Mesopotamia) on 30th June, 1879. Mc-page 282Millan thought the station (6000 sheep) too small to give scope for his talents, so he sold it to Parkerson in May, 1885, and the two stations became one. In 1886 the Lakes was transferred to Maitland Gardner and Francis Henry Pickering, and by 1890 the Bank of New South Wales had entered into possession of it. W. J. Moffatt bought it from the Bank some time about 1896 and sold it in 1899 to 'Rutherford Nephews,' Cuthbert, Leslie, and Sealy, three sons of Robert Rutherford—Mt. Nessing—who did very well with it.

Cuthbert Rutherford (now of Craiglockart near Blenheim) bought his brothers' shares from them in 1903.

In 1918 the Government resumed half the run, and Cuthbert Rutherford sold the rest of the station to Matson and Cunningham in 1920. They sold to the present owner, Leslie Macfarlane, of Kaiwara, in 1924.

In the old days the boundary between the two stations, Wemyss's and Taylor's, ran straight across from the north to the south branch of the Hurunui. When the Government resumed the country in 1918 they divided the run the opposite way, i.e., from the junction of the two branches of the Hurunui back to the Taramakau Saddle. It is not my business to comment on present stations, but on the map it looks as if they had cut it up so as to leave most of the sunny country on one run.

Up the Hurunui and over the Taramakau Saddle was the first route taken by fat stock to the West Coast diggings. Dampier Crossley took the first mob over. All the Rutherfords (of the second generation) took fat wethers that way. Later on, when the Arthur's Pass route was opened, the Taramakau route was given up.