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

Birch Hollow — (Run 246)

Birch Hollow
(Run 246)

This run was taken up by Doctor Samuel Hodgkinson some time in 1851. It included what are known as the Deans' Hills on the Waipara, and came down to the Weka Creek, taking in the present Waipara Downs Estate. In a Gazette of 1854 Hodgkinson is stated to have had 1500 sheep there on twenty-nine thousand acres, under the management of a man named Lawrence. The station had originally been called Mt. Deans, but Hodgkinson changed the name because the hut was in a deep hollow with some fine birch timber growing round it.

The homestead was on the Birch Hollow Creek, about a mile above its junction with the Waipara. Some of the old gum trees are still there.

Hodgkinson returned to England in 1854 and left the run and sheep in charge of Hunter Brown, of Double Corner, though Lawrence stayed on as overseer.

In 1855, G. H. Moore bought the freehold of the better part of the run, and Hunter Brown sold him Hodgkinson's remaining leasehold with the sheep soon afterwards, so that the whole place became part of Glenmark. While Hunter Brown worked it he and his men called it Doctor's Hills, a name which is often used for it now.

Dr. Hodgkinson was born at Batworth, Nottingham, in 1817. In 1842 he came to New Zealand as surgeon of the New Zealand Company's immigrant ship Bombay. He returned to England and took service with the Colonisation Commissioners of South Australia, and came from Australia to Canterbury in 1851. In 1861 he settled in Southland, where he became a mem-page 276ber of the Provincial Council, and afterwards M.H.R. for Riverton. He died in Invercargill in 1914. He wrote quite a good pamphlet on sheep-farming in Canterbury, and several others on political and religious subjects.

Moore never freeholded the actual hills called the Doctor's, and when they were sold by the Midland Railwav Company in 1889. Frank Courage, of Seadown, bought them.