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

Arowhenua — (Run 7 N.Z.R.)

(Run 7 N.Z.R.)

This run of thirty thousand acres, on the west side of the Arowhenua Forest and along the north bank of the Opihi, was allotted to Major Hornbrook (whom I page 160mentioned as owning Mt. Pleasant) by Colonel Campbell on 1st November, 1853. It was the first station after the Levels to be taken up in South Canterbury, and one of the first to be organised and stocked. William Hornbrook, who went there to manage it for his brother in 1853, had 3000 sheep there the following year, and 5500 in 1857.

I cannot find out to whom, or when Hornbrook sold the station. Chudleigh says in his diary that it belonged to Alfred Cox in May, 1863. Anyhow some time in the '70's J. T. Ford and Co. bought the station, which by then was all freehold.

William Hornbrook bought a farm at Seadown, where he died in 1882.

In 1878 Ford and Co. cut up and sold more than half the land in sections, but during the bad times which came in the three or four following years, most of it fell back on their hands, and in 1883 the Bank of New Zealand took over the place with 10,000 sheep.

For some years from about 1885 the Bank ran the station in the name of A. M. Clark, who was their station supervisor. At that time Clark had the following stations and estates under his control (the managers' names are in brackets):—Arowhenua (John McColl), Riverslea (Mackintosh Murray), Albury (Edward Richardson), Eskbank (David Sutherland), Waihorounga (K. B. Bain), also the Clarence Reserve near Kaikoura. Clark lived at Arowhenua but worked the stations from an office in Temuka.

In the 'nineties Arowhenua was transferred to the Bank of New Zealand Estates Co., who cut up and sold what remained of it in 1899.

One of the people who lived at Arowhenua in the early days was an inveterate practical joker. A man had been drowned in the river there, and during the inquest at the Accommodation House, while the Coroner and a jury were having lunch, the practical joker removed the corpse and got into its place, and when they lifted the sheet to view the body, he greeted them with loud guffaws.