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

Holme Station and Pareora — (Run 10 N.Z.R.)

Holme Station and Pareora
(Run 10 N.Z.R.)

These stations, which were originally one, were first taken up by David Innes, to whom Colonel Campbell allotted twenty-five thousand acres, south of the Pareora River, from the sea inland, on the 1st November, 1853. This was Run 9 in Campbell's list. When Brittan took over the administration of the runs outside the Canterbury Block it was re-numbered 10 and the area increased to thirty-four thousand five hundred acres.

Innes joined William Harris, who had taken up the Waikakahi Station, and they worked their two runs in partnership. They built the homestead from which page 177they worked Pareora on the river at the place where the Main South road now crosses it. Old willows and gums mark the site. This homestead, which was afterwards abandoned, became an accommodation house, a new homestead being built at Holme Station. F. W. Stubbs, who afterwards managed the Levels and later hved at Geraldine, was for some time the manager, and was succeeded by James Macdonald, who was managing in 1863 when there were 20,000 sheep on the station.

In November, 1853, Captain George Clapcott applied for twenty-five thousand acres to the west of Harris and Innes, but he appears to have forfeited it and it was allotted to Harris and Innes (in Harris's name) on 1st February, 1855. The run then took in all the country between the Pareora and Otaio rivers from the sea to the Hunters Range.

In 1864 Harris and Innes dissolved partnership, Harris taking Waikakahi, and Innes, Pareora. Edward Elworthy then entered into partnership with Innes, but it was not very long before they divided again, Innes taking what became the Lower Pareora and Elworthy the upper country, which was afterwards named Holme Station. The upper country being considered less valuable, Elworthy took two acres for Innes's one.

I do not think Innes had been a year at Pareora before the freehold of his run was bought by the firm which afterwards became the New Zealand and Australian Land Company. The company sold six hundred acres to the Government in 1893. This was the first land the Government bought for settlement after Cheviot. The company afterwards sold several sections privately, and sold the whole station to the Government in 1899. It then consisted of eight thousand and seventy-eight acres of freehold. C. N. Orbell, of the Levels, managed it at one time. He had been a cadet with Harris and Innes. Melville Gray was a cadet and book-keeper there for two years before he went to manage Otipua. In his time the manager was Andrew Turnbull, promoted from head shepherd. After sell-page 178ing his station, Innes lived at Springfield in the Papanui Road, where Innes' Road is named after him.

Edward Elworthy was born at Wellington, in England, in 1836 and came to Queensland (where he owned the land on which the town of Toowoomba now stands) in 1862. He came down to Canterbury in 1864.

About 1869 he bought the Mt. Nimrod country from Teschemaker and Le Cren, of Otaio. Elworthy made Holme Station one of the finest in Canterbury. There were fifty-two thousand acres of freehold and fourteen thousand acres of leasehold and it carried 60,000 sheep. His managers were Henry Ford, from 1865 till 1877, Gunion 1877-79, and W. W. Cartwright from 1879 until 1898, when the owner's eldest son, A. S. Elworthy, took over the management. Holme Station in the early days was known as Pareora, but owing to the Land Company using the same name for their Lower Pareora Estate, there was a great confusion of letters, and during Elworthy's absence in England, Ford altered the name to the old Devonshire one, Holme, he and Elworthy being both Devonshire men.

Soon after Elworthy's death the trustees began selling the land, and in 1906 his second son, H. Elworthy, took over his share, Craigmore, which, though originally part of the run, had been bought out of it and only re-purchased by Edward Elworthy many years later.

The rest of the place was worked in partnership by Arthur and Percy Elworthy until 1910, when they divided, Percy Elworthy taking over his property at Gordon's Valley, and Arthur Elworthy the station which now carries about 4000 sheep and includes successful studs of English Leicester sheep and Holstein cattle.

The old house at Holme Station, which was burnt not long before the 1914-18 War, was the only one in Canterbury, so far as I know, to have the distinction of being supposed to be haunted.