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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Auckland Provincial District]


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Taupo is a remote township on the shores of the great lake, and is 227 miles from Auckland, and 103 from Napier. The region is full of thermal wonders, geysers, mineral baths, and grand scenery. Game abounds near the lake, on which trips can be made in steam launches, and there are good hotels in the township and neighbourhood. Taupo is the starting point for numerous interesting excursions. Tokaanu, about twenty-six miles across the lake, can be reached in four hours by means of a steam launch; or by buggy round the lake in from five to six hours. Wairakei is seven miles from Taupo, via the Huka Falls. Rotokawa, a bitter lake, about one mile in diameter, with sulphur holes and fine crystals round the banks, is about nine miles distant by horseback. Glen Lofley, in which Joshua's Spa is situated, is celebrated for its mineral baths, and numerous natural wonders lying between it and the Waikato river, the most noteworthy being on the river's banks; and the spa, within two miles of the township, has a number of fine baths, some of which are noted for their curative properties in respect to various ailments. Altogether Taupo, which can be reached from Auckland and Napier, is a place which, once visited, can never be forgotten.

Crow's Nest Geyser.

Crow's Nest Geyser.

The Taupo Domain Board was established about 1895. Members for 1900; Mr. J. Gallagher, chairman, Messrs W. G. Noble, J.P., J. Crowther, J. Rickit, and R. Ross. The domain, which is over six acres in extent, is situated in the township and is completely fenced and planted with ornamental trees. There is also a reserve of fourteen acres known as Taharepa, which is under the control of the Board.

The Taupo Post And Telegraph Office was originally within the redoubt in the early days, but the old building is now occupied by the telegraph lineman, and the premises in use in 1900 were erected in the early days for school purposes. They include a public office, mail and operating room, and a dwellinghouse of seven rooms.

The Government Roads Department for the East Taupo District is domiciled at Rotorua, but the resident inspector has his headquarters in Taupo. The district covers an area of 170 miles in extent.

Mr. James A. Brownlie, Road Inspector for the East Taupo District, was born in Perthshire, Scotland, and was educated there and in Glasgow. He first came out to Victoria, where he resided for some time, and then came over to New Zealand, and settled in Tauranga, where, for a few years, he carried page 818 on business as an agricultural implement manufacturer under the style of J. A. Brownlie and Co. He has been an officer of the Roads Department for many years, has resided in Taupo since 1890, and held the position of inspector for a number of years. Mr. Brownlie is married, and has a family of three sons and one daughter.

The Taupo Public School contains one class room and a porch. There is accommodation for thirty pupils, there are nineteen names on the roll, and the average attendance is sixteen.

Mr. Charles E. O. H. Tobin, who holds an E4 certificate, is the teacher in charge of the Taupo public school. He became a probationer at the Epsom public school, where he was assistant for nearly three years, and was then appointed to Taupo in 1899.

The Rev. Henry James Fletcher, Minister in charge of the Presbyterian Maori Mission in Taupo, was born in Kent, England, in 1868. He arrived with his parents in Wellington by the ship “La Hogue,” in 1874, was educated in Rangitikei, and studied under the Rev. John Ross, at Turakina, and the Rev. J. Doull, at Bulls. Mr. Fletcher was ordained in September, 1898, and was placed in charge of the Taupo district in January, 1895. For several years past he has been chairman of the Taupo school committee. He was married, in 1895, to a daughter of Mr. G. W. D. Morris, of Hunterville.

Taupo Magistrate's Court and Police Station. The old building used as a courthouse was originally erected about 1870 for the use of the constabulary. It is now used not only as a courthouse, but also for concerts, amusements and religious services, and the meetings of the Native Land Court. The Magistrate's Court is held half yearly, and special sittings, when necessary, are conducted by the local justices. The police station is a seven-roomed house situated in a garden, and was built by the constabulary on the banks of the Waikato river, near its rise in Lake Taupo, and was formerly used by the officers of the Armed Constabulary. There are two cells in the Magistrate's Court, and the police district extends from about half way to Rotorua to a point nearly half way to Napier.

Mr. Tureiti Te Heuheu, Native Assessor, was born at Taupo in 1864, and comes of a very warlike tribe. His father, Te Heuheu, was a noted warrior possessed of great mana, and his mother was Tahuri, a daughter of Te Uaki, another influential Taupo chief. Although his father was such a renowned warrior, it is said that he never made war unless he was sure he had justice on his side and even then always endeavoured to settle the dispute amicably, but when his judgment and advice were over ruled by others, he fought with a courage and skill worthy of his race.

Mr. John Ryan, Officer in charge of the Police District, Clerk of the Magistrate's Court, etc., was born in Limerick, Ireland in 1846. In 1867 he joined the Royal Irish Constabulary, and served as a constable during the Fenian riots of the same year. After arriving in Auckland in 1875, he joined the police force, and was stationed successively at Mercer, Te Awamutu, Raglan, and Dannevirke before being appointed to Taupo in 1827.

Prinn, R. W., Chemist, Taupo. This business grew out of Mr. Prinn's appointment as native dispenser by the Government in 1887. The appointment is still held by Mr. Prinn, but in 1889 he thought it best to hold, on his own account, a small stock of drugs, etc., for sale to the public. He studied in Melbourne under Professor McAdam with a view to being a chemist, came to New Zealand in 1878 and has been engaged in the profession since 1880.

Lake Hotel (Joseph Gallagher, proprietor), Taupo. This well-known house was erected by the present proprietor in 1878, and has since then been continuously conducted by him. It is a two-storey wooden building, with nineteen rooms for the use of the public—fourteen bedrooms and three sitting rooms. There are two very fine dining rooms, capable of seating respectively eighteen and fourteen guests. At the back of the hotel there is a fine ten-stalled stable. In connection with the hotel, Mr. Gallagher has a store, in which he keeps a full stock of general goods.

Lake Hotel (Mr. J. Gallagher, Proprietor).

Lake Hotel (Mr. J. Gallagher, Proprietor).

Mr. Joseph Gallagher, the Proprietor, was born in 1850 at Otahuhu, and was brought up to agriculture. He has been a resident in Taupo since 1869, when there were no European buildings in the district, which was inhabited by about 300 friendly natives. Mr. Gallagher joined the Armed Constabulary in 1868, and took part in the fighting in the Wanganui district under Colonel Whitmore. After serving eight years he met with an accident, which incapacitated him from service, and, taking his discharge, he commenced storekeeping at Taupo with Mr. J. Rickit, under the style of Gallagher and Rickit. Mr. Gallagher is well known as a prominent settler in the district, and has been chairman of the local domain board since its inception. He was married, in 1883, to a daughter of Mr. T. B. Noble, and has five sons and five daughters.

The Spa (Joseph Gallagher, proprietor), Taupo. This convenient and attractive place is about a mile and three-quarters from the settlement of Taupo, off the main road. It is situated in a sheltered valley, through which a hot creek runs. A large swimming bath page 819 has been constructed, partly under cover and partly in the open, and there is also a fine warm bath, with a hot douche and a cold shower. The buildings, which are seven or eight in number, form an irregular circle and include a Maori carved house, which is fitted up for a dining and refreshment room, with a kitchen attached. There is accommodation for thirty-two guests, and the wonders of the Crow's Nest Geyser and other marvels are to be seen within a short distance.

“The Spa,” Taupo.

The Spa,” Taupo.

Taupo Hotel (Thomas Balfour Noble, licensee), Taupo. This hotel was established about 1870, when it had only five rooms, but the present building has fourteen rooms, including eight bedrooms, and there is capital stabling behind the hotel. Noble has been licensee since 1876.

Mr. Thomas Balfour Noble, the Licensee, was born near Athy, County Kildare, Ireland, in 1836. In 1858 he joined the 5th Royal Lancers, and held an appointment as paymaster's sergeant in the King County Militia. He arrived in New Zealand as sergeant with the 14th Regiment in 1860, served in the Waikato campaign, and was afterwards attached to the Commissariat Department as storekeeper. Mr. Noble purchased his discharge in 1868 as sergeant from the Commissariat Staff Corps, and served for eighteen months as a member of the Armed Constabulary in Auckland. He then settled in Taupo, where he was book-keeper for the contractor for stores to the Armed Constabulary, and had charge of his store, prior to taking the Taupo Hotel. Mr. Noble was married, in 1864, to a daughter of the late Mr. R. Marshall, of Auckland, and has four sons and four daughters.

Terrace Hotel (Thomas McKinley, proprietor), Taupo. This fine hotel occupies a commanding position on the Terrace, about two miles from the centre of the Taupo settlement, on the Napier Road. It is two-storey wooden building, with balconies on each side, and contains twenty rooms, of which sixteen are bedrooms. There are two sitting rooms, and a large dining room with seats for forty guests. There is also an eight-stalled stable, with buggy and coach house. Magnificent views of Lake Taupo, with Tauhara Mountain, Ngauruhoe, Ruapehu, and Tongariro are obtainable from the balcony. In the valley, 100 feet below the hotel, there are some very fine hot springs, including two beautiful hot baths, at which separate buildings have been erected. There is also a large hot water bath several chains long and over two chains wide. There are some very curious black Terraces, over which water impregnated with iron and iodine runs. These parts are intersected with boiling holes and cold water holes, and the analysis of the water taken from them shows fifteen different minerals. There is also a cold soda spring on the property. The Terrace Hotel and its wondrous baths are well worth a visit by the ordinary tourist, and those who are in search of health and rest could not found a more suitable place, as the hotel itself is entirely free from either steam or objectionable smells. The fact, too, that it is built on pumice soil, 1500 feet above the level of the sea and in the centre of the island, makes the air and the drainage perfect, and gives the place quite exceptional advantages as a resort for persons suffering from chest complaints, such as consumption, asthma, etc.

Rickit And Adams (Joseph Rickit and Robert Adams), Storekeepers, Taupo. This firm was established in 1883, and its trade extends over a distance of twenty miles round Taupo.

Mr. Joseph Rickit was born in Lincolnshire, England, and, having come to New Zealand at an early age, was brought up to agriculture. After settling in Taupo, he joined Mr. Adams in establishing the firm. Mr. Rickit has from the first been a member of the Taupo Domain Board. He was married, in 1882, to a native of the Arawa tribe, and has five sons and four daughters.

Mr. Robert Adams, one of the Partners in the firm of Rickit and Adams, was born in 1843, in Belfast, Ireland, where he was brought up to commercial life. He arrived in Auckland by the ship “Annie Wilson,” in 1863, and, after gaining experience of colonial life in Auckland and Poverty Bay, settled in 1883 at Taupo, where he and Mr. Rickit became partners. Mr. Adams was married, in 1896, to a Taupo native.

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Crowther, Joseph, Manager of the Taupo Branch for Messrs Crowther and McCauley, Coach Proprietors. Mr. Crowther was born in 1862, in Wellington. In 1883 he established himself in Taupo as a butcher, and conducted the business for sixteen years. Since 1896 Mr. Crowther has been in charge of the business of the firm at the Taupo end. He has been a member of the Taupo Domain Board since its commencement. Mr. Crowther was married, in 1896, to a daughter of Mr. G. Hobbs, of Napier, and has one son and one daughter.

Mr. J. Crowther.

Mr. J. Crowther.

Mr. William George Noble, J.P., was born in Kildare, Ireland, in 1838, and at the age of twenty joined the 5th Royal Lancers. He arrived in New Zealand in 1860 as colour sergeant in the 14th Regiment, and served throughout the Waikato campaign, and afterwards served in the Armed Constabulary at Uriwera and Taupo. Mr. Noble has been acquainted with the Taupo district since 1868, as he was stationed there on despatch work prior to the arrival of the main body of the troops. For some time he was connected with the Commissariat Department, and became a sergeant in 1874. Soon afterwards he retired, and went into business on his own account as a storekeeper in Taupo. He has held the Commission of the Peace since 1892, and has been a member of the Taupo Domain Board from its inception. During part of his military career Mr. Noble had a splendid dog, which always accompanied him on his rounds, and obtained the name of the “Man Eater.”