The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]
Hazelburn, at the head of the Totara Valley, is a rich agricultural and sheep farming district, of limestone formation. The country varies from high terraces to small flats and valleys, and a good deal of rock, often gaunt, bare and rugged, is visible on the sides of the high land. The local limestone is well suited for building purposes, and hence the houses of many of the settlers are built of that material. There is a local schoolhouse, and a postal delivery by a mail cart is made twice a week. The district, which has a small and scattered population, is about five miles from Pleasant Point, and is in the Tengawai riding of the Levels county.
The Hazelburn Public School is situated at the head of the Totara Valley about ten miles from Pleasant Point. The land attached to the school is three acres in extent, and has been used for educational purposes since about 1890, when the school building was removed to its present site from another part of the district. The building, which is of wood and iron, contains a class room and porch, with accommodation for fifty pupils. The roll number is fifty-four, and the average attendance forty-five. The staff consists of a headmaster and assistant mistress. There is a comfortable five-roomed cottage close to the school.
Mr. John Thomas Smart, Headmaster of the Hazelburn Public School, was born in Gloucestershire, England, in 1873. He was brought to the colony by his parents as a child, and was educated at public schools. Mr. Smart served a five years' pupil-teacher ship, and was then placed in charge of the Hakataramea public school, where he continued for nearly eight years before being transferred to Hazelburn in June, 1901. He was married, in 1897, to a daughter of Mr. George Park, of Glenavy, and has one daughter.
Mr. and Mrs J. T. Smart and Child.
Blackler, Owen, Farmer, Hazelburn. Mr. Blackler was born in Devonshire, England, in 1865, and came to the colony with his parents in 1874 by the skip “Stonehouse” He was educated at the Carleton school, near East Oxford, and in his early years he followed farming at Ashburton, Orari, and Longbeach. He also worked on his father's farm, and was cropping for three years. In 1888 Mr. Blackler bought his present farm, which was one of the first selected in South Canterbury, as its first settled portion was purchased by Messrs James and John McKay, in 1859. The farm now comprises 600 acres, 250 acres of which consisted of a swamp and some lagoons when the present proprietor entered into possession; but now having all been drained and cultivated, it grows excellent crops of rape and turnips, and the grass during summer will support ten sheep to the acre. The swamp was drained and cleared at a cost of £8 per acre. Wheat and oats are grown for the use of the place, but the remainder of the property is devoted to the production of beef, wool, and sheep and lambs for the export trade. Mr. Blacker's dwelling-house, situated near the south bank of the Opihi river, is built of stone and iron, and is one of the best farm residences in South Canterbury. Mr. Blackler was married, in 1807, to Miss McCallum.
Mr. O. Blackler.
Rockpool Estate, Hazelburn. This estate is the property of Mr. D. T. Carter, who bought it from the Government in 1874, when the land was all in its native state. It consists of over 800 acres, a large portion of which has now been cultivated and the balance surface sown. “Rockpool” is devoted to the production of wool and mutton, and the grain and root crops raised are consumed chiefly on the place. The soil is a rich limestone formation, and grows very fair crops of turnips. The Aberdeen variety is in favour, and Mr. Carter finds that the best time to sow is between Christmas and New Year. The property is stocked with crossbred sheep, and those not sold as fat lambs are disposed of as two-tooths. Ryegrass, cocksfoot and clovers are used by Mr. Carter for pasturage. The property is divided into conveniently sized paddocks, and the homestead buildings, which are of stone and iron, are situated on the south bank of the Opihi river.