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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Otago & Southland Provincial Districts]



Livingstone is a mining and farming settlement on a hill near the east bank of the Maerewhenua river, and not far from the new bridge over that river, opened in 1902, to connect the settlement with the Maerewhenua diggings. It is the nearest township to Danzey's Pass, which leads over the ranges to Naseby in Central Otago, and is in the Otekaike riding of the Waitaki county, and in the Mount Ida electorate. It is said that the township was at first named Ramsayton, after Mr. George Ramsay Taylor, a merchant of Oamaru, but the settlement was renamed in compliment to the great African explorer, Dr. Livingstone. Gold digging in the district began in June, 1869, and since then alluvial mining by sluicing has been steadily carried on, as far as the water has allowed. At the census of 1901 the population of Livingstone village and vicinity was 187. Sheep-farming and some cropping and dairying are carried on in the district, and the Island Cliff creamery, six miles distant, is available for milk suppliers. The Athenæ Hall at Livingstone has seating accommodation for 200 persons. It was ereated in 1894, and divine services are held there, and also periodically in the public school. Livingstone has two stores, a butchery, an accommodation house, and a hotel from which the license has been withdrawn. There is also a local post office and telephone bureau. Livingstone Hill is twelve miles distant from Duntroon.

The Livingstone Public School , which was established in 1878 stands on a fine site of six acres. The building is of wood and iron, and contains a classroom and porch with accommodation for sixty pupils. There are fifty-four names on the roll, and the average attendance is forty-six. A large playground surrounds the school, which has a prominent flagstaff, and the school residence of five rooms is surrounded by a picket fence. Latterly the headmaster has been assisted by a temporary mistress.

Mr. John Ironside , Headmaster of the Livingstone Public School, was born in 1876, at Port Molyneaux, Clutha. He was educated at Balclutha and Clinton, and served a pupil-teachership of four years at the latter school. After a year at the Normal Training School, Dunedin. Mr. Ironside obtained his D certificate. He was stationed at Purakuaiti school, Catlin's district, for nearly two years, and was afterwards relieving at Waihola for a month, and at Palmerston South District High School for five months, before being appointed to Livingstone in April, 1901.

Mahan and Muir, photo. Mr. J. Ironside.

Mahan and Muir, photo.
Mr. J. Ironside.

page 490

Sommerville, Robert , Coachbuilder and General Blacksmith, Livingstone. Mr. Sommerville's premises, which consist of smithy, coach and paint shops standing on thirty-two acres of leasehold, are situated on the main road from Duntroon to Naseby, at the foot of the Livingstone Hill. The business was founded about 1894, and the shop and residence are near the boundary of the Tokarahi estate. Mr. Sommerville was born in the village of Forth, Lanarkshire, Scotland, in 1863, and came to Port Chalmers in 1880 by the ship “Nelson.” He learned his trade at Enfield, worked for a year at Pukeuri, and for nine years subsequently was at Kurow before establishing his present business. Mr. Sommerville has been a member of the Livingstone school committee almost continuously since settling in the district. He was married, in 1885, to a daughter of Mr. Robert Smith, of Greta station, Oamaru, and has two sons and three daughters.

Botting, Francis William , Farmer, Livingstone. Mr. Botting was born in 1860, near the mouth of the Murray river. South Australia, and came to New Zealand with his parents on the 25th of May, 1866. The family lived at Naseby for the first five years, and were a year in Dunedin before settling in the Livingstone district. Mr. Botting started mining on his own account in 1877, and although his time is now principally employed as a cattle dealer and in sheep-farming, he is still the owner of three mining claims. His property consists of 400 acres, together with a freehold of an acre on which his homestead stands. Mr. Botting has served as a member of the local school committee. He was married, in 1881, to a daughter of Mr. James McQuade, of Deborah, near Oamaru, and has two sons and three daughters.

Carling, William , Miner, Livingstone. Mr. Carling was born at Stratford. Essex, England, and arrived in Victoria at the age of twenty by the ship “Suffolk.” He was on the diggings for about seven years, and in 1864 came to Otago, and settled at Naseby, whence eight years later he removed to Maerewhenua. Mr. Carling has always been interested in mining, and has seen the usual ups and downs of a digger's life. He was married, in 1871, to a daughter of the late Mr. James Logan, of Ayrshire, Scotland, and has five sons and three daughters. Mrs Carling, who is the mail contractor between Livingstone, Maerewhenua, and Duntroon, came to Port Chalmers by the ship “Storm Cloud,” in 1862. She has for several years conducted a convenient accommodation house, situated on an acre of land on the Livingstone Hill.

Mr. Mauritz Osterberg , sometime of Livimgstone, was born in Stockholm, Sweden, on the 19th of November, 1822, and was brought up to a mercantile life in the establishment of an uncle. Afterwards he followed a seafaring life for about eight years, and first visited New Zealand in a whaler in 1846. In 1851 he left the sea, being attracted to the Victorian gold diggings; and he settled in Otago in 1863. Mr. Osterberg was for about six years on the Kyeburn diggings, and removed to the Maerewhenua diggings in 1869. For the first eight years of his residence in that district, he kept cows and sold milk, and was afterwards carting on the road between Maerewhenua and Duntroon. In 1882 he established a store at Livingstone, and also became well known as a gold buyer. During his experiences at sea Mr. Osterberg was cast away on two occasions, in the years 1844 and 1855; the last occasion was at the Kaipara river, and in both instances everything was lost but the lives of the seamen. Mr. Osterberg died on the 1st of October, 1903.