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

Blackstone Hill

Blackstone Hill

Blackstone Hill , which is also known as Hill's Creek, is a small settlement lying at the extreme north end of the Blackstone Hill Range, in the Maniototo county. Being about 2,000 feet above sea level, it is one of the highest settled districts in New Zealand. The village is four miles distant from Rough Ridge—on the Otago Central railway—and is on the main road to St. Bathans, which has a daily coach service that connects with the trains at Rough Ridge. In the early days Blackstone Hill was the scene of a gold “rush,” and thirteen hotels divided a large business between them. Now there is no licensed house, but the township has a post and telegraph office and a general store. The district is devoted to farming and coal mining. Church services are held in the public school. The popular winter pastime at Black-stone Hill is curling on the frozen dams.

Prince Alfred Hotel (Samuel Inder proprietor), Blackstone Hill. The “Prince Alfred” was established in 1864 by the present proprietor, who has conducted the business for fully a quarter of a century. It was the first licensed house in Hill's Creek. The building contains twelve rooms, including eight bed and two sitting rooms, and a dining-room seated for twelve guests. There is a stable with seven stalls and three loose boxes, and there are twenty-six acres of freehold in addition to leasehold, attached to the hotel. Good paddocks are therefore available for stock. [The license of this hotel was transferred in June, 1904]

Mr. Samuel Inder , Proprietor, is referred to on another page as an ex-member of the Maniototo County Council.

Holding, Seth , General Storekeeper, Blackstone Hill. This business was founded in 1864, and has been conducted by the present proprietor since 1896. The premises consist of a shop and residence built of wood and iron, erected on a freehold section of an acre and a quarter in area. Mr. Holding, who was born in Liverpool, England, in 1838, was brought up to the sea and was assistant
Mr. S. Holding.

Mr. S. Holding.

page 619 storekeeper on the ships “Royal Charter” and “Great Britain” successively. He left the “Great Britain” at Melbourne in 1861, and shortly afterwards came to Otago. Till 1896 Mr. Holding was actively engaged in goldmining, either as mine owner or manager.

Blackstone Hill, Home Hill, Highfield and Lauder Stations are the property of Messrs Ross and Glendining, manufacturers, of Dunedin. The homestead is situated on the first named property, which consists of 15,000 acres of leasehold and 2740 acres of freehold, and winters 7000 sheep. Besides the residence of the manager and his assistant, there are extensive outbuildings including the shearers' quarters, measuring 50 feet by 20 feet with 12 feet studs, and divided into two rooms with accommodation for thirty-six men. This building is considered equal to any other of the kind in the Colony. Home Hill Station has an area of 78,680 acres of leasehold, and about 16,000 sheep are wintered on the estate. Highfield Station, on which 6500 sheep are depastured, has an area of about 13,500 acres, of which about 1500 acres are freehold. The Lauder Run winters 14,000 sheep, and there are 38,440 acres of leasehold and 539 of freehold. A considerable portion of the Highfield and Lauder runs has been resumed by the Government for close settlement. On the four stations, which are under one management, there are from 500 to 600 head of cattle.

Mr. Alexander Browne Armour , Overseer at Blackstone Hill Station, was born at the Bridge of Allan, Stirlingshire, Scotland, in 1865. He was educated at Helensborough and Glasgow, and was brought up to mercantile life, but afterwards devoted two years to the learning of farming in the Isle of Bute. In 1884 he came to Otago, by the ship “Pleiades,” and after nine months in Canterbury he went to the Lauder station as shepherd, but was afterwards promoted to his present position. Mr. Armour was married, in 1892, to a daughter of Mr. James Elliott, manager of Blackstone Hill station, and has two sons and one daughter.