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



Cambrian , which is sometimes called Welshman's Gully, is a coal-mining settlement in the county of Maniototo. It lies at the foot of the Dunstan range, and is four miles distant from St. Bathans, and 118 miles from Dunedin. A tri-weekly coach service connects it with Rough Ridge, on the Otago Central railway. A considerable amount of gold has been obtained from the district, which still possesses an apparently inexhaustible supply of coal. Cambrian has a post and telegraph office, public school, a hotel, and an Oddfellows' Lodge; and curling is a popular pastime during the winter months.

Cambrian Public School dates back to 1875. The building is of wood and contains one room and a lobby, and has accommodation for sixty-six pupils. There are fifty-eight names on the roll and the average attendance is about forty-two. There is a four-roomed residence for the teacher, and the land attached to the school is about nine acres in extent. The teaching staff consists of the master and a sewing mistress.

Mr. John Morrison Allan , Master of the Cambrian Public School, was born in Glasgow in 1865, and received a portion of his education in the Hutcheson school. He arrived at Port Chalmers with his parents by the ship “Auckland,” in 1877, and after undergoing a course of training as a teacher at the Normal school, Dunedin, he served on the relieving staff for two years before being sent to Kokonga in 1898. Mr. Allan war the first student to obtain the senior diploma of the Otago Technical school. He also took first prize for science at his certificate examination. Mr. Allan, who was promoted from Kokonga to Cambrian, was married, in 1898, to a daughter of Mr. Andrew Fairburn, of Maori Hill, Dunedin.

Welsh Harp Hotel (John Beattie, proprietor), Cambrian. This house was established in 1869, and has been owned and conducted by Mr. Beattie for about twenty-seven years. The building is of sun-dried bricks, and contains about sixteen rooms, including twelve bedrooms, two sitting-rooms, and a dining-room, which will seat fourteen guests. There is a stable with seven stalls and three loose boxes.

Mr. John Beattie , the Proprietor, was born in Scotland in 1843, was brought up to agricultural pursuits, and arrived at Port. Chalmers, by the ship “Pladda” in 1861. He was at the first Dunstan “rush” in 1862, and actively engaged in goldmining till 1879, when he settled in Cambrian. In addition to owning the Welsh Harp Hotel, Mr. Beattie is proprietor of the Diggers' Butchery, Cambrian and St. Bathans, and has—in addition to The Downs Farm, St. Bathans—a farm of about 2000 acres, 640 of which are freehold, and the balance held under perpetual lease. He was married, in 1871, to a daughter of the late Mr. Mellor, of Liverpool, and has one son and one daughter.

Mr. Samuel Morgan was born in 1848 in Monmouthshire, England, where he was brought up as a coal miner, and he subsequently worked at that calling in Staffordshire. He came to Lyttelton in 1873, by the ship “Edwin Fox,” and worked for two and a half years at the Shag Point coal mine. From 1876 Mr. Morgan had been actively engaged in the Cambrian district as a gold-miner. He had filled the offices of president and vice-president of the Miners' Association, and served as chairman of the Cambrian school committee. Mr. Morgan was married in 1869 to a daughter of Mr. J. Bickley, of North Staffordshire, and had five sons and seven daughters. He died in the latter part of 1903.

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Hughes, Ormond . Miner, Cambrian. Mr. Hughes, who was born at St. Bathans in 1866, was brought up as a gold-miner, and followed that calling till he bought the Welshman's
Mr. O. Hughes.

Mr. O. Hughes.

Gully coalmine in 1896. He afterwards sold the coalmine to Mr. James McGuckin, and now (1904) follows goldmining in the district. As a Freemason he is attached to Lodge Ida, 97, N.Z.C., and in the Oddfellows' Order he is a Past Grand of the United Brothers Lodge. In connection with the coal mine. Mr Hughes discovered a deposit of oil-bearing shale, which gives a mineral oil in payable quantities.

Mr. Gilbert O'Hara , formerly Mine Manager at the Cambrian Mine, was born in 1869, in Victoria, and was brought up to mining. He settled in Otago in 1889, was appointed manager of Tinkers' Mine, Matakanui, in 1891, and seven years later was transferred to the Cambrian Mine. Mr. O'Hara, who is unmarried, was a member of Loyal United Brothers Lodge of Oddfellows, Manchester Unity. After the Cambrian mine was closed he removed to Nelson.

Vinegar Hill Hydraulic Sluicing Company, Limited . This company holds ten acres under the mining regulations. The mine has been worked since 1874, when the gold bearing ground was discovered by Messrs Morgan and Hughes, who afterwards sold over £20,000 worth of gold. The mine is worked by hydraulic sluicing, and there is every prospect of paying returns for many years to come.

Mr. Thomas Morgan , Manager of the Vinegar Hill Hydraulic Sluicing Company, Limited, was born in Monmouthshire, England, in 1851, and was brought up as a coalminer in South Wales. After being engaged
Mr. T. Morgan.

Mr. T. Morgan.

in that calling for seven years he came to Lyttelton by the “Edwin Fox,” in 1873. This vessel was wrecked in the Bay of Discay, and the ship's doctor killed. The passengers, however, were rescued by a Spanish steamer and taken into Brest, where the vessel underwent repairs which involved a delay of six weeks, when a second start was made for New Zealand. On rounding Cape Horn the vessel was partly wrecked, but was subsequently got off, and after a passage of 140 days the passengers landed at Lyttelton. Mr. Morgan passed a year in the Shag Point district, and settled in St. Bathans in 1874, and has since then been engaged in mining. He was appointed manager of the Vinegar Hill mine in 1898. He was one of the founders of the St. Bathans Brass Band, Mr. Morgan was married in 1880 to a daughter of Mr. C. M. Mills, of Dunedin.
Mr. Thomas Hughes , one of the founders of the firm, was born in Carmarthenshire, Wales, in 1833. He was brought up on a farm, but was afterwards employed at iron works, and came to Victoria in 1860. In the following year Mr. Hughes arrived in Otago and became associated with Mr. John Morgan in 1863. He was at one time president of the Miners' Association, and served for years as a member of the Cambrian school committee. Mr. Hughes has long been connected with the Presbyterian Church,
Mr. T. Hughes.

Mr. T. Hughes.

of which he is an elder. He was married on the 4th of March, 1860, and has five sons, two daughters and several grandchildren.