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



Pomahaka is situated in the Clutha county, ninety-two miles south-west from Dunedin. It is the centre of a large agricultural and pastoral district, and the first settlers were Captain F. W. Mackenzie, proprietor of Glenkenich run, Robert Stewart, of Conical Hills, Alexander Bruce Smith, of Merino Downs station, David Inverarity, the original proprietor of Greenvale station, and John Dickison, manager of the Dalvey run. The runs all ranged from about 20,000 to 25,000 acres in extent. The flat portion of the district is now subdivided into farms, and cropping and sheep breeding are extensively carried on. The railway line from Waipahi to Heriot runs through Pomahaka, where there is a flag station. There is also a post and telephone office, connected with the local blacksmith's shop, and the Board of Education provides a cart which runs daily to and from Tapanui, in order that the children may attend the public school there. The Pomahaka river is well stocked with trout.

The Mainholm Estate , (David Dickison, proprietor), Pomahaka. This property was formerly a portion of the Dalvey Estate, which extended from the junction of the Pomahaka and Waipahi rivers to beyond Tapanui, and comprised about 25,000 acres. It was taken up by Messrs Gammy and Grant about the year 1857, and then and afterwards well known as a sheep-run. On the expiration of the lease in 1870, the Government cut up 8,000 acres at Pomahaka for close settlement, and in 1884 the balance of the run was subdivided. “Mainholm” comprises 1,400 acres of the best portion of the original estate, and consists entirely of flat land of good agricultural quality. The property is bounded by the Pomahaka river, and adjoins the branch line of railway from Waipahi to Heriot. Average crops of wheat and oats range from forty to forty-five bushels per acre, and large numbers of crossbred sheep are depastured and fattened. Mr. Dickison devotes considerable attention to horse breeding, and has exhibited his stock at the local shows. At the back of the homestead there are numerous outbuildings, and other equipments of a well-ordered farm.

Mr. David Dickison , Proprietor of “Mainholm,” is a son of Mr. John Dickison, of Pomahaka. He was born in Midlothian. Scotland, in 1852; accompanied his parents to New Zealand, and was brought up to farming under his father. Afterwards he started on his own account, in conjunction with his brother, on a farm near Gore, where he remained for three years. At the expiration of that period he returned to Pomahaka, and has since conducted the management of his property. Mr. Dickison is a member of the Tapanui Agricultural and Pastoral Association. His wife is a daughter of the late Mr. Duncan Ferguson, of South Molyneux.

Mr. John Dickison , one of the earliest settlers of Pomahaka, was born in Roxburgh, Scotland, in 1822, and was trained to farming in his native country. Under an engagement as manager of the Dalvey estate, he came out to New Zealand by the ship “Mariner.” which arrived at Port Chalmers in 1858. Mr. Dickison at once proceeded to Pomahaka, where he took up his duties, which he discharged up to the time of the division of the estate. Then he acquired the freehold of “Mainholm,” now leased by his son, and he has since retired from active work to enjoy a well-earned rest during the evening of life. Mr. Dickison was married in the Old Country, and brought his family, two sons and four daughters—all of whom are surviving—out with him. He now (1904) has thirty-five grandchildren, and twenty-three greatgrandchildren.