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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Nelson, Marlborough & Westland Provincial Districts]



Belgrove , which lies at the Waimea end of Spooner's Range, about two miles from Foxhill, was the terminus of the Nelson railway until its extension to Motupiko in 1899. The district was named by the late Mr. William Morrison, after Mr. James Bell (now of Richmond) a son of Mr. William Bell, who settled in Nelson after the massacre of the Gilfillan family at Wanganui. Belgrove has been subdivided into small areas and the settlers make a comfortable living. There is a public school between Foxhill and Belgrove. Crime is almost unknown to the community, and the “beat” of the constable extends from Spring Grove to the Lyell. Belgrove and Foxhill, between them, have a population of over 500 persons, and Belgrove has an hotel, two stores, and several sawmills.

Belgrove Hotel (C. L. Andrews, proprietor), Belgrove. Established about 1856. This favourite hotel is a two-storey building, containing twenty rooms, thirteen of which are set apart for the travelling public. It has also a spacious diningroom, and three sitting-rooms for lodgers.

Mr. Owen Newport , formerly proprietor of the Belgrove Hotel, was born in Nelson. He now (1905) resides in Hawke's Bay.

Mr. O. Newport.

Mr. O. Newport.

Bryant Brothers (William Bryant and Charles Bryant), Sawmillers, This firm's mill is complete in every respect, and is capable of turning out 2000 feet of timber daily. It is equipped with a twelve horse-power steam engine, by Mowbray and Crosbie, and a twelve horse-power Cornish boiler which works a twin-circular breakingdown travelling bench saw. The timber cut consists of rimu, birch (beech), white and red pine, and the whole output is disposed of in Nelson and the surrounding districts.

Mr. William Bryant was born in 1870, and has spent most of his life in the sawmilling business. He is a volunteer, and is fond, of chess and painting.

Thomas Brothers , Sawmillers, Belgrove. The firm's machinery is driven by a ten horse-power portable engine by Messrs Clayton and Shuttleworth, and the output runs from 2500 to 2800 feet per day.

Mr. Joseph W. Thomas was born at Foxhill in 1872, and has followed sawmilling at Foxhill and Belgrove for many years.

Mr. David Thomas was born at Brighton, Sussex, England, in 1845, and after being eight years at sea, he landed at Nelson in 1868, as a passenger by the ill-fated “Queen Bee.” He engaged in sawmilling at Belgrove and Foxhill, and for twenty-five years was in business on his own account. Mr. Thomas served on the road board, and was chairman of the school committee and a trustee of the cemetery and athletic ground. He married a daughter of Mr. George Holland. Mr. Thomas was accidentally killed by a tree falling on him at Belgrove on the 3rd of August, 1899.

The Late Mr D. Thomas.

The Late Mr D. Thomas.

Fairbrook,” Quail Valley, Belgrove, is the property of Mr. William E. Field, J.P. It is a freehold estate of 3000 acres, mostly undulating land, suitable for sheepfarming. About 2500 Romney Marsh crossbreds are depastured, and the other stock includes forty head of cattle, and thirty horses. The property is well watered, and a considerable amount of cropping is carried out on the flat portions. A new homestead is being (1905) erected, and, when completed, will be the finest residence in the district.

Mr. William Edwin Field , J.P., of “Fairbrook,” Quail Valley, Belgrove, was born in Chipping-onga, Essex, England, in 1853, and is the son of the late Mr. Thomas Field, an old settler of Nelson, Mr. Field came out to New Zealand with his parents in the ship “Gypsy,” which arrived in Nelson in 1854. After receiving his education at the Bishop's School and Nelson College, he assisted in the management of a brewery business, which his father had established in Collingwood Street, Nelson; but as he had a liking for an agricultural and pastoral life, he left the brewery and took up land in Quail Valley, Belgrove, where has since had his home. Mr. Field has always taken a keen interest in matters affecting the public welfare, and at the request of a large number of ratepayers he allowed himself to be nominated for a seat on the Nelson page 143 Harbour Board, and sat on that body for two years, during which the Boulder Bank scheme was formulated and begun by the Board, He has also been a member of the Gordon school committee, and was one of the promoters of the Nelson Farmers' Union, of which he was the first president and chairman. He has been a Freemason for upwards of thirty years. In July, 1874, Mr. Field married the eldest daughter of the late Mr. Robert Lucas, of the Nelson “Evening Mail,” and has a family of seven sons.

Tyree, photo. Mr. W. E. Field

Tyree, photo.
Mr. W. E. Field

Higgins, Peter, Farmer, Belgrove. Mr. Higgins was born at Spring Grove, in 1858, and was brought up to farming. He was, however, for a number of years a member of the firm of Higgins and Bryant, sawmillers.

Mr. Francis Leonard Holland , is the eldest son of the late Mr. George Holland, junior, and was born at Belgrove in 1875. For some years after his father's death Mr. Holland managed his father's estate, and then took to hopgrowing on his own account. His hopkiln was considered the largest in New Zealand. When the hop season was not on, Mr. Holland gave his attention to sheep grazing and agriculture. He has several valuable trophies, won by him for running and jumping; was for some time a member of the Waimea Rifle Volunteers, and was associated with the Trafalgar Lodge of Druids, No. 310. Mr. Holland is now (1905) in the police force at Dunedin.

Mr. Arthur Shirtliffe was for some time sheepfarming at “Ferndale,” Belgrove, where he had 1350 acres; and kept sheep of the Romney Marsh and Leicester breeds. Mr. Shirtliffe transformed his freehold from a wilderness to a very high state of cultivation, with a view to the property carrying 2000 sheep. He was born at Nelson in 1867, and was brought up to farming; and pastoral work, which he followed at Manawatu and Rangitikei, in the North Island. He was also in the Wairarapa district, before he acquired his holding at Belgrove. Mr. Shirtliffe is now (1905) in the North Island.