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

Wangapeka Valley

Wangapeka Valley.

Wangapeka Valley is a mining district, about six miles and a-half from the Sherry post office and seventeen miles and a-half from the Motupiko railway station. The first “rush” to the district took place about 1859, when Messrs Brown, Levi, James and Henry Pilkington discovered good payable gold in Blue Creek. Some big nuggets were unearthed, and some of the miners earned from £10 to £15 a week. In the year 1869 Culliford and party discovered a quartz reef, and erected a five stamper battery. Doran and party also put up a ten stamper battery, the Waimea Company a ten stamper battery, and Fawcett and party a two stamper battery. The last-mentioned was afterwards removed to Nelson and used for crushing hematite; the others are still on the ground, and were worked for about twelve months, but no gold was obtained, owing to the fact that the metal would not mix with the quicksilver. A few men still work on the field, but earn only a precarious livelihood. The valley is about twenty miles in extent, and is traversed by the Wangapeka river, which is a very rapid stream, with a bed composed of rough boulders. Wangapeka Valley has a combined store, post office and accommodation house.

Chandler, James, Farmer, General Storekeeper and Postmaster, “Wangapeka. Mr. Chandler has a thirteen-roomed house, where he can accommodate six travellers comfortably, and his general store is well stocked with all necessary requirements. He has 470 acres of freehold land, on which he runs 1000 Romney Marsh-Lincoln sheep and thirty head of cattle. Most of the land is flat, all grassed, and well adapted for grazing. About five acres are cropped for farm use. Mr. Chandler was born in Gloucestershire, England, in 1831, and was brought up to farming. He landed in Australia in 1854, and did very well at Ballarat, Bendigo, and Castlemaine, Mr. Chandler came to New Zealand in 1861, and followed goldmining for fifteen years at Dunstan, Gabriel's Gully, Shotover and Waipori. He bought his present holding in 1868, and has resided there over since. Mr. Chandler has served on the road board and is chairman of the local school committee. He married a daughter of the late Mr. George Biggs, of Motueka Valley.

Faulkner, Charles, Farmer, Wangapeka. Mr. Faulkner was for a number of years a lessee of the Wangapeka run, with his brother, Mr. Henry Faulkner, and with Air. Stephen Moffitt, who is now farming at Tadmor.

Mr. Henry William Bouske was born in Pomerania, Prussia, in March, 1835, and was brought up on a farm. He afterwards followed the sea, and arrived at Hobart in an American vessel in 1802. After spending four years coaching in Australia he came to New Zealand in 1866, and was goldmining on the West Coast, and also at Wangapeka, where he bought 860 acres in 1874. After sheepfarming there, for nearly thirty years he went to live in retirement in Nelson, and his sons now (1905) work the farm.