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Nelson Historical Society Journal, Volume 2, Issue 6, April 1973

Glenduan and Hillside

Glenduan and Hillside

James Mackay named his property "Drumduan" after his Scottish Highland home while the little valley now known as The Glen was named by him as Glenduan.* James Mackay was an original section holder, a banker connected with Lloyds of London, and still their agent after arriving in Nelson. He chartered the "Slains Castle" to bring everything out—family, servants, furniture and animals—all arriving here in 1845. The ship first put in near what is now Mackays Bluff but, as conditions were too rough to unload there, continued on to Port Nelson.

The Maori chief Paremata disputed Mackay's title but his land was plainly not inside the Native Reserve. The original house site was about 250 yards north of the present farm house and dairy, being built back nearer the gully. The carriage driveway can still be seen but the macrocarpa trees which lined it have now been removed. The old barn, still standing, although it has more recent additions to it, was constructed of imported timbers and apparently brought to New Zealand prefabricated. It is set on large boulders for piles. The framework was made of very hard, durable timber, and most of this is still sound.

Mackay was interested in flax-milling and used the water in the creek at The Glen (Waihi Creek) to drive machinery for the purpose. He also put in a water race to bring water from this creek round the hillside to his home. The springs in the gullies well up in Mt. Drumduan have never been known to go dry and this race is stiil used to bring water to the homes and farms in the area. The original race was possibly three quarters of a mile long but the last part is now piped and gives everyone an ample supply.

James Mackay represented Nelson in the first Parliament, 1854 or 1855, was a member of the Nelson Provincial Council, Committee of Education, Road Board, and other bodies. He was also Captain in the Volunteer Corps in 1860. He died in 1875 and the property has known various owners and boundary changes since.

James Mackay jnr., well known as the purchaser of the West Coast and as Warden on the goldflelds, was 14 years old when he arrived with his family in Nelson 1845 and died at Thames in 1912.

* And is so named on the latest Lands & Survey Department Typographical Map S14 (1967).