Pioneering days recalled
Six kilometres north of Woodville on State Highway 2, is the locality known as Papatawa. Papatawa is the focus of Sunday’s conducted tour of Woodville’s historic Old Gorge Cemetery.
In the days when the Manawatu Gorge was still a functioning road, (it opened in 1872) Papatawa started life in 1877 as the Victoria Small Farm Association, according to Joan McIntyre from Friends of the Cemetery.
Farmland ballots were held the following year, but it wasn’t until 1887 that the first school opened as the Manga-atua School.
The name was changed in 1905 to Papatawa, with the school celebrating its 130th jubilee in early June this year.
In 1891 when the Palmerston North to Napier railway line was completed, Papatawa had its own station and siding, as well as a dairy factory. Now it’s not even a whistle-stop.
More recently, the Papatawa Realignment road deviation, named for the locality, finally opened in 2014, and streamlined nearly five kilometres of highway north of Woodville.
Papatawa’s pioneering settlers were laid to rest in the Old Gorge Cemetery.
Sunday’s conducted tour of their grave sites will explore the stories and personalities of those earlier times.
‘‘We shall discover the history of some of the families that settled the district,’’ McIntyre said.
The Sunday graveside tour begins from the historic cemetery’s upper gate at 2.30pm.
‘‘We shall discover the history of some of the families that settled the district.’’ Joan McIntyre, Friends of the Cemetery
Woodville’s old Gorge Cemetery is the focus of a monthly heritage visit and conducted tour.