North End of Waihi Beach prior to the late 1920s

Waihi Leader - - News -

Ge­orge Ve­sey Ste­wart, the first Euro­pean landowner on North End, owned 1760 acres in­clud­ing Orokawa.

He was look­ing for some­where to de­velop and a place where farm­ers could sell their pro­duce. Waihi Beach and the dis­cov­ery of gold in 1870 on the North End hills was a good prospect, so it seemed.

In 1900 James Wil­liam Shaw bought 150 acres from Ve­sey Ste­wart. Mr Shaw then man­aged the mines un­til they went into liq­ui­da­tion 1911, af­ter which he bought rest of Ve­seys land ex­cept the 30-acre strip which al­ready had baches on.

The same year, 1911, the Waihi to Waihi Beach Road was opened. By all ac­counts it was bumpy and weather sen­si­tive, as tar seal did not get laid un­til 1938, but it did al­low bet­ter ac­cess for the beach dwellers. Mr Shaw al­lowed squat­ters to oc­cupy the beach frontage at a nom­i­nal rental.

In 1920 the Mayor of Waihi, Daw­son Don­ald­son, de­cided that the Ohine­muri Bor­ough would pur­chase 76 acres to de­velop a health and recre­ation re­sort for the min­ers and bat­tery work­ers of Waihi, the premise be­ing that sun­shine and sea air would al­le­vi­ate the ef­fects quartz dust was hav­ing on their lungs (Min­ers Phthi­sis). As the Shaw family and Ge­orge Ve­sey were re­luc­tant to sell, the mayor and coun­cil­lors ob­tained pos­ses­sion by in­vok­ing the Pub­lic Works and Mu­nic­i­pal Act. The Bor­ough then de­vel­oped the area of lease­hold sec­tions.

By 1925 there were baches all over north end and a camp­ground. There were abun­dant tents in many of the archived pic­tures of that time. There were pic­nics in Po¯hutukawa Park show­ing off the Model A Ford cars of the time.

A Post Of­fice was opened in Mr Clar­rie Kennedys store on the cor­ner of Pa­cific Road in 1925 and the tele­phone ex­change the fol­low­ing year bought out­side communication into the area. How­ever, the com­mu­nity was not ser­viced with elec­tric­ity un­til 1933.

The pho­to­graph de­picts the bare hills stripped by the mines and work­ers build­ing on the hill­side. It also de­picts the de­tails of a tracked road and shacks.

The next two decades land de­vel­op­ments, busi­nesses and lo­cal vol­un­teer clubs emerged into a res­i­den­tial com­mu­nity at the North End. A se­ries of maps in­form a time line of de­vel­op­ments which will be dis­play at the His­tory Event in Oc­to­ber.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.