Museum moment from Tapanui
output to Moa Flat and continued operations until the bush was worked out.
Manse Bush was largely a birch forest, now designated silver birch - a very large portion of which was destroyed by fire about 1900.
Near Manse Bush John McFarlane had a mill to work the Wooded Hill timber, west of the Crookston Road.
At Black Gully a syndicate put in a mill to cut beech, just under the highest peak of the Blue Mountains.
The small patch of milling timber was soon exhausted and the mill closed, the old site being now a favoured resort of picnickers and campers.
The ‘‘Victoria’’ sawmilling plant owned by Messrs Herbert, Howat and Co was generally known as the ‘‘Big Mill’’.
It started operations in 1869 and continued until the early eighties when the bush was exhausted by fire and axe.
In eight years the sawmilling industry had grown tremendously till in 1870 the three principal mills were capable of turning out 100,000 feet per week.
This industry was a large one for twenty years, but the shortage of bush caused its decadence.
The last sawmill to operate in the Blue Mountains area was located at John O’Groats on the Rongahere side, and it ceased to function about the 1914-1918 war. Near Glenkenich Railway Station (Three miles from Tapanui at the Junction of the Gore-Waipahi Roads) W.T. McFarlane desires to intimate to builders, farmers, miners and others that he is now prepared to supply first-class timber of the best quality in
White, Black and red pine at current rates. Black Pine in bridge lengths. Dressed white and Red Pine. Flooring and Weather boards and every class timber used by the trades, also Black
Pine sleepers, Posts Props etc. Fencing Timber bored to any gauge by machinery. Inspection of the new mills invited.
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McFarlane’s sawmill at Tapanui.