The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]
Upper Hutt And Surrounding Districts
Upper Hutt And Surrounding Districts.
The train ride from the Lower Hutt onward is exceedingly pretty all the way, and the minor stations of Belmont, Haywards, Silverstream, and Wallaceville are passed. The traffic at these minor stations is but small. The stations are mere sheds, and the trains stop only when required to pick up or set down passengers.
Beyond Belmont very few of the residents make daily visitations to the City. The population is very small, being made up of farmers and platelayers. After passing Haywards, the train crosses the river, and keeps its course on the opposite margin of the valley. The scenery is very pretty, and as cultivation progresses, this part, including the Lower Hutt and Taita, will be by far the most English-looking of the country immediately around Wellington. The signs of civilization are, however, almost lost soon after passing the Upper Hutt; and the traveller unaccustomed to colonial conditions might easily fall into the error of supposing that as the distance from Wellington increases, the conditions of the surrounding country become wilder, reaching the climax only when the influence of some other coastal town is not more remote. It is but fair to say that any such imperfect theory receives a severe shock as Featherston is reached, and still more so as Greytown, Carterton, and Masterton come into view.
The Upper Hutt is distant from Wellington about twenty miles. The Lower Hutt is almost at sea-level, but the steadily-increasing grade from this point onward accomplishes an altitude of a little over 200 feet at the Upper Hutt. The effect of this is particularly noticeable on the return journey, for the train makes really excellent speed on this section. The station and railway sheds and appurtenances are fairly important, though the passenger traffic is not very large. In the minds of passengers, the Kaitoke station, seven miles further on, is more permanently fixed, for it is here that the wants of the “inner man” are hurriedly satisfied. With anything like a full train, the rush and bustle at Kaitoke is a sight to be remembered. All must be accomplished in the short space of eight minutes, and though the refreshment rooms are large and well provided with attendants, only the fortunate or “travelled” can be sure of entire satisfaction. The refreshment rooms are, however, a great convenience, and recent changes in the management are fully appreciated.
The Upper Hutt and neighbouring townships are well supplied with hotels, though the distance from Wellington is not sufficient to ensure a great deal of business from travellers. Nor is this part of the province particularly attractive to holiday-makers, though there seems to be hardly sufficient reason for this. The valley is beautiful, and is improving every year. The roads are good, and there are hills to climb of varying height. Whiteman Valley, within half-an-hour's walk by track, or twice the distance by road, is also pretty. Probably the Upper Hutt suffers considerably from the superior attractiveness of the Lower Hutt and Belmont on the one side, and the famous Rimutaka incline on the other. This discrepancy, however, will not be everlasting. A glance at the picture on page 322 of this volume will show that very fine views of the Hutt river are to be had in these parts. The native bush, unfortunately, is disappearing, but the cultivation of acclimatized evergreens is becoming more general. As the hills become bare the valleys are being clothed, the grass paddocks and clumps of pines and fir trees making a pleasing combination.
Mails for Upper Hutt close daily at Wellington at 6.45 a.m. and 2.50 p.m.; and for Wellington close daily at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
The education of the rising generation is well looked after in this scattered district, as a reference to the following pages will show.
Settlement is by no means rapid in this district. There are, however, quite a number of farms of various sizes; and the natural increase alone must soon be felt. Both sheep and cattle have a healthy, well-cared-for appearance, and there is good reason to believe that steady progress is being made by the settlers.
The business establishments of the Upper Hutt are neither extensive nor numerous, but they are evidently quite equal to the demands of the district. The principal store, conducted by Mr. Edward Wilkie, would be a creditable concern in many a larger place; but it will probably be many years before there will be a satisfactory opening for a competitor.
At Mungaroa, three miles beyond the Upper Hutt, the railway attains an altitude of 450 feet, which is increased in the following four miles to 836 at Kaitoke, this part being the steepest climb going north. The Summit is 308 feet higher, but it is eight miles further on. After leaving the Summit the descent is very rapid.
Upper Hutt Railway Station, distant twenty-one miles from the Empire City, the elevation being 211 feet above sea level, is a fair type of the usual station architecture. It is a wooden building comprising large general office for post, telegraph, and railway purposes, and the usual waiting-rooms and other offices. Besides other necessary buildings there is also a large engine-shed page 841 where two engines are stationed for special work in connection with the grades on the incline of the Rimutaka. The station master is assisted by a cadet and a porter.
Mr. Michael Maher, Stationmaster, Postmaster, and Telegraphist at the Upper Hutt, was born in Clonmel, Ireland, in 1842. He attended the National School until eleven years of age, when he accompanied his parents to Melbourne in the “Oceanic,” landing in Wellington in 1856 from the mail schooner” Marchioness.” The family secured a farm at Te Aro, and the subject of this notice worked on the farm with his father for some time, after which he was appointed overseer on the farm of the late Hon. W. B. Rhodes at Wadestown. Mr. Maher occupied this position for fifteen year; joining the railway service in 1874 as goods clerk in Wellington, When the railway was opened to Eketahuna in 1889, Mr. Maher was sent to take charge of that station, from which he was transferred to the position he now holds in April, 1894. As a volunteer, Mr. Maher belonged to No. 1 Company, Thorndon Rifles, during the time of the Titokowaru disturbance, but was never in action.
Mr. Thomas Fletcher, Permanent Way Ganger, No. 4 section (Haywards to Upper Hutt) of the Wellington-Eketahuna line of railway, was born in Birmingham in 1858. Coming to Nelson per ship “Edwin Fox” in 1878, he spent several years in bushfalling and other outdoor work in the country districts. In 1882 he joined the railway as a platelayer, and after nine years service received promotion to the position he now occupies. Mr. Fletcher was married in 1880 to Miss Matilda Watson, of Newcastle-on-Tyne, and has five daughters and two sons. He is a member of the Wellington branch of the Railway Benefit Society.
Upper Hutt Police Station is situated not far from the railway station, adjoining the courthouse, which is a wooden building. Sittings of the Stipendiary Magistrate's Court are held every fourth Wednesday, Mr. J. C. Martin, of Wellington, being the presiding magistrate.
Constable William Patton, the Officer-in-charge of the Upper Hutt Police Station, also acts as clerk of the S.M. Court, inspector of factories, and ranger for the Mungaroa Riding of the Hutt County.
Upper Hutt Rifle Club, which was formed in 1892, has a membership of about forty. The range is situated near the Railway Station. The officers (1896) are:—Messrs. C. S. Rawson (captain), A. Keeys (deputy-captain), and F. Wilkie (secretary).
Upper Hutt Public School is situated on the main road in that part of the district known as Trentham, the residence of the headmaster being immediately adjoining. The schoolhouse, which is of the usual design, contains two rooms, 150 children being on the roll, with an average attendance of 115. The school embraces the full number of standards. By permission of the Board of Education, the very necessary accomplishment of swimming is taught—a capital bathing place in the Hutt River adjoining being utilized for the purpose. The headmaster is assisted by one certificated teacher and one ex-pupil teacher.
Mr. Frederick William Connell, who is in charge of the Upper Hutt Public School, was born in Melbourne in 1858. He went to school in Geelong and Melbourne, and was trained at the Model School in his native city, where he served a term of four years as a pupil teacher, obtaining the Victorian teacher's certificate. Arriving in Wellington in 1878 Mr. Connell at once joined the Board of Education, his first appointment being at Horokiwi Valley, near Pahautanui, where he remained six years. After a few months as assistant master at Te Aro School, Wellington, Mr. Connell was transferred to the headmastership of Waihakeki School in the Wairarapa, which position he retained till appointed to the Upper Hutt in 1889. He was married in 1882 to a daughter of the late Mr. H. W. Williams, of H.M. Customs, Wellington, and has two sons and one daughter.page 842
The Church of St. John the Evangelist, Trentham, Upper Hutt, is the centre of a large missionary parochial district, embracing about 130 square miles of country. The district extends from the summits of the Tararua and Rimutaka ranges to the boundary of the Lower Hutt parish. The central church—consecrated on the 11th of December, 1865—is an iron building which will accommodate 120 worshippers. A Sunday School—attended by from forty to fifty children—is conducted in connection with the cause.
Rev. P. L. M. Cameron, Priest in charge of the Upper Hutt district, was born in Scotland in 1850. Educated at ordinary grammar schools and at the Edinburgh School of Arts, Mr. Cameron studied at the missionary classes in connection with the New College, Edinburgh. Arriving in New Zealand in 1878, per ship “Pariora,” he acted as a lay reader for some time. Mr. Cameron was ordained on the 8th of December, 1881, his first charge being Matarawa, where he remained nine years. After three years rest on his farm at Kiwitea, Mr. Cameron was appointed to his present charge in 1893.
Wilkie, Edward, Baker and General Storekeeper, Main Road, Upper Hutt. Established by the late Mr. P. A. Wilkie, father of the present proprietor, who succeeded in 1887, this business is said to have been the first store opened in the district. The two-story shop, dwelling and bakehouse occupied stand on a freehold section. The trade extends to settlers who reside tea miles away, four vans being employed in the delivery of goods.
Wilkie, William, Fruiterer and Confectioner, Main Road, Upper Hutt. Established 1869.
Cudby, Charles, Senr., Builder and Undertaker, Main Road, Upper Hutt, Born at Ingrave, Essex, in 1835, Mr. Cudby married in England and came out to Sydney with his young wife, per ship “Matoka,” in 1856. After a short stay he came to Wellington by the “William and Alfred,” arriving on the 1st of May, 1857. A sawyer by trade, Mr. Cudby found work at the Lower Hutt till 1863, when he settled at the Upper Hutt, finding employment in his own line for many years. Having leased a section of forty-four acres, Mr. Cudby cleared the bush and erected a comfortable dwelling, which is specially notable by its tastefully laid out garden in front with well kept ornamental trees and pretty box borders. For about fifteen years he has conducted a growing trade as a builder and undertaker. Mr. Cudby joined the order of Odd-fellows in 1857, soon after his arrival in the Colony. For several years he served as a member of the Upper Hutt School Committee. Mrs. Cudby died in 1885, leaving fifteen children—nine sons and six daughters—to mourn their loss. Of Mr. Cudby's family, three daughters and two sons have married, and the grandchildren already number twenty-one.
Provincial Hotel (Samuel Kerr Milligan, proprietor), Main Road, Upper Hutt. This is a very quiet and comfortable house. The building, which is of wood and iron, is one of the most prominent in the township. It contains ten bedrooms, four well-furnished sitting-rooms—one of which, situated upstairs, contains a good piano—a large dining-room, and a billiard-room, which is furnished with one of Allcock's well-known tables. The stabling accommodation consists of fifteen stalls and three loose-boxes. The Provincial Hotel, which has been destroyed by fire on more than one occasion, was re-built in 1890. Mr. Milligan, the landlord, is a Scotchman by birth, and came to the Colony per ship “Victory” in 1863. He entered into possession of this compact hostelry in July, 1896.
Railway Hotel (Samuel Carlson, proprietor), Main Road, Trentham, Upper Hutt. This hostelry, which has been established about thirty years, is a two-story wooden verandah building, having seventeen rooms in addition to those required for the host and his family. There are eleven good bedrooms, a cheery dining-room, capable of seating about thirty-five guests, two sitting-rooms, and a billiard-room, having one of Allcock's three-quarter tables. Behind the hotel there are coach-houses and stables, containing four loose-boxes and five stalls. The landlord, who was born in Sweden, came to the Colony in 1891, per ship “Lady Mabel,” to Westport. Mr. Carlson was brought up to a seafaring life. Since settling in New Zealand he has had experience as cook at the Empire Hotel, Featherston, and at Mr. Barton's station in the Wairarapa. He became licensee of the Railway Hotel early in 1896.
Boyd, Thomas, Farrier and General Blacksmith, Main Road, Upper Hutt. This business was established by the present proprietor in 1886. He undertakes all kinds of work in his line, and does a leading business, his customers being resident within a radius of ten miles. Born in the Maori Pah, Pipitea Point, Wellington, Mr. Boyd commenced to learn his business with Mr. Bowater, of Dixon Street. Subsequently he gained experience in Australia, Fiji, and in the Rangitikei and Manawatu districts. Mr. Boyd first commenced business on his own account in Sydney, and for two years before starting at the Upper Hutt he was at Johnsonville. He has ever taken a keen interest in sport, and as an athlete he has won many races in Wellington as well as in the Hutt.
Robinson, George, Blacksmith, Main Road, Upper Hutt.
Allan, Alexander, Carpenter and Wheelwright, Main Road, Upper Hutt.
Francis, George, Wheelwright, Main Road, Upper Hutt. Established 1863.
Wilkinson, Downie, Tailor, Main Road, Upper Hutt.
Dalton, John B., Bootmaker, Main Road, Upper Hutt.page 843
Thompson, James, Saddler and Harness Maker, Main Road, Upper Hutt.
Butler, Roland, Butcher, Station Road, Upper Hutt. Established 1895.
Keys, A. and W. Alfred Keys and William Keys, Batchers, Main Road, Upper Hutt.
Hazel, James, General Storekeeper, Main Road, Upper Hutt. Established 1895.
Paul, Francis, Storekeeper, Trentham, Upper Hutt. Established 1889.
Barber, William Peter, Settler, Trentham, Upper Hutt. In Wellington Mr. Barber is well known as the founder of the large dyeing business now conducted by his sons. He settled in the Upper Hutt about 1878. Mr. Barber has long been a prominent total abstainer, and a member of the Order of Rechabites. He married in 1856, and has two sons and two daughters.
Benge, David, who is said to have been one of the earliest settlers in Upper Hutt, was born in Mardingbeach, Kent, England. Arriving in Wellington in 1841 by the ship “Catherine Stewart Forbes,” Mr. Benge at once set to work to clear land at Taita, continuing till the great flood in the Hutt Valley washed away all his belongings. He then removed to Mungaroa, where, with his sons, he acquired an interest in, and ultimately bought, the Mungaroa sawmill, which they worked for a great many years. In 1875 Mr. Benge died, and his widow succumbed two years later, leaving six sons—Messrs. John, David and Samuel—now farmers at Mungaroa, Edward—a retired farmer at Upper Hutt, Reuben—a sawmiller at Carterton, and Benjamin—a farmer at Ashurst. The sawmill was worked by the sons till 1888, when it was sold. Mr. Benge, senr., like most of the early settlers, saw active service in the militia during his first few years in the Hutt Valley.
Mr. And Mrs. J. Benge.
Brown, Andrew, Farmer, Main Road, Upper Hutt. Mr. Brown, who was born in 1846 at the Lower Hutt, is a son of the late Mr. James Brown, who is said to have been the pioneer settler of the Upper Hutt district. Having arrived in Port Nicholson in 1841 per ship “Blenheim,” seven years later he built the Criterion Hotel, which he conducted in the Upper Hutt for many years. The subject of this notice has been a resident in the district since he was two years old, and has seen its transformation from a dense forest penetrated by a bush track, which could only be traversed by pack mules, to its present condition of civilization. Twenty-eight years ago Mr. Brown took up the hundred acre section, which he still owns and occupies, having brought it into a high state of cultivation. During the Maori disturbance he served in the militia, but was fortunately not in active service. Mr. Brown was married on the 8th of October, 1869, to a daughter of the late Mr. J. G. Wrigley, of Lower Hutt, carpenter, and has seven children surviving—two sons and five daughters.
Brown, George, Senr., Farmer, Upper Hutt. This old settler, who was born in Paisley, Scotland, in 1819—twenty-seven hours after Her Majesty the Queen—came to the Colony per ship “New Era” in 1855. He settled in the district about three years later, and has resided on the farm he now occupies for a quarter of a century. Mr. Brown assisted in the establishment of the first school opened in the Upper Hutt. Married in 1842 to a daughter of Mr. James Donaldson, of Paisley, Mr. Brown has five sons and one daughter—all married—the grandchildren numbering nearly a score.
Brown, George, Settler, Upper Hutt. This gentleman has long been prominent in the Hutt Valley, and holds the important position of chairman of the Hutt County Council at the time of writing. Born in 1835 at Paisley, Scotland, he came with his father—the late Mr. James Brown, one of the Port Nicholson settlers—in 1841. Locating in the district in 1851, the subject of this notice has undergone the vicissitudes of the life of a pioneer, realizing at an early age that his success or failure depended upon his perseverance and industry. Mr. Brown married about twenty years ago, but has no family.
Cruickshanks, James Duff, J.P., Millowner and Settler, Upper Hutt. For many years prior to 1892, when he retired, Mr. Cruickshanks conducted a sawmill in the district. He hails from Banffshire, Scotland, where he was born in 1823. Landing in Port Chalmers per ship “Phæebe Dunbar” in 1850, he settled in the Valley about two years later. Mr. Cruickshanks, who sat for some time in the Wellington Provincial Council, has been prominent in local politics, in the militia and volunteers, and as a Freemason and Oddfellow.
Gaenge, Richard, Farmer, Trentham, Upper Hutt. Mr. Gaenge was born in 1819, and came out to the colonies in 1854, settling in the Valley in the following year. He farms 170 acres of land, which was dense bush when acquired, but is now in a good state of cultivation. Mr. Gaenge is married, and has had fourteen children. His grandchildren number over seventy.
Haybittle, William George, Settler, Trentham, Upper Hutt. Born in London in 1822, Mr. Haybittle was educated at Wilmot House Academy, Kent. Apprenticed to the sea, he came out to Sydney in 1841 as second mate of the ship “Hero of Malone,” a vessel that brought a large party of Scotch colliers to Newcastle. Leaving his ship soon after arrival because of the tempting wages obtainable, Mr. Haybittle was subsequently engaged on vessels employed in the coastal trade, in one of which he first visited New Zealand with sheep and cattle during the same year. After a trip to the Loyalty Islands, he returned to Sydney, crossing over the Tasman Sea to Wellington in 1842. In the early fifties Mr. Haybittle established himself in Wellington as a lighterman, in which occupation he did well for many years, till the construction of the early wharves killed his trade. He was afterwards timber clerk to Mr. Waring Taylor for some years. In 1876 he settled at Trentham, Upper Hutt, where he now resides. Mr. Haybittle was married in 1856, and has a large grown-up family of sons and daughters.
Mr. W. G. Haybittle.
Mabey, Charles, Settler, Upper Hutt. For over fifty years the subject of this sketch has been a resident in the Colony. He was born at Brouscomb, Devonshire, in 1837, and came to New Zealand when but four years old, with his parents. Mr. Mabey has for many years farmed the land he now occupies. His family cousists of six daughters and one son.
Martin, Alexander Gordon, Farmer, Upper Hutt. For over fifty years Mr. Martin has been a settler in the district. Born in Kirkcuddbright, Scotland, in 1834, he arrived in Wellington per ship “Cornwall” in 1853, and took up his residence in the Valley when the country was without roads, being covered with dense bush, Mr. Martin was married to a daughter of the late Mr. James Brown in 1856, and has had twelve children, of whom eleven survive.
Wallaceville Public School is located at the head of the Mungaroa Valley. It is a wooden building of the usual design, having one room and a vestibule in addition to two rooms for the teacher's residence. This school has been established for over fourteen years; there are thirty children on the roll divided between the whole of the standards, the average attendance being twenty-five.
Miss Sarah Elkin, who has charge of the Wallacville School, is a native of Ireland, which she left at an early age with her parents, on their emigration to Australia. Miss Elkin commenced her education in Australia, continuing her studies in Taranaki, whither her parents had removed. In 1880 she became a teacher, her first school being at Koru, Taranaki. After two years she entered the Wellington Training College, and remained till 1885, then obtaining her first certificate, which has since been increased to E1. Miss Elkin was mistress of the Koro Koro School, near Petone, for four years, and received her present appointment in 1889.
Stokes Valley Public School —a small building of wood, containing one room besides the vestibule—was established in 1891. There are twenty-three scholars on the roll, the attendance averaging nineteen. Notwithstanding the size of the school, the usual standards from number seven downwards are found there.
Mrs. Mary Anne Williams —an English certificated teacher—is in charge of Stokes Valley School. Mrs. Williams was born at Birkenhead, and educated in Liverpool. After serving five years she gained a Queen's Scholarship, entitling her to two years training at the Cheltenham Ladies' College. At the close of this period Mrs. Williams obtained a certificate. For two years afterwards she acted as assistant teacher at St. Clements', Windsor, Liverpool, and on teaching before Her Majesty's inspector she gained her parchment license as a teacher. In 1885 she married Dr. Robert Williams, who died in 1893 on board the barque “Lutterworth”—then voyaging to New Zealand—leading her a widow with one son and three daughters—the youngest being only three days old. On arriving in Wellington, Mrs. Williams presented her credentials as a teacher to the Board of Education, and was granted an E3 certificate, which has since been made E1. She was at once appointed to the position she still holds.
Whiteman, George, Sheep farmer, Whiteman's Valley, Upper Hutt. This old settler, who was born in Sussex, in 1828, accompanied his father and brother in the barque “Gertrude” to Port Nicholson, in 1841. He has gone through all the hardships which the early settlers endured, and has lived on the land he now owns for about twenty-five years. At the age of twenty-two Mr. Whiteman married: his family consists of five sons.
Whiteman, William, Sheepfarmer, Whiteman's Valley, Upper Hutt. Mr. Whiteman, the brother of Mr. George Whiteman was born in 1834 in Winchelsea, Sussex, England, and arrived in Wellington with his parents at the age of seven years. He served in the militia at the Upper Hutt during the Maori disturbances. Mr. Whiteman, who is unmarried, has resided on the estate he now occupies for the past eighteen years.page 845
Mungaroa Public School, on the main road, about three miles from Upper Hutt railway station, is a very pretty little building, containing a single room. The ground in which the school and residence stand is planted with trees and [gap — reason: illegible]namental shrubs, roses being trained against the school wall, forming an arch over the entrance. Inside the schoolroom is a picture of neatness, the general arrangement reflecting the good taste of the teacher, Mrs. Evans. There are forty-three children on the roll, the average attendance being thirty-six.
Kaitoke Railway Station, Post and Telegraph Office is situated twenty-eight miles from Te Aro Station, Wellington, and eight miles from the Summit Station at the top of the Rimutaka incline. It consists of wooden buildings, which include ladies' and general waiting-rooms, stationmaster's office—which also does duty for postal, telegraphic, money order and other business—porter's quarters, and large refreshment rooms. The station is prominent in the latter respect, eight minutes being allowed for refreshments.
Mr. Richard Kearney, the Stationmaster, Postmaster and Telegraphist at Kaitoke, was born in County Kerry, Ireland, in 1869. When he was but five years old his parents came to Wellington per ship “Edwin Fox,” and settled in the Upper Hutt district. In 1833 the subject of this notice entered the Upper Hutt telegraph office as messenger, and two years later was transferred to the clerical department in the railway. Mr. Kearney was promoted to the position of stationmaster in 1830, and filled that office at Greatford for over three years, and at Ngahauranga for about two-and-a-half years, receiving his appointment to Kaitoke in 1895.
Kaitoke Public School —situated about a mile and a half along the main road from the railway station—is a single-story wooden building, containing one room and a porch, and was established many years ago. The number of pupils on the roll is twenty-two, with an average attendance of eighteen.
Miss Dorothea Hamilton is the Mistress in charge of the Kaitoke School. Miss Hamilton, who has had a professional career of seventeen years, was born in Ireland, where also she was educated. Arriving in Lyttelton in 1878, per ship “Waitangi,” Miss Hamilton came on to Wellington, where she joined the Board of Education, taking at E4 certificate. Before her appointment to Kaitoke in 1892 she was mistress at Gladstone, Horokiwi Valley, and Paikakariki respectively.
Kaitoke Railway Refreshment Rooms (Mr. Broadbent, lessee). This popular stopping place has lately been very much enlarged and thoroughly renovated. The main room has a long counter and three tables, and opens into the ladies' refreshment room, where there is another table. Mrs. Broadbent, who is well known throughout the Wairarapa, has been in charge since the beginning of 1896. She is noted for the refreshing tea and other beverages supplied, and her ham sandwiches and confectionery of her own baking are delectable. Mrs. Broadbent has leased the commodious six-roomed residence adjoining the station, which she has furnished so as to provide accommodation for tourists, including cyclists and fishing and shooting parties. There is good trout fishing in the Pukeratahi River, and quail, rabbits and other game abound in the bush.