Monday, June 13, 2011

The Tokatoka tragedy. Three drownings in 1871

In May 1871 three people were drowned, when the punt they were in, swamped with water then sank. The inquest found that the punt had been overloaded with kauri gum - which resulted in teh drownings of two men and a young boy named Francis Norwood. The bodies of the two men Henry Tullock and James Arthur were recovered. The body of Francis was not recovered until September of the same year.



One of those sad accidents which cast a gloom over a neighbourhood, cause sorrow in families, and fill some hearts with anguish, occurred at Tokatoka on the 9th instant. A youth named Frank William Northwood, and a man named Henry Tullock, were drowned by the upsetting of a boat. The youth was related to Mr .J. Fitness, of Tokatoka, (through his wife) and employed by him in the stores of Messrs. Must and Co. During Mr. Fitness's absence in Auckland, the care of the store was left in the deceased Tullock's charge. He appears to have been very anxious to do all he could during his absence, and made a voyage to Kaihu on Monday with two tons of gum, and returned to Tokatoka about three o'clock in the morning of Tuesday. He loaded again, and started with two tons and 13 cwt. more gum, Frank North-wood, Mr. Fitness's brother-in-law,being with him in the boat, at the helm. When abreast of Mr. Jenkins', it came on to blow very hard, and whilst Tullock was endeavouring to take in a reef, the boat gave a heavy lurch, took in water, then righted again, and eventually sank. Captain Stanaway, of the Clyde ; Mr. Manning, of the Packet; Mr. Stanaway, of Tokatoka, and several of the settlers on the banks of the Wairoa, spent considerable time in endeavouring to raise the boat and to find the bodies. The boat came to pieces with the efforts made, and, I regret to say, the bodies have not been found. The elder deceased was a married man, and leaves a family, now residing at Melbourne.—[" Herald's" Correspondent, May 16.]

- Auckland Star 22 May 1871


On Saturday, the 20th May, an inquest wag held at the Tokatoka Hotel, before Thomas Stirrup Webb, Esq., Coroner, and a jury of settlers, upon the bodies of Henry Tullock and James Arthur Brown, who were drowned while conveying gum up the river. Joseph Fitness, George Smith, and James Kelly were examined. The jury returned verdicts to the effect that both persons came to their deaths by drowning, owing to the upsetting of a punt loaded with kauri gum, on the Mangonui river, and they expressed their opinion that the punt was overloaded, and wished to express their disapprobation of the practice of overloading boats.— It appears Tullock has been a captain of a ship in the other colonies. He leaves a wife and several children to lament their loss, at Melbourne. The body of the little boy, who was drowned at the same time, has not yet been found. Both the bodies were buried side by side (on Sunday last, May 21, when a number of relatives and friends attended. The funeral service was conducted in a very solemn and impressive manner by the Rev. Moses Breach, who used a revised form of the Church of England. —[Correspondent.]

- The Daily Southern Cross 29 May 1871


On Monday evening, September 18, a coroner's inquest was held at the Tokatoka Hotel, before Thomas S. Webb, Esq., Coroner, on the skeleton of a little boy, found on Sunday, the 17th instant, at hiqh water mark near Tokatoka by Mr. William Paton. The remains of the corpse were identified as those of Francis Northwood, who was drowned on the 9th of May last in company with Henry Tullock, by the swamping of a boat too heavily laden with kauri gum. With the bones were found a boot, sock, the buckles of a belt, parts of a coat, pants, and shirt, which Mr. Fitness and his brother could swear belonged to and were worn by the ' boy Northwood at the time of his being drowned. The jury unanimously agreed in the verdict of Accidental death by drowning. As soon as the decision was given, and the warrant issued for interment, the grave was dug by moon and lantern light between those of two others who met with their deaths in the same way a few months ago. The burial service was read by the Rev. Mr. Breach, whose voice sounded forth the Christians' hope, amid the hills above and dales below, as literally — " We buried him dark at the dead of night, The sods with our shovels turning, By the struggling moonbeam's misty light, And our lanterns dimly burning." — [Correspondent.]

- Daily Southern Cross 25 September 1871

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Commercial Hotel at Mangawhare (1895)

I've been doing some research into the Commercial Hotel located at Mangawhare in Dargaville. It appears this building was built in 1895 to replace the previous hotel, owned by Brown and Campbell. Brown and Campbell later sold out their interests in Mangawhare to another party. One of the most interesting stories I found was the Bull that ended up in the bar.
Below are the references I've found so far in year order starting from the fire of the previous hotel in June 1886 to December 1934.
The Commercial Hotel is on the list of  Heritage New Zealand.

AUCKLAND, June 8. The Mangawhare Hotel, with its contents, was totally destroyed by fire this morning. The loss is estimated at £1,400, and is believed to be covered by insurance. The fire was quite accidental, but the origin is unknown.
- Star 3 June 1886

Auckland, June 4. The Mangawhare hotel, which was burned down yesterday morning, was insured by the proprietors, Messrs. Brown, Campbell & Co., for £1850 in the New Zealand office; and the stock and furniture by the lessee, Patrick Lamb, for £1000 in the same office. The fire is attributed to rats gnawing matches.
- Taranaki Herald 4 June 1886

A large building is being erected at Mangawhare on the old hotel site, and it is rumoured that a license is to be applied for. Of course, no new license can be had; but,we know that the Bay of Islands Licensing Committee recently transferred a license from Puhipuhi to Hokianga Heads, and it is just possible that an attempt will be made to get a transfer from Russell or some other remote place to Mangawhare. Several polls have been taken since the old Mangawhare Hotel license lapsed, and each one has declared against the issue of any fresh licenses

New Zealand Herald, Volume XXXII, Issue 9906, 23 August 1895, Page 6.

To those interested in the progress of our country north of Auckland to the westward, a visit to the Wairoa and further on would, I think, both interest and surprise them. On the river the trade in timber is making things brisk at all the townships ; also in gum matters are improving, but where the effect of the improvement is most marked is in and around Mangawhare and Dargaville, along the line of railway to Kaihu (late Opanake), and even beyond. A large new hall and hotel in Mangawhare, besides other smeller buildings, add greatly to the appearance of the place…..
- The Auckland Star 16 December 1896

On Saturday night last some mean sneaks entered the servant's bedroom at the Northern Wairoa hotel, and annexed two new dresses. They then paid the Mangawhare Hotel a visit, and after killing all the fowls belonging to the landlord in a brutal fashion, entered the girls' bedroom while they were asleep and went off with all the clothing, boots, etc they could lay their hands on. On Sunday morning, when what had occurred was known, the police were communicated with. Upon making a search to find a clue that would lead to the arrest of the offenders, pieces of the dresses, the boots cut into bits with some sharp instrument, and the umbrellas torn to atoms were found strewn along the side of the road leading towards Mount Wesley. The girls' losses are about £ l2 to.£ 15.
- Thames Star 29 March 1897

While some cattle were being landed from a steamer at Mangawhare, in the North of Auckland, one night last week, one of them, a bull, got loose, and wildly careered round the neighbourhood of the wharf, until the light in the bar-room of the Mangawhare Hotel attracted its attention.
It then madly charged in the open door, and one man there just managed to climb up the iron bars across the window and escape the beast's horns. In coming in, somehow, the bull dosed the door as it entered, and there being no means of getting out, it attempted to jump the bar counter, and failed to do so, but in the attempt swept glasses, bottles, etc., in all directions. Finally the door was opened, and the bull withdrew. The Dargaville correspondent of the Auckland " Herald," who relates the incident, declares that the method of landing the cattle was cruel.
- Wanganui Chronicle 7 September 1898

….The party reached Dargaville at about noon, and there the Minister was heartily welcomed. Mr F. J. Davy, on behalf of the residents, received the Minister and expressed the pleasure of the residents of the town at the visit. In the afternoon Sir Joseph Ward went through the Kaihu Valley by train, and witnessed the felling of some kauri trees in the Mitchelson Timber Co.'s bush. He was entertained at a banquet by the County Council in the evening, Mr Little, of the Commercial Hotel, Mangawhare, laying out an excellent repast….
- Article title “Sir Joseph Ward trip up the Wairoa River
- The Auckland Star 20 February 1902
Mr T. Hutchison, S.M., granted the following renewals:— W. G. Smith, Terminus Hotel. Helensville; H. B. Melton, Kaukapakapa: E. F. Moriarity, Central Hotel. Dargaville.: Daniel Holland, Bridge Hotel, Kaukapakapa; F. J. Little,Mangawhare; Stewart Mclvor, Maropiu: Philip Cullen, Tokatoka, accommodation license; B. Cassey, Opanaki Hotel, Kaihu; John Neville, Aratapu, transfer from M. O'Connor and renewal granted; H. J. Stanaway, Kaipara Hotel, Helensville his the application by C. J. Rasmussen, Tangiteroria, for removal of license to new premises within a quarter of a mile. His Worship adjourned the application for three months, the house to be gone on with, but on a plan giving better accommodation to the public than the plans shown.
The renewal of the. Pahi Hotel license (John New) was granted subject to the provision of furniture and cleaning. His Worship refused to grant a renewal to Patrick Lynch, Northern Wairoa Hotel, Dargaville, but adjourned the case to Helensville on June 2!) to enable the owner of the freehold to bring another applicant forward. Upon the application of the licensee's solicitor an adjournment until June 22nd was granted in the, case of the Helensville Hotel (E. S. Stretton), a similar course being taken with the application for an eleven o'clock license for the Terminus Hotel arid the Helensville Hotel, but His Worship said that very strong evidence, would be necessary.
- Auckland Star 9 June 1903
MANGAWHARE, situated on the Wairoa river, at a distance of about 103 miles from Auckland, is the oldest established trading station in Hobson County. Until recently this district was the property of Dr. J. Logan Campbell, who sold it to Messrs A. E. Harding and Co. Mangawhare has a post and telephone office, a large hotel, a store with a gum shed, Roman Catholic and Wesleyan churches, two halls, and a county wharf. The village is a small one, as, until lately, the land has been withheld from sale, but as it is divided from Dargaville only by the Kaihu creek—which is already bridged—the two townships will in course of time become one.
- Cyclopedia of New Zealand (Auckland Districts)1906
- Sourced NZTEC Website
[United Presss Association.] Dargaville, Feb. 1. An inquiry in camera was held at the District High School, Aratapu, to-day, for the purpose of investigating certain charges against the head master (Mr Hockin), brought by Mr Grant, licensee of the Commercial Hotel, Mangawhare, in connection with alleged irregularities in the conduct of the scholarship examinations last September.
The board of inquiry consists of Mr J. K. Mulgan, Chief Inspector, president; Messrs Murray and Wills, and Sir E. 0. Gibbes, Secretary of the Education Department. The inquiry is a private one, the press being excluded, and only those directly interested are allowed to be present. It is understood that the allegations made are that Mr Hockin's daughter saw the papers before the examination; also, that cheating took place in the examination room.
- Colonist 2 February 1911
[United Press Association.]
Dargaville, June 29.
A boy named Keith Stewart Grant, aged 11, was killed by the wheel of a dray passing over his head at the Mangawhare Hotel this morning. The boy was sitting on the shaft and was jolted off. Death was instantaneous.
- The Colonist 30 June 1911
PRESENT Messsrs E. Page, S.M., (chairman), |G. N. Hayes, A. McLean, V. Trounsen, D. Finlayson, and T. Bassett.
The following were granted: — Aratapu Hotel, Mr McGreal to Mr Dwyer. Tokatoka Hotel, W. Betts to R. Kidd. Commercial Hotel, Mangawhare, L. Armitage to A. Underwood.
The following renewals were granted : — Tokatoka Hotel, R. Kidd. Commercial Hotel, Dargaville, A. Underwood. Central Hotel, Dargaville, S. Thompson. N. Wairoa Hotel, F. Hodges. Tangiteroria Hotel, J. Mewett, HelensvilleHotel, E. Cooksey. Kaipara Hotel, Helensville, Mrs E. McEwen. Terminus Hotel, Helensville, A. Bishop. Kaukapakapa Hotel, E. M. Leithen. Riverhead Hotel, T. Deacon. Kumeu Hotel, J. Griffin. Pahi Hotel, J. Ryan. Kaihu Hotel, G. Meale.
Certain improvements to the licensed premises and conveniences were recommended by the various police inspectors, six months being allowed for renovating, drainage, hot and cold water to baths, etc., otherwise reports were favourable. The matter of fire escapes was brought before the Commissioners, and certain improvements were ordered to be effected on various licensed premises.
- Kaipara & Waitemata Echo 3 July 1914
DARGAVILLE, JUNE 16, 1915 PRESENT Messrs E. Page. S.M. (chairman), J. A. McLean D. Finlayson, V. Trounson, and G. N. Hayes.
LICENSES GRANTED The following licenses were issued :—Wm. Gallagher, Kaukapakapa Hotel ; Edward M. Leydon Aratapu Hotel; James j Ernest Reid. Commercial Hotel. Mangawhare ; Harold Kennedy Simpson Opanake Hotel, Kaihu.
Renewals were granted as follows : — Samuel Thompson, Central Hotel; Dargaville: Fred. L. Hodges, Northern Wairoa Hotel, Dargaville ; Joseph Ryan, Pahi. Hotel; EH en McEwen, Kaipara Hotel. Helensville ; E.H. Cooksey, Helensville Hotel; A. J Bishop, Terminus Hotel, Helensville: J. N. Griffin, Matua Hotel, Kumeu : Thomas W. Deacon . River Head Hotel; James Muett (accommodation license), Tangiteroria , Robert H. Kidd (accommodation license), Tokatoka.
Packet licenses were issued to: —George Henry Sellars. for s.s. Wairua and s.s. Tuirangi; Henry White, junr for s.s. Oatea.
Transfers were granted from Edwin Dwyer to E. M. Leydon, Aratapu Hotel; Alfred Underhill to J. E. Reid, Commercial Hotel, Mangawhare; George Donaldson to H, K. Simpson, Opanaki Hotel Kaihu.
- Kaipara & Waitemata Echo 25 June 1915
THE annual meeting of the Licensing Commissions was held at Dargaville on Wednesday, June 21st., 1916. PRESENT. Messrs E. Page S.M. (chairman), G. N. Hayes, D. Finlayson, J. A. McLean, and V. Trounson. The police report recommended certain improvements in several j hotels, and on the whole their reports on the conduct of licensed houses was good.
LICENSES GRANTED. Northern Wairoa Hotel, F, L. Hodges; Central Hotel, W. J. O'Dowd ; Mangawhare Hotel, J. E. Reid; Tangiteroria Hotel, J. Mewitt; Aratapu Hotel, E. M. Leydon; Kaihu Hotel, H. J. Simpson; Toka Toka Hotel, R. H. Kidd ; Helensville Hotel, J. Parkes ; Kaipara Hotel, Helensville, Ellen McEwin ; Terminus Hotel, Helensville, A. Bishop; Kaukapakapa Hotel, W. Gallagher ; Riverhead Hotel, T. W. Deacon; Kumeu Hotel, T. M. Griffin ; Pahi Hotel, J. Ryan.
- Kaipara & Waitemata Echo 25 June 1916
(BY TELEGRAPH.—PRESS ASSOCIATION.) DARGAVILLE, This Day. Last night, Wm. Jas. Curnow, a porter at the Mangawhare Hotel, 72 years of age, was moving some casks of beer from the wharf to the hotel, when he tripped over a pile, fell into the river, and was drowned. The body has not been recovered.
-Evening Post 24 October 1916
Mr R. Cuthbert, who has taken over the Terminus Hotel, Helensville and favourably known to residents and travellers, having resided in this locality for a number of years prior to taking over the Commercial Hotel at Mangawhare. Mr H. W. Allen, a son-in-law of Mr Cuthbert's, has gone into the last named hotel. Mr A. Bishop, who has run the Terminus Hotel for some years past, intends having a holiday before resuming control of the Terminus Hotel at Onehunga, of which business he is the proprietor.
- Waitemata & Kaipara Echo 10 July 1919
Mr H. W. Allen has sold his interest in the Mangawhare (Dargaville) Hotel to Mr Ashton, who comes from the South Island. The new proprietor takes possession shortly.
- Kaipara & Waitemata Echo 4 August 1921
“Lucky for Me” Art Union Draw winning number list
…..Three Musketeers,Commercial Hotel, Mangawhare;……
- Evening Post 11 December 1934

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Mangawhare Sea Serpent

In 1896 several of the New Zealand newspaper published a letter from three gentlemen who claimed they had witnesses seeing a 'sea serpent' it's interesting to note that at the end of the letter the writers mentioned there was also a large whale spouting further out. More than likely, what the three men saw was a whale broaching rather than any strange unknown creature from out of mythology. Somehow the last sentence answers the writer's own questions perhaps?

We have received the following letter dated Mangawhare, Northern Wairoa, August 23rd, 1896 :—" We the under- signed saw to-day on the West Coast, at the back of Mangawhare, at about 12 o'clock, a very strange sea monster, about half-a-mile outside of the breakers. It appeared to be the shape of an eel, and reared straight out of the water to a height of about 20 feet, and then fell like a tree, sending up spray at a height of about 40 or 50 feet. We saw it rise about a dozen times, and the last time it rose it turned backwards, showing a tremendous open mouth at it fell. It was black on the back, and white underneath. It appeared to be about four or five feet thick. We watched for some time after, but saw no more of it. About a mile further out we saw a large whale spouting at the same time. —We are, etc., James Evans, Chas. Flavell, Thos. Bryan.

Auckland Star 28 August 1896