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Road works in the Horahora District

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Personally Researched and written by Eris Parker 1989



This is now a part of Pencarrow Road and used to be known as Bald Hill Road.
Arthur and Mary Savill and eleven children arrived at Tamahere in 1926 but it wasn't until 1950 that the road was joined to Pencarrow Road. Waikato County Council changed the name in the 1970's.



Named after John Mungo Scott who was born 16 June 1868 at Mangere and arrived with his parents in Cambridge 1888. In 1896 he bought from Donald Stubbing 290 virgin acres situated between the Horahora block and Maungatautari. He later added 400 acres from the Horahora Estate.
In 1904 he married Ellen Kingsford, a school teacher who wasn't too impressed with the track up to their house 'Tioriori', reached through collapsible wire 'Taranaki' gates.



Frederick and Martha Skeet lived at Monavale in the 1920's before moving to Leamington and putting a manager on their farm. They had two daughters - Frances (Betty) and Allison (Elsie).



Mr and Mrs Henry Albert Smart and nine children moved to French Pass from Hawkes Bay in 1908. As a young boy in Christchurch, Henry was a blacksmith's apprentice and then turned his attention to fruit farming in Hawkes Bay before coming to the Waikato.



Before it was graveled this road at Kaipaki was known as the Green Road. Robert Gittens and Emily Speake from Shropshire and Ontario respectively, came to Cambridge in 1895. They had a family of nine and the farm was sold in 1987.



Maclean & Co of 'Fen Court' envisaged a town at St Kilda and actually commissioned G F Hoskings to survey 300 acres into sections.
St Kilda Road could have been the site for Maclean's racing stables because when the Nicholl family arrived in 1901 a large stable was still on the property. This had double doors at both ends, stalls along both sides with a loft and the men's quarters upstairs.
It has been said that the area where the school is at Fencourt was Maclean's horse paddock, which he called 'Goodwood'. There does seem to be a consistency in these English names.



When Uriah and Julia Stokes arrived in Horahora in 1906 from Waiuku they share milked for Middleton and Makgill. Then in 1912 they bought lot 14 of the Horahora Estate and their sons worked this land between milkings.
Another farm was bought at the end of the road and son Alf took this farm over when he returned from the First World War. Uriah worked as a surfaceman for the Road Board.



Robert and Catherine Swayne lived on their farm 'The Oaks' at Fencourt all their married life. Robert was born in Tasmania in 1851 and came to Cambridge at the age of 13, his father being in the 3rd Waikato Militia. He married Catherine Kenny in August 1877. She was born in Co Clare, Ireland and came to New Zealand aged 15. They had eight children.

Robert was chairman of the Cambridge Road Board 1907-1909, a director of the Cambridge Co-op Dairy Co 1908-1921, on the Waikato Hospital Board, Fencourt and Hautapu Drainage boards and Waikato County Council.



This road was developed from a track to pa Taane that was lost through fire c1924. Until about 1930 the track was used through the courtesy of the farmers. Gabriel Samuel Day bought land from Walker and Benn in 1888. With his wife Marion and two children he lived at Maungatautari for 35 years and together with his brother in law, Peter Robertson, extended the property to 630 acres. It was not until the creamery opened in 1901 that the district started to go ahead.



William George Tarr arrived in 1911. Both he and his wife Martha Frances are buried at Pukerimu cemetery.



James Taylor bought 1,700 acres at Te Miro in 1890 and just after World War One sold it to the government to be cut up as a soldier settlement.
James had come to Cambridge in 1876, living at 'Bardowie' (among the oak trees next to Davies on Victoria Road) until his death in 1938. He married Miranda Sarah Whewell in 1881 and they had seven children.
James served as the first chairman of the Co-op Dairy Co for fourteen years - he and Norman Banks being the major shareholders. He was a member of many local bodies and 'Bardowie' was the centre for many social gatherings.



This was a basic track leading to the Waikato River and the landing at Te Whanaki.



This road led to the 4,000 acre Maungakawa Estate bought by Daniel Bateman Thornton in 1868 from four Maori Chiefs. The land was left in the care of a manager and used mainly for grazing and fattening cattle. Before Daniel could fulfill his dream of living on Maungakawa he died in Surrey, England 12 August 1881. His widow Sophia nee Firth and family returned and built a beautiful two-storied mansion on the property in 1890.
In 1902 the property was sold to the government and they operated the first open air sanatorium, in New Zealand for T B sufferers. During World War One the sanatorium was also used for convalescing soldiers until it was closed down and dismantled in 1921.



James Niven Todd married Hannah Jane Ritchie and settled at Taotaoroa when the land was divided for a soldier settlement after World War One. Their children were Peter, Jim, Russell, David and Jean and descendants are still working the same farm.



Before May 1879 this road was known as Taupiri Road or Piako Road. But on 29 May 1879 at the cost of £840 the road was opened and named Victoria Road in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of Queen Victoria's reign.
By 1883, through lack of draining, this road was becoming impassable. Thomas Wells, trying to jump a seven foot wide hole on horseback, fell in - horse and all.



Matthew Lewis Watkins arrived in New Zealand 1879 from Monmouthshire and became an early settler of Taranaki before moving to the Waikato. With his wife Mary and family he farmed at Karapiro and Fencourt and at the beginning of the century they were living on St Kilda Road.
Watkins Road at that time was referred to as 'The Back Road' with most traffic using Thornton Road. In 1927 one of the sons, Horace bought property on the right - just out of the borough - sealing the Watkins name to the district.



In March 1884 a letter was received by the Piako Road Board from Mr James Bailey, Manager of Auckland Agricultural Co, offering to build the bridges on this road out of their next two years' rates. The Board agreed that the Company's offer be accepted and further that the bridges be erected on sites chosen by the committee of the Board appointed for that purpose, and that the road be afterwards surveyed to take in the bridges and the old road be closed, and the land for the new road be given by the Company.
After the 'Bridgewater' bridge was built the Board decided that rather than mortgage the following years rates they would charge a toll to all users of the bridge. It was rather ironic that the Auckland Agricultural Company who built the bridges was by far the greatest users of them.
In 1885 Thomas Bruce said that he was willing to contribute to the work on the Whitehall Road, on condition that he should carry out the work. His offer was accepted.
In 1901 a horsedrawn grader was introduced into the district.



John Charles Wiseman in 1907 came from Mamaku to Cambridge with £1 in his pocket and worked on farms around the Fencourt area. He bought 3 acres 18 perches on a fern track where he built a one room 'house' for himself. This he extended after he married Ivy Simpson at 'Armidale Farm' Fencourt on 5 October 1910 and had six children - Thomas Arthur, Charles Francis, Alfred Victor, Stanley Raymond, James Laurence and Colin Edward.
He continued to work on farms and gradually built his dairy farm from these few acres to 74 acres. He purchased some of this land from Mr Daveys.
One son Arthur bought 95 acres across the road from Mr G Scott, which was passed to Russell - the next generation. Colin and Ray continued on the main farm and later Ray bought the adjoining farm at the end of the road. This meant that Wisemans owned both sides of the road from Victoria Road to the railway at Bruntwood. Grandson Bruce bought the farm from his father, Colin.



This was originally one of the entrances to 'Wartle' at Tamahere owned by Patrick Leslie. But was there a Woodcock family ?



This road followed the Main Drain but rumour has it that the contractor was paid by the number of corners!
At the junction of this and Swaynes Road stood the gate house to the Fen Court homestead when the estate was owned by Every Maclean.



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