Topic: Wakarara

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Wakarara is situated in a valley between the Ruahine Ranges and the Whakarara Range. It has Makaroro river on its northern border and the Waipawa river on its southern border

 

History.

 

In 1845 William Colenso came up the Waipawa River attempting to find a route across the Ruahine Ranges to Inland Patea. His first time was unsuccessful .

In April 1862  Samuel Fletcher was granted a block of land in the Wakarara area. The Fletcher's first home  was built at Heavitree..
After some time Fletcher's wife Harriet moved to Pendle Hill eight miles away.

 

In the late 1870s and the early 1880s land on and around the present Mangataura Farm was settled.

In the original settlement of land from the Makaretu Crown Grant District names are to be found which would feature in the history of Wakarara for years to come. The Peers brothers John and James, step-brothers to Sam Fletcher of Pendle Hill, took up blocks within this district in 1879. John Peers and his wife Margaret worked on Gwavas Station for a while before taking up their land at Wakarara. They were financed into their venture by the original Mr James Mathews, and the two brothers had just over 500 acres in this grant.

James Barlow was the founder of a large family which were to play an important part in the development of Wakarara.

 

Other Wakarara settlers were Mr Ralph Douglas who farmed 634 acres in conjunction with his 100 acres station at Tikokino.

Mr Alf & Mr Chris Berkahn were a family that featured widely in the early years of Wakarara School's history. It was largely through the efforts of Mr Alf Berkahn that Wakarara obtained its school.

The Burkin family took up two blocks in 1905. A daughter of George Burkin and a sister to the younger George Burkin , Mrs Eliza Fair was an original pupil of the school.

Edwin Turfrey took up 419 acres. He ran the mail for some years. Starting off with horses and brake in the early 1900's and progressing to a truck about 1916. The property is still farmed by descendants of Edwin.

Jack Carson owned Forest Home (purchased from Mr Symons) and Silverstream. He commenced milling operations in 1908 for 3 years.

Edward Worsnop took up a block in 1896. He married his wife in the Blackburn Church. Their first dwelling was a small whare which burned down and was replaced on the same site.

Andrew Taylor took up a section of land in 1891. He later sold this to Henry Barlow and then to D Preston and the to E Joyce.

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