Weatherstons

Daffodils-Weatherston-s-C1910
Happy-Valley-Dredge-1900
Simpson-Hart-Brewery-1900
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Although only one gully east of Gabriel's Gully, the Weatherstons goldfield was not discovered until mid July 1861
when the Weatherston brothers found gold while on a pig shooting trip.

The field grew very fast with the Otago Witness reporting on November 30 “that 1500 miners had arrived Weatherstons from Waitahuna over a few days”.  It was also claimed that over  4 week period more gold was recovered from Weatherstons than from Gabriel's Gully. This led a push to have the Government Camp moved from Gabriels to Weatherstons. This was unsuccessful.

Over this late 1861 period Weatherstons was the gayest and noisest town on the Goldfields. However it also suffered the fastest reduction of miners when the news of the Hartley and Reilly find at Dunstan came through in August 1862. Only two miners remained, Ben Hart and Sam Gare.

The population slowly returned as miners worked over the material again. A town site was surveyed in 1865 with streets named after the main ones in Melbourne. By 1864 there were still 8 hotels operating (down from 14) as well as stores, drapery, post office, blacksmith, news agent, watch maker, iron monger, butcher and 2 banks.  A school was opened in 1868 and closed in 1921.

The Brewery
Beer was first brewed in 1863 in H. Cloverlids shop and by early 1866 it was operating as the Black Horse Brewery. It has had a number of owners until 1884 when it was bought by J K Simpson and Ben Hart. The brewery supplied the area from Canterbury to Bluff but was closed down in 1923 after being bought by NZ Breweries.

Daffodils
Ben Hart was an enthusiastic gardener and from 1895 he was responsible for planting 25 acres (10ha) around the brewery. The most notable were the wide range of daffodils and rhododendrons, which remain today.

Over the years they were visited by large numbers of people. In 1937 1500 visited, requiring 3 trains from Dunedin.

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Lawrence Information Centre

17 Ross Place, Lawrence 9532

New Zealand
Phone: +64 3 485 9222

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