Discovering her Bohemian roots

Biddy Orr adored her grandmother, Elizabeth Karl. When Biddy was aged four-and-a-half she was brought north from the Waikato for Christmas and met her Puhoi family, including her great grandmother, Mary Remiger, who had emigrated from Bohemia as a child...... Read More

Settling down

Early settlers began arriving at Mangawhai in the late 1850s. There were no roads, so it was a matter of getting a passage on a coastal cutter or schooner, which took them to a landing site along the Mangawhai River. Passengers were then directed into...... Read More

A Tauhoa patriarch

Among museum archives is a small notebook with the following entry: Joseph Isherwood Buckton and his Wife & 3 children left home May the 26th 1862 – Wortley St Leeds, started from the Wellington Station, Leeds at 10 o’clock at night and arrived...... Read More

Warkworth’s botanical gem

A visitor to Warkworth in 1919 was so captivated by the beauty of the flowering kowhai trees, on the land between Matakana Road and the State Highway, that he wrote to the Warkworth Town Board and suggested that the land be purchased for a public reserve....... Read More

The venerable Mr Binsted

In May 1910, Mr Henry Binsted was appointed headmaster of Puhoi Public School. He immediately became involved in all aspects of community life, as well as achieving unparalleled results with the children’s education and behaviour. He became secretary...... Read More

Blacksmith pioneer

Blacksmith and wheelwright Joseph Treadwell, his wife Elizabeth and two sons, Joseph Jnr and Walter, sailed to New Zealand aboard the clipper ship, Invererne, and arrived in Auckland in January 1875.  Also on Invererne were Elizabeth’s brother,...... Read More

Mahurangi’s first schools

An inkwell and pieces of broken slate, brought to the surface by a plough, confirm that an early school once stood on the headland inside Bradley Point near Cowan Bay, on the Mahurangi River. Open from 1858-62, the school is recognised by historians as...... Read More

Mystery of the missing child

Terence Kennedy left Ireland, aged 24, in 1844. He came to New Zealand via America and Australia and purchased 300 acres of bush where Schollum’s Access Road, off SH 1, now is. He arrived five years before the Bohemian settlers of Puhoi. As soon...... Read More

Characters of Mangawhai

Bullocks in front of courthouse, policeman’s house and chandlery. The courthouse being demolished. In 2013, I recorded a group of friends – Paddy Whynn, Judith Brown, Ivan Urlich and Jim Woods – who were descendants of early...... Read More

Call the midwife

Midwife Maggie Cramp with Daisy Farmer, the daughter of one of her patients, in 1905. Photo, W H Marsh Collection As one baby in particular has been in the news lately, I thought it appropriate to recall what childbearing was like for pioneer women....... Read More