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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Nelson, Marlborough & Westland Provincial Districts]



Seddonville , named after the Premier of the colony, occupies a central position in the Mokihinui valley. It forms part of the Karamea riding of the county of Buller, and is in the electoral district of Motueka and the provincial district of Nelson. At the census of 1901, the population of the valley was returned at 331, and this number, doubtless, included the residents of Seddonville, St. Helen's and Mokihinui Mine. The valley is surrounded by bush-covered hills, and the township occupies a site on the south bank of the Mokihinui river. It is a distinctly sylvan little place, and the adjacent bushclad hills are remarkably beautiful. A few miles to the south-east is Mount Glasgow, 4,687 feet high. Several sawmills are at work in the vicinity, but the staple industry is coal mining. The Westport-Carcliff Company opened a mine at the settlement, and the mine was taken over by the Government in October, 1901. There has been some gold digging in the district, but the reefs have not proved very remunerative. Seddonville has a Masonic Lodge, a branch of the Knights of Labour, and a Lodge of the Order of Good Templars. The public school is centrally situated, and there is a Presbyterian church in the township, which has a post office and telephone bureau, and a police station, with a resident officer. The railway extension to Seddonville was completed in 1898, and for the first two years there was a resident stationtnaster, who also acted as postmaster. Seddonville has a resident medical man.

The Seddonville Post Office is conducted at the store of Mr. J. A. Clark. Mails are received and despatched by every train, and there has been telephonic communication since the year 1896.

Mr. James Atkinson Clark , J.P., Postmaster at Seddonville, was born in 1850, at Boston, Lincolnshire, England. He was educated in his native town, and was apprenticed in the railway work shops at Doncaster, to the coach-building trade. Mr. Clark arrived in Wellington in the year 1877, by the ship “Ocean Mail,” and settled in New Plymouth, where he conducted coach-building on his own account for eleven years. He afterwards removed to the West Coast, and worked at Denniston Hill, for four years, as foreman, and was chairman
Kindly lent by Mr. T. Murray, Seddonville.Seddonville, from Chasm Creek.Protected. Muir and Moodie, photo.

Kindly lent by Mr. T. Murray, Seddonville.
Seddonville, from Chasm Creek.
Protected. Muir and Moodie, photo.

page 207 of the Denniston school committee for some time. Mr. Clark opened a store in Seddonville, in 1892. He was the means of establishing the State school at Seddonville, and was chairman of the school committee in 1905. Mr. Clark also took an active part in the organisation of the local library, and acted as chairman of the library committee for several years. His name was placed on the roll of Justices of the Peace in 1903. As a Freemason, Mr. Clark has been treasurer of Lodge Mokihinui, since 1900. He married a daughter of the late Mr. James Sturgeon, of Bury St. Edmunds, near Bristol, England, in 1879.
Vines, photo. Mr. J. A. Clark.

Vines, photo.
Mr. J. A. Clark.

The Seddonville Public School was originally known under the name of Coal Creek. The building was removed from the old site between Seddonville and Mokihinui Mine to the township of Seddonville in January, 1905. It stands on a section of two acres of land, and has been renovated and enlarged; it contains two classrooms, two porches, and a cloak room, and has accommodation for about 120 children. There are ninety-five names on the roll, and the average attendance is eighty-five.

Mr. Samuel William Street , who has been headmaster of the Seddonville public school since the year 1902, was born in Nelson in 1877. He was educated at Bridge Street school and the Bishop's School at Nelson, and became a pupil teacher in the Boys' Central school in that city. Mr. Street was subsequently appointed to the charge of Kongahu school, Karamea, where he remained for two years, and was then appointed to the charge of the Summerlea school. He was appointed to his present position in the year 1902. Mr. Street holds a D2 certificate, and has been secretary of the local cricket, football, and sports clubs.

Bruesewitz, photo. Mr. S. W. Street.

Bruesewitz, photo.
Mr. S. W. Street.

Mr. Thomas Lander , sometime headmaster of the Coal Creek school— afterwards removed to Seddonville— was born in Charleston in 1872, was educated locally, served as a probationer, and was sent ultimately to Nelson, where he was for a time one of the assistant teachers at the Central school. In 1896, he took charge of the Central school at Takaka, near Nelson, where he remained until he was appointed to Coal Creek, in 1898. Mr. Lander died some time ago.

The Late Mr. T. Lander.

The Late Mr. T. Lander.

Coleman, George, Draper and Clothier, Seddonville. This business was established in 1893 by the late Mr. David Mitchell, who came out to Victoria in 1852, and was on the Bendigo goldfields for over nine years. In 1861, he crossed to New Zealand, where he followed up the Otago diggings with indifferent luck. Five years later, he removed to the Coast, and worked as a miner for over twenty years. Since Mr. Mitchell's death, in 1903, the business has been carried on by the surviving partner, Mr. George Coleman.

Empire Hotel (Thomas Muckle, proprietor), Seddonville. This busiwas established by the late Mr. W. C. Catchpole. The building is of wood and iron, and contains eighteen rooms, including ten bedrooms, three sittingrooms, and a dining-room capable of seating twenty-four guests.

Mr. Thomas Muckle has been proprietor of the Empire Hotel since the year 1903. He married the widow of the late Mr. W. C. Catchpole, the former proprietor of the hotel, in 1902.

Clark, James Atkinson, General Storekeeper, Clark's Store, Seddonville. This business was established by Mr. Clark in the year 1892. The building is of wood and iron, and contains a store, post office and a fiveroomed residence. Mr. Clark is further referred to as the postmaster at Seddonville.

Holder, Henry Barber, General Storekeeper, Seddonville. This business was established in the year 1897, by Mr. P. P. Ballantine, and acquired by the present proprietor in 1902. The building is of wood and iron, and includes a large shop and residence. It stands on a section of half an acre of land; goods are delivered throughout the township, and to the Red Queen quartz mine, eleven miles distant. Mr. Holder was born in the year 1863, at Wanganui, and was educated at Kaitoke, under the late Mr. Charles Hulke. He was brought up to farm life, but at the age of twenty was employed in connection with the railway at Westport. In 1888, Mr. Holder removed to Cape Foulwind, where he found employment at the local quarry, and at bush work. He removed to Seddonville in 1895, and was engaged at bush work in the district, until he acquired his present business. As a page 208
Vinsen, photo.Mr. H. B. Holders.

Vinsen, photo.
Mr. H. B. Holders.

Freemason, Mr. Holder is a Past Master of Lodge Mokihinui, 96, New Zealand Constitution, and has taken a general interest in local sports. He married a daughter of the late Mr. Curtis Catchpole, of Seddonville, in the year 1897, and has, surviving, two sous.

The State Coal Mine at Seddonville was originally known as the Westport-Cardiff mine. The WestportCardiff Company abandoned the claim, and the State re-opened the mine in October, 1901. The area of the original mine is about 400 acres, to which the land, known as the Cave area, has been added. The mine is worked on the board and pillar system, and there is said to be plenty of coal. A drive of fifty-eight chains, or about half amile in extent, was put into the hill, and coal was struck at twenty-five chains, and there the first workings were opened out. Beyond this seam, there is a fault extending over fourteen chains, but there again coal has been struck and opened out. At the first seam, twenty chains of workings have been opened up; and although the coal at the western side is soft, it is hard, at the second strike, past the fault. The seam at that point averages from fifteen to sixteen feet in thickness, and is brought to the surface by the endless rope system, one hundred horse-power being employed for the purpose. When in full work, the mine employs 120 men, and 500 tons a day can be loaded on the trucks. The whole of the blacksmithing and carpentering work required is done at the mine.

Mr. Thomas Murray , Mine Manager at the State Colliery, Seddon-
Bowstrung Bridge, State Coal Mine, Seddonville.

Bowstrung Bridge, State Coal Mine, Seddonville.

page 209 ville, was born in the year 1853, in Northumberland, England. He was sent to work in a mine at the age of nine years, and continued in that occupation until 1884. Mr. Murray came to New Zealand in 1884, arrived at Lyttelton by the ship “Rangitikei,” and was afterwards employed at the Springfield and the White Cliffs collieries for four years. He then removed to the West Coast, and worked as a collier at Denniston, but in 1889, he was promoted to the position of mine deputy, and afterwards became under-
Vincen, photo.Mr. T. Murray.

Vincen, photo.
Mr. T. Murray.

viewer—a position which he occupied for nine years. Later, Mr. Murray was transferred to Granity, as mine manager of Millerton colliery, and subsequently became mine superintendent for the Denniston and Millerton colliery, prior to his present appointment. While at Granity he was chairman of the local school committee, and, on removing from the district, was presented with an illuminated address. In 1872, Mr. Murray married a daughter of the late Mr. John Murdoch McDonald, of the Isle of Skye, who was for two years a sergeant in the British Army, and has two sons and three daughters.