Life in Early Poverty Bay
The Newly-Formed Borough in 1877
The Newly-Formed Borough in 1877.
In 1877 Gisborne was a very small place compared with the town of today, said Mr. Fyson, in conversation with a representative of the Gisborne Times. The borough, for it was a borough then in its first year, did not contain 500 residents. On the Kaiti side there were practically no Europeans living, the population there consisting of Maoris. Gladstone Road was almost pure sand, and the dust that arose during even a slight breeze was enough to blind one. Bullock drays were common vehicles of transport in those days, and it was quite an impressive sight to see twenty to thirty bullocks removing a house on sledges. These bullocks were very powerful animals, but even at times their task was beyond them. He remembered on one occasion seeing a bullock dray with a large team bogged in Gladstone Rd., just above the Royal Hotel, and it had to be dug out. The road near the Matawhero Hall was very bad in the early days. The route was past the Royal Oak, and not round towards the saleyards as now. At the end of the road the rider or pedestrian crossed the river and joined the road again just below the present bridge.