In the South
A few whale pots are all that remain of Southland's shore-whaling industry. The first shore station was Rakituma station in Cuttle Cove, Preservation Inlet.
It started in 1829 as a base for timber, flax and sealing, with the first cargo of oil reaching Sydney in 1830. Rakituma lasted for eight years. The Aparima or Jacobs River station was established in 1837 near the present monument by the lifeboat station. It continued until 1858 - the last of the Southland shore stations.
The first deed of sale in Southland was signed on November 9, 1832. Peter Williams bought the area of Fiordland from the north head of Dusky Sound to the south head of Preservation Inlet from local Maori for 60 muskets, two cannons, blankets, shoes and clothing. These muskets were later used in the massive raid against Te Rauparaha, led by Te Whakataupuka in 1832-33.
In December, 1833, JB Weller purchased Stewart Island from Te Whakataupuka for [PndStlg]100. On October 20, 1838, John Jones bought a large tract of land, including the future site of Invercargill for 12 muskets and a whaleboat. Later legislation invalidated many of the early land purchases.
The first "city", according to Milford hermit Donald Sutherland, was Milford City, the name he used for his base in Milford Sound. He said that it had everything a city should ever need - a post office, carpenter's shop, smithy, graveyard, docks, armoury and museum. At the time, it had a single, permanent inhabitant, but Sutherland later married thus doubling the population.
The oldest ever Southlander is Maudie Wilson who turned 110 on March 23. The next oldest is former mayoress Mabel Wachner, who was born on December 22, 1892. She died on June 29, 2001, aged 108. She is closely followed by Emily Jane Maud McCrostie (March 8, 1889-May 29, 1997), also 108.
The least accurate prediction of Southland's future is a remark attributed to New Zealand Company surveyor Frederick Tuckett, who was looking for suitable land for a southern settlement. In 1844, Tuckett cast a sour eye over the land between Bluff and the future Invercargill and is said to have concluded that it was "a mere bog and utterly unfit for habitation". Whether he said it or not, it probably reflected his feelings.
About The South
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