In 1891 Nelson Brothers of Tomoana H.B. built Freezing Works at Waipukurau and Woodville. The latter were operated successfully until 1897, when reduction in freights for livestock, by the Railway Dept., made it more profitable to send stock in the hoof to Tomoana.
W.H. Nelson, my father, was the manager of the Freezing Works. At that time father was farming a large area of leasehold land owned by Maoris from Tahoraite [Tahoraiti], which was a settlement about 3½ miles south of Dannevirke.
In 1910, it was decided that it would be better for Woodville if this Ahuaturanga Block were cut up into smaller farms so the lease was not renewed.
This Block was owned by a number of Maoris but the only names I can remember were Mrs. Rau Rau and Mrs. Kate Heketa.
Range Road was formed from the junction of Nelson and Grant Roads right through to Bluff Road so as to open up the land.
The first rifle range was adjacent to Woodlands Road but in 1894 a new range was opened on W.H. Nelson’s property. The butts and target house were across the Manga-atua Stream on part of the land bought by Mr. J. Bassett, now farmed by Mr. J. August.
The Ahuaturanga Block extended from just south of the Manga-atua Stream down the eastern side of the Masterton Road from Dodd’s Road until it reached Mr. Logan’s property, opposite Riverbank Factory.
Our woolshed was on the rise above the Ngawapurua Hall.
Mr. Joseph Carson lived in a house across the road from the Hall, and looked after that end of the farm, recently this house was demolished.
Some of the first people to buy land in this block were Messers [Messrs]. J. Bassett, A. McKay, H.S. Nilssou [ Nilsson ], Loveday, P. De La Haye, F. Knapp, Lovelock, H. Costau, T. Dooley, Murphy and Zinsli.
I understand this land is now freehold.
Written by Constance Horne – daughter of W.H. Nelson Woodville