August 1866

Wednesday 1st  I sent Joe on the horse to Pakirir to fetch the letters, there were three for me from England, they contained sad news – the death of poor Polly, (my brother John’s wife) she died in the carriage coming from Burbage to Peatling from desease of the heart.
The cutter “Stag” arrived in harbour in the afternoon from Auckland.  Mr Anderson & Sidney came up by her – also Mrs Porter & children.  I had some furniture up by her, we carried some of the things up before night.

Thursday 2nd  Went to Mrs Kirkbride’s & Mrs Anderson’s in the morning.  Got all the furniture up to the house.

Friday 3rd  The “Stag” went round to Great Omaha in the morning. The reason she did not go out before was because the wind was so strong.  We finished slashing down the tea tree scrub below the garden.  Mrs Picken & Middlewood Kirkbride came to call in the afternoon.

Saturday 4th  Got all my things ready and went over to Great Omaha expecting to start for Auckland, but the “Stag” had stuck on a bank up Meiklejohn’s creek so that she could not come down the harbour by the afternoons tide, I had to come home again.  Called at Mrs Anderson’s & staid for tea.

Sunday 5th  It was a fine day.  I went to Great Omaha in the afternoon and found that the “Stag” had come down from the creek, I embarked on board of her and we weighed anchor at about 2 oclock pm with a SW wind blowing, we arrived in Auckland at about 12 oclock and anchored off the breakwater, but I did not go ashore until the morning.

Monday 6th  I went ashore at about 8 oclock in the morning, there was a fire the same morning at the junction of Queen & Grey Streets when Mr Marshall’s saw mill was burned down.  I took up my abode at Mrs Grant’s in Hobson Street,  I drank tea at Mr G. W. Owen’s of Chapel Street and spent a very pleasant evening there.  Mrs Owen is very hospitable and Mr Owen is a very intelligent man and a very pleasant companion.

Tuesday 7th  Was very busy all day making purchases & executing commissions, went to call on Captain Pulham & Mrs Combes in the afternoon and also called at Captain Pulham‘s in the evening to hear some music.

Wednesday 8th  The “Stag” arrived from Mautotapu where she had been to discharge posts, she came alongside Custom House Street and I got all my things aboard she then hauled out into the stream the wind being NE we did not start today although we were quite ready, the “Stag” is such a bad sailor that it would be useless to put to sea.

Thursday 9th  It was a miserable day, it rained almost without intermission and the wind is still dead ahead, so that we did not start away.

Friday 10th  Started away from town in the “Stag“, the wind was still from the NE, but having waited so long we determined to start, we did not get so far as the passage .

Saturday 11th  Early in the morning we found ourselves between the Kawau and the main land, there was a man of war lying at anchor off the former place.  We arrived at Little Omaha at about seven oclock in the evening to my great joy, as we had been two days and a night on the voyage and I had been very sick.

Sunday 12th  Got all my things ashore and put them into one of Hectors whare’s on the flat to keep them dry. It was very showery all day.  I went over to Mrs Kirkbride’s & Mrs Anderson’s in the afternoon.  The “Stag” sailed from here to Mercury Bay, McKenzie went with her to bring up planking for the vessel.

Monday 13th  It was a fine day, we made a road up from the beach to get the things up.

Tuesday 14th  We went to look for the bullocks in the morning, we found one of them near Mr Knagg’s, but we could not see the other one anywhere although we had a long tramp after it.  It was showery in the afternoon.

Wednesday 15th  We got the bullocks yoked up in the morning and got some of the things up from the beach.  It was rather showery during the day.  Jim & Sidney Anderson came in the evening.

Thursday 16th  Got the bullocks up and continued to draw things up from the beach,  Allick Kempt helped to drive the bullocks.  It was a beautiful day.

Friday 17th  The weather was fine.  We continued to draw things up from the beach, the bullocks are getting tired now and will not draw so much as they used the first day.

Saturday 18th  Tom went to Matakana on the horse to get a pair of boots.  Joe and I made a road down in the clearing to get the posts out.  In the afternoon we set fire to the tea tree scrub below the house; where the orchard is going to be, it burnt off middling well, Tom did not come home.

Sunday 19th  It was a beautiful day.  Mrs Anderson, Jim & Tom called here in the morning.  I went over to Eastfield in the afternoon and had a look round, their ground looks very well, they have got almost all their crops planted.
Tom came home from Matakana in the evening.

Monday 20th  It was very showery all day.   Tom & Joe went to look for the bullocks in the morning, but they could not find them.
We made large fires down below the garden where the poultry yard is going to be, and logged up the trees.

Tuesday 21st  Joe & Tom went out again to look for the bullocks, but returned without seeing anything of them.  We continued logging.

Wednesday 22nd   We continued logging.  Fell a large Rata tree in the afternoon.  I went over to Mrs Porter’s and Mrs Anderson’s in the morning.

Thursday 23rd  We continued to burn off and saw the Rata tree up, we sawed a length off for posts.  Joe went over to Speedwell to fetch some pumpkins for the pigs.

Friday 24th  Tom & Joe got the bullocks up and yoked them up, we first fetched up all the things from the beach and then we drew up twenty posts & thirty rails up from the bush.

Saturday 25th  Got the bullocks yoked early in the morning, we drew out posts and rails for the fence, in the afternoon Tom & Joe took the bullocks up to Greenwood’s clearing to fetch down a sledge of mine that Mr Wright had used up there to draw sawn timber.
I went over to Mr Wyatt’s in the evening.  The “Ida Zeigler” sailed for Auckland in the evening, McKenzie, McGuire & Margaret Kempt went down in her.
A hen that had set herself in the tea tree scrub came out today with seven chickens.

Sunday 26th    It was a beautiful day.  Tom & Joe went to Great Omaha to get pippies, they brought home a few for me.
The turkey hen laid her first egg today.

Monday 27th    It was a beautiful day.  We got the bullocks up and yoked early in the morning, we drew out posts & rails from the bush for the poulty yard & the fence next the orchard.  Mr Wyatt & John began morticing the posts & pointing the rails.

Tuesday 28th Samuel Cardwell came on to work this morning at 15s per week.  I put him on to bore posts, I morticed them & Tom sharpened rails.  Mr Wyatt & John started to put up the fence, they are putting it up very well.

Wednesday 29th  Samuel & Tom split 17 posts out of a Rata tree that was in the way of the Poulty Yard, the rest of the tree they rolled into the swamp, in the afternoon they commenced to put up the fence from Mr Wyatt’s fence up to the corner of the house.  Joe & I went over to Great Omaha in the afternoon to see if the “Stag” was in, but she was not there,  I brought some cuttings of plums, figs & cherries home.

Thursday 30th  Samuel continued to put up the fence, we got up the bullock and drew out rails, went over to Speedwell in the afternoon with them and brought home a load of Pumpkins.  The “Stag” came into the harbour in the middle of the day, she brought up 12 head of cattle for Mr Greenwood, two of his sons came up with them.
Hector came from Auckland and he has at last got married, not to Margaret Kempt, but to Miss McLeod a young lady that was staying at Mrs McKenzie’s.  Mr McKenzie also has bought Porter’s land for £70.

Friday 31st  Finished putting up the fence, put up a gate at the corner of the house to go into the garden.  Samuel & Joe continued with the bullocks to haul out rails & palings.