The Tamahere Cross Roads, consisted in the 1880's of Camps Hotel on the Western Corner, with Blacksmith's shop on Narrow's Road. Saint Stephen's Church and graveyard on South Corner and the store on the main road, a chain away from the Hotel.
The school was further along the main road towards Hamilton - erected and opened May 1884.
Camps hotel was burnt down, as recorded in Grahams following diary, with loss of two children.
The Hotel was the usual meeting place for the Cambridge Road Board referred to as at Hautapu.
The roads in the 80's had been surveyed off, but as time went on the layout changed, one survey ignored,was due west from Crawfords gully under the present school, to a survey beyond Aberdeen homestead. There were several changes of surveys between Tamahere and Matangi too.
The Station was known as Tamahere, and the cross roads, as Hautapu, but following an attempt to name the area Maniatoto, names were revised, to those present with Hautapu becoming a railway station and Dairy Company site.
Bruntwood station replaced that of Fencourt.
GRAHAM, S.S. AND W.A.:
The following are extracts from S.S. Grahams Diary from 1865 recording their movements in Tamahere until 1889.
On 6th April he started off for Tamahere, that is from Auckland, and he was met by his brother Geo and Gwynneth at Burtonsat 11.00 a.m. and they rode to Tuakau Redoubt, arriving there at dark. "After travelling overland we arrived at Hamilton 3.00 p.m. on the 9th of April, that is three days later. Brother George met us and accompanied us to his camp at the Narrows Redoubt. On April 10th they went and inspected the Tamahere estate which proved equal to their expectations. On the 13th April he shipped his horse on the Pioneer and went down to Ngaruawahia. On 14th April we arrived at the Bluff, after spending a sleepless night on the mud bank, rather irksome when the boat set on a mud bank for the night. In the morning we saddled our horses and made for Drury and I made my farm at Mangere by dusk. Got the coach to convey the passengers to Auckland. It was a beautiful moonlight night for the journey.
During my absence my farm at Lhumatu, Mangere was sold. 1865, 24th October, Willis carted most of my furniture to the Mangatawiri creek. Three drays started at 2.00 a.m. Caroline accompanied me in brother George's cart which was laden too, at 4.00 a.m. Breakfast at Drury and we reached Mangatawiri creek by dusk. On arrival at the creek we found that the P.S. Waipa had gone to the Heads and would not return for several days, so we had to stay at the Creek Hotel until 1st November. All things shipped, the Waipa steamed away at 7.45 p.m. Travelling for two hours, she anchored in the river for the night. No sleeping accommodation apart from the Captain's cabin which he gave to Caroline. Being so cramped we did not get much sleep. It took all the next day to reach Ngaruawahia.
Put up at Smarden's Hotel, and the following morning we departed for Hamilton arriving at 5.00 p.m. I had arranged with Coleman to take everything in his bullock dray to our Tamahere estate that night. On 5th November, Lieutenant Pogue of the 4th Waikato Mounteds came to see us in the evening.
15th December, the Waipa arrived with the Masons who came to open the Cambridge and Hamilton Lodges. They proceeded to Cambridge that evening to open that Lodge which was the first. On Saturday they intended to open Hamilton Lodge, known as "Veta" Lodge. Being a member, I was present.
1866, January 9th. Brother George and party arrived here yesterday and intended to ride to the Thames to attend a feast given by Mr Firth, to the Natives there. On the 16th, George left here this morning and will dine with Commander Onslow, R.N., and other naval officers who have come to Hamilton on a tour, and then on to Thames.
28th March 1866. Wiremu Tamahana, Kapi, and other native chiefs, have come to be present at the native Commissioners Court. The two former mentioned chiefs slept here tonight. On 29th, two chiefs spent another night with us. Great koreroring all the evening with father through Tamahere, and then onto the politics.
30th March. Our native visitors left Tamahere this morning. W.A. Graham left for Whatawhata. He is on his road to town, having to leave for Opotiki immediately - urgent survey contract there.
23rd April. The Governor arrived at Hamilton today.
24th April. Sir George Grey called here this morning and borrowed a horse from me to go to Cambridge and back. He returned it in the evening. In his party were Messrs Mannering, White, Hargreaves and others.
25th April. The Governor and Mr Mannering called on us today. Note : River Steamers mentioned through this diary were "Maori Chief", "Rangiriri", "Waipa", "Quickstep", "Delta", "Pioneer", "Bluenose", "Guimotus", "Alert" and "Waikato".
1868, 21st November. Great excitement prevailing in Hamilton owing to reported attack on the Waikatos attended by the rebels. A great many people cleared out by steamers for Auckland.
On 21st, rode to Hamilton today. Assisted in throwing up the Redoubt. All the settlers were out giving a hand, sudden attack being contemplated. Kelly took his wife and children. to Auckland and self followed on Horseback. I took McKinley's house where we intend sleeping for the night, until things assume a quieter aspect. Raining hard on the way to Hamilton.
22nd November. Settlers are busy today building the Redoubt. Kelly and I rode out to the farm and milked the cows and fed the calves.
1869, 13th July. Te Kooti is trying to excite the King's Party to rebellion.
18th July. Great excitement prevails in the Waikato again owing to the threatening attitudes of the rebels. Te Kooti is up here with about 300 followers, still doing his best to draw the King Party to rebellion. A portion of the first class militia are called out to do duty in Hamilton. The constabulary is being removed to strengthen the various outposts.
1871, December. William sailed by mail steamer "Nebraska" for England, and on the 7th October, 1871, Mr Graham records the fact that his wife had been unwell for some time - died that day. In December, W.A.G. as he calls his brother, returned by the S.S. Nevada, having been to see his mother who was seriously ill in England.
1872. W.A. Graham, on the 5th March, married Alice Coombes.
1873, November. W.A.G. was electd a member of the Provincial Council.
1875, 30th April. In Auckland, during my stay, tried to get carpenters for proposed new additions to our house at Tamahere. I found difficulty in obtaininng them, so William and I decided upon accepting Page's tender from Ngaruawahia of £212, being the lowest. William intended coming back with me, and having a survey to execute in Whangarei, his movements up country will be delayed for a couple of months.
1st April. A portion of W.A.G.'s furniture arrived today at our landing, on 6th steamer arrived with second portion of W.A.G.'s furniture and effects.
4th May. I carted some timber from our landing in the morning assisted by Rickett. Later on, I drove to Hamilton in the buggy and brought William and Alice out to Tamahere.
7th May. William started out on a survey expedition and intended to be absent for several days. I carted more timber up from the landing and Page commenced new additions to the house.
19th July. Page finished the new portion of the house.
1876, 6th July. Agnes and I were married at 12 noon in Saint Matthew's Church, Auckland. The breakfast was held in Coleman's house, Brighton Road, Parnell, and on the 7th we arrived in Hamilton by the "Quickstep" at 7.00 p.m. after a cold trip on the river, reaching home at Tamahere at 9.00 p.m.
1877, 13th August. The railway extensions to Ngaruawahia opened for traffic today.
26th September. Our little son, Harold, arrived at Brighton, Parnell.
2nd November. Harold was baptised at Saint Matthews, Auckland, by the Reverend Hassall.
4th December. Agnes and I arrived in our home with our little son, Harold.
19th December. Opening of new railway extension to Hamilton.
1879, 1st January. General Holiday. We all had to fall in with the customary rule of the working class and give them a holiday. We drove to see the new Narrows Bridge.
7th February. Agnes and I rode over the new Narrows Bridge being the first people to cross.
12th February. The bridge was opened officially.
1st May. General Holiday on the occasion of turning the first sod at Waikato Tharnes railway line.
19th July. First Road Board meeting at Cambridge. I was in the chair.
27th November. Opening of Hamilton Bridge- and that was the old original wooden bridge.
1880, 1st July. Te Awamutu railway extension opened today.
1881, 25th July. King Tawhaio and 400 followers arrived at Tamahere this morning
8th August. I rode around Tamahere and Hamilton to see the settlers regarding a meeting to start a sugar beet factory.
22nd August. A presentation was made to Reverend and Mrs Calder. Reverend Calder had been acting as the Vicar of Saint Peters for some years.
1882. Drove to Cambridge to Saint Andrews, where Bishop Cowie consecrated the new peal of bells.
14th August. A meeting was held in the district to consider the building of a new church at Tamahere.
13th September. A contract was let to Evans regarding a new church at £415.
18th September. The Bishop laid the foundation stone for the new church.
1883, 4th January. The toll charges for passing over the Hamilton Bridge were abolished.
19th January. W.A. Graham, moved to a house in Cambridge.
14th May. The church of Saint Stephens the Martyr at Tamahere was consecrated. He records the fact that they had to go to Hamilton, borrow lamps from Saint Peters Church, the Ewens collected a harmonium which arrived at Hamilton last Saturday and Tom Pennell was sent with his wagon to Cambridge for Saint Andrews lamps and a lot of forms for extra seating, and last Saturday he took the carpet given by Mrs I. W. Smith to the church. Mr Camp laid it down in the chancel that afternoon and in the evening at 8.00 p.m. the ceremony took place. About 150 people present. We had 20 visitors to tea including the Bishop, Archdeacon Willis and the Reverend and Mrs Biggs.
16th August. A meeting was held at Camps to consider a day school at Tamahere. We formed a committee of which I was Chairman, consisting of Wheeler, Bath, Camp, Graham, W.A. and Armstrong.
1884, 12th May. Tamahere School was opened with a muster of 33 children. My son Harold was among the number.
26th November. The election of Mayor of Hamilton took place, and brother William was elected by a majority of 28. It was rather unfortunate, being in a delicate state of health at the moment.
1st December. Mr S. Vaile lectured on railway reform at Camps Hotel this evening.
1885, 13th March. About midnight I was aroused by a vivid glare and on getting up found Camps Hotel ablaze. I dressed and ran to the scene of the first and assisted in saving Thompson's store. The Hotel and stable were destroyed, and two of Camp's children, Albert and Edward, were burned to death. Two others were badly burnt and the rest of the family had a narrow escape. On Saturday I rode around the district and collected £20 for the Camp family, they being destitute. A hard gale was blowing at the time of the fire.
16th March. An inquest was held on the remains of the Camp's two boys at the blacksmith's shop. I was summoned on the jury, and we sat nearly five hours.
29th August. He notes, "I took 12 fowls to Knox's auction Mart and they sold for l/6d and l/8d each.
1886. King Tawhaio called, February, to see me today, but I was far away being at the back of the Estate.
12th February. An excursion from Hamilton to Auckland, Harold and I went down. The train left at 7..00 a.m. and arrived in Auckland at 1.00 p.m. Had lunch at Canning dining room in Queen Street. 600 people travelled from the Waikato he gives some of the day's ruling prices. l2lbs honey 5/-, bag of chaff 2/-, 50lb beef 12/6d, dozen eggs 8d, dripping 3d lb, labour 6/- day.
10th June. During the night we were aroused by uncanny noises, like the report of cannons. The house shook as by earthquake. One very loud report came at about 2.00 a.m. and woke us up. Today news arrived of a terrific volcanic eruption having occurred at Mount Tarawera. Many lives have been sacrificed.
11th June. Hard frosts during the night. Further news from Rotorua stating that many families have been rendered homeless.
12th June. Mount Tarawera eruption still going on. Smoke and steam plainly seen from here.
1887. He comments on 30th June, consecration of Saint Peters Church took place. I was present. Bishop Cowie, Reverend Marshall of Te Aroha, Reverend Boller from Te Awamutu, Reverend Biggs and Archdeacon Willis were present. About 80 communicants. Lunch was provided at Gwynneth's.
1888, 30th September. He went down to consecration of new Saint Mary's Cathedral, Parnell. Consecrated by the Primate of New Zealand, Bishop Harper.
1889. He gives his age, 28th February, I am 50 years old today.
20th September. Staying at Tuakau Hotel with a view of purchasing another farm at Buckland, 116 acres.
21st September. I returned to Hamilton on the 11.30 a.m. train and on the 27th October he notes that fact that the congregation of Saint Stephens presented Agnes and myself with a handsome marble clock prior to our leaving the district. Archdeacon Willis conducted the services which was Holy Communion, after which the ceremony of presentation was made. A Mr Campbell has bought our Tamahere farm.
1889, 4th November. We left Hamilton by the 9.30 a.m. train and reached Tuakau at 12.30 p.m. Met by Mr Perry with his dray and took our luggage out to the farm I have purchased which I take possession of today.
This copy of S.S. Graham's diary was kindly lent to me by Ernest W. Graham, his grandson who was living at Onetangi, Waiheke Island, in 1962.
Brother William remained in Hamilton for the rest of his days, surveying and gave quite a number of years of useful life to the Borough Council, being Mayor for some years. It is also on record at September 1889, brother William was met by several, including S.S. at Tamahere Church corner where William laid out additional ground given to the cemetery at Tamahere. William and his wife lived at the Lodge which was a pretentious old house behind the Public Trust Office and the river, and Mrs Graham continued to live there until her death.