William Reids Mill; from the Waikato Times 29th July 1875. The flour mill erected in the Mangaone Stream about half a mile from Crawfords crossing, between Reids property and that of John Shaw, on the Southern bank, was burnt down at about 8.00 a.m. on Monday 18th July under suspicious circumstances.
A feud had been in progress with John Shaw, who did not approve of the dam, and there was a suspicion that he had dug a trench and let water away.
An inquest was held in Cambridge before W.N. Serancke, R.M. on 25th July, which came to no conclusion after lengthy evidence from Mr Shaw.
The Tamahere Dairy Factory was built in 1895 by Cornelius Day on his property on the main road some 200 yards South of the Church on the Crossroads. This was managed as a creamery, by his son Harry, for some years, before being acquired by the Cambridge Co-operative Dairy Company in 1910 when Cornelius became a director. The original building was burnt down, built again and continued off and on until the Second World War when it finally closed, and milk was transported by tanker to Hautapu.
Pukeroro factory of Cambridge Dairy pompany on corner of Discombe Road and main road - on a section of Butler's farm, functioned for some years, but followed the trend of all the factories of being burnt down.
Bruntwood factory, at the railway station was operated as a Co-operative by the local farmers for some forty years, being taken over by Cambridge in 1944. Charles Potts, manager of Broadmeadows first chairman. Ivan Peebles was manager for many years. It had the reputation of turning out prize winning cheeses.
A factory, somewhat beyond the scope of this was that run by George Watt, on his farm Racecourse Road, which later in partnership with James Hally, was moved to Hautapu Station, where it ultimately became the Cambridge Co-operative Dairy Company (now Waikato Co-operative Dairy Company.)
A factory was set up at Matangi Station in 1900, Mr Arthur Furze, being the prime mover for the New Zeland Dairy Company with Mr A. Blackmore as manager. This factory over the years has become one of the larger dried milk factories of the New Zealand Dairy Company, but tankers have to go further afield, owing to the growth of horticulture.
Riverlea also had a creamery in the early 1900's at the top of Leslie's gully. This was set up by Henry Reynolds of New Zealand Dairy Association fame, who at the time was a leader in the dairy industry, and manager of Marshmeadows.
The site was between the now Riverlea Road and Howell Avenue, a chain back off the main road. For years the concrete foundation was visible to passers by, but now the whole area is built over.
An industry which did not last very long was that of cider making. In December 1889 a meeting was held in Cambridge to start a vinegar and cider factory on Mr Sharp's property, just outside the boundry on the main road.
The meeting was called at the instigation of Messrs H. and C. Barwell - Barwells, in 1892, had 59 acres in orchard on their farm at Tamahere, and were preparing for 41 acres more, which was planted in Japanese Plums.
A cider plant was obtained from America, but in July 1893, they sold the farm and orchard to John Murphy, and at the sale the cider plant was bought by J. Barugh of Wartle.
The industry was well ahead of its time - the ground had been gazetted suitable for orchards. Cider was popular in Britain, but the insufficiency of fruit caused the project to die.
At the Tamahere crossroads, on 15th February 1881, a two storied Hotel was opened. Mr J.J. Camp, was the licensee, and it had a complete commercial room, two private sitting rooms, bedrooms to accommodate 15 people. Outside was extensive stabling, 5 loose boxes were included and ample paddock accommodation as well. It served its purpose as most people had to ride or drive from place to place and it would be a spot to break a journey, possibly from Tirau to Auckland in lieu of stopping at Cambridge or Hamilton. Beyond it, on the Narrows Road was a blacksmiths shop which would cater for the needs of the horses. Unfortunately this hotel did not last very long, as on the 30th March 1884 it was burnt down. Unfortunately two children were burnt to death. The blacksmith's shop was saved and that served its purpose for a period of years after a boarding house was built on the corner following the fire of the hotel. It consisted of 5 bedrooms, kitchen, dining room and in the front a small shop. Mrs Rogers was the proprietess followed by Mrs Care, I don't think the shop did a very big trade. It was more or less in opposition to the store which was adjacent. Mrs Care catered for various boarders during her time and when she died the house was sold to Mr Walter Windsor, after which it was not used as a boarding house at all.
In the meanwhile the blacksmith's shop had gone into liquidation and had disappeared from beyond the site of Camps and at a later date a blacksmith's shop was set up on the main road, more or less opposite the store. That served its time for quite a number of years until the smithie gave up and it just fell into delapidation. On the Northern side of the boarding house was the Store, which had been there from very early days. It was quite a big store with residence behind and it catered for everything that was required. One of the earlier storekeeper's, Mr Thompson, used to get all his goods up the river by boat from either Hamilton or Auckland, by way of the Waikato Heads. He used his horse and dray to cart the merchandise, but one time he backed too far, and the horse and dray fell into the river, a total loss to Mr Thompson. The landing was on the right hand side of the Narrows Road, just before the bridge.
The last storekeeper to make use of it was Mr George Owen, who came to Tamahere in 1919 from Whangarei Heads. He had the store for some twenty years and, later all goods came by train to Matangi. Mr Owen was a well known character and an excellent storekeeper. Nothing was too much trouble for him. Anything that was required he would make it his business to obtain. Owen was local Church Warden and Vestry man and for a number of years taught Sunday School, after Miss Forsythe of Drummonds retired. He was ably assisted by his wife, who acted as Post Mistress, and his son Syd, who maintained the delivery of bread, groceries and any lines that were required on the farm. Syd went as far as Hautapu and Bruntwood and nearly to Matangi in his Morris truck; a delivery twice a week. Bread, came from Hamilton. When Mr Owen died in 1945, Syd carried on for a number of years then retired and went farming beyond Papakura. The store passed through various hands and two years ago was burned down Christmas morning. The main roads board will not allow the rebuilding of a store on that site, being as it is, on the main road and adjacent to the corner, which makes cars pulling in there a traffic hazard. The district is now without a store.
The Post Office was kept by Mrs Owen, being a lean-to building on the store. On the letterbox was one of the very old-fashioned porcelain V.R. signs which unfortunately disappeared in the fire. Prior to the Post Office being at the store, it was in the adjacent building to the west, now demolished.
Earlier the Post Office was conducted from private houses.
1886 H.W. Pennington.
1888 W. Probine.
1890 L.B. Ewen.
1892 A. Edwards - Headmaster.
1892 J. Dean.- Headmaster.
1894 David L.Smart -Headmaster.
1897 Alice S. Hyatt - Assistant Teacher.
1898 Priscilla McChesney - Mentioned in 1902 Encyclopedia.
1904 Lizzie M. Allport.
1906 Annie Casey.
1907 Annie Davys. Store Keepers.