Gordonton and District
Gordonton lies to the north east of Hamilton, approximately eight kilometres from the present Hamilton city boundary. Gordonton village is just off the edge of the Piako swamp.
The European settlement of Gordonton began with the building of Woodlands homestead in 1872. This large estate of 98,000 acres was initially owned by a large syndicate in England, the first manager being Henry Reynolds. Henry Reynolds built a butter factory at Pukekura and used the Anchor brand which came from an idea when he saw an anchor tattoo on a sailor at Woodlands. Subdivision of Woodlands started in 1902. It was then managed for over twenty years by Mr. John Gordon. Gordonton was originally known as Hukanui and changed to Gordonton in 1913 in recognition of John Gordon and to remove confusion with another Hukanui further south.
Ngati Wairere moved out of Kirikiriroa / Hamilton in 1864 to Hukanui / Gordonton during the Rangiriri wars where a new pa was established. The marae is situated just south of Gordonton on the Gordonton road
The first school started in 1891 and still in use as a play group and community use on the original grounds now known as Hukanui Park. The dairy factory opened in 1916 as a cheese factory and was producing casein when it closed and is now used for storage with various shops in the front.
The district was predominately dairy, which it still is, but with more variety of farming ventures. The Piako swamp has been developed over many years with drainage, lime and fertiliser together with much labour to very fertile farm land. This has not been an easy task as with some other lands, but the people before us and even those still present here today, can be proud of their hard work to see the outcome to such fine farm land.