Object #1010904 from MS-Papers-0032-0310
From: Inward letters - Surnames, Hal, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0310 (9 digitised items). Correspondents: John Hall of Napier, 1871-1874 (4 letters); A F Halcombe, Wellington, Cambridge & Feilding, 1870-1876, and undated (4 letters). Includes letter from Jean Halstab?, written from Brighton, Australia, 1874 regarding her brother in New Zealand (1 letter)
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The Emigrant and Colonists' Aid Corporation Ltd.
25 Novr. 1876
My dear Sir Donald
I have to thank you for your telegram re Mr. Broomhall's proposed settlement and I have been thinking about your suggestion that the Block above the Corporation Land might suit him.
If there is a sufficient area and a fair proportion of open country I think it would do. As to these points I will get all the information I can in the first instance from the sons of Major Marshall, and if their account is satisfactory I will run up there myself immediately and report to you fully.
The next, and vital question, is the means of access. As to this I see no very great difficulty. From the best information obtainable I reckon that the Block to which I refer is about 30 miles from Feilding Town Northwards. The most practicable and level route lies between the Orowa and Kiwitea streams, the latter of which runs through the heart of the Block.
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Of this thirty
miles we know from actual survey that for 20 miles the road line is nearly level and almost straight, the remaining ten miles will require a little exploration to find the best line but from my own knowledge of the country and from information of others I am certain that an easy and direct line can be obtained, as there is no high country to cross and little or no water. Major Marshall's sons ride down from their station, which is on a part of this block, down to Feilding in twelve hours, partly through the bush and following all the windings of the Orowa River more than half the distance.
I was over the whole block about 7 years ago when Major Marshall thought of taking up the run he now has there leased from the Natives, so I know the general run of the country and I also know that the soil and the climate are all that could be desired.
The road if made would go straight from Feilding 8 1/2 miles through our Block to its Northern boundary. Of this I could undertake to have 5 1/2 miles completed as a Corporation matter - Eight miles on in the same straight
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line northwards a road is laid off and is now being cleared most of the way through the block
which the Provincial Government lately put into the market/To the northern boundary of this block and for 4 or 5 miles on the road line is almost level enough for a railway without any formation. The route thus far is close by and parallel to the Orowa River, afterwards it inclines towards the Kiwitea. I enclose a map shewing, roughly, of course, my idea of the situation of the Block and of the road to it.
If therefore the block is one suited to Mr. Broomhalls requirements and he is prepared to pay a deposit of a portion of the purchase money, it might be expended in the formation of this road line at once. I should myself have no hesitation in undertaking to form and metal the whole distance in 18 months, if on exploration I found gravel as handy as it is over our block, and as agent to the Corporation it would suit my purposes to undertake it in order to employ our settlers,
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and because we have now all the necessary alliances for the work.
There are strong arguments in favor of making an effort to carry out such a scheme as I have sketched, for independently of the advantage of taking another step into the interior with such a settlement, the road line proposed would open a large area of land fit for settlement and sale and the road line would be one which I have long held - and I believe Mr. Carruthers thinks - will be the best main line to the interior and ultimately to Auckland.
I am anxious to obtain every information and shall try if possible to get some definite suggestion for the consideration of Mr. Broomhall and Mr. Fox when they are here together. Mr. Fox I expect to arrive by the first mail steamer. My own opinion at present is, that the block is one which if brought within 30 miles of the railway by a good metalled road would be a desirable one for Mr. Broomhall's purposes. But I would on no account recommend his having anything to
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do with it unless I could see the way to the road being finished, that is, both formed and metalled, before his people began to arrive. It would probably be 18 months between the time of his leaving here and the arrival in New Zealand of his first immigrants, and that would give time for the work if vigorously executed. I have this last 14 months surveyed formed and partly metalled 22 miles of road chiefly through heavy bush and I can easily get the
metalling done this summer - and as we have had the railway in hand too - there should be no difficulty in forming this road line.
I should before taking much trouble about this matter be glad to learn whether the Native title is extinguished over the Block or in what position the purchase is.
I remain Yours very truly
A. Folett Halcombe
Inward letters - Surnames, Hal, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0310 (9 digitised items)
Series 1 Inward letters (English), Reference Number Series 1 Inward letters (English) (14501 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)
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