Te Whare Taonga o Kororareka

Once there was a mill here – #157

Once there was a mill here – #157

1858 was a year notable not only for the erection of the Maiki Hill flagstaff, Whakakotahitanga, but also for the building of a more prosaic structure. This was the year Motu Kaiaraara became known as Mill Island – probably too, the only time that the citizens of Kororāreka formed a company to grow and mill grain. Tourism probably hadn’t quite taken off then. Kaiaraara had its top lopped off and steps were cut in one side – undoubtedly without a resource consent. At this time the island was part of J.S.Clendon’s property. There were high hopes. Grain, mostly oats, was sown on every available slope around Russell and Long Beach but yields were poor. There was never enough to keep the mill working for long. Its location though did serve one of its intended purposes – the mill, unlike buildings on the mainland, was free of rats. After a few years the sails of the windmill were torn off in a storm and never replaced. Time took care of the rest of the ruins. Images of the mill are rare. This etching appeared in two newspapers that we know of, a Paris paper “L’Univers Illustre” published 1858-1900, and the London Illustrated News, which was published weekly 1842 – 1971 and then less regularly until 2003 when it closed.

Sources. Marie King (1992). A Most Noble Anchorage. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Illustrated_London_News gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb328854407/date