Hidden Slide Menu below on Left          No photo found Railway Hotel, Union St. Hawera -
Hawera in the 1880s. High Street/Princess Street corner, with the Fire Bell Tower on the right

15 Jun 1881: The resident engineer, Mr. Holmes, stated at the supper given to Mr. Cleary, at New Plymouth, that the railway to Hawera was nearly completed, and that they would have a train running into Normanby by the end of June, and into Hawera for the conveyance of every class of traffic, by the end of August

7 Sept 1881: New Building completed and licence to Owen Pleasants, Railway Hotel, Hawera

21 Oct 1881: OPENING OF HAWERA'S  RAILWAY. Yesterday witnessed the opening of another section of the railway along this coast but although the event is fraught with importance to the whole district, it passed off very quietly. There was no attempt at celebration, and no means of recreation provided, the holiday proclaimed almost at the last moment, only seemed to make the township duller than usual, so far as Hawera people were concerned. The agricultural show at Wanganui had drawn many persons away, and those who remained simply wandered listlessly about breaking the monotony by visiting the station when the trains were due, and grumbling at the mismanagement of New Plymouth railway officials, who had given them no opportunity of a ride by rail. The arrival of the first train, which left New Plymouth at 7.15 a.m., and consisted of an engine, five carriages, and two open trucks, ran into the Hawera station at 10.50am, bringing about 200 passengers from New Plymouth and intervening stations; the second train, arrived an hour later, brought about 150, and the third train, arriving at 12.80, brought an equal number - about 500 visitors. There was no ceremony at the station - not even a cheer to greet the visitors. However, they did not seem to feel it very acutely and soon dispersed themselves in various directions - some finding friends, others forming themselves into picnic parties. Those who were entire strangers were loud in their praises of the appearance of the township, and those who, though acquainted with the place, but not visited it for some time, were struck with its progress, especially with the fine business premises in course of erection in High street (Mr. Max. D. Ring's and Messrs. Wright and Co.'s), the new Railway Hotel, the Church, with Messrs. Websters and McKellar's mill, Mr. McGuire's new brewery, and other finished buildings. The trains left on the homeward journey at 3, 4, and 5 p.m. respectively. Travellers by the train were very much pleased with the line, stating that the carriages ran smoothly. The volunteer soiree in the evening passed off successfully. There were thirty or forty couples present, visitors from New Plymouth, Patea, Mania, and Normanby being amongst the number. Dancing was commenced shortly before 9 o'clock, and was kept up till about halfpast 2. Messrs. Leech and Son, of New Plymouth, provided the music which gave great satisfaction. Financially, the soiree will add £5 to the funds of the Hawera Rifle Corps.

17 Sept 1881: The ballasting of the railway line has been very rapidly proceeded with during the past week or ten days. The first coat has been laid as far as the station, and goods can be despatched from the Hawera station to New Plymouth by a morning train, which will leave Hawera at 5.45 a.m., and arrive in New Plymouth at 9.50.

The evening train leaves New Plymouth at 4.15, and arrives in Hawera at 8.20. The arrangement will be convenient, and foreshadows better times.

Jun 1883: Railway Hotel Licence to Mrs O'Hanlon

29 Aug 1883: OPENING OF THE RAILWAY TO MANUTAHI. Yesterday morning at 5 o'clock, the coaches of Messrs. Prosser and Bailey left Hawera, loaded with passengers, to celebrate the opening of the link from Waverlcy to Manutahi. The morning was very threatening, heavy rain having fallen at 3 a.m., and the clouds being ominously low. At the Tongahoe the day began to break, and the clouds gradually lifted. On the other side of the Manawapou it became necessary for some of the passengers to get out and walk, owing to the bad state of the road, and it was questioned whether, in. spite of the early start, the coaches would reach the Manutahi station by 7.15, the time for starting. The road, however, improved after a while, and on reaching Gallagher's hotel milk diluted with a foreign liquid was in considerable demand. A short distance beyond the Hotel, the Taumaha road was reached, down which the coaches had to go to get into the station. This road is in a very bad state, but a few days of fine weather and a little labor would render it fairly passable. About thirty chains down this road the line was reached, and we naturally expected to find the station there, but for some inscrutable reason known only to the railway engineers, the station is placed about a quarter of a mile towards Patea, a private road having been formed and gravelled to give access to it. Arrived there at 7 o'clock the train was found ready, and at 20 minutes past a start was made for Patea and Wanganui, the visitors from Hawera having the honor to be the first passengers to travel over the new line. To Mr. Wacklyn fell the distinction of having the first ticket issued. The great superiority of the rolling stock on this line over that on the New Plymouth section was at once apparent, the engines being larger and more powerful, and the carriages of a much better class than are used on the latter line. Gliding rapidly along, Ball road station was soon reached, and passing on over gently undulating country the train soon arrived at Kakaramea. By this time it was a lovely morning, and a fine day was fully assured, so that when the Patea river was reached, it was very pleasant to stand on the platform and take in all the details of the landscape. One of these details is the Hukatere station, which has been dropped down in a place where nobody lives and where there is only one settler at all near, and he is not likely to often use it. Crossing the Patea river and running along the river flat, we were quickly at the Patea station. This is a large handsome building, and such as the importance of the town demands and lying at the railway wharf were the steamers Waverley and Napier. It being then only eight o'clock, your reporter concluded that he would take a trip along the line towards Wanganui and return by the train from that place so a visit in search of something to eat was made to Mr. McCarthy's Railway Hotel, close to the station, to which a road is shortly to be made and gravelled by the department. After a quarter of an hour's delay the train was again in motion, Mr. Rotheram being on the engine and Mr. J. D. Harris being also on the train. Just out of the station the line crosses a mud fiat, then over a trestle work, and winds along under the cliff until we come to the famous swamp which has given so much trouble. This is a most insignificant-looking affair, being apparently only a few chains in length but the manner in which the neighbouring surround has been forced up- the fissures in which are still plainly visible testifies to the great pressure to which it has been subjected. A short distance further and we were close to the mouth of the river, the breakwater being just below as we wound up a steep incline to the level table-land. Along this the formation has all been light, and, gliding along a down grade and round a great curve, we were quickly across the Whenuakura river, and, toiling up another very long and steep incline, we arrived at the Whenuakura station. Here we were welcomed by some Maoris, and after crossing the main road twice and passing close to tho Waverley racecourse we were quickly at the Waverley station. From here to the Okehu station, the crossing place of the trains, the line is familiar to all recent visitors to Wanganui, but one would have to travel it a good many times before tiring of the beautiful scenery. At Okehu, we were met by the train from Wanganui, which was a very long one loaded with visitors, a double Fairlie engine being the motive power. The double Fairlie it may be remarked, is aFairlie engine somewhat strange looking engine. It has a funnel at each end, and two independent sets of driving gear, the drivers and firemen being stationed in the middle of the engine. It is a powerful engine and does its work quietly and with a very gratifying absence of those jerks and snorting so noticeable on another section near home. Changing trains, your reporter was borne swiftly back to Patea, and there a most cordial reception awaited us. R. A. Adams, Esq., the Acting-Mayor, at the head of the committee of reception, welcomed the visitors, the Patea volunteers under the command of Captain Taplin and headed by their band, were drawn up, whilst the school children were present in a body. In the unavoidable absence of£ Major Atkinson, and at the request of the Government, the Acting-Mayor declared the line open, in the name of the Queen; the band struck up the National Anthem, the immense crowd of people the largest Patea has ever seen joining in with a will. The scene was a very pretty one, for the station was handsomely decorated with evergreens, the steamers were flying bunting, the sun shining- on as fair a spring day as one would wish to sec, and the reception committee, who included all the leading people of the place, wearing rosettes. A procession was then formed, and marched up into the town, every attention being shown by the hosts to their guests. At the top of Bedford-St., which has been transformed into a grand thoroughfare, the crowd dispersed, to await the mid-day luncheon. This was held in St. James' Hall, and the spread was a capital one, reflecting great credit on the caterer, Mr. Buckley. His Worship, the acting-mayor, occupied the chair, supported on his right by the Mayor of Hawera and on his left by the Mayor of Wanganui, Messrs. Tennent, Hamerton, Bright, Taplin, and Kenworthy occupying posts of honor at the side and cross tables. Nearly 150 persons were present, and after the good things had been done full justice to, the toast of the Queen was drunk with musical honors. Mr. Tennent proposed tho health of the acting-mayor, and in the course of a very neat speech pointed out that it was not the opening of a line constructed by a corporation that was being celebrated, but of one which belonged to the country at large and the profits from which would go into the pockets of the taxpayers. His Worship, in reply, said that they had hoped to have celebrated this event seven years ago, and although this coast possessed one of the finest districts in the colony, it had been worse off for railway communication than any other part. Mr. Sherwood, whose rising was the signal for great applause, proposed tho health of the mayors of Wanganui and Hawera, and of the visitors, one and all. In the course of a humorous speech, which was greeted with frequent laughter and applause, the speaker said that energy and capital had already done a great deal for the place, and much more could still be done by the same means. Mr. Carson made a capital speech in reply, returning thanks on behalf of the visitors, and conveying the congratulations of Wanganui upon the opening of the line. Such an event must be of great importance to the country, but he was not quite sure of its effect on the towns, for its tendency might be to cause the centralizing of trade in the already largo cities. Mr. Bate also made a very good speech in reply, denying tho existence of the jealousy said by some persons to exist on the part of Hawera towards Patea, although there was, of course, friendly rivalry. What Hawera wanted was the cheapest freights obtainable, and he saw no reason why Patea should not be able to supply that demand, and so secure a valuable carrying trade. He pointed out that, of the 500,000 persons in the colony, 200,000 lived in the towns, and that it was desirable that there should be large towns, as without them there could not be manufacturers. Mr. Bright proposed the agricultural, pastoral, and commercial interests of the West Coast and, in a fluent speech, quoted figures showing the great productiveness of the soil on this coast. He alluded to the great importance of establishing the meat freezing industry, as well as dairy factories, and thought the only matter for surprise was that country settlers were not found tumbling over one another in their eagerness to get into Mr. Eyton's office to take up shares in the West Coast company. Mr. Homer, in reply, drew a vivid picture of the millions at Home to whom meat was an almost unknown luxury, and whom the frozen meat trade would so largely benefit. He hoped that in a short time Hawera and Patea would be connected by rail and that nothing more would be heard of these local jealousies. As time did not permit of any more toasts, an adjournment was made to the station, where a train of ten large carriages was in waiting to run townspeople and visitors for an excursion trip to Manutahi. These carriages were packed as full as they would hold with people sitting and standing, and there must have been nearly or quite 800 on board. The powerful Fairlie engine took this heavy load up steadily to Manutahi, returning a few minutes after to Patea. Two pressmen, however, tempted by the lovely afternoon, and preferring the walk to Hawera by daylight to the otherwise inevitable couch ride in the dark, bade good-bye to their hospitable entertainers who were to conclude the day's festivities with a ball.

9 Jul 1884: The Railway Hotel changed hands yesterday, Mr. J, Lewis, of Manaia, being the purchaser. It is also reported that a change of proprietors will take place in connection with the Commercial Hotel, a Wellington host having purchased the goodwill and lease.

Jun 1885: RAILWAY HOTEL. J. W. Lewis applied for a renewal of the license for this house. The police objected re "the condition of disrepair into which the house had been allowed to fall". The  owner and occupier of the house disagreed who should do the repairs, but the owner stated repairs would certainly be made at once. An opportunity to make the repairs was made.

1 Sep 1885: The Railway Hotel changed hands last evening, Mr. J. Lewis sold out his interest to Mr, Trewin who is well-known in Hawera, and will probably receive a fair share of public patronage.

6 Apr 1886: Compensation. It was decided to pay £64 to John Prosser, who forfeited sec. 48, block XVI., Kaupokonui.(was this for railway line??)

May 1886: Railway Hotel Transfer to Mr J Mullins licence subject to repairs being made to the stable

25 Nov 1886: Mr. Edward Cullinan has taken the Railway Hotel and during his residence in Hawera, has secured the respect and confidence of his fellow-townsmen, and has always shown himself to be businesslike and straightforward and now that he is entering business on his own account he will, we have no doubt, receive a fair share of public patronage. The Railway Hotel is a commodious and convenient hostelry, and in Mr. Cullinan hands should become a favourite with the travelling public.

14 Oct 1887: R Dazell new proprietor (Inspector of Nuisances: The closet at the Railway hotel is bad.)

 21 Jan 1890: Mr John Prosser, formerly well-known along the coast as the host of the Hawera Hotel, after an absence of seven years, has returned here and taken the Railway Hotel.

1 Mar 1893: SALE OF TOWNSHIP OF STRATHMORE. Auctioneers officiating - Mr Newton King and Messrs Nolan Tonks and Co. A good attendance and the bidding brisk for several of the sections. Several sites for stores, hotel, and accommodation houses were sold, and these will be erected forthwith When these are up it will form the nucleus of one of the very prettiest towns in our district. Mr F. J. Stewart purchased a centrally situated section which he generously gives as a school site, The position of the township is very central, and land being dry and open will be a great boon to the Mungaere settlers and also to the several special settlements in the locality. Among the sections were sold: No 118 for £15 to John Prosser

28 Mar 1893: Miss K. G. McCollum, proprietress of the Railway Hotel. The house has lately been thoroughly renovated, and is now one of the best appointed hotels on the coast. Good stabling has been provided and the class of liquors supplied are of a superior quality. The hotel is most conveniently situated for passengers by trains, and visitors will find that their comfort has been carefully studied. Miss Mac. is well known on the coast for the excellence of her management and the Railway Hotel has become very popular since she has taken it over.

Jun 1894: Tenders requested for painting and papering hotel and Miss K. G. McColluin sold Jun 1896 the Railway Hotel, Hawera to Mr J. J. Connell.

Feb 1898:  Mr John Flynn has become proprietor of the Railway Hotel, having purchased it from Mr J. J. Connell. The new proprietor is one of the oldest residents on the coast. He came to Taranaki from the Otago goldfields in the early sixties and in the difficult days prior to Titokowaru's war, was one of the expedition under Major Von Temsky who made the desperate and disastrous effort to dislodge Titokowaru at the Te Nguto o te Manu pah, where he was severely wounded. Since the fighting times Mr Flynn has always been connected with the business interests of the district, and at the Railway Hotel he will be found ready to welcome old and new Mends.

Licensee:  H J Julian - March 1899

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