William Guilford      Pedigree Tree Group Sheet

abt 1890William Harrison Guilford was born: 22 Oct 1838 in Llanvair, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, Wales  where his parents John and Ann Gilford  were living at the time - Llanfair Kilgeddin (Welsh: Llanfair Cilgedin) is a small village in Monmouthshire, south east Wales and is located four miles north west of Usk and six miles south east of Abergavenny on the B4598 road. The River Usk passes close by. Tin and coal mines in the location provided employment to the town's residents. The family returned to Easton Royal, Wiltshire and in 1850 boarded the "Castle Eden" (the next ship after the famous first four) landing at Lyttleton 28 Jan 1851. William's life was as a bushman, sawyer and farmer and he died 30 Oct 1906 in Tarata, Taranaki and is buried there.

William was twelve when he arrived at Christchurch and immediately joined the bustling work force. Labour was in high demand. His first job for John Hay at Pigeon Bay, gave him an introduction to what was to become his life's work. The only access unless by sea, was by a Maori track which ran through the bush. Men were employed to cut a track through the trees, scrub and undergrowth to a width of 6 feet and trees were sawn for timber for housing, posts, rails and firewood. (John Hay 1856, explored the Mackenzie country and after marriage, took up land at Tekapo.)

William next found employment with Robert Caverhill then did bushwork in April 1856 at Kaiapoi. His name on the 1857 electoral roll - "William Guilford; Church Bush (between Woodend and Kaiapoi.) Sawyer; Leasehold" By this time, the Papanui Bush at Christchurch was nearly cut out and so sizeable numbers of men travelled north to the bush lands of Kaiapoi. The area was a frontier town and the only social interaction for the sawyers was found at the hotels. On their days off they broke loose with lawless, drunken behaviour. The more conservative pioneers in the community saw a complete breakdown of social order and requested a goal be built, and a policeman to keep the peace. ( An early settler was the licencee of the Kaiapoi Hotel, Robert Hamlett, had also travelled on the "Eden Castle", and a good friend of the Guilfords.) The timber industry was usually a two or three man operation - men formed a partnership and applied together for a licence to work a section - usually by pit saw. This method of sawing logs or timbers, into boards, in which the piece to be cut is laid horizontally across a pit and cut by a saw operated vertically by two people, one above and one in the pit below the piece. It required great skill and patience to manoeuvre the great logs into position on the pit skids with Treweller jacks and crowbars. Large logs were first split down the middle parallel to the "shake" - the slight natural fault found in most logs. Securelt blocked to keep it stteady, the half log with it's flat side uppermost was set on the pit. A string smeared with charcoal and water paste was snapped on the flat surface to mark the cut.  
The man on top was called the "Top Man." He lifted the saw and guided the saw. The man 6 ft below, on the bottom was the "Pit Man," who pulled the saw downward and away from him , supplying most of the energy it took to saw the wood. He often got sawdust in his eyes, and always in his hair and down the back of his neck. The saw cut only on the down stroke. It is said that the term "That's the pits" may have come from the discomforts of being a pitman. The rhythmical stroke of pitsawing required team work and looked deceptively easy as the crosscut saw cut deep along the line. A cavas fly protected sawyers from the rain and sun.

The work was exceedingly hard and carried out in primitive conditions, but it was possible for bushmen to make an reasonable living for themselves in a short time. Wages were good, 1/- an hour. Some of the men lived in rough whares thatched with flax and raupo but most made do with canvas tents for shelter. All their food had to be carried in and was very basic and was supplemented with pigs and wild fowl. The mosquito was the biggest curse to a sawyer's life. The forest swamp was a perfect breeding ground and nets were needed to cover beds at night and a fire lit to deter their entry.

Canterbury rivers still had no bridges and were crossed by ferry. The fencing and firewood cut was taken by small craft who, despite floods during January and February and the difficulties with high tides, plied the tributaries between Kaiapoi and and Heathcote. Henry John's diary states that his brother left when "the bush was worked out" however in 1859, the whole of the Native Bush and a good proportion of the Church Bush were destroyed by fire. This wiped out the economic base of the region and it is likely that it was then that William, like so many others, left the area.

In 1859, William, worked at Arowhenua but in October here too, a large part of the bush including £2000 of sawn timber was burnt out in that particularly hot summer. Sparks blown from fires of workers boiling billies caused most fire outbreaks. At the Pleasant Valley bush, one of the earliest settlements in South Canterbury, the bush was able to provide many with work, William did pit sawing. 20 acre blocks of dense bush were available for purchase - totara, white and black pine and manuka. The freehold value was set at £12 an acre at the 928 acre Raukapuka Bush; the Waihi Bush was 2052 acre in extent and valued at £6 and Peel Forest of 1460 acres at £7. The sawyers lived in V huts thatched with totara bark.

On April 10th. 1860, William Guilford left for Victoria from Timaru on the coastal passenger ship "Corsair" which sailed between Australia New Zealand. (Ref. L. Times. 10/4/1860) While there he did bushwork and goldmining and returned

1861 - William again left for Melbourne as a miner on the ship "Genii"  leaving on 12 September 1861 for  Melbourne and returned 30 Aug 1862  to Port Chalmers on the ship "Alfred Lemont" in 1862 (Src: LDS Film 0284490) to again work in the Geraldine area.

William helped in the building of St Anne's Church by pit sawing timber. All residents would have viewed its construction with pride, and it remains today, the oldest surviving church in South Canterbury. Pleasant Valley was a busy forestry area, more prosperous than Geraldine. A landowner gave the land, men of all denominations gave their time and used their horses, bullocks, drays and tools to help with the building and the builder and the carpenter donated their time. The building was used by various denominations for their services, and a lasting monument to all who volunteered their labour. The parish register 1863 to 1870 records the varied occupations of those Valley  pioneers - Innkeeper, bullockdriver, landed estate owner, contractor, merchant, sawyer, gentleman farmer, joiner, mail contractor, shepherd, boundary rider, governess, wheelwright, domestic servant, shoemaker, gardener, blacksmith and labourer. Again, voluntary labour built the first school also across the riverbed opposite the church on Section 3608. On 17 Aug 1874 James Guilford, William's brother and a sawyer, living at Geraldine, married Catherine Lynch at St Annes.

Another fire swept through the Arowhenua Bush on the 6th and 7th of January 1863 and large quantities of sawmiller's sawn timber, firewood, fencing materials as well as their cottages and a number of Maori huts went up in flames fanned by the violent nor'wester.

In 1864 sections had been gazetted for Geraldine township. 300 acres of the original 400 acre Talbot Forest, black and white pine and totara, had after clearing, been set aside. It was originally part of the Raukapuka sheep run owned by Cox, and was to meet the requirements of the sawyers of the area. After felling, the land was very wet and covered with flax and manuka scrub but the town began to flourish with the rapidly expanding population.

August 1864 - For relaxation, settlers introduced greyhound and horse racing and horses from all over Canterbury competed in the events  (Pre-race Advertising) "A great sporting event is to be held in Pleasant Valley and it is proposed to have five races in all - the Valley Race, Innkeeper's Purse, Geraldine Cup, Hurdle Race and Consolation Stakes. Subscriptions to a considerable amount have been received to provide the prizes. The first race is for horses owned by residents of the Valley but the rest is open to all horses that have never won public money. "

The report after the event read - "The races  produced a capital "bill of fare"! Lots of horses on the track, and the people willing to enjoy themselves. There was of course the usual quantity of barrack and a few fights. Some results for the £10 prize money were Mr Bull's Lucy, Mr Guildford's Gypsey (sic), Mr Massey's Maniac, Mr Bull's Jenny, Mr Massey's Inflarnation and Mr McPherson's Wanderer. There was a protest on the last hurdle race because the winner did not jump the first hurdle fairly. The owners decided to divide the stakes to prevent disputes.

William went to Hokitika on the West Coast in 1865 but later that year returned to Pleasant Valley. 1866 - Intentions to Marry: 22 Aug William Guilford, Batchelor, Sawyer aged 27 years who had been living at Pleasant Valley 3 years to marry at the Benbow House, Temuka to Ann Benbow, spinster aged 17 years living at Temuka 1 month - father Wm Benbow gave permission to marry, Rev Brown (District 1289)   William's name spelt "Guildford" on the Marriage register. Because Ann was a minor, her father William Benbow gave his consent to his daughter's marriage which took place at the Benbow home at  "Ladymoor" at Temuka.

John Guilford made a gift to his son of the land he had bought at Arowhenua and half the 10 acres Raukapuka block as a wedding gift. By now, at Pleasant Valley, beside the church and school, there was a large general store run by Mendleson and Morris and a public house. William became it's licensee after his marriage, an occupation, no doubt at odds with John Guilford's religious views. The Laws and Regulations of the Weslayan Methodist Church state; "The Methodist Church regards intemperance as among the most serious moral and social evils, and requires its members and adherants to promote such legislative measures as aim at the restraint or extinction of liquor traffic."

Other early Pleasant Valley settlers were John Bull, Gale, William Bennet - William Guilford had his land to the left of the church, Section 3607, and he combined farming with bush work and the last three were all licensees to the Public house at various times. William together with S. Ferguson, owned section No 7426. The date of this purchase is not known, but it is remembered by Ferguson's Road. They sold this on 28th September 1866 to Thomas Hardcastle for £50. Hardcastle had settled in the area in 1863 and had the first dairy herd and he provided milk to the tree-fellers and sawmillers who did not have their own house cow.

On Monday 29th July 1867, rain started and there was very heavy flooding throughout Canterbury and the sky cleared on August 3rd to reveal the low snow. On August 10th, Ann and William celebrated the safe arrival of their first child whom they called Ann Elizabeth.

•13 Sept 1867 Timaru Herald: AROWHENUA. The Valley races take place on Thursday, but we are quite ignorant yet of the programme, &c, perhaps it is policy to keep it dark. There is to be a ball in the evening at Mr Guildford's Valley Hotel

•14 Sept 1867 Timaru Herald: PLEASANT VALLEY RACES, A Ball and Supper is to be held at GUILDFORD'S On the evening of the Arowhenua Races which will take place on Thursday, the 17th day of October next. Programme and particulars in future issue. W. MASSEY, Hon. Sec. September 13, 1867.

Races results recorded at Pleasant Valley on September 19, 1867. Stewards were Dr Caro, G Dyson and J Gammock. The Judge was Thomas Hardcastle.

Maiden Plate - C Gosling's Chog, 1st,Collingwoods Lubre, 2nd

Valley Cup - Gammack's Zohrab, 1st, Manning's Elswick, 2nd, J Bull's Vesta fell and the jockey had a broken wrist

Hurdles - J Bulls Hector Norman (owner ridden) 1st, J Gammock's Cruiser ( P Murphy) 2nd

Innkeepers Purse - Zohrab (Peckham) 1st Hector Norman 2nd

In the evening a dinner and ball was held at W Guilford's hotel, Pleasant Valley. (One can only marvel how Ann, now 18, with a month old baby coped but no doubt the whole community came together to assist, as was the custom then.)

Henry John Guilford, builder and bushman, spent some time with his brother William at Pleasant Valley and together they built the Guilford house which is still lived in today. In this home, William and Ann spent the next 36 years bringing up their large family until they moved to Tarata in 1902. Brother James Guilford came also to the Geraldine area.


On the 2nd and 3rd February 1868, there were again violent storms and the heaviest flood known resulting in property loss and ten lives. Over 8" rain fell in 24 hours, and it was said that the plains were a lake of water from the Washdyke to the Opihi. The small Pleasant Valley School was washed away, and winter brought more storms, flooding and heavy snow and many sheep lost.

Children asked for a new school at Pleasant Valley

This photo of children at Pleasant Valley is held by a Guilford descendant. She said it was sent to the Education Board requesting a new schooI - it is unknown if one was replaced on the original site or whether a room in a home was used. In 1875, the South Canterbury Education Board built a new one over the bridge on Section 3608. Mrs Bennett who ran a boarding house for sawmillers had been teacher till then and Mr.  Bethune was the new teacher and started with a roll of 21.

8 July 1868, PLEASANT VALLEY.  APPLICATIONS FOR PUBLICANS' LICENSES, RESIDENT MAGISTRATE'S COURT, TIMARU, 4th APRIL, 1868. Guildford William ... Pleasant Valley Accommodation House ... Pleasant Valley.

Conditions :  1: All the premises to be kept in good repair. To provide in his house, besides the tap-room, or room answering as such, one public and one private sitting-room. 2: To provide not less than eight beds for travellers, in not less than six separate bed-rooms. 3: To provide a shed sufficiently weather-tight, and fit for the accommodation of at least six horses. 4: At all. times to keep a proper supply of water for the house, and for horses and cattle. 5: To keep at all times a proper supply of oats and oaten or grass hay. Oats to be charged for to travellers at not more than 3d per quart, and to be always served out with the authorised quart measure. 6: To provide and keep in repair a good and sufficient stockyard for cattle, containing a superficial area of not less than 225 square yards. For the occupation of this yard during the night, the licensee may make a charge at rates not exceeding the following, viz. : — Twopence per head for all cattle under 50 in number, and one penny per head for all over that number. 7: To provide and keep in repair a good and sufficient moveable sheep-proof yard, containing a superficial area of not less than 900 square yards ; or, at the option of the licensee, to keep one acre of land enclosed by a permanent sheep-proof fence. For the occupation of this yard or paddock during the night, the licensee may make a charge at rates not exceeding the following, viz. : Sixpence per score for all sheep under 300 in number; fourpence per score for all over that number and under 500 ; and twopence per score for all over 500.   8: To keep a lamp burning, with two burners, from sunset to sunrise, giving a sufficiently bright light, and being so lighted as to be conspicuous all round the house. 9: To be sworn m and act as a constable, especially when required by Magistrates or the Police. 10: On all occasions to render every assistance, and to supply information to Magistrates and to the Police in the execution of their duty. 11: To keep a clean and orderly house, and to render it as comfortable for the accommodation of travellers, as the circumstances of position and distance from towns will allow.

William and Ann Guilford's house, lived in still today, beside the Pleasant Valley Church. This cottage accommodated their large family. See the House photographed March 2013
St Annes - photo abt 1880. It's studs, adzed rafters and weatherboard walls of kahikatea (white pine) were pit-sawn from the surrounding bush and 1878 fire bared the hillside behind.

The floods caused William (and affected many other settlers) to get into financial difficulty and to meet his commitments came a forced sale: "TO BE SOLD BY AUCTION, at the GUILDFORD PLEASANT VALLEY HOTEL, on FRIDAY, 22nd MAY NEXT, At 12 o'clock, (Unless the above action shall be previously settled), A quantity of Household Furniture and Effects Two Horses, Harness, Dray, and Potatoes Sale at 12 o'clock. Terms Cash. HENRY FORWARD, Bailiff.

On the 19th April 1869, the year following the flood, William (hotelkeeper) sold the 94 acre Arowhenua section No 3149 gifted to him by his father, to Thomas Hawke of Temuka, a farmer for £400 (No. 24 866) J W White Solicitor.

A welcome POST OFFICE NOTICE! Mails are now made up for Waihi Crossing, Geraldine, Pleasant Valley, Waihi Bush. and Upper Rangitata, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, at 3 pm. Mails are also made up for PleasanT Point on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, at 3 pm. Post Office, Timaru, February 12, 1873 - previously settlers had to go into Timaru for sending and reciept of mail.

12 May 1873: From Mr William Guildford and others, requesting the Geraldine Road Board to shingle a portion of the road between Campbell's fence and Flanigan'a cutting. Resolved " the shingling be deferred until the road is sufficiently consolidated.

On the 12th 1877 an inquest was held at the Crown Hotel, Geraldine when William and Ann's  6th child child James Guilford died aged three years of age at Pleasant Valley before B. Woollcombe, Esq., Coroner, and a jury. Dr Fish gave evidence to the effect that death had resulted from inflammation of the lungs, and the verdict was in accordance with the medical testimony.

By now having a burgeoning family, William was elected onto the Pleasant Valley School Committee and June 1877 community concerns were expressed that additions to the replacement school buildings were needed and more land. The Committee decided to recommend the purchase of five acres from Mr D. Gregon, because of its suitability and on account of its central situation. The average attendance at the school during the month was 56, and and the highest number present in one day was 71.

In 1878 there had been little rain for months. Lopped and discarded branches left by millers became tinder dry and on November 15, 1878 sparks from a smouldering log on a section being cleared by a man named Whittaker, were carried by the high wind. By 6

o' clock that evening the flames had spread through fifty acres of the Raukapuka. That night, the flames reached the hills behind Geraldine and people in the town were suffocating with the smoke. Fire brigades came as far away as Temuka but their primative equipment could do little against the wall of advancing flames. By the 23rd November, the fire was still raging and had reached the sawmillers in the Kakahu Valley area. By the time the wind died away, most of the Raukapuka forest except for isolated pockets, was a smouldering ruin.

By now the tide of fortune had moved away from Pleasant Valley and the store moved in 1880 to Geraldine. Ann and William Guilford first attended St Anne's Church and here daughters Elizabeth and Henrietta were christened, but about 1870 a Geraldine Brethren group formed and met first in a small room on the main street at Geraldine conducted by a Mrs Andrews. The room was wanted so a little hall was built by "love labour" - several bushmen connected with the Brethren, busy cutting timber that was taken to Timaru by road, gave their labour and it was likely that William was one. The building was surrounded by flax and was near today's Geraldine Transport site. It was moved next to the site of the present Roman Catholic Church in Peel Street. Because quite a number of the Brethren congregation lived at Pleasant Valley, the custom was to hold meetings on alternate Sundays at each place. All members, mothers with babies in their arms, walked the nearly five miles, over the Downs to meet - one Sunday in the small hall they had built themselves and the next in the valley in different members homes and later in a large room of the Valley Hotel now owned by Mr Best. He had abandoned his licence to meet with them and turned his Pub's bar into a Gospel Hall. After the small Geraldine building and the site were sold, the Brethren met in the Oddfellow's hall. (Ref. "Morrisons of Geraldine")

In January 1880 tenders were considered for the formation of  Guildford's road  (brother James Guildford and Co., tender of £37 12s 6d was accepted). This was the route that William took pit sawn timber over to have it dressed at Geraldine.

Pleasant Valley School - The only child identified is Frank Guilford circled however, a descendant has named these:

Back row: 5th Boy - Bert Guilford
Second Row (with Teacher) 2nd Girl Elizabeth Guilford and 8th girl - Henrietta Guilford
Front Row: 3rd Boy - Robert Guilford; 4th George Guilford and Frank seated at end.

In Feb: 1880  W Guilford was elected Chairman of school committee at a meeting which  ten householders attended
In March 1880 William and others asked the Geraldine Road Board if they could reduce reduce the grades and shingle the road on the Geraldine Downs and this was agreed to

In Jan. 1881,  Mr William Guilford re-elected  Chairman for the ensuing year. Report stated Eleven meetings had been held during tho year with an average attendance of five  members. 150 trees to be plant at the schools grounds and fencing stonepicking done. Except for a few small repairs needed  the buildings were in good repair. and teaching staff were appointed. The attendanco had steadily incrensed especially during the last half - numbers on the roll, 70 ; and good for a rural school the average attendance, William Guilford6O.
1881 Electorate Geraldine; Number 1172; Surname GUILDFORD; Given Names William; Nature Of Qualification - Freehold; Place Of Residence - Pleasant Valley; Occupation - Sawyer; For Property Qualification - Rural section 3607, Pleasant Valley
In Jan 1882 school committee met - Mr W Guilford absent - 15 householders present. In his absence Mr W Guilford re-elected Chairman
1882 - "Return of the Freeholder"; Wm Guilford  Occ. Sawyer Pleasant Valley, Borough Geraldine; acreage 131, value  £730
1883 At the annual meeting of householders in the Pleasant Valley  Mr W. Guilford was unanimously elected Chairman. Also elected on the Committee, B. Trumper, A. Kennedy, A. Lysaght, B Brophy, J. Gregan and G. Gale being chosen. A meeting of the new Committee was held subsequently, and Mr W. Guilford was . Some small accounts were passed for payment, the length of the harvest holidays fixed, namely, four weeks, to Monday, February 19th, and the Committee adjourned.
 24 Aug 1883: J MUNDELL & CO.  have been favored with instructions from Mr William Guildford to Sell by Public Auction, at their Sale Rooms, Geraldine, SATURDAY, 25in AUGUST, 1883, 54 Acres of LAND, adjoining the property of B. Bailey, Esq., and in close proximity to the Geraldine Township. The Property is well watered, and a valuable lot of live timber thereon. Sale 1 o'clock.
•1885 Sept 1885: Civil cases were heard as follows :— B. Bayley v. Wm. Guilford, claim £11 Is for destruction of 18 sheep while driving them out of defendant's paddock. There was at the same time hearing a cross action Wm. Guilford v. B. Bayley, claim £12 10s for trespass of 250 sheep at 3d per day, four days. Dr Foßter appeared for Bayley, and Mr Hamersley for Guilford. From the evidence given it was shown Bayley's sheep had been in Guilford's paddock on several occasions, but on the particular occasion for which the claim was made Guilford saw the sheep in his paddock, and instructed his boys, one of 15 and the second 12 years of age, to drive, the sheep out, it being about 7 p.m. and a very bright moonlight night (he having other business to attend to). The boys tried to get the sheep over the best fords or crossings in the gully, but having no dogs the sheep ran up the hill to Bayley's fence, but not being able to cross the gully there, in coming down the hill 18 of them were smothered, the rest getting across the gully to Bayley's paddock in safety. Bayley alleged that sufficient care was not exercised in driving the sheep ; boys being sent to do the work, and it being done at night. Guilford showed that the sheep had often trespassed upon the land beyond the times for which he charged. This was not contradicted by the opposite side, and his charge being in accordance with the First Schedule of the Impounding Act, 1881, Mr Guilford's solicitor considered he had a good case for trespass. With regard to the sheep smothered Mr Hamersley contended that due care had been exercised in driving the sheep out of the paddock, and that a charge of gross negligence could not be substantiated.

Saturday, 28 December 1889, Timaru Herald Christmas at Geraldine
Christmas Eve was a busy time among the various tradesmen in Geraldine. The butchery establishments of Messrs N. Dunlop and Co., and F.W. Warner were gaily festooned with flowers and greenery and the display of Christmas meat was of a good description. Mr Lawson showed a fat heifer, turning the scales at 987lbs. It was of extra good quality, bred and fattened by Mr John Crippe, of Winchester. The lambs were from Mr W. Taggart, of Grapes' Valley. Some sheep, bred by Mr Turton, of Woodbury were also of good quality, weighing an average of 80lbs. Mr Worner's beef came from Mr Fugene, of Peel Forest and Mr H. Dierck, of Ruakapuka Bush, the two bullocks weighing 900 to 800lb respectively. The seven prize lambs exhibited weighed over 40lbs each and were bred and fattened by Mr J. Robertson, of Pleasant Valley. Of the storekeepers' establishments, that of Mr R.H. Pearpoint must bear off the palm, the grocery window being the admiration of all passers-by. The drapery and fancy goods shop of Mrs Gibson also attracted many people. At Mr J.W. Pye's drapery establishment the window presented a most tasteful display, the fancy items being of a varied nature. In the evening crowds of people perambulated the street to witness the shops lighted up. The illuminations consisted of Chinese lanterns of various shapes. Mr A. Fisher's shop was very effectively lighted with coloured lamps, fairy lights and Chinese lanterns. Santa Claus was liberal in his purchases and on Xmas morning the children of Geraldine must have been surprised at the numerous gifts left by him in their stockings. During the night the members of the Primitive Methodist choir drove to the dwellings of the principal residents, and sang selections of Christmas carols and sacred music. The Geraldine brass band also paraded the street during the night and discoursed sweet music.

On Christmas Day, the weather was 'all that could be desired. At 7 am the local corps of the Salvation Army had knee drill in the Good Templar Hall, which was well attended, and the Primitive Methodists held a prayer meeting in their church at 10 am. At St Mary's Anglican Church there was a crowded congregation, the Primitive Methodists, the Salvation Army and the Presbyterians attending. The church was most tastefully decorated by the lady members and friends. The cross over the altar had a splendid wreath of flowers suspended over it. In the centre panel at the back of the super-alter was a large cross of St Joseph lillies, and on either side of the cross there were some beautiful white lillies in vases on the super-alter. The lancet windows recesses were festooned with flowers and evergreens, as also were the chandeliers and side lights. The special service commenced with the united chorus from the Presbyterian and Primitive Methodist Churches, and one to the church, singing the Xmas hymns "hark, the herald Angels sing," following with the carol "Good Christians Rejoice." Jackson's Te Deuin" was most effectively rendered. The anthem was "Glory to God in the Highest," and the hymns No 59 and 295, ancient and modern, also the carol "The First Noel." The Rev. J. Preston, incumbent of the parish preached from St Luke's Gospel on "The day-spring from on high." The whole service was much enjoyed by the large congregation present.

Boxing Day was observed as a holiday. Many of the residents proceeded at an early hour to Temuka to witness the Caledonian Sports. The primitive Methodist annual Sunday School picnic took place, but owning to a thunder storm commencing just as the youngsters marshalled together, to proceed to the park, the Volunteer Hall was utilises instead, where a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon was spent. The Primitive Methodist band at Temuka took a considerable part in the proceedings, their performance being much admired. Heavy rain continued till far into the night, most beneficially affecting the crops and grass pasture that were beginning to feel the effects of the heat of the past fortnight or so.

1891 - CLEARING SALE OF DAIRY COWS, BACON PIGS, Etc. FRIDAY, 10th APRIL, 1891. JMUNDELL AND CO. have received instructions from Mr William Guilford to Sell by Public Auction at his Homestead, Pleasant Valley, on the above date, "15 Dairy Cows, in milk and close on calving, all guaranteed and good milkers, 3 Dry Cows, 1 Bull, 3 18 months-old Steers and Heifers, 6 Calves 5 Bacon Pigs, 3 Sows with Litters at foot, 1 D.F. Plough, 1 B.F. Plough, 1 Wood Roller, 1 Trap and Harness, Dairy Utensils. Sale at 1 o'clock sharp. No Reserve.
1 May 1891 PLEASANT VALLEY. School Committee elected: —Messrs W. Beanett, J. Oregan, D. Gregan, A. Lysaght, Thos. Bull, and W. Guilford. Mr K. Brophy re-elected Chairman
Stooking oats at Pleasant Valley
During the 1880'a New Zealand suffered a depression. There was high unemployment in the cities yet the poplation was growing mainly because of immigration. In the South Island small farmers were being squeezed by the wool barons and the government altered the tax to favour small farmers. Wool was a major export but now successful refrigeration of meat and butter began. William raised crops of oats and wheat at Pleasant Valley and good yields of up to 60 bushels of oats and 40 of wheat were achievable per acre after the land was brought into cultivation.

1894: Rate Book No. 183 ;Geraldine County Council; Valuation Roll Number 501 ;Occupier Guilford, William ; Address Pleasant Valley; Owner Guilford, William ; Property Description Pleasant Valley;  Rating District Geraldine Road Board  Acres 127 Roods 2 Perches 22; £ 575

26 Sept 1896: AUCTIONEERS Canterbury Farmers' Association ' TATTERSALL'S , SOUTH CANTERBURY HORSE MARKET.On account William Guildford, Esq. The Pony Stallion, Lord Raglin, by Highland Laddie, dam Silver Bell.
10 Mar 1898, Page 3 Geraldine Road Board: The overseer was instructed to attend to work asked for by Mr W. Guilford at Pleasant Valley and report upon the matter re willows growing on the boundary road river crossing.

Press, 3 March 1911, Page 9

THE PIT SAWYERS. The sawing of timber by the pit sawyers had been going on in the Pleasant Valley bush prior to its being started in the Raukapuka bush. This bush, though rather more distant from Temuka, was more accessible on account of there being a better road to it. Among the first settlers and sawyers in "The Valley," as it is usually called, were Messrs W. Grace, A. Best (who had an accommodation house), W. Bennett, Jas. Reid, Jas. Fergusson, George, Thomas and Charles Meredith, Wm. and Jas. Guilford, T. Patterson, G. Nicholas, W. Grace, jun., S. Taylor, W. Young, and J. Bull. In the Waihi bush, Mr W. Scott, who had previously been sawing in the Raukapuka bush for Mr Cox, was the first to commence work, splitting fencing material for the Raukapuka station. Messrs Taylor and Flatman, who had been carting with bullock teams between Timaru and the Mackenzie Country, afterwards started a sawmill in the Waihi bush, and it continued working there till the timber at the lower end was cut out, Messrs Penny and Webb having a sawmill at the upper end. The inevitable fire followed the bushmen, and swept the bush from end to end. Messrs Taylor and Flatman also carried on a store at Woodbury, as the township at the Waihi bush is called. The Kakahu bush subsequently claimed the attention of the bushmen, and as with the other sources of timber supply, including the smaller bushes on what was formerly known as Rhubarb Flat, and now Te Moana, it was ultimately "cut out." The timber industry, which was one of the firsthand most important in the Geraldine district, came to an end, and many of the old sawyers and bushmen afterwards became successful farmers or business men. Some of these hardy old pioneers are living still in or near their early homes, and none are more proud of their district its fertility and climate, and its peaceful surroundings than they are.


 Images and data used in this site copyright - ©