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Cyclopaedia of New Zealand

In 1903 a Cyclopaedia was published giving a snapshot-in-time view of life in New Zealand. It included a section on each district and town, and Swannanoa received the following mention.

The Swannanoa district is devoted almost entirely to sheep farming. It is served by a flag station on the Eyreton-Bennett’s branch line, twenty-four miles from Christchurch, and standing 195 feet above sea level. The public school of the district goes by the name of Mandeville Plains school. Swannanoa is in the Eyreton riding of the Ashley county, and at the census of 1901 it had a population of 100 souls.

The public School at Mandeville Plains is situated on the Tramway Road, Swannanoa. The first school was built about 1870, when a considerable portion of the cost was subscribed by the local settlers. This old building still remains, and is used as a shelter shed. The new building, which contains one classroom and a porch, has accommodation for sixty children. There are twenty on the roll, and the average attendance is fourteen. A school residence of six rooms is erected on the section, which is ten acres in extent.

Miss JANE BRENNAN, Mistress in charge of Mandeville Plains Public School, was born in Invercargill, and served her pupil-teachership in Marlborough. She became a teacher in 1898, and was appointed to her present position in March, 1902.

The Wesleyan [[Church?]] at Swannanoa is built of wood and iron, and has seats for 100 worshippers. It was erected at a cost of 250 pounds. There is a small Sunday school, with ten children and one teacher, and one acre of land surrounds the church, and is used as a cemetery.


BURGIN, THOMAS, Farmer, Crosby Farm, Swannanoa. Mr. Burgin was born in 1857 in Lincolnshire, England, and accompanied his parents to Lyttleton in the ship “Cameo,” in 1860. He is the son of the late Mr. C. F. Burgin, and was educated at the late Mr. Merton’s school in Rangiora. Since his father’s death, in 1878, he has been engaged in farming on his own account, and owns 500 acres where he resides, and 600 acres, known as Collier’s farm, at Ohoka Road, West Eyreton. Mr. Burgin has served as a member of the Mandeville Plains school committee. He has been prominent in connection with temperance matters, and is a member of the executive of the Prohibition League. Mr. Burgin is also a member of the New Zealand Farmers’ Union. He was married, in 1885, to a daughter of the late Mr. R. Dalley, of Swannanoa, and has one son and one daughter.

CHAPMAN, ARTHER, Sheep Farmer, “Northwood,” Swannanoa. The Northwood estate consists of 3,500 acres of land, which carries easily 5,000 crossbred sheep. Portions of the property are leased for farming purposes. The proprietor was born at Springbank, in 1861, and was educated at Christ’s College, Christchurch. He afterwards entered the offices of Messrs Miles and Co., with whom he remained five years. Since March, 1885, he has been engaged in sheep farming at “Northwood”. Mr. Chapman served ten years in the Canterbury Yeomanry Cavalry. He is a member of the Northern Agricultural and Pastoral Association, and is also a member of the local Jockey Club. Mr. Chapman was married, in 1885, to a daughter of Mr T. I. Joynt, solicitor, Christchurch.

KELLY, FRANCES, Farmer, Swannanoa Farm, Swannanoa. Mr. Kelly was born in County Cavan, Ireland, in July 1834, and was brought up to a country life. In 1865 he came to Lyttleton by the ship “Tudor”, and settled in Addington, where he found employment for a few years. Subsequently Mr. Kelly engaged in farming at St. Albans, and settled on his property at Swannanoa in 1881. Mr. Kelly farms 778 acres of leasehold land. He has been a member of the Eyreton Road Board since 1896. In 1857 he married a daughter of Mr. R. Kelly, of County Cavan, and has four daughters and one son surviving.


WAI-ITI STATION (Alfred Daniel Loe, manager), Swannanoa. This property, which belongs to the Hon. J. T. Peacock, consists of 2300 acres, on which about 3000 sheep are depastured, and from two to three hundred acres are annually laid down in cereals. The manager, Mr. A. D. Loe, completed a new sheep dip for the season of 1902. The dip is 66 feet long, 5 feet deep, 22 inches wide at the top and 8 inches at the bottom, and is so constructed of solid concrete, that it is an impossibility for the sheep to jump out. Practical tests have proved this to the satisfaction of all concerned.



Mr. ALFRED DANIEL LOE, Manager of Wai-iti Station, was born in Hampshire, England, in 1853. He was educated in his native place, and brought up to country life. Mr. Loe came to New Zealand in 1873, and settled in Canterbury. He was manager at Kolmar station, the property of Mr. Friedlander, for nearly seven years, and took over the management of “Wai-iti” in March, 1900. Mr. Loe was married, in 1877, to a daughter of Mr. C. Bourn, a pioneer Canterbury settler, and has two sons and one daughter.

WINTER, JOHN, Farmer, “Milton Grange”, Swannanoa. Mr Winter was born in Saltby, Leicestershire, England, in 1836, and was a farm servant for thirteen years, before coming to Lyttleton, by the ship “Lancashire Witch” in 1863. After being employed for two years near Styx, Mr. Winter settled at Swannanoa, in 1865, when he bought seventy acres of land, which he has since increased to 700 acres. Mr. Winter was for ten years chairman of the Mandeville Plains school committee. He was married, in 1865, to a daughter of the late Mr. W. Stokes, of Styx, one of the passengers by the ship “Randolph”, and has four sons and three daughters surviving.