Saturday, July 17, 2010

Book: Land of the Three Rivers

Here is the story of the Piako County formed in 1876  by the Counties Act.
ISBN 0-86864-001-8. First published in 1976 by Wilson & Horton Ltd for the Piako County Council and written by C.W. Vennell (part 1) and David Moore (Parts 2,3 and 4).

This is a very worthwhile book to have on your bookshelf.  Te Aroha is the seat of the County and it borders Waikato in the West, Ohinemuri and Tauranga in the East, Hauraki Plains to the north and Matamata to the south.

It details the early land buying period by speculators and the missionaries activities, the confiscations of land after the Maori wars and the land grab by rich Aucklander's. These men developed their acquisitions, attracted people to live there, sold it on and generally enabled the less rich to benefit through hard work, throughout, of course, benefiting greatly themselves.

The book goes on to explain in ever increasing detail, the work of the new County, the farmers and their activities, schooling and the draining of the swamps.

The author mentions the remains of a two-million year old forest buried by successive lava flows which was encountered by the Kaimai tunnelers in 1975 which made drilling a nightmare. So you see, there is lots of interesting bits and pieces for everyone.

It has a good index and a small bibliography, some wonderful photographs and illustrations. 366 pages.

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