Travelling through here the other day brought a lovely surprise. The museum was open, gold coin donation. It wasn't like other museums and I appreciate diversity. Full marks to the history lovers of Inangahua.
Three subjects caught my eye. The first was the earthquake on the 24th of May 1968 which shattered the town.The second was some excellent information on West Coast goldmining rushes.
The third was a lovely story about one family of settlers. (One of many you can view there).
Peter Mangos was born on the Island of Siros, south east of Greece.
He arrived in New Zealand on a German sailing Ship at Lyttelton in the 1840's and spoke five languages, English not being his best effort. He was extraordinarily strong and walked over the Otira gorge to Buller and built a business barging goods up the dangerous Buller river to the gold miners. He expanded to six boats and charged fifty pounds a ton. In the 1870's he opened a store at the Lyell. He then built a hotel from scratch in 1878 which he furnished with a grand piano and a billiard table. He was well liked and honest but with a short temper. He entertained guests by walking down the narrow bent staircase of his hotel on his hands and was a great cook.
At age 42, Peter (Demetrius Nicolas Mangos) married Mary Ann Williams in 1878. Mary was aged 16, the daughter of a constable, just out of convent school in Nelson, in an arranged marriage. They had 14 children. Mary was very devout and would pray before leaving the house. Peter died in 1901.