Thursday, 31 December 2020

0/7366 Leading-signalman Campbell Howard Buchanan, 7/4/1920-31/1/1943.

Campbell Buchanan joined the Navy in 1940 and served on Royal Navy corvettes, minesweepers and submarines until transferred to the Royal New Zealand Navy ship Kiwi, launched in Scotland in 1941.  The Moa and Tui were also launched at about the same time.

The three ships were worked up under the command of Commodore Gilbert Stephenson, a tough and uncompromising Royal Navy officer, before making the passage to New Zealand, arriving in mid-1942. They were initially intended by the RNZN as training ships but the Japanese were making their way through the Pacific by the time they arrived and they were put into the front line.  

They were more minesweepers than corvettes although that was what they were called - and they were crowded with crew and equipment by the time they began their patrols in the 40 degree heat of the Pacific.  Most of the action at that time was in search of small units of the "Tokyo Express" - Japanese attempts to reinforce and resupply their troops on Guadalcanal with fast destroyers, submarines and small coastal craft.

Campbell Buchanan was behind a searchlight on the corvette Kiwi at 8.30pm on January 29, 1943, when the Kiwi's crew came upon a Japanese submarine almost twice the 51m length of their ship. They were with their sister ship Moa, which evened the odds a little. The submarine I-1 was headed for Guadalcanal with 6,000 troop rations in landing craft mounted forward of the conning tower in place of a deck gun. The I-1 was about to have a bad night.

The submarine dived and Kiwi moved in to drop depth charges while the Moa stood off, using sonar to maintain contact. Some damage was caused and more charges dropped.  The effect of the second attack was crippling - pumps, steering engine and the port propellor shaft were damaged and a switchboard hit by high pressure water, knocking out all lighting.  The I-1 began to sink uncontrollably.  The sub, with a test depth of 64m, dropped to 180m.  Serious leaks started and the forward batteries were flooded, releasing chlorine gas from reaction with the salt water.

At 9pm the Kiwi was about to make a third depth charge attack when the I-1 surfaced and headed towards the shore to beach. Campbell Buchanan put the ship's searchlight on it and the accompanying Moa fired star shells to light up the scene.  Kiwi opened fire at point blank range with its 102mm gun and a 20mm cannon, silencing the sub's deck gun and removing those of the crew on deck.

The sub's navigating officer saw the scene on deck and the torpedo officer took over command, seeing the Kiwi approaching.  He called hands up to man the deck gun and to repel boarders; officers with their swords and four picked crew with rifles.  

At 9.20pm the Kiwi, at 400m range, put on full speed to ram, hitting the submarine portside, aft of the conning tower.  The Kiwi backed off, taking fire from the I-1 while doing so.  Then the Kiwi rammed again - this time hitting one of the foreplanes.  Two of the I-1's officers tried to board the Kiwi but were unsuccessful.  The Kiwi then rammed a third time, on the starboard side aft of the sub, holing a ballast tank and wrecking all but one of the sub's bilge pumps.  The I-1, now unable to dive, made off to beach, chased by the Moa with more star shells and gun fire.  The Kiwi's gun, with barrel overheated, was forced to cease fire.

Campbell Buchanan was hit by fire from the submarine during the second ramming attempt, possibly by one of the four Japanese marksmen given rifles by the Torpedo Officer. He remained at his post until relieved.

Leading-signalman Campbell Buchanan died in hospital on the island of Tulagi two days after being wounded.  He was Mentioned in Dispatches by the Royal New Zealand Navy and awarded the Navy Cross by the United States Navy.

The link below has an excellent portrait of him and a good account of the action.


Leading-signalman Campbell Buchanan, whose death is reported on active service, was the second son of Mr and Mrs J. W. Buchanan, of Fox street, Port Chalmers. Educated at the Port Chalmers District High School, he was a keen participant in all school sporting activities, having to his credit some excellent performances at Rugby, swimming, and running. He was also a keen Terra Nova Sea Scout, finally reaching the rank of chief petty officer in the troop. 

On leaving school he joined the firm of Cadbury Fry Hudson Ltd., and at the same time became a member of the local R.N.V.R. 

At the outbreak of war, although only 18 years of age, he offered his services to, and was accepted by, the Navy for service overseas. He served in several of His Majesty's ships, based somewhere in England, receiving an appointment as leading signalman on one of His Majesty's corvettes. He later returned to New Zealand and the South-west Pacific on patrol duties. Leading-signalman Buchanan was held in very high esteem by all his friends and acquaintances for his honesty of purpose and quiet, unassuming manner.  -Evening Star, 11/2/1943.

Otago Daily Times, 13/2/1943.




(P.A.) WELLINGTON, March 3. The Prime Minister, Mr Fraser, has received advice that as a result of the recent successful action between New Zealand naval forces and a Japanese submarine, resulting in the destruction of the submarine, the United States commander in the South Pacific, Admiral Halsey, has, in the name of the President of the United States, made the following awards: 

Navy Cross. — Lieutenant-commander G. Bridson, D.S.C., R.N.Z.N.V.R.; Lieutenant-commander P. Phipps D.S.C., R.N.Z.N.V.R.; and Leading-signalman C. H. Buchanan (posthumous), .R.N.Z.N.V.R.

Silver Star Medal. — Temporary-lieutenants J. F. O'Neill and W. A. Laurie R.N.Z.N.V.R.; Mechanician R. E. Harper, R.N.; Able-seamen A. E. Dalton and J. T. Washer, R.N.Z.N. 

Letters of Commendation. — Sub-lieutenant D. H. Graham, Petty-officer A. M. Finlayson, Leading-seamen F. K. Knox, W. I. Steele, and H. H. Triplow, Able-seamen E. R. Bartlett. H. J. Robertson, S. K. Hitchcock, L. S. Hunt, and K. C. McVinnie, Acting Leading-signalman J. L. Salter, all R.N.Z.N.V.R.; Leading seaman T. W. Gray, Able-seamen J. Scobie, M. R. Meddings, and J. W. Kroening, Ordinary-seaman I. A. Fraser, all R.N.Z.N.; Able-seaman G. Butterfield, Engineroom Artificer W. N. Southward, Acting Chief Mechanician S. E. Anstiss, Stoker Petty-officer J. McCall, Stoker (first class) W. C. Lacy, Officers' Steward E. Barton, all R.N.; and Leading-steward W. J. Watkins. R.N.Z.N. 


Leading-signalman C. H. Buchanan, R.N.Z.N.V.R., to whom the posthumous award of the American Navy Cross has been made, was the second son of Mr and Mrs J. W. Buchanan, of 14 Fox street, Port Chalmers. The first New Zealander to be promoted to the rank of leading signalman while serving abroad in the present war, he was reported killed recently following the announcement of the sinking of a Japanese submarine.

At the age of 12, Signalman Buchanan became one of the first members of the Terra Nova Sea Scouts, the pioneer Sea Scout troop in New Zealand. He actively assisted in the erection of the Scouts' boatshed at Carey's Bay, and at 18 years of age, when he joined the R.N.V.R., he was troop boatswain. At that time he held all the awards which could be gained in the New Zealand Sea Scouts. His experience in connection with signalling led to his acceptance for signalling duties in the R.N.Z.N.V.R. for duty both in New Zealand and overseas. In 1940 he went to Britain, and he served on mine sweepers, in submarines, and at submarine bases.  -Evening Star, 4/3/1943.




At Wellington recently Mr and Mrs J. W. Buchanan, of Fox street, Port Chalmers, were presented with the American Navy Cross which was posthumously awarded to their son, Leading Signalman C. H. Buchanan, Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve, who was mortally wounded in the successful engagement between two New Zealand corvettes and a Japanese submarine off Guadalcanal on the night of January 29-30. The citation, the original of which was also presented to Mr and Mrs Buchanan, read:— 

"South Pacific Force of the United States Pacific Fleet. Headquarters of the Commander. — In the name of the President of the United States, the Commander South Pacific Area and South Pacific Force takes pleasure in awarding the Navy Cross, posthumous, to Leading Signalman C. Buchanan, Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve, for service as set forth in the following citation: For extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession while serving on board a corvette which participated in the action against a Japanese submarine near Guadalcanal Island on the night of January 29-30, 1943. Leading Signalman Buchanan, although mortally wounded, courageously remained at his battle station during the action. He skilfully trained a searchlight on the submarine and kept the target illuminated for the guns of his ship. During the engagement the submarine, after being forced to surface by depth charges, was rammed twice and hit several times by the gunfire from his ship. His valorous action, taken with complete disregard for his own safety, contributed materially to the destruction of the enemy, and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the naval service. — (Signed) W. F. Halsey, Admiral, U.S. Navy." 

Mrs Buchanan has since received the following letter from the Navy Office, Wellington: "I have been requested by the Minister of Defence to advise you that your son, the late Leading Signalman Campbell Howard Buchanan, has been mentioned in despatches (posthumously) in recognition of his gallantry in the action which resulted in the destruction of a Japanese submarine early this year. I also desire to advise you that the posthumous award of mentioned in despatches for gallantry in action is a very high honour and comes next to the Victoria Cross, these being the only posthumous awards which are conferred by His Majesty for such gallantry. — Yours faithfully (signed) Naval Secretary."  -Evening Star, 12/6/1943.



At the Terra Nova Sea Scouts’ boat shed at Port Chalmers on Friday evening a plaque to the memory of Campbell Buchanan, presented to the troop by his parents, was unveiled. Leading Signalman Campbell Buchanan was first a Boy Scout and later a member of the R.N.Z.N.V.R., and in this service lost his life at the early age of 22 years at Guadalcanal. He was mentioned in despatches by the Admiralty, and was also awarded the Navy Cross, the second highest American naval award. The citation stated: “While mortally wounded he courageously remained at his battle station during the entire action, contributing materially to the destruction of the enemy. His action was in keeping with the highest traditions of the naval service." 

The chairman of the Parents’ Committee (Mr J. M. Mathews) introduced the Mayor (Mr H. S. Watson), the Dominion commissioner of Sea Scouts (Mr A. J. Black), the district commissioner (Mr P. J. Wilson), and Warrant Officer S. D. Wardrop, U.S.N., who unveiled the plaque and gave an interesting talk on the engagement at Guadalcanal. The Rev. J. Ewen Simpson performed the dedication ceremony.   -Otago Daily Times, 15/9/1943.

For  the Empire's Cause. 

BUCHANAN. — In memory of Leading Signalman Campbell Buchanan, killed in ecraon off Guadalcanal, January 29, 1943. 

"We remember."

— Inserted by his parents and sisters. 

BUCHANAN.— In memory of Leading-signalman Campbell Buchanan, killed in action, January 29, 1943. — Inserted by his brother Tom. 

BUCHANAN. — In loving memory of our dear friend, Leading-signalman Campbell Howard (Buck) Buchanan, died of wounds, January 30, 1943. 

We think of you in silence, We often speak your name; 

would we give to clasp your hand, And see you smile again. 

— Inserted by Mr and Mrs Wheeler, Rona, Audrey, and Glenroy (overseas).  -Evening Star, 29/1/1944.

Photo: Online Cenotaph.

Port Chalmers Cemetery.

Wednesday, 30 December 2020

NZ 2073 Leading Stoker Richard Neill Summerell, 10/1920-13/7/1943.


Photo from the "online cenotaph."

Richard Summerill served on the HMNZS Leander, a light cruiser, from 1940 until the Battle of Kolombangara, during the Guadalcanal Campaign, in 1943.

The Battle was an attempt to disrupt what was known as the "Tokyo Express" - one of many Japanese attempts to reinforce and supply their troops in the Solomon Islands by using destroyers as fast transports.  Four such destroyers carrying 1200 men were escorted by a light cruiser and five destroyers.  The Japanese force was reported by Allied coastwatchers.

Sent out to meet the Japanese force was an Allied one of two US light cruisers, the HMNZS Leander, and ten US destroyers.  The Allied force had the advantage of numbers and also of ship-borne radar.  The Japanese had no radar but could detect radar transmissions.

Radar contact was made at 1a.m. on July 13.  The Allied ships were not well coordinated as a group and collisions almost occured when the ships turned to avoid Japanese torpedoes.  Leander had to turn wide to avoid another ship and was hit by a torpedo near one of the boiler rooms.  The ship lost power with the boiler room flooded and all of the room's crew killed instantly.  Water flooded further and all electricity and telephones failed as Leander listed to port.

Fortunately, the Japanese did not reappear after the first engagement, which left their cruiser burning and sinking, and damage control parties managed to restore communications, patch holes and shore up bulkheads.  An 18 hour voyage, escorted by US Navy ships and aircraft, saw Leander back at base at Tulagi.

The progression of official notices regarding the fate of Richard Summerell would indicate that his remains were found in the Leander's boiler room after return to New Zealand.  At Devonport base, volunteers searched the damaged area for their crewmates.  Two bodies were found which could be identified by their identity discs and they were buried at Dunedin.  The other remains were buried at Waikumete Cemetery, Auckland, with a stone bearing the inscription "Unknown Leander."

Photo from "NZ History"


Leading Stoker Richard Neil Summerell, a son of Mrs I. Summerell, of 718 King street, who has been reported missing, presumed killed, was born at Dunedin in October, 1920. He was educated at The Normal, Dunedin North Intermediate, and King Edward Technical High Schools. For four years before he enlisted in the Navy in 1940 he was employed in the office of the Co-operative Dairy Company of Otago. At school he won cups for running and tennis, and afterwards played Rugby with the Union Club third grade team. He was also a member of the North End Boating Club.   -Evening Star, 31/7/1943.


SUMMERELL. Mrs Summerell, Mr and Mrs Ranger wish to thank kind relations, friends, and business people, also Mr Wilson, for expressions of sympathy, letters, and telegrams in the loss on active service of their son and brother, Neil.   -Otago Daily Times, 31/7/1943.


SUMMERELL. — On July 15, 1943, at sea, Leading Stoker Richard Neil Summerell, R.N.Z.N., dearly loved only son of A. I. E. Summerell, 718 King street, Dunedin; aged 23 years. “Sadly missed.” —Interment at Dunedin. Funeral intimation later. — R. McLean and Son, funeral directors.  -Otago Daily Times, 3/8/1943.


SUMMERELL — The friends of the late Acting Leading-stoker Richard Neil Summerell, R.N.Z.N., are invited to attend his Funeral, which will leave the residence of his mother (Mrs A. I. E. Summerell), 718 King street, on Monday, the 9th inst., at the conclusion of a service commencing at 3 p.m., for the Anderson's Bay Cemetery. — K. McLean and Son, funeral directors.  -Evening Star, 7/8/1943.

Andersons Bay Cemetery, DCC photo.

24040 Private Charles Thomas Green 1913-11/12/1941.

Charles Thomas Green worked for the Railways as a tablet porter - he held up the necessery token to a passing engine driver to show that the line ahead was clear.

Charles enlisted in the NZ 24 Infantry Battalion and was posted as missing after the Greek Campaign of 1941.  He was later announced as being a Prisoner of War.

He is later listed as having died by accident while a Prisoner of War.  He is buried in Klagenfurt War Cemetery, Austria.

I wish I could find more about him.  His story is as worthy of bringing to attention as that of any other soldier.

Invercargill Cemetery.

Friday, 25 December 2020

The Port Pegasus Tin Boom - rain, rain, forest and the loneliest horse in the world


Imagine going camping in the rain. Your campsite gets so much rain that any firewood has to be dried out before it can be burnt.  It rains nearly all the time.  And, in the rain, you need to hack through the thick bush and then dig through the tangled roots and down through the gravel.  You have no modern waterproof clothing, no spare clothing and what clothing you have can never be dried out due to lack of decent firewood.  The nearest actual building and dry hearth is at least four days' walk away - if you don't lose your way in the low cloud - over mountain ranges and more thick, wet bush.  Of course, if the gold is good, it's all worth it.  

Welcome to Port Pegasus.  On a sunny day, the views are glorious.  But, of course, on a sunny day your head is in a hole in the ground.

The latest mining venture put before the public is the Pegasus Gold Mining Company Limited, with a capital of £10,500, in shares of 10s each. The promoters claim that they have a valuable freehold of 50 acres at Port Pegasus, Stewart Island, which it is said has been proved to be highly auriferous, and it is with the object of purchasing the proprietors’ rights and working the ground the company is formed. It is also claimed that the ground has value apart from its auriferous feature — it being the only suitable site for a township and outlet for a large tract of country on the Island. If this be so, it would be interesting to know how the Land Board so lately came to part with such a valuable portion of' the  public estate in one block, probably at 10s or £1 an acre.  An influential provisional directory has been formed in Invercargill, and Mr W. Blacklock is seeretary and legal manager. The scheme may be a profitable one, but in view of so many genuine enterprises at our own door only awaiting capital to develop them, it is doubtful if many people in this district will be inclined to invest in the company under notice.   -Western Star, 1/2/1882.

The Port Pegasus gold miners were "on the metal" but had an aggravating problem, the gold in their pans being constantly mixed with a heavy black gravel - almost  as heavy as the gold.  It was cassertite, tin oxide.


[By Redcap in the Weekly Press.] 

"Few things break the monotony of an Atlantic trip

Sometimes you ship a sea and sometimes you see a ship."

So says the poet, the above lines do not apply however, to the case of our trip to and from Pegasus, excepting that in returning we did ship a sea or two, a gale springing up just as we got into the Straits. There was, however, no such thing as monotony on this voyage, just the opposite, it being a series of changes and surprises from start to finish. 

To the energetic exertions of a few gentlemen in Invercargill who were anxious that we should know what beautiful scenery we had, you might say, at our feet, was this outing owing, and it is a matter of surprise that a greater number did not avail themselves of the opportunity of visiting one of Nature's, loveliest spots, starting as the splendid little steamboat Invercargill did, from our own jetty. As it was, on Tuesday morning close on fifty excursionists embarked, and many old residents saw for the first time by early morning, our water-way, which, if in any other part of New Zealand would, long ago, have been made what it should be now, a first class harbour.

On getting out into the straits a great many of us could not help feeling a little crooked, but attention was soon turned to other modes of enjoyment, that is to say on reaching smooth water. We are at length under the lee of Stewart's Island having passed the Bluff Hill and Dog Island and Ruapuke Island on our way. We see the blue coast line begin to assume fantastic shapes. Indentations appear, little islets spring around us, and on coming nearer fresh beauties disclose themselves every instant; the land is clothed with foliage to the water's edge, many of the trees appear in bloom and being sheltered from the prevailing wind, they grow with a tropical luxuriance. Erratic juttings and detachments appear amongst the rocks, every one of which, even although there only appears on some a few feet of surface, is clothed with nature's greenest and loveliest mantle, yet we are only now among what is seen every week by those visiting the inhabited part of the island since the regular steam service has been established from the Bluff.

We call in at Oban as we have some passengers to land. It is called a township and is situate in picturesque Half Moon Bay. That is the main street you see running round among the rocks and trees and those the inhabitants' residences perched here and there among the wooded hills. The little crowd on the jetty includes no doubt the whole of the population, including resident excursionists waiting to welcome us. A few revolutions of the screw backwards and forwards, a rapid revolution of the wheel by Captain Sandstrom who for the nonce takes the position of steersman, a hawser thrown ashore and we are safely moored in water deep enough to float the Great Eastern. Going ashore for a few minutes we meet all kinds of people we know, and didn't expect to find here: see there — the doctor with his friends pulling up the Bay in the most nautical manner possible, a fellow passenger on my right is certain that that young lady in the red cap was in Dunedin last week, and on enquiry it turns out he is correct. "Fancy finding them here," he says. " Who's 'them?'" I enquire. "Oh," he replies, "I find she is a Mrs now, and this is where they are spending their honeymoon." and so on. We soon after leave the little wharf and proceed to steam the other thirty odd miles that will bring us to our destination. We are getting used to the ever-recurring beauties, and a slight drizzle coming on we proceed to explore the inner recesses of the vessel and find music has been provided abundantly, and all our possible wants amply anticipated. As we approach the entrance of Pegasus all hands assemble on deck. "This is the main entrance of the three," says Captain Cross, an old resident on the island who accompanies us as pilot and guide. We seem to be steamiqg right into the bush; it is deep water anywhere, you can almost pluck the flowers from the trees we are so close in shore; the foliage in front appears to open as we go on, thewater is placid as a mill pond; without noticing the gradual change we find that we are completely landlocked, it is impossible to tell where we came in. Still we go on, exclamations of admiration come from everyone; we can now hear the various birds, including the melodious bell bird, unused to disturbance, screaming and whistling. Full speed ahead! Fresh water opens before us, it is so calm that you cannot tell where the trees leave off and the reflection begins, what we thought was mainland just now on our port bow suddenly seems to detach itself and sail past us in the shape of an island; others appear, and are left in our wake in the same manner. Getting close to the head of the arm we drop anchor; it is now getting dusk and we retire below deck. The evening is passed in various ways, card parties, music, draughts and enthusiastic plans for the morrow. There being so many aboard, the majority have to bunk in the hold, which has been made quite comfortable for the time being. We lie on the top of the ballast, which consists of railway sleepers, giving rise to any amount of jokes, especially on my friend Greenbag's part, who, as we are turning in, finds he has only just recovered his appetite lost on the voyage, and persists in eating huge sandwiches and annoying us with vile puns, and finally frightens everybody out of their wits, from Captain downwards by clambering up on the bridge, and blowing the steam whistle. After repeated efforts he is finally despatched by someone, and we repose in peace to awake at first dawn of day, when we betake ourselves to the boats to visit "the falls," a beautiful cascade some 30 feet in height, surrounded by the most luxuriant ferns and shrubs imaginable. We christened them Belltopper Falls, in honour of Mr Todd, the originater and chief promoter of the trip, and who was wearing that particular kind of headgear on this occasion. Beyond these falls it is known gold exists, and some of the parties proceeding inland a short distance returned with various specimens which the knowing ones onboard declared were splendid. I forget how many tons to the ounce they were supposed to go, but as we left a party of three there for a few months prospecting, we shall no doubt know definitely later on.

The weather has now cleared up, and the day promises to be a very fine one, and after breakfast a party of us proceed in one of the steamer's boats down the other or western arm of Pegasus where the scenery is, if anything, of a grander description still. We go past a huge rock which Greenbag christens the Turtle from its very striking resemblance to that animal, and proceed until we come to a little sandy beach where we land for the purpose of exercising our lungs, a remarkable echo rewarding us.

Returning we make for the rocky entrance of a torrent which Captain Cross informs us leads to the most remarkable falls on the island. Taking the boat up stream as far as possible we land, and clambering along the rocky and thickly covered banks, some fifteen minutes' walking brings us to a magnificent fall, or rather series of three falls, coming down a perpendicular height of 350 feet or more. We come upon it so suddenly and our amazement is so great that we cannot find words to express ourselves. The water though clear at the top is beaten snow white when it reaches the second fall, from whence it flows down a sheer smooth face or rock forming about twothirds of the whole height till it reaches the bottom, forming huge banks of foam, detachments of which from time sail down the rapids. The great force of water has carved for itself a wide channel from a step at the foot of the fall, and one standing on the edge of this and gazing into the boiling and hissing cauldron beneath is apt to be overcome by dizziness. The sides of the rock on which the water flows being coated with moss, and the bush overhanging nearly the whole distance up, a few of us were enabled to make an ascent which amply repaid us by the grand view obtained. On our descent we detached pieces of timber, and boulders which rolling into the waters, were carried down with tremendous violence and shattered below; it was rather dangerous sport however, as on one occasion Greenbag nearly followed his log, which so unnerved him that he behaved himself beautifully all the rest of the day. Moffat also did a graceful slide. 

What with the spray of the fall overhead and the eccentric course of the current at our feet whose course we erstwhile followed we were all more or less wet before we got back, but the day being warm we rather revelled in our Neptune like appearance, besides which some of the party had the forethought to bring a bottle of Scotch antidote, which like those ascending the falls went up quite high. Getting our boat afloat (which we found the tide receding had left firmly fixed on a snag) took the united effort of us all, with the exception of Greenbag, who was absent for the time being; he finally reappeared from somewhere sans hat, his pate glistening through the trees. It was now past mid-day, and our original intention being to return by lunch time we had not provisioned ourselves, and began to suffer from inward cravings and gentle reminder. We were about bemoaning our fate when our tall friend, Moffett who executed the fall slide so gracefully produced a loaf of bread and a splendid piece of smoked pig's cheek amid cheers. We feasted upon this, and in token of our appreciation of his forethought knighted him on the spot, and the prefix, Sir John, stuck to him for the remainder of the trip.

Wind and tide favouring us, we soon reached the steamer again; and from our graphic and enthusiastic description, the rest of the party determined to visit the falls also. To facilitate this the captain steamed round to the western arm, and then dropped anchor, and some twenty eight persons followed our morning's tracks. We, that is us the original party, then went fishing; we manned the other ship's boat, pulled in shore towards the rocks, and dropped our lines. The fish were abundant and in a very short time our boat was inconveniently full of cod, trumpeter, ling, skate, and other varieties of fish. We also shot native game from the boat which dropped above us from the overhanging trees, in fact on one occasion a caw-caw was dropped by a shot from Mr Bachelor right on the head of one of the oarsmen. The place was literally alive with all kinds of life above and below; we saw here a brown fur seal making for one of the small caves with which the coast abounds, and the said brown fur seal we should have despatched but for the terrors of the law.

We next visited the Goblins' cave, a peculiar hole in the rocks, from the formation of which the water makes strange noises, like groans and wailings from Hades. These are caused, they say, by the compression and release of air within peculiar cavities. We went in a little way with the boat, but it seemed so dark and evil that we left it to itself; we were recompensed, however, by discovering another opening in the rocks, to all intents and purposes a cave, but which widened as we went in, and brought us, to our surprise, to a sandy beach, surrounded on all four sides by perpendicular rocks, overgrown with ferns, a beautiful sylvan bower. The crevice we came in by was just wide enough for our boat, and was the only opening. The water, though some fifteen or twenty feet deep at the enterance, was as clear as crystal, and on looking down, the most lovely and wonderful marine vegetation could be seen, amidst which fish of the smaller sort were disporting. Anemones and star fish clung to the black sides of the rocky passage, and a prettier picture could not be imagined.

On landing inside on the sandy floor about twenty yards square, we called the place Johnson's cave, that gentleman having thoughtfully provided the neccesary christening fluid. From this there ran an inner cave, into which as we approached a crested pengum disappeared. We sent the boat back to the steamer which was lying only some 400 yards away to acquaint those on board of our wonderful discovery, and to get lamps to explore the inner cave, and on its returning we went in to the end. It consisted of a passage averaging five feet wide, thirty feet high, and about 100 feet long, hewn out of a solid granite and quartz fomation. In a hole at the terminus were a lot of feathers, amidst which our friend the penguin was snugly ensconced; he was captured and taken on board, and is now quite at home in a garden in Invercargill. Mr Hart, the photographer, coming over with the second boat load, took pictures in the outer cave, which turned out gems. Visitors were coming to and fro from the vessel until sundown, all of whom were equally surprised and delighted.

The day drawing to a close, preparations were made for a grand concert in the evening, this being our last night aboard. It came off and was a great success. We had an American organ aboard, and Greenbag was an immense accompanyist, where the singers sang without their scrolls he put in little "finoodlements" that were really suiperb. Mr C. Basstian, jnr, being unanimously elected chairman, called on Greenbag for a promised overture from "Maritana;" through some oversight he played a movement in one flat from that beautiful composition "Yankee Doodle," changing from staccato at the finish, to an accelerato piano quite ethereal; amid the applause with followed you could have heard a pin drop. Mr Todd being the first called upon to exercise his vocal powers, gave very appropriately "Twas a calm, still night." The Chairman, having his eye on Sir John, who nearly missed his passage, delighted us with a most amusing composition on "Fellows who were always too late." Mr  Ross sang to the praise of old Bismarck; Mr Gilbertson was quite at home, although at sea, on "The green grass grew all around, my boys" this, I suppose, being a quiet rub at shrub-covered island. That he has a good opinion of it for all that, I am, neverthless, assured, as the next day he was telling us he believed the day would come when it would be the coaling station for the British fleet, using Nightcaps coal of course. This is digressing, however. Mr Johnston's moon was certainly more than a crescent, when he warbled forth the praises of "Bingo, by Jingo," there were three verses, the words of which being exactly similar. Sir John looking at the chairman gave us "the Brickbat which hit him on the Cocoanut," and the special reporter piped a little lay. Mr Manisty's recitation of the "Elegy on a Dead  Dog" was given with true dramatic force. After a pause Mr Hart, our photographer, was expected to answer in the negative, gave us "Killarney" and another Scotch song. Mr Churchward from Dunedin sang "Far Away," and in response to an encore a laughing song that nearly sent poor Raeside into fits. Several followed and on Greenbag being pressed he bronght out to our surprise an impromptu composition which took the enlightened audience by storm; as he has been unanimously requested to get it printed I give you a portion, of course the effect is lost on those who were not present on the occasion. He commenced to the air of "In the Morning by the Bright Light":-

Oh, a queer looking fish is the big blue cod, (Chorus): Glory Hallelujah!

But a funnier fish is Mr Todd. (Chorus): Glory Hallelujah!

(Chorus): in the morning, &c., To hear the bell birds singing in the morning.

The first Glory Hallelujah was sung with spirit and after the local allusion to our respected chief in the second line it came out with a regular burst, the rest of the chorus giving vent to the pent up feelings of the audience. Then followed, all in the same metre:— 

"Our thanks to him and Mr Campbell, We'll give with cheers for this pleasant ramble

Nor must we forget our gallant Captain too, Who awoke with a start when the whistle blew;

Then the crew and the chief mate Mr Hansen, who notwithstanding his sore toe, were kept upon us prancing;

Then, young Captain Cross, a friend to us all, Who took us to see the big waterfall:

The jolly little fireman we must not leave off the roll, for drying all our wet clothes down in the stokers hole;

Sir John we'll hoist o the top missen peak, for feeding all the hungry on such prime porcine cheek;

Then there is little Greenbag, the pet of all the crew, If he had not been with us, what the dickens should we do;

Then there is Mr Johnson, who gymnastics did us teach, When landed off the Captain's back on pretty  Echo Beach;

And Mr Searle, with trousers high, now wading in the stream, and Green bag with his polished pate, among the scrub is seen; 

The Southland Times reporter, who fished on from morn till night, But though they were all around him he could not get a bite

Then our worthy Chairman, who did start to see our lovely fall. But getting one himself on starting, did not go at all.

Now the day will quickly come it is my firm belief, When we all shall make our fortunes in a Pegasus quartz reef.

And then we will, I'm sure we will, without any more fuss, raise a monument to William Todd in lovely Peg-a-sus. 

This was received with applause, loud and long, and after a speech from the chairman, cheers were given for Mr Wm. Todd, as the projector, Mr Campbell, on behalf of the owners, and Captain Sandstrom, on behalf of himself and his very obliging crew. The compliments were acknowledged, and after "Auld Lang Syne" and "The National Anthem" we retired to our respective couches to get our well-earned repose, and next day we steamed home in very quick time, although we encountered a gale in the Straits. Before landing, further thanks were tendered to Captain Sandstrom and our pilot, Mr Cross, and after making up a substantial purse for the crew, we all betook ourselves to our various ways, highly satisfied with everybody and everything in connection with an enjoyable trip, to be repeated, it is hoped, at an early date.  -Press, 1/3/1888.


[Per Press Association.] INVERCARGILL, Dec. 12. The discovery of stream-tin at Stewart's Island appears to be of some importance. The locality is Port Pegasus, at the Southeast corner of the island, where Swain and party have been prospecting for gold for a long time past. While at work they came across what appeared to be garnets or rubies, and sent specimens to Professor Black, who thought the matter of such importance that he visited Port Pegasus. He came over yesterday, and returned today. What is his estimate of the value of the find is not known; but an assay made here of one hundred and eight grains gave sixty-five one-twenty-fifth metal; cleared of impurities forty-nine one-twenty-fifth, or nearly fifty per cent. The Professor thinks this rather under the true quantity. It appears that someone has been in communication with Australian capitalists to forestall the prospectors, and a party is now on the way to Pott Pegasus to secure the ground. The prospectors, however, came across yesterday, and secured the lease of 540 acres, passing their rivals wind-bound in a cutter at Port Adventure. It is said that plenty of ore is to be got, and a Company to work the ground is already spoken of.  -Star, 13/12/1888.


ARRIVED. Dec. 13 - Kawatiri. 288 tons, Apstein, en route from Westport. Union Steamship Company, agents. 

SAILED. Dec. 13 — Pukaki, 850 tons, Fielding, for Sydney Union Steamship Company, agents. Dec. 13 — Awarua, p.s., 59 tons, Paterson, for Port Pegasus, with Professor Black and party. Bluff Harbour Board, agents. 

The s.s Kawatiri, from Dunedin, for Westport via Milford, brought up at the lower anchorage on Wednesday night, having been compelled to put in for coal through being weatherbound at Stewart Island for five days. She was in ballast, and was therefore completely at the mercy of the unsually heavy sea that has been running outside during the past week. Captain Apstein records that the brig Okenbury, which left Bluff for Melbourne last week, is still lying at Stewart Island awaiting a favourable wind. 

Mr John Murdoch and the tin prospectors (Messrs Swain and Co) yesterday chartered the tug Awarua to take them and Professor Black across to Port Pegasus, and left at 5 p.m. As the distance is over 100 miles they will probably be away till Saturday evening at the least. The s.s. Pukaki left for Sydney at 10.30 a.m. yesterday with equal to 1500 tons of produce aboard.  -Southland Times, 14/12/1888.

For some time past (says the Southland News) rumors have been current in town of important discoveries of tin in Stewart Island. The locale is the vicinity of Port Pegasus. The discovery was made by Swain and party, who have been gold prospecting there, off and on, during the past twelve months. In the course of their researches they came upon deposits of what they at first took to be garnets or rubies intermixed with other stuff, in which gold was also present. To set all doubts at rest it was decided to forward a parcel to Professor Black at Dunedin for analysis. After testing the material, the Professor came to the conclusion that the discovery was of sufficient importance to warrant his making a trip to the scene of operations. Accordingly, he came down to the Bluff, and from there crossed to Half Moon Bay, from whence he proceeded to Pegasus by cutter. Accompanied by the prospectors, he went to the lode and removed numerous specimens, which he afterwards tested at Half Moon Bay. The result of the experiments was so satisfactory as to induce Swain and party to apply for a lease of 540 acres, which was granted. It is likely that steps will be taken at an early date to form a company to work the ground, an operation for which considerable capital will be required. We have seen a sample of the tin in the "button" form, and also rolled out, and it is of splendid quality.   -Cromwell Argus, 18/12/1888.



 As a result of the discovery of tin ore at Port Pegasus, Stewart Island, forty-one prospecting licenses have been taken out at the Land Office. There are also nine applications for leases of sixty acres each. These will be granted when surveyed.  -Evening Star, 21/12/1888.


Our Central Otago mining correspondent writes:—

Last Thursday I had occasion to pay a business trip to Stewart's Island, and while at Pegasus Bay I fell in with Professor Black and three hardy prospectors, who, with him, were engaged in investigating the circumstances of the recent discovery of tin in that locality. 

The doctor, with the three men in question, had been at Half-moon Bay for some days, unable, owing to stress of weather, to get on to Pegasus. They therefore resolved on going overland, and left there last Saturday. The distance is some 45 miles, through country of an almost inaccessible nature, and it was only by the most strenuous exertions the party were able to reach their destination under 4 days. The hardships they suffered were very trying, and on one occasion for nearly 24 hours they were wet through — could not light a fire, their matches having been reduced to a pulp, and could not obtain protection against the drenching cold rain that fell. To make bad matters worse, their stock of provisions ran out, and for 36 hours the only food that passed their mouths was butter and sugar. Certainly very nourishing under certain circumstances, but hardly in the present instance. During the remaining part of the journey the palates of the explorers were tickled with such delicacies as Maori hen broth and damper, and for a change they had damper and Maori hen soup. 

The country, according to the doctor, is the roughest he has ever travelled over, and is covered with a thick, shrubby undergrowth, in which "lawyers" and "Irishmen" occupy prominent positions. The scenery, however - that is, where it is possible to attain an eminence in order to get a glimpse of the country — is simply beautiful. All along the sea coast the hills dip precipitously into the sea, and are clothed with verdant vegetation right down to the water's edge. Pegasus Bay affords several very grateful glimpses of beautiful scenery, and when communication is established it will be much effected by globe trotters, tourists, et hoc genus omne.

With regard to the value of the discovery of tin, while not committing himself to a distinct opinion, Professor Black informed me that, basing his remarks on a visit to the locale extending over several hours, he thought it would in the course of time become a large diggings, and would afford lucrative employment to a number of powerful companies. The country rock (granite) was favourable to the existence of lodes often, but what he liked about it was that the metal occurred in the form of stream tin. 

The doctor will remain at Pegasus Bay till Sunday exploring the country, and will then return, reaching Dunedin probably on either Monday night or Tuesday morning next.  -Otago Witness, 28/12/1888.

There is a good deal of talk in town about the find of stream tin at Port Pegasus, Stewart Island. We hear that one of the discoverers has sold an eighth of a share (there being altogether twenty-five shares) for L200 ($43,500 today). It is said that the tin in its crude state, roughly washed, is worth L46 ($10,000 today) a ton.  -Evening Star, 29/12/1888.

The Stewart Island correspondent of the Southland News writes:— "The recent tin discovery at Pegasus is still causing a lot of stir. The ketch Aparima left here on the 23rd with a party of four Stewart Islanders, and returned on the 29th. They are all satisfied with what they have seen, and have pegged off their ground, The Aparima brought back one of the Tasmanians who left the Bluff some little time ago in the Nautilus cutter."  -Otago Daily Times, 5/1/1889.


[FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT.] In my last letter I mentioned the fact of tin being discovered at Stewart Island. The prospectors who with Professor left last week to visit the spot were unable to get round the Island, and being wind bound started to walk across the Island. The track across is a very rough one, mostly through heavy bush and broken country; the distance is about thirty-five miles and they arrived at their journey's end on the third day out. There is no word yet of the party coming back. Of course there is a good deal of excitement over the affair, and a large number of leases have been taken up, over forty in all, and farther applications are coming in. Undoubtedly the find is a genuine one. The only thing to be ascertained now is the extent of the payable ground. The finding of stream tin would seem to indicate that the reef is not far off. It is somewhat strange that this discovery has not been made before, as Port Pegasus has always been a favourite prospecting ground, and during many years various mineral finds have been brought over and assays made, and I am afraid they have not always been correct, or at least that they have not been sufficiently exhaustive, for though iron was there in considerable quantity, surely sixteen per cent of tin should have attracted attention. However, better late than never, for it looks as though something would come out of this find anyhow. 

There seems to be considerable activity in the prospecting line just now, the cutters are knocking about just now. The Magnet and the Anne have been along the Sounds and Preservation Inlet, but the weather was so frightfully rough that little or nothing could be done. The various prospectors seen did not seem to have done much, of course these isolated parties were on the gold lay and there is very little of that along the Sounds, however, they got some shells and a few other odds and ends. Mr Seymour, the naturalist, is reported as being on the Coast. There is something doing in the coal way too, a lease having been taken in the neighbourhood of Chalky, and the party leave for the scene of the deposit in a few days, taking with them the means of living. There are plenty of indications of bituminous coal at or about Preservation, but the seams are all too thin, and I should not be surprised to hear the same is true in the present case, though appearances at the present time point to a different conclusion. People seem to have a belief that minerals exist in this same neighbourhood, for there was an application before the Warden's Court the other day for a prospecting license to search for minerals other than gold over three square miles of country near Preservation. 

We had a little mild excitement in town during the week, the occasion being the laying the foundation stone of the waterworks tower, and in the evening the Mayor entertained a number of gentlemen at the Crescent Hotel to celebrate the event, and of course a very pleasant evening was spent.  

It's no use talking about business or the prospects of the country just now, for it's holiday time, and everybody seems to know it. Christmas has come and gone, and here we are preparing for a second dose, are we not an unhappy lot of people? So depressed too, but of course you can't help this unfortunate state of things. It's no use, we must enjoy ourselves, and the new year will be the better for it, for despite the late tempestuous weather this crops are looking splendid, and I have no doubt that on New Years Day the two or three thousand farmers, with their families, that come into town to enjoy themselves, will look splendid also. 

Yes, we have had a good turn at holiday making daring Christmas, all over the country there were sports of some kind, each locality on this occasion provides for itself, regatta at Rivertom, races here, Caledonian gatherings there, and so on. The town folks went into the country or to the seaside with their families to enjoy themselves, and then people came back and pretended to go to work again, but it was all moonshine, they were just passing off the time till the New Year when they will be ready for the fray again. In the New Year's time the order of doing is changed; on the first nearly everybody is in town, on the second town and country alike go to the Bluff and the adjacent ocean beaches, and to Stewart's Island, but all to the seaside. After that we must settle down to work, and look forward, as we have every season to do, that the coming year will be a more prosperous one than its predecessor both for town and country. We must not forget our new find, the Stewart's Island tin mine, which looks well, though the recent rough weather has considerably retarded operations. Processor Black returned from the island several days ago, and at once left for Dunedin. It is said that he is most enthusiastic over the discovery, but then he is always that way, so that does not count for much. Still the affair has a genuine ring about it and I have no doubt that as soon as the holidays are over we shall full particulars, and that the result will be favourable.  -Press, 7/1/1889.


the Stewart's island discovery

A gentleman who has just returned from Invercargill has shown us a sample of the stream tin from Stewart's Island, which consists of black grains intermixed with red garnets, commonly called by the miners "rubies." The sample is said to contain about 50 per cent. of metallic tin, various assays having been made from 44 to 70 per cent. of different specimens, and of course a good deal depends on the extent to which it is washed free from extraneous sand before testing. Our informant states that one gentleman, who is likely to be well informed, estimated the value of tin in sight at £100,000 ($21,754,276 today). Experts are, however, now over from Tasmania, and the value of the deposit is likely soon to be tested. Ten claims have been pegged off, and 15 parties are out prospecting. The formation is granite, with which tin is usually found associated, and it is said that a true lode has been discovered. The prospectors state that they have gone 30ft through the deposit of stream tin without finding bottom, and there seems reason to hope that a really valuable discovery has at last been made. Professor Black and his assistants have again gone over to the island to remain there a month and to render all assistance with the blowpipe and tests, which have already distinctly disclosed the metallic tin from the ore. It is only a question of quantity. As the principal known deposit is near Port Pegasus, where there is a splendid port and deep water, there will be no difficulty in shipping the ore in large quantities to Launceston, where it is worth £30 to £50 a ton. The supposed discovery on the mainland is probably near a spot where granite is known to exist; and Southland seems likely to be blessed wiih a new export of a very valuable character. The matter is at all events now in good hands, and time will show. The Inverargill people have been so often disappointed that they are not much excited as yet about this expected influx of wealth. The Wellman dredge at Waipapa is expected to be at work in a fortnight, and great things are expected from it; and there are also good accounts from Round Hill and Longwood.


Our Riverton correspondent writes: — A valuable discovery of tin ore on the West Coast has just come to light through the discovery on Stewart's Island. Some Riverton men, who were prospecting for gold on the West Coast some two years ago, finding an immense deposit of what they thought to be rough black sand, brought some of it to Riverton to try to findsome means of saving the gold that was known to be mixed with it, but they could not discovery any means of separating the gold from the sand. When they were shown the samples of the tin ore found on Stewart's Island, they saw at once that what they had taken for black sand was really tin ore; and is there is a quantity of gold mixed with the ore, it ought to prove a most valuable discovery. The party of six made an application by their agent, Mr J. P. Young, to the warden for a license to search for minerals other than gold or silver over an area of three square miles of Crown lands, between Price's Boat Harbour and the Big river, which was granted. The party will at once have several tons of the ore sent over to Hobart or Melbourne to have it smelted, so that they may have a thoroughly practical test, and not trust to any results that may be got by analysing a small quantity of the ore, which might be misleading. The place where the ore is situated is easily accessible, and the crude ore could be shipped at less than 10s per ton. As there is a considerable quantity of gold in the sand, the prospects of the affair being a success are certainly rosy.  -Otago Daily Times, 9/1/1889.


(From Our Own Correspondent.)

Half Moon Bay, January 7. Gold fever is an old complaint in New Zealand, but now we have a new disorder — viz., tin fever, and all hands have got it very badly down here. Swain and party were the first to make the discovery, and they deserve great credit. They went to Pegasus last summer to prospect for gold, and brought back with them specimens of quartz from five or six different reefs, which were sent to Dunedin for analysis by Professor Black. I think they all contained a small percentage of gold, but not enough to pay. The same party went down again last October with the intention of taking in water to a certain flat, where they thought to make wages out of the alluvial gold contained therein, but when their work was a fair way towards completion, it entered their heads to send a sample of the ruby sand to Professor Black, to see what it really was, as some of the party had a dim suspicion that it might contain tin.

The next thing that happens is Professor Black at Pegasus, hard at it with the party prospecting. Having seen that the thing was good, the professor with two or three of the party returned straight to Invercargill, where they set about securing the ground, taking up a matter of 510 acres. The excitement in Invercargill was great, and one of the party informed me that he could have sold his share for £200. But they did not let the grass grow under their feet, as there were others all ready to start down, amongst whom was a party from Australia, and two men from Tasmania, all with money at their backs. The weather was frightful at the time, but nothing daunted they chartered the Bluff tug to take them down, but she only got a short distance past Port Adventure and had to put hack to Half Moon Bay; but not to be beat this intrepid party started and walked right through from Half Moon Bay to Port Pegasus, a distance of about 40 miles, over the most awful country imaginary. They did the journey in four days, and arrived on the ground a few hours before the Tasmanians, and got all their ground pegged off.

I am told that the ground pegged off by Swain and party is worth half a million. The Tasmanians, on being shown over the ground, pronounced it to be equal to anything in their country, and they instantly wired the news there.

January 8. The weekly steamer arrived this morning with the Government surveyor, who, with Swain's party and Professor Black, will proceed by cutter to Pegasus to-morrow. Active steps are being taken to put a track through from Half Moon Bay to Pegasus, which will in all probability be finished within three months.  -Otago Daily Times, 9/1/1899.



Sir, — I can add a few particulars to your correspondents' accounts of the Stewart's Island discoveries which may be of interest to your readers. It seems that two different parties have met on the island, whose information was from independent sources. A gentleman who conversed with one of the Tasmanians told me that their knowledge of the deposits of tin ore arose in this way: A man who had been in Stewart's Island went to Tasmania, and while there saw a sample of stream tin. He remarked, "Oh, there's lots of this in Stewart's Island." "Are you sure?" was the reply; "and can you get us a sample?" "Oh yes." And the sample was obtained and tested in Tasmania. Finding it was undoubtedly tin, a party was at once sent off with credits on a bank in Invercargill to any amount, one of them being a tin valuer. Meantime Professor Black had tested samples sent to him, and finding they were tin, he started off with the prospectors, as described by your correspondent. Not being able readily to get round to Pegasus by sea, he started overland, and had a very difficult journey of 45 miles over a saddle 3000 ft high, and for 30 hours had little but tea to sustain himself and party. They however arrived in time and took up their claim. As one of those who have always believed in the energetic professor, I rejoice at his success in this instance, and only hope he may secure such a slice for himself as will make him "rich beyond the dreams of avarice." He is no doubt sanguine, but anyone who has studied for 15 years, as I have done, the mineral resources of this wonderful country — especially its vast areas of auriferous drift — may be pardoned for taking a sanguine view of things, and at least the professor has set the miners thinking and inspired them with hope. If he now succeeds in retaining for himself and his fellow colonists a large share of wealth which would otherwise have passed into Tasmanian hands he will deserve a substantial reward, which I hope he will get. As nothing succeeds like success, his detractors will then be prepared to admit that there is something in the energetic professor after all. He is now on the spot with "Wully" and his blow-pipe, and I myself saw that useful lieutenant test a sample of sand and produce two flakes of tin in about a quarter of an hour with his handy little implement; the professor had not thought much of the sample, but there sure enough was the tin. I fancy this was from the mainland. At all events there is a granitic formation on the coast which is as likely as not to contain tin.

Now that the professor and "Wully" are at hand to test every new discovery on the island the task of the prospector is much lightened. If the ore discovered is tin it is only a question of quantity, and the whole watershed of the granite range may contain more or less of it. I should not be in the least surprised if it ultimately runs into millions; at all events the Tasmanians are satisfied, and they have had a Mount Bischoff to deal with. But let no one invest without first satisfying himself that the find is tin and that the ore is accessible in large quantities. I hear of a lode being discovered, but the conditions for working a lode are very different from those connected with stream tin, which only needs to be washed out from the surrounding sand, put in bags, and shipped to Launceston at the fine port of Pegasus pending the erection of smelting works on the spot, and it is there worth £30 to £50 a ton.

I am a little surprised at the incredulity with which such discoveries are received, even when the geological features of the country make them extremely probable. This period of incredulity is just as likely to be followed by a period of wild excitement and bogus discovery when success has to a certain extent been attained. Verb. sap. (verbum sapienti satis [Latin: a word is enough to the wise]) I believe the present discovery is valuable, but how valuable time alone can show. I also believe that the Big river on the mainland, where the second discovery is said to be made, is a likely place, and that other discoveries will be made along the coast, of more or less value, where the granite crops out; but it may or may not be in payable quantities.

Just a word about our auriferous resources.  I believe these to be enormous. In travelling for years over the country I have been struck with the immense deposits of drift proved to be auriferous, but needing mechanical appliances, and water, and pumping machinery, and crushing machinery, to develop. I have in a recent journey hit upon one field for enterprise, where the pick and shovel and the ordinary sluice box have been used for 23 years, and large quantities of gold got, but which is now comparatively neglected because a considerable expenditure of capital is needed to deal with the vast quantities of auriferous drift available. Why concentrate our thoughts mainly on quartz reefs which are invariably speculative when we have such a vast field for hydraulic mining? The period of "rushes" is probably past, and the period of scientific mining and of mechanical appliances has set in. I venture the bold assertion that in Otago and Southland alone, from the top of our highest diggings at 6000 ft (Mount Buster) and 4000 ft at Criffel, downwards to the auriferous beaches on our coast, we have within reach of modern appliances at least a thousand millions in gold, which will afford employment for our population for 100 years to come, and yet we have the cry from year to year of the "unemployed." The main reasons are that we have insufficient skill, insufficient capital, too little honesty, and too little hope. When gold mining is less a matter of share broking and more a matter of good, sound, honest work, the golden age will fairly set in.

— I am, &c., January 10. Amateur Geologist.  -Otago Daily Times, 11/1/1889.

The Tin Boom. — A fair number of citizens attended the meeting called by Mr Todd for last night to consider the project of making up a party to proceed to Port Pegasus. After consideration it was thought "sufficient inducement" had been forthcoming to warrant the agent of the Invercargill laying that favourite steamer on for a three days' cruise round Stewart Island. Such has actually been done, and the time and terms of the voyage will be found in our advertising columns.  -Southland Times, 12/1/1889.


The Minister of Mines has received a telegram from Invercargill that over L1,000 has been paid in mining fees in connection with the recent tin discoveries at Port Pegasus, Stewart Island.   -Evening Star, 24/1/1889.

The Tin at Port Pegasus.

DISCOVERY OF RICH LODES. Ever since the reported discovery of stream tin at Port Pegasus, Stewart Island, public attention has turned eagerly in that direction, all sorts of speculations being made and opinions expressed as to the probable value and extent of the find, while news was anxiously awaited from day to day as to the prospects of the various parties who were known to be on the ground. The rumours which did occasionally reach the mainland were so indefinite and contradictory that they only served to deepen the mystery as to what was actually going on, and to increase the general anxiety for full and accurate information. When therefore it became known yesterday that Professor Black had returned to town, and that he reported the discovery of two rich lodes of tin-bearing granite in the Remarkable Mountains, the public interest increased almost to public excitement, and the Professor and the several members of his party who accompanied him, were besieged with inquiries from all sections of the community. As a result of his revelations the tin fever increased in virulence, and applications at once began to be made at the Land Office for areas and prospecting licenses. In all eleven areas of 60 acres each and ten licenses were granted during the day; the total numbers issued since the discovery of the tin being thus brought up to 34 and 71 respectively. Professor Black brought over with him a number of splendid specimens of stone from the lodes, and has kindly left one at the office of this paper for public inspection. Experts who have examined these specimens declare them to be extremely rich in metal, and estimate that some of the best of them must yield at least 75 per cent. thereof. If such is the case, and there appears to be no reasonable ground for doubt, and if the ore is to be found in the vast quantities which are confidently expected to be available, the discoveries at Port Pegasus will rank among the most important and valuable yet made in the colony.

In conversation with Professor Black a representative of this paper gleaned certain information concerning the discovery and the nature of the deposits which may be of general interest. He first became acquainted of the existence of the mineral in Stewart Island by having a sample brought to him by Mr Charles Robertson about a month ago. This he immediately assayed, and finding tin started on the following day with Mr Robertson for Pegasus. Arrived there he found six or eight men engaged digging in alluvial claims for gold. In these claims the men were finding large quantities of a mixture of garnets and stream tin, a mixture which was reported on by Professor Ulrich some six years ago and pronounced to consist of garnets, the tin being then overlooked. On this important discovery being made George Swain and party, on the advice of Professor Black, pegged off about 120 acres of the best of the ground and then proceeded to Invercargill to secure the right to work it. This having been done, Mr Swain and the Professor returned to Pegasus with the view of pegging out fresh ground, because by this time the news of the discovery had got abroad and prospectors were eagerly flocking to the spot. Their return was also hastened through their hearing that a party from Melbourne were on their way to Pegasus, being then weather-bound at Port Adventure. After attempting to get round by the tug Awarua and failing to do so on account of the weather, Swain's party and the Professor started overland from Half Moon Bay, reaching Pegasus after a very arduous journey on the forenoon of the fifth day out. They found themselves still in full possession of the ground, neither the Victorian nor any other prospecting party having yet arrived. After a hard afternoon's work they turned in, but had scarcely done so when they were alarmed by the whistle of a steamer in the harbour. Expecting that the whistle betokened the arrival of invaders four men were despatched at once to the alluvial ground to be in readiness to "peg out" at break of day so as to secure priority of claim. It proved a false alarm, however, as the steamer was the Awarua on a friendly visit. Two hours afterwards Mr Scollay's cutter, which had been chartered by Swain's party, arrived and was immediately followed by other similar craft bearing rival prospectors. Thenceforth pegging out became the order of the day, all being busy in securing what seemed to be the most promising claims. A day or two afterwards a Tasmanian party arrived, and at once applied to Professor Black for information and guidance which he, with his usual urbanity, and as he had already got pretty well all the ground he wanted for his own party, readily gave. After another brief visit to Invercargill the Professor returned to the scene of operations and at once sent out parties to scour the country all round for a lode. From a minute and careful study of the ground he had no difficulty in selecting the most likely place for lode formations to be found, and the accuracy of his calculations was proved by the speedy discovery of what was sought on the southern extremity of the Remarkables, 1700 feet above the sea level, 1400 feet above the alluvial claims, and about three or four miles from the port. There the party found two lode formations intersecting each other at an angle of about fifteen degrees, one running almost due north and south along the Remarkables and the direction of the other being from S.S.E. to N.N.W. As a reward of certain precautions the Professor's party had sole possession of the ground for two days, but on the morning of the third day, just as they were emerging from a dense bush about a mile from the lode they encountered another party of prospectors. The new-comers accompanied the Professor's party to the top of the Remarkables and it was with considerable difficulty they were beguiled into proceeding towards a likely-looking flat about four miles to the eastward. By the exercise of a little diplomacy this was accomplished, and the Professor's party secured the ground to themselves for another whole day. As a result of this Smith, Swain and party are in possession of the only claims as yet pegged out on the lodes in which the metal is visible. There is every probability, however, that tin will be found in the extension of the lodes into the ranges now covered with dense bush, but until the land covered with this bush is thoroughly prospected it is impossible to tell the extent of the deposits. A very rich alluvial claim was also pegged out by the same party on the eastern side of the mountains. This party — or rather two parties, namely Swain and party and Smith, Swain and party — undoubtedly now hold the cream of the stream and lode tin claims in the locality. The news somehow spread through the camp that the professor's party were "on the metal," the result being a general scramble through the bush all night long, the object of the men being to be on the ground at the break of day. From then until the professor's departure busy prospectors could be seen hard at work pegging out claims on the mountain top. Next to his own associates the professor gives the palm for energy and activity to the Tasmanian party, and states that they were invariably second on the good ground and pegged out alongside his own selections. He says he cannot understand the tactics of the Sydney prospectors who only arrived three days ago, just three weeks after the pegging out on the alluvial ground began and one week after the lodes were discovered. The professor regrets this dilatoriness as he has a high opinion of the enterprise of the Sydney people generally, and would like to see them represented by a more energetic body of prospectors than they seem to have secured. The men have, he thinks, been fooling their time away down south at the base of the eminences known as Gog and Magog and on the adjoining flats. From all accounts yet received they have not been successful in their search. Several parties from Half Moon Bay have done a great amount of hard work in prospecting claims in the neighbourhood of those first pegged out, but what success has attended their efforts has not transpired. The energy shown by other Stewart Island and Bluff parties certainly merits better results than have yet been attained. Persons who have been on the spot state that the valuable find is almost wholly in the hands of Southlanders, who with the Tasmanians may be said to be virtually in full possession of the field. Since the discovery of the lodes several syndicates have been formed in Invercargill, all of which have placed themselves under the guidance of Professor Black. 

To sum up briefly, in the professor's own words, the place seems to be a small edition of Cornwall. Granite is the containing rock, while the lodes and stream deposits are similar to those found in the part of England named. The accompanying minerals — wolfram, barytes, white mica, &c, &c. — are also similar and the stone bears a general resemblance to the museum specimens from Cornwall, Mount Bischoff and other wellknown tin producing places. The Tasmanian and Victorian experts pronounce the find a most valuable one and offers have already been received from Sydney and Victoria for large interests in the Various properties. 

The precise location of the lodes is indicated above, but a word may be added as to their accessibility. In this respect no difficulty is anticipated, the harbour being probably the finest in the colony, one which could more than accommodate an immense fleet of the largest vessels afloat, while it is estimated that a tramway can be constructed to a place convenient to the lodes for L500 or L600. To erect the proper plant for smelting, &c, would probably cost about L6000, but even if this work is not undertaken at present the ore can be shipped to Launceston where it will fetch from L30 to L60 per ton. Should, however, the smelting operations be carried on at Pegasus a practically inexhaustible supply of fuel is available, and that of the kind — rata, or ironwood — most suitable for the purpose. 

Thus all the surrounding circumstances seem to favour the development of the mineral resources of the locality, and there appears to be little difficulty in the way of commencing and continuing operations on an extensive scale. There is every indication that the matter will be spiritedly taken up by many of our leading commercial men, and that tin mining at Pegasus will soon attain the position of a profitable and most important industry.  -Southland Times, 24/1/1889.


THE GREAT TIN DISCOVERY. A three weeks' holiday in Stewart's Island, especially in the remote and wilder parts of it — quite away from the reach of letters, papers, and other little nuisances which make up life — is a thing to be remembered. But there is one incident in connection with our recent very pleasant trip, which, from a public point of view, quite obscures in interest everything else, and which added additional excitement to our holiday. So I must first refer to it. This is a magnificent discovery of tin which has been made within the past four or five weeks at Pegasus in Stewart's Island. Unfortunately, there have within the past few years been so many "magnificent discoveries" made which have ended in smoke, that people now simply smile incredulously and refuse to believe any of these things. But this I believe to be a really good "find." I believe that we will now have one of the biggest "booms" that has ever occurred in New Zealand since the discovery of gold in the early days. I believe that in a very few weeks there will be tremendous enthusiasm — not only in New Zealand, but far more among the capitalists in Melbourne and Sydney — over the discovery of a tin mine in Stewart's Island worth, perhaps, hundreds of thousands of pounds. These are pretty "tall" statements to make. I think they will be fulfilled. As far as I can see the only thing wanting to make this certain is to ascertain if the alluvial tin-wash goes deep enough, and if the lode (which has only been found within the past few days) is extensive enough to make the enterprise pay. So far the affair has, of course, been kept very quiet, because the few men interested had if possible to secure all the ground they wanted before it got public. But so far they have done their work, and in recounting their adventures I am now disclosing no secrets. I wish I could do the subject justice, because all the incidents connected with this discovery seem to me to be of absorbing interest. And what made it specially interesting is the fact that it is the original small band of prospectors who discovered it, and who throughout showed the most enterprise, who have got by far the most valuable finds. There has been no " luck " about it (this will be seen as we go on), indomitable "go," indomitable perseverance and pluck in the face of hardship, combined with scientific knowledge, having rightly carried the day.   -Clutha Leader, 25/1/1889.


WELLINGTON, January 26. Mr Gordon, Inspector of Mines, accompanies Sir J. Hector to Melbourne for the purpose of selecting suitable mining exhibits to be forwarded to the Paris Exhibition. Mr Gordon will also superintend the crushing of a quantity of stone entrusted to him by owners on that condition; the proceeds arising from the crushing to be handed over to the owners. If the tin discoveries at Stewart Island are as valuable as represented, Government will try and obtain samples of the tin for exhibition at Paris. Additional exhibits being obtained in the colony for Paris will be sent on by the Messageries-Maritime line. The Agent-General has been instructed to make the necessary arrangements for their reception. The Government have received no official information re the tin discoveries at Stewart Island, but have been asked to make a road across the island. They intend blazing a track from Port William across the island to Port Pegasus, to enable prospectors to get to the tin fields.  -Evening Star, 26/1/1889.


January 30. Mr Ward, member for Invercargill, has promised the Minister of Mines to obtain a hundredweight of Stewart's Island tin to send to the Paris Exhibition. Thirtyeight applications for leases have been received, each 60 acres. The tin vein covers the greater portion of the valley of Pegasus Bay.  -Oamaru Mail, 30/1/1889.

The Excursion to Pegasus. — Shortly after mid-day yesterday the s.s. Invercargill sailed for the scene of the recent tin discoveries at Port Pegasus. Great enthusiasm in the trip was evinced by the passengers, about fifty in number, and if "the cut of their rig" and the character of their baggage are indicative of their intentions, many of them mean to have more than a passing view of the locality. Among the cargo was noticeable doors and windows, galvanised iron, an iron chimney, and a considerable quantity of timber for building purposes. The steamer is expected to land her passengers at the Bluff on Saturday.  -Southland Times, 31/1/1899.

An interesting lecture was delivered in Invercargill on Tuesday on "The Auriferous Resources of Otago and Southland." In responding to a hearty vote of thanks accorded at the close of the lecture, Mr Ashcroft said he would he happy to have a conversation with any persons interested in tin, and would readily give them any assistance he could. He would give one word of caution in regard to the tin. The people should not run away with the idea that money could not be lost in connection with it. Lodes had been worked which did not pay and bogus companies started by those confounded sharebrokers. Whatever the people did he warned them against entering into swindles because if they did the effects would recoil on their own heads. He thought the only way to properly work the Stewart Island discoveries was by a general combination carrying on its operations over the whole place for the benefit of all interested in it. By means of honest and fair work millions might be get out of the deposits, but he hoped there would be no public excitement and wild speculation in shares whether there was anything there or not.  -Mataura Ensign, 1/2/1889.



April 11th. An analysis of Stewart's Island tin has been made by Professor Skey. One sample gives 92.4 per  cent of oxide of tin; another lot from the last find, 97.3. The best Cornwall tin per centage is about 95, so that the new discovery is a rich one.   -Oamaru Mail, 2/2/1889.




[By Our Own Reporter.]

Receiving orders on Tuesday last to visit the scene of the recent tin discoveries at Stewart's Island, I caught the afternoon train for Clinton, and on the following morning journeyed on to Invercargill, where I took passage for the island on board the s.s. Invercargill. There were some 45 excursionists on board, among whom were Messrs Keith Ramsay, Brown (of Brown, Ewing, and Co.), Mitchell (of Fergusson and Mitchell), and T. T. Ritchie, of Dunedin; and Messrs Todd, McPherson, Heath, Cleave, Matheson, Manson, Thomson, Basstian, Lewis, Brodrick, Jennings, Cross, Baker, W. Smith, and Inspector Moore, of Invercargill. We had a fine passage across Foveaux Strait, and after calling at Half-Moon Bay we journeyed on to Pegasus, and anchored at 10 o'clock in Oyster Cove, opposite the tents of the tin miners. On the following moruiug we started off on a journey through

THE TIN COUNTRY, with the intention also of visiting the lode on the top of the Remarkables, a long wooded hill about 2000 ft high. Landing in boats at the mouth of a large creek, we visited a pretty low waterfall, and then followed a track through the bush along the course of an old water race used some years ago in connection with the gold mining which had been carried on in the locality. The first portion of the country passed through is a freehold belonging to Messrs Todd and Harvey, of Invercargill, and on the way up several good prospects of stream tin were obtained. Leaving this section we come into the alluvial ground which has recently been pegged out and skirt Longuet's creek, which is the right hand branch of Pegasus creek. We pass Kirkland and party's claim, and come into McLauchlan and party's ground which joins Kirkland's and Todd's. There is a piece of open ground where Swain and party, the original prospectors, have secured a good claim, and on the bushy terrace to the left is the Tasmanian party's claim, which is also said to be a very good one. Near at hand is seen the old gold workings and a quarts reef which contains a small percentage ef gold, and here we are joined by Dr Black, who, with his coat thrown over his shoulder, is waiting for us near by to lead the way. There is a good track up to the lode, that is as bush tracks go, but it proves too much for some of our party who quickly come to the conclusion that it is better to be discreet than valorous. There are still, however, some 30 excursionists left, who, not knowing what there is  before them, plod steadily onward in Indian file — forming a long procession, which, greatly to the delight of Professor Black and his men, works a wonderful improvement in the character of the track. The last three miles of the journey is mostly through tall bush and olearia or mutton bird scrub — the tupari of the Maoris. The distance from the waterfall is about five miles, and it takes Dr Black and myself, who have gone on ahead, a little over two hours to accomplish the distance; though it takes some of the party exactly five and a-half hours. On reaching the tents on the top of the mountain, the billy is boiled, and we sit down to a luncheon which is greatly enjoyed by everyone. We then inspect the lode, where men are at work blasting with dynamite, and afterwards I go with Dr Black, Mr McPherson, and Joss, a halfcaste Maori who is one of the crew of the Invercargill, to examine the top of the mountain for a couple of miles or so farther on. The country gets less promising as we advance, and after an hour's walk we halt opposite a number of peculiar smooth, round, rocky mounds, which have been called after Professor Black's assistant, "Wullie's Knobs." Here we bask in the sunshine for a few minutes and enjoy the view, which on all hands is of the most beautiful description. To the north of the island, which is 140 miles long, we have a fine view of wooded country extending as far as Mount Anglin. To the east are several islands, and the treacherous trap rocks are seen far out at sea; while to the south we can see the peculiar peaks known as Gog and Magog and admire the beautiful windings of the South Arm. Just below us on the western side are the yellow sands of Doughboy Bay glistening in the sunlight, while over the tops of the Deceitful Peaks the eye wanders over a great expanse of blue ocean to where the Solanders rise their dark, forbidding walls of rock above the grey of the horizon. The country is all pegged out on the mountain as far as we have come, and below us on either side are alluvial claims extending over hundreds of acres of low lying country and up on to the terraces beyond. Whether they will all turn out well remains to be seen, but it is pretty well certain that a great many of them will prove payable, while some may turn out to be very rich.

THE FIRST PROSPECTORS. Some 20 years ago a party of sealers, of whom Longuet and Gilroy were the principals, landed in Port Pegasus, and first discovered gold on what is now known as Todd's freehold. They did not return to the place till 15 or 16 years had passed, and then an Invercargill syndicate took the matter up and brought in a race to work the gold. Mr Allan, who is a member of McLauchlan's party, at present on the field, was one of the men employed to bring in the race, and he tells me that at that time they found auy quantity of stream tin, but did not know what it was. It was quite a nuisance and completely choked up their boxes, so that they could not work the gold profitably. Prospecting was continued off and on for about two years, but without much success, and eventually the field was abandoned. Messrs Todd and Harvey soon afterwards acquired the property as a freehold. All this time no one ever suspected the value of the mineral which the ground contained, and it was not till quite recently, when samples of the stream tin were brought over to the mainlaud, that the importance of the discovery became known. Professor Black, with Swain and party, the original prospectors, was soon on the ground, and was quickly followed by other parties, including several from Invercargill and the Bluff, one from Victoria, one from Sydney, and another from Tasmania. At one time there were no fewer than six cutters and a steamer in the harbour, and where before there was not a living soul residing tents were erected, and the population quickly increased till there were upwards of 60 men on the ground. The race for tin became a most exciting one, and right in the forefront, through all the excitement, Dr Black and his intrepid co-workers were to bo found, prospecting and developing the field. Their journey

OVERLAND FROM HALF-MOON BAY TO PEGASUS was a feat well worthy of being placed on record. It is now over 20 years ago since three runaway whalers first attempted a portion of this journey. They left Pegasus for Port Adventure, but only one of their number reached his destination. His two companions fell and died by the way, their bodies being discovered subsequently only two miles from their journey's end by a party of Maoris. The survivor was in a deplorable condition, as he had to go through some terribly rough country and subsist chiefly on shellfish which he picked from the rocks. The first to make the overland journey to Half-moon Bay were Messrs Longuet and Allan, who had run short of provisions. The journey took them four days, during which they had to subsist on Maori hens and whatever else they could catch on the way. Afterwards Swain and party walked through on two occasions so that Dr Black's trip was the fourth that had been made overland. 

Professor Black's first visit to the locality was made on the 12th of last December in the cutter Enterprise, which is owned and commanded by Mr Scollay. On the way down he passed the Victorian prospectors in another cutter lying in Port Adventure. On arriving at Port Pegasus Professor Black and party pegged out 120 acres of the alluvial ground, but at that time they did not know much about the mining laws, so they ran back to Invercargill and consulted Mr Spence, the Commissioner of Crown Lands there, who gave them all information. From what they learnt it appeared that they did not hold their claim legally and so it was essential that they should be on the ground again at the earliest possible moment, in order to secure the legal right to the 120 acres which they had pegged out. Meanwhile, however, the Victorian party was hurrying down to the scene of action, as well as two other parties from the Bluff who were anxious to take ap the same ground. The weather being too rough for a cutter, Professor Black hired the tug at Invercargill, and lost no time in starting for Half-moon Bay. They reached the latter place in safety, and at 2 a.m. on the following day they started off once more for Pegasus, but had to return owing to the very severe weather which prevailed. The Victorians were still at Port Adventure storm-bound, but still a day ahead of Black's party. The professor, however was not to be outdone, so he manned a whaleboat and started off once more — this time with the intention of going as far as Paterson's Inlet, and doing the remainder of the journey overland. But again he had to return baffled, for the weather was fearfully rough, and there was a line of breakers right across the mouth of the bay. The prospect of success now seemed infinitessimally small; but the professor, with that indomitable pluck and energy which seems to have characterised the whole of his work in connection with the discovery, at once decided to attempt the entire journey by the overland route, a distance of some 60 miles or so through fearfully rough bush country. It was decided to make a start at 11 o'clock, but the party found they were being watched, and changed their hour of departure till 2 a.m., by which time they anticipated everyone in Half-moon Bay would be asleep. The hours sped slowly on, but at length the time for action arrived, and just before 2 o'clock, when all was quiet, the dogs were muzzled, the party separated and met at a rendezvous some distance beyond the settlement. About 20 miles of the journey was done, without halt, through fearfully rough hush and scrub, till a shepherd's hut was reached. Here the billy was boiled and the party helped themselves to some mutton which they round hanging up. All had gone well so far, but one of the party was so much knocked up with his exertions that he could proceed no further, and had to be left behind. The party had been on the tramp for 12 hours, but they continued the tourney eight miles farther and camped about 7 o'clock in the evening. The party were dead tired by this time, and Professor Black, to use his own words, "could not have done another mile to save his life." Next day was Sunday, and a short journey of 10 miles was done through dense mutton bird scrub, the tent being pitched in the evening on the shoulder of Mount Rakahua, 1800 ft above the sea. These 10 miles had only been accomplished with the utmost effort. On Monday some 20 miles was rattled off, half the journey being through mutton bird scrub, and the other half over clear ground, and through manuka scrub. In the evening the tent was pitched at the foot of Table Hill, 65 miles in all now having been accomplished, At this stage the tucker gave out entirely, and there was nothing for supper but Maori hen soup. Nest morning the party were up at 4 o'clock, and having repeated the dose of Maori hen soup they started off once more, and had three hours' terribly hard walking through the scrub. They then got into clear ground on Table Hill, but owing to the dense fog they lost their way, and walked for four hours right round the mountain, which is 2000 ft high at a guess. At length by heading the watercourses running east and west they reached the saddle connecting Table Hill with the Remarkables. The dense fog continued, and it rained heavily at intervals, while nearly all day long there was a fierce gale roaring among the rocks. In the fog they made several mistakes in going down wrong spurs which they thought would lead in the direction of Pegasus, and once they found themselves in the neighbourhood of the Deceitful Mountains. They camped that night on the south end of the Remarkables, and next morning at. daylight, the clouds having lifted, they beheld Pegasus harbour almost at their feet, and knew that their arduous undertaking had ended in success. They started off and reached the camp at 10 o'clock in the forenoon, after a long and tiresome journey made in wretched weather. During the latter stage of the journey they were without food, and for the last 30 hours they had nothing but tea without sugar. 

OTHER VISITORS. Soon after their arrival they heard the whistle of a steamer, and at once came to the conclusion that the enemy were upon them, so they started out of bed, mustered their prospectors —four in number, - and sent them off to the alluvial ground to be ready to peg out at dawn of day. It was found, however, that a false alarm had been raised, for the steamer contained only Mr Norman, of Naseby, who had come on a friendly visit to Professor Black in connection with some mining property. Within half an hour of the arrival of the steamer Scollay's cutter entered the harbour with the other members of the professor's party, and now they reckoned they were all right. Next day the party left for the alluvial ground and began to peg out. They were not a moment too soon, for on the forenoon of the same day the rival cutter with a strong prospecting party from the Bluff came in, while immediately afterwards a third cutter came in with the Invercargill prospectors. The Victorian party also found their way into Pegasus, but were put on the wroug scent, and started out for the S.W. arm, where they are supposed to have spent a week or two vainly endeavouring to find traces of tin. The situation was rather an amusing one, as Professor Black and his party looked down from the heights above Pegasus and laughed in their sleeves to see the rival party's cutter anchored in the distant bay, with the smoke from their camp fires curling gracefully among the rata trees that fringed the shores at the foot of Gog and Magog.

While I was getting this narrative from the professor, the other members of the party had journeyed onward, and we were now left alone and far behind on the mountain top. The wind was now bitterly cold in the exposed position which we occupied, and my fingers got so cold that my shorthand characters began to assume some very peculiar and ungraceful attitudes. The professor suggested a walk with the object of seeing the outcrop where he first struck the lode at the end of the mountain, and being anxious to see the whole thing for myself I acquiesced, and we at once started off. A scramble of a few minutes through scrub and rocks brought us to the spot where the lode, a foot wide, and strongly studded with granules of tin was seen plainly showing, notwithstanding the fact that there had been a great deal of chipping off of specimen pieces. At my solicitation the professor agreed to give me a short history of the discovery of the lode, so we sat down together on the scrub to leeward of a big rock and had another yarn for half an hour or so.

After a time it appears the original party, consisting of about 12 people, broke up into several sections, one of which was joined by the professor. This party made provision for a three weeks prospecting tour, and on arriving at Pegasus in Scollay's cutter on Thursday, December the 16th, seven of their number, by Mr Scollay's advice, went off on a camping expedition to the eastern side of the isand to prospect the country lying between The Brothers, a couple of little islands on the coast, and the Remarkables. A start was made on Friday morning, and this party were out all Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. On Sunday morning Professor Black and one of the crew of the cutter went up the Remarkables to look for the advance party, but though they lighted fires all over the top of the hill they got no response to their signals. At 12 o'clock noon the professor gave up looking for them and directed his attention to 

A SEARCH FOR THE LODE. In less than half an hour he was lucky enough to find it high up on the southern slope of the Remarkables at the spot where we were now sitting. Within two hours from that time he discovered a second lode about half a mile to the northward in a belt of soft micaceous stone alternating with narrow quartz reefs. The same day he found the lode in 20 different places, and he and his companion filled their pockets with specimeus and started off once more down the hill. On the homeward journey they were overtaken by the returning prospectors within two miles of the camp at Pegasus, and to them they disclosed the important discovery which they had made. A sample of the ore was given to Mr Henry Mackenzie, who had called in on a holiday cruise, and on that action was taken and a Dunedin syndicate formed. On arriving at the camp a consultation was held, and it was decided to return to the mountain that same night with the view of pegging out at the break of day on the following morning. The difficulty however, was how to get away without arousing suspicion in the camp, for if the other prospectors knew or suspected that a discovery had been made, they would track the professor's party and there would be a fight for the ground. They waited patiently therefore till 7 o'clock in the evening, and saw that every man was in his tent in the different camps at Pegasus. Mr Scollay was left behind to entertain and amuse the rivals, while the professor and the other members of his party sneaked up a gully at the back of the tents under cover of the dusk. They left one by one so as not to arouse any suspicion and four of them met after a rough scramble through the bush at an appointed rendezvous a mile up the track. The professor carried a tin dish for prospecting, anaudd every now and then as it bumped against a branch of a tree he feared that he would be discovered, but eventually this meeting place was reached without the slightest suspicion being aroused. The party then journeyed on, and camped for the night at the foot of the Remarkables. Next morning they were astir at a very early hour. By 4.30 a.m. they were on the top of the Remarkables, and by 7 o'clock in the morning they had two sections pegged out on the lode. They were then happy. By arrangement made the previous night they were joined at 10 a.m. by the other three members of the party who brought up provisions. There were now seven of them, and they spent the whole of that day and the following day pegging out claims on the alluvial ground which they had previously tested to the east and south of the Remarkables. Five claims were pegged out during that time. By Tuesday night suspicions had been aroused in the camp at Pegasus, with the result that on Wednesday morning the party on starting to peg out found themselves intercepted on the mountain by one of the rival parties. With some dificulty, and the exercise of a good deal of ingenuity, however, thiey managed to mislead this party, and sent them on to a distant flat at the foot of the mountain. Heavy rain coming on, this party soon returned to their tents, and left Black and his party still pegging out on the mountain. On the third day it cleared up, and operations were continued, but the professor was placed hors de combat through his knee coming into contact with Mr Scollay's axe, which laid bare an inch of the bone. There was nothing for it but to return to Pegasus, and the professor pluckily set out on the arduous journey. He had almost to drag his injured leg after him, but at length, after a wearisome journey of three hours, he reached the cutter. Here Dr Fleming, who luckily was among the professor's party, and had just previously (at Paterson's inlet) fixed Mrs Black's broken arm in splints, stitched up the wound. Professor Black was now tied to his bed on the cutter for some seven days, but the exercise and the camp life of the previous few weeks had put him in splendid health, and the wound healed up very rapidly. As soon as he was able to get about again, he made a visit to Invercargill, and arranged everything. A meeting of the companies was held there, and it was agreed to test the lode by opening it up by means of blasting. The professor then returned once more to Pegasus with men to do the blasting, and there he is at present camped along with Mr Scollay, for the purpose of superintending operations. He will remain for a fortnight or three weeks longer on the ground, and will then go over to Tasmania, where all information and the services of an expert in tin mining will be secured. 

Such are the experiences of Professor Black in connection with the discovery briefly narrated. He says he has never spent a happier time in all his life than he has spent during the last four or five weeks on Stewart's Island, and the excitement all along has been intense. It was just something like taking part in a great cricket or football match, and he has had the satisfaction of coming out of the contest victorious. There were some 60 men watching his party, yet he succeeded in eluding them all. As we left the mountain and journeyed down the steep and muddy track through the bush, we indulged in conversation on general topics, and the professor also gave me further interesting details of his adventures, but I will not write them down here at the risk of wearying my readers with an over lengthy report. I can only place on record my admiration of the great amount of enthusiasm which the professor puts into his work, and of his indomitable pluck and perseverance in carrying it to a successful issue. No one, I am sure, who reads this narrative will grudge him the well earned reward which it is confidently expected he will reap as the result of his great exertions. I found him a splendid mountaineer, and though in his fifty-third year, I am quite confident that on the mountain tops he could easily outstrip many young athletes who are still in their twenties. On the way up we left nearly all the others far behind, and on returning we were just on the heels of some members of the party who had received a start of an hour and a half down the five mile track. On reaching the shores of Pegasus we were mud to the knees, but we waded into the salt water and washed the dirt from our boots and trousers, after which young Scollay rowed us across to the cutter. And now, having said so much of the discoveries, I must just give a word or two about 

THE FUTURE PROSPECTS OF THE FIELD. The country is the same, both physically and geologically, as the tin country of Tasmania. There is a large belt of alluvial country, in which what is known as the stream tin is found. The wash in which this is found is generally from 6in to 2ft 6in in thickness, though in some places the wash containing a large proportion of stream tin, has been found to be 10ft or 12ft deep, and on some of the terrace ground, where there are claims in which Professor Black is interested, the men have gone down 18ft without bottoming the wash. There is very little stripping to be done to get at the wash, and there is plenty of water in the neighbourhood. Very little capital will be required to commence operations. In the meantime the stream tin can be shipped to Tasmania, where it will command prices ranging from £30 to £60 per ton, according to purity; but if smelting works are erected, there is on the island no end of splendid fuel for the furnaces in the shape of the rata and manuka, which is found growing all over the country. Then there is in Port Pegasus a splendid harbour in which a whole fleet of vessels — or several fleets of vessels for that matter — could ride safely at anchor. Another point is that on some of the claims gold is found in quantities sufficient, it is anticipated, to almost pay the working expenses of securing the stream tin. All things considered there seems to be every likelihood of the stream tin mining proving successful and remunerative. The belt of alluvial country has been traced on the west right up to the foot of the mountain on which the lode is situated, while on the eastern side a still richer deposit has also been found on the level ground at the foot of the mountain, thus proving that the stream tin has been shed away on both sides from the lodes known to exist on top of the Remarkables The parties in which Professor Black is a shareholder and the Tasmanian party seem to have secured the best of the ground, but there is no saying what further prospecting may reveal. Professor Black's parties have secured in all 450 acres of which 300 are on the lode country. 

Regarding the success of the lode claims little or nothing can at present be said, and Professor Black declines to express an opinion as to their value till they have been thoroughly tested, which will not be for three or four weeks yet. The lodes at present discovered are from 6in to a foot in thickness, and run through a belt of country a chain wide and nearly two miles long. The ore is the richest Professor Black has ever examined, and if there is only the quantity the mines will undoubtedly prove very valuable. Mining operations will be rendered comparatively easy owing to the nature of the soft micaceous rock in which the tin exists. Mr Miller, a surveyor from Invercargill, has been on the ground with a party of six men for the past fortnight, and good progress has been made in surveying the different claims and cutting a track through the bush. The present track to the lodes is nearly five miles long, but by taking a more direct route the distance will be reduced to 2 1/2 miles. The ore can be sent down a shoot over the steep part of the mountain at the south end on to a terrace 700 ft below, from whence it can be conveyed by a tramway to the water's edge.

THE FIRST CONCERT AT PORT PEGASUS. When we dropped anchor in Oyster Cove, Port Pegasus, late on Wednesday evening, Mr Todd, of Invercargill, who had been the life of the party on the way down, and acted in the capacity of head showman, ascended the bridge of the steamer, and in a humorous speech invited the whole of the inhabitants of the place to a concert, to be given by the passengers and crew in the hold at 8 p.m. on the following evening. He said that particulars of the entertainment would be found in either the Pegasus Chronicle or the Half-moon Bay Daily News and particularly invited the inhabitants to bring their lady friends with them. Accordingly soon after our return from the Remarkables the prospectors from far and near began to assemble in the ship's hold, and punctually at 8 o'clock the concert began. There was a large and unfashionable audience, who seated themselves or lay around promiscously on bags of chaff in a variety of graceful and graceless attitudes. A few lamps hung about at the upper end of the hold served to render darkness and a few of the performers fairly visible, while a couple of candles stuck in bottles, which bore the wellknown Bass label, shed a soft lustre on the Turkish fez of the organist, who was a picture of happiness and contentment, as, pulling his pipe, he took his seat on three bags of chaff placed longitudinally before the organ. Mr Bastian was voted to the chair, and explained that Mr Baker would open the concert with a selection from "Maritana," an announcement which completely took our breath away. A gloomy silence fell on the audience at this announcement, for we were not prepared for anything so classical, but when eventually the silence was broken by the wellknown strains of that beautiful little melody known as "Yankee Doodle" a roar of laughter shook the ship's timbers, and the audience were at once put in a perfectly good humour. The fun then became fast and furious, for after a couple of songs by Mr Todd and Mr Matheson, Professor Black was called on and kept the audience in a roar of laughter with a humorous speech, to which he added a still more humorous song about the killing of the Macpherson. He stood down amid a burst of applause and laughter, and on the motion of the chairman he was accorded a hearty vote, of thanks, the audience afterwards singing "For he's a jolly good fellow." The professor gracefully acknowledged this compliment, and caused further amusement by calling on "Wullie," his well known assistant, for a song to which that worthy was not slow to respond. Mr Dickie, who is a splendid ventriloquist, afterwards produced two of his figures and made them talk and sing for 20 minutes or so, during which time a continual peal of laughter went up from the hold. Messrs Smith, Mitchell, Haines, and Millar also sang songs and acquitted themselves well while "Captain" Joss, a halfcaste, was a hit with a Maori song, and a young Dunedinite "brought down the ship" with an impromptu recitation. Votes of thanks were: afterwards passed to Professor Black and the miners for their great hospitality, and at 11 o'clock the performance concluded with the singing of the National Anthem. Thus ended the first public entertainment ever given in Port Pegasus, and I am sure it will be difficult to organise a jollier one, or one that will live longer in the memory of those who heard it.

THE RETURN JOURNEY. We were up betimes the next morning, and after breakfasting made an early start for Halfmoon Bay. On the way down we called in at Land's river, where we spent the afternoon exploring, fishing, and shooting. The estuary of the river extends inland for several miles and the scenery is very beautiful, the rata with its wealth of scarlet blossom, and beautiful tree ferns extending right down to the water's edge. Up a small river, which comes down through the forest to the left of the anchorage, there is a fine waterfall, said to be 300 ft high and very beautiful. The excursionists were to be afforded an opportunity of visiting this fall, but, after the experience of the previous day on the Remarkables, very few of them cared to tackle the journey. However, Mr Brown, Mr Broderick (another Invercargill gentleman), Masters Ramsay and Hodgkins (two High School boys), and myself donned our bush clothes and lost no time in setting off in quest of the waterfall. We proceeded for a mile or so in a boat up a narrow bay, and there, according to directions, struck up the little river to the left, to make for the fall, which we were told was only a mile and a half distant. The stream was very deep, so we had to take to the bush, and some rough climbing ensued. It was pretty rough work in the bush in places, and we occasionally left it and waded in the water, which was frequently up to our knees, and in some places very much deeper; but I had got used to this sort of work on the recent Manapouri expedition, and so did not mind it much. On and on we journeyed; now scrambling through the bush, now floundering up the bed of the stream, but never a sign of the waterfall was there. Three of us pushed on ahead, but still there was no waterfall, and not a sign of any human being ever having been there before. After going on for about three miles we came to a bend in the river from where we could see a mile further on, but still there was no sign or suggestion of a waterfall, and so we decided to retrace our steps. To make sure that we had gone far enough I resolved to pace the distance, and being now thoroughly wet I started off ahead right down the bed of the stream. It was a case of frequently wading in the cold water up to the waist, and eventually I got into a pool up to my neck and had to swim for it. I was so inured to the business by this time that I managed to take this little adventure in the most matter of fact manner, and I did not even stop counting when I commenced to swim. I remember I had counted several hundred paces, and my last step when I floundered into the hole was 75. I went on counting each stroke while I swam — 76, 77, 78, and so on till I stood up dripping on a rock a few yards farther on. The water was fearfully cold, so I hurried on now, and not scrupling to swim through the deep places, I was not long in getting down to the salt water. the other members of the exploring party soon followed, and we rowed back to the ship, changed our clothing, quaffed off a good deal of stimulant, and had dinner. I found on counting the little sticks that I had put in my pocket to mark each hundred yards I stepped, that we had walked over two miles and a-half up the stream, and later on we learned that we had gone up the wrong creek altogether — the creek we should have followed being the one to the right of the estuary. However, after a good dinner, we were ready for another excursion up to the mouth of Land's river. Accordingly, early in the afternoon we started off in the boats, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, game being plentiful and the scenery simply beautiful. Returning to the steamer in the evening, we found by the number of fish on deck that those who had remained aboard had not been idle. The anchor was then weighed, and once more we started off for Half-moon Bay. We reached the jetty there just before 8 o'clock, and repeated the concert which we had given at Port Pegasus. There was a still larger audience this time, with this difference, that many ladies were included in the number. Some capital songs were sung, and there were several rousing choruses, in which nearly every man, woman, and child joined. Ventriloquism appeared to be new to most of the audience, and Mr Dickie, having added to his other two marionettes a negro and a Chinaman, he was even more successful than on the previous night. Just before making one of his principal characters say good-night to the audience, Mr Dickie signified his intention of beheading him. The figure objected, but Mr Dickie was firm and commenced operation. At this stage a little girl in the audience burst into a fit of crying and implored her mother to intercede in the poor fellow's behalf. She had all along imagined the figure to be alive! — certainly a very high compliment to the ventriloquist powers of the performer. There were some queer characters among the audience, and it was a perfect study to watch their faces, one young fellow who was alternately serious as an owl and uttering forth perfect yells of laughter being particularly amusing. The scene was one such as Bret Harte would have loved to dwell upon, and reminded one of Harrison's barn, with its muster of figs festooned over the wall; Of the candles that shed their soft lustre and tallow on head-dress and shawl. The entertainment was over about half-past 11, and it was a calm and lovely starlit night as we went on deck and said good-bye to our friends. As we cast off our moorings and the screw moved round in slow spasmodic jerks, we all assembled on the bridge of the steamer, and singing "Rule Britannia," bade farewell to Stewart's Island. 

WE GROUND IN THE NEW RIVER. It was late when we got to bed, intending to have a good night's rest, but at about half-past 3 in the morning we were aroused by a grating noise beneath us, and the results of the heaving of the lead being made known — six fathoms! four fathoms! two fathoms! On going on deck it was found that we had grounded on a reef about half-way up the New River, just opposite the Mokomoko jetty. All efforts failed to get the vessel off, and the tide receding rapidly, she was soon left high and dry on the rocks. A good number of the passengers landed in boats, and walking about a mile to the railway, managed to intercept the train to the Bluff. Several went down there to fill in the time, and returning after a stay of a quarter of an hour, the Dunedin passengers caught the express train for the North, and reached their homes in safety the same evening, after a delightful, if somewhat adventurous, trip. On reaching Dunedin we learned that the steamer had been got safely off the rocks. Of the kindness shown by Captain Sundstrom, Mr Ramsay, and also the Invercargill agent too much could not be said; while the hospitality of Professor Black and the prospectors of Port Pegasus will long be remembered by each one who had the pleasure of taking part in the Stewart's Island excursion of 1889.

(Per United Press Association.) Invercargill, February 2. The tin discoveries still create great interest, but, so far, little has been done beyond prospecting. Professor Black, while satisfied with the indications, cautions people not to indulge in sharebroking and investing till further tests have been made. Several tin-bearing lodes have been discovered, and fresh country is being pegged off. At present people appear to be watching each other. A tramway and water races are now about to be made, and something definite will soon be known. One Dunedin gentleman bought a share in the company for £100.  -Otago Daily Times, 4/2/1889.

The Mines Department have made arrangements for a fortnightly steam service between Port Pegasus, Stewart Island, and the Bluff, for a period of three months. The steamer, which is owned by a Southland merchant, travels 10 knots an hour, and her owner has undertaken to run her for the exceedingly reasonable sum of £8 per trip. If the tin discoveries on Stewart Island turn out according to expectation the contract will be renewed or more satisfactory arrangements made by the Mines Department at the expiration of the three months. An effort was made by the Department to induce the Bluff Harbour Board to send its tug, which now runs the mails between Half Moon Bay, Stewart Island, and the Bluff, to Port Pegasus once a fortnight, bnt the Board declined to allow her to go so far out of her usual course, as she would then only be available for towing for a few days each week.   -Evening Post, 7/2/1889.

The Land Board to-day granted applications for a tramway, jetty, tail races and water rights on the Port Pegasus tin field. Several were held over owing to the topographical data of the district in the Survey Department being incomplete.   -NZ Mail, 8/2/1889.

Port Pegasus Tin. — At a meeting of shareholders in the prospectors' claim, Port Pegasus, held on Tuesday evening at Mr Todd's rooms, it was decided to take out one ton of stream, and another of lode tin, and forward the same to Tasmania to be smelted. The company have increased their working staff on the field to eleven men on the lode and five on the alluvial, sixteen in all. This number includes a blacksmith. The party leave for Pegasus to-day by the cutter Lizzie. It is stated that the lode in the claim has broadened out to seventeen inches.   -Southland Times, 14/2/1889.

Professors Differ.— A telegram from Wellington states that Professor Ulrich, in his report on the tin discovered at Stewart Island, asserts that out of 20 samples he examined, only one came up to expectation. The remainder were partly composed of garnets, with a very small proportion of tin ore. Professor Black, who was in town yesterday from Port Pegasus, informs us that he has made at least fifty separate assays of both stream and lode ore found there and that the yield of metallic tin from the former ranged from 20 to 50 per cent., while the metal extracted from the lode went as high as 73 per cent.  -Southland Times, 15/2/1889.

The steamer Invercargill left the Invercargill jetty on Friday afternoon for Stewart Island via the Bluff. She will go (says the Southland News) from that port to Half Moon Bay, and thence to Pegasus. The steamer is under charter, the amount paid being defrayed partly by the Government, and partly by the prospectors. Most of her passengers will join her at the Bluff, they include Mr McKay, Government Geologist, Mr J. Spence, Commissioner of Crown Lands, Professor Black, Mr J. Ashcroft, Messrs Smith, Swain, Allan and others — altogether about twenty. The steamer carries a large quantity of blasting materials, tools, etc., so that the lode and stream workings should soon be developed. It may be added that considerable activity prevailed in the tin mining share market on Thursday, transactions having been effected at prices very satisfactory to the sellers.  -Western Star, 16/2/1889.


Tin is quiet. We are all waiting the report of Mr Mackay, the Government geologist, who is at present at Pegasus. Some people got a fright when it was reported from Wellington that Professor Ulrich had essayed samples of tin ore from Stewart's Island and found that scarcely any were up to expectations. It turned out, however, that the samples in question had not been obtained at Stewart's Island, and shareholders and brokers breathed freely once more.  -Lake Wakatip Mail, 22/2/1889.



(FROM Our Own Correspondent.)

Half-moon Bay, February 18.

The excitement hws with regard to the tin discovery is still on the increase and those who  possess shares in any of the lode claims can sell them for long prices without difficulty. One of our oldest identities is reported to have sold six shares in a lode claim for £1000; so in spite of the hard times, there still seems to be some shot left in the locker.

The s.s Invercargill called here on her way to Pegasus on Friday night. She stayed till 2 o'clock on Saturday morning, when she resumed her voyage, and returned here to load timber the same day. She had on board about 20 passengers, most of whom were going down to open up the lode. Professor Black was on board, also some men on behalf of syndicates and others, no doubt going down to have a look at things. From what I can gather it is very evident that there will he a flourishing little township at Pegasus inside of six months.

A friend of mine told me that when he left Pegasus a few days ago there was a good store started, and that drinks were 9d a glass. When I hear there is a dancing saloon and whisky running like water I will let you know instantly, for that would be a crowning proof of the genuineness of the Stewart's Island tin mines. Now that the lode has been struck people do not seem so keen about the stream tin as they were, and those who hold shares in the latter cannot dispose of them us easily as they could a month ago.

I hear that the crews of the cutters employed by the Bluff Oyster Company have formed a union and intend striking for higher wages, so that there is a chance of oysters being dearer this season than last. There will be a good opening for fishermen here this winter as a fishcuring company intends sending a steamer here for fish once or twice a week. Our great want hitherto has been a bi-weekly steam service to the Bluff, but we are likely to have a steamer three times a week now if the tug keeps on running, so fishermen will be able to do well. Our tourist season has not been so good this season as on previous years, but now that we can show them tin as well as scenery they will no doubt roll up. With the exception of a few bad days we have had a lovely eight weeks' spell of fine weather.

The Lizzie, cutter, left the Bluff yesterday with a party of six men for Pegasus. The Enterprise, cutter, leaves here to-day also for Pegasus. She will bring back Professor Black and others.  -Otago Daily Times, 23/2/1889.


By Redcap.

Meeting my old friend Greenbag the other day, he drew my attention to the fact that it was nearly twelve months ago since the memorable first trip of the s.s. Invercargill to Pegasus, Stewart Island, and also to an advertisement in the southland news, in which the same steamer was advertised to sail again to that famous place. We at once convened an emergency meeting, Greenbag in the chair, I right hand supporter. Greenbag proposed, and I seconded, that we must go. A vote of thanks to the chair was then carried unanimously, and the meeting terminated.

The eventful day of our departure arrived and we departed — the we here is supposed to include along with Greenbag and myself the minor portion also of the remaining excursionists — fifty all told. The voyage across was uneventful, and it is needless to discourse on the joy with which the new chums looked upon the approaching beauties of the island so well — ahem — described in my last; suffice it to say, that when we arrived at the entrance to Pegasus Harbour it was very dark, the water was calm and black as jet, but was now and then rendered glowing by the phosphorescent light caused by our pretty little steamer's motion. The black headlines of Pegasus hills were on our front, presently on each side, and silently closing behind us, everyone was on deck, no sound excepting the steady throbbing of the engines, relieved by a startled sea-bird's shriek or the cry of the man with the lead "ten fathoms and no bottom, sir." A nervous passenger enquired if the Captain was sure he knew his way, the hills seemed so near. He, however, was quieted by Mr Searle assuring him that there was land all along the shore, an answer, by the way, which seemed to satisfy all within hearing. Greenbag facetiously thought we were in the dark regions, I, not to be behindhand, reminded him that this was now the abode of Professor Black.

Presently a light appeared in the height above, with its corresponding reflections in the depths beneath, one here and another there, betokening our having a rounded a headland, bringing our lamps within view of the tin miners; now shouts are heard, the boats from the shore being manned, while the noise of their oars in the row-locks is drowned for a time by the roar of our cable which is let go; they are alongside, and the busy hum of recognitions follow. I declare, what a lot of our Invercargill friends are here, all looking as brown as berries, and dressed to match in patched pants and slouch hats. No half measures with them, they look every inch miners of a lifetime. Here too is Mr Miller and his survey staff, who have been busy laying off the claims. "How is the tin getting on?" "Here's a splendid sample." We are shown the ore and the retorted result, both of which are examined with the air of connoisseurs.

"Allow me to introduce Mr Greenbag to Mr Longuet, ah, yes, and Mr Allen (two of the first men to walk from Pegasus to Half Moon Bay) also to Mr Thornhill and Mr Patterson."

"Wishing you every success, yes, mine is..."

At six o'clock next morning we breakfast; fishing has already commenced; the deck is alive with fish of all kinds The boats are lowered, and after a flying visit to the Belltopper Falls, which you will recollect we named after our worthy townsman, Mr Wm. Todd, who is with us this trip also, we start for the scene of tin. What the dickens is Grumby carrying; surely that is not all lunch; and who is that behind him carrying stilts? "Mr Bremner, what is it." "It's a camera, my dear sir, and I am carrying the legs; you chaps went off and left us; we, however, found our way this far ourselves."

A halt is called, and Grumby sets the thing up, covers it with a pall, under which he puts his head, and before we are aware of it shuts the thing up, telling us the photo is taken. The rascal has taken us instantaneously, and without any warning, in all sorts of positions. We have up to now wound our way along the banks of the stream feeding the falls. The ground here is pretty flat, and is dotted with holes; from any of which good prospect of stream tin can be obtained. The serious part of the climb, to reach the summit of the Remarkables — the mountain on which the lode is found — now commences; we notice that several of the numerous party bear a great resemblance to the cod fish we caught this morning, and gaspingly inform us that they are quite satisfied with a sight of the lower prospect and the distant view of the higher. On we trudge through stream and mud, o'er hill and dale in detachments, which separate according to their wind, some getting a long way ahead, others just as far behind. Such a road! sometimes it is as steep as a church steeple, at other times as rough as (words inexpressive). Come on, Greenbag, I'll give you a spell with that thing of yours; let us keep up with Mr Miller, who tramps on as fresh as when he started, till at last we emerge from the bush, only to find a wall of sloping rock, which has next to be scaled. Rest awhile and turn, Ah! what a view, lovely Pegasus with its hills, islets, and bays at our feet! We linger only for a moment, slaking our thirst on hands and knees in a limpid spring, and continue our upward march, disdaining to wipe the wet probosces, that of necessity dipped with us in the mountain water, on, on, until a very perceptible decline in the angle of our track is felt, and the top is reached at last.

From the "Pegasus Chronicle," had it been published, the following fashionable intelligence would have been gleaned:—

Among the gentlemen who reached the height of their ambition and the top of the Remarkables on such a day were: Police Inspector Moore, his son, and Messrs Bremner, Miller, Thompson, Ward, Wishart, Heath, Todd, Yule, Smith, Basstian, Baker, Ramsay, Brown, Mitchell, Cleave, Manson, Brodwick, Ross, Dickenson, Matherson, and McPherson.

The day being bright and clear, words cannot convey any adequate idea of the view that lay all around us, but what is this right in our path, a piece of crooked stick, on which is nailed a piece of board about 4x8, containing a notice somewhat to the following effect:—

Any person or persons found taking, stealing, lifting, carrying away, or otherwise removing from off this ground any tin, will be prosecuted. (Signed by eight or nine prospectors).

Several dead woodhens were found around this post, presumably killed by the shock on reading the notice. Here was a nice go after all our tramping, climbing, and perspiring to read such a notice as that, as if anyone could possibly carry anything of the kind down such a road; but where is the tin. Ha! here is somebody coming to meet as, one of Professors Black's workmen, he in response to our enquiry informs us that we are not quite at the top yet, to go on, and we would see the men at work. We go, it is not far, and suddenly outlined against the blue sky on a rocky eminence appear the figures of the workmen who are quarrying under the direction of a tall dark figure in frock coat, wide-awake hat and arms alternately extended and akimbo; this we guessed rightly was the Professor. As soon as he heard our voices he turned round, and instead of gratifying our curiosity for specimens, hurried us to his tent to partake of welcome refreshment prepared for us, after which Greenbag wasted several dry plates about the scene of operation.

We proceeded to pick up specimens and had already loaded our pockets under the very eyes of the workmen, when the professor coming up and asking as to show him what we had got, informed one that he had wolfram, another that he had white mica, another had mundic, some other chap had what the miners call black Jack, and nobody had tin at all. He then shewed us the tin, and we got some, the majority, however, were disappointed in not being able to get it in cart loads. I verily believe that they expected to see tin plates, billys, and pannakins oozing out of the rocks everywhere. However, the professor was able to show us tin (distinguishable by its hardness and colour) where we could walk over it and that was quite enough. He seemed, however, far more anxious to show us the beauties of the surrounding scenery than answer our ridiculous questions. We went some distance along the ridge of the mountains with him till finally, thinking we had though, returned, leaving the professor with the OTAGO DAILY TIMES' reporter descanting upon Wully's Knobs, till they were 1ost in the dim distance. 

The descent was of course much easier than the climb, although in the steeper places you had to be very careful, otherwise one was apt to come down with a run, perhaps landing on the projecting point of the stump of some sapling left in the survey track. Greenbag got back to Pegusus township with his camera, and, with the exception of having trod the upper clean off the soles off one of his boots, looked healthy.

The township consists of some half-a-dozen tents, conspicuous now among which was that of Mr Louis Rodgers, who, having brought stores over this trip, had opened a miscellaneous emporium. We left the tents and miners after inviting them to our concert to take place on board that evening — I should have observed that the miners and others had made this day as a holiday in honour of our visit, and had been very kind to us in acting as our guides, &c.

THE CONCERT took place on board the steamer in the evening, Mr Basstian, who you will recollect made such an excellent chairman last trip, being asked to preside this time. He called upon Greenbag to open proceedings by playing on the harmonium, a selection from the opera of "Maritana," which he did; the unmusical portion of the audience, strange to say, however, mistook it for "Yankee Doodle." The chairman himself then, in response to repeated calls, gave the first song. Mr Todd, whose turn came next, after a pithy little speech, in which he alluded to the great probability of better Mines coming, sang very appropriately "Hard times come again no more," the chorus of which was heartily taken up by all present. Professor Black being requested to give his assistance did so, but prefaced his song by a very interesting dissertation upon the geological formation of this part of the island, the probable source of the stream tin now found in the flat, and the reasons for believing the lodes discovered at the top of the Remarkables the origin. After a little wholesome advice to would-be speculators he astonished us with a "Heelan song." being a graphic account of a certain chief who married Noah's daughter, annihilating "ta chief of ta MacPheershuns by a stab with his clamoor in ta pailey," whatever part of the anatomy that is. This fairly took the house or rather ship by storm. Mr John McPherson being afterwards called upon did not sing but made a humorous retaliation on Professor Black or Brown as he called him. Mr Mathieson, of Invercargill, now put his spoke in the wheel with William Tell's address to his native mountains, a study of position and enunciation that surprised us all. Mr Mitchell struggled manfully to fill up a gap, and on the Dunedin contingent of excursionists, of which he was one, being twitted with not doing their full share in the entertainment, Mr Ross came to the rescue with "a little thing of his own," which fully made amends. "Wully," the professor's young assistant, gave two songs, the one patriotic, the other loving, in a manner that showed an appreciation of his country, and the fair sex surprising for one of his age; Greenbag essayed to accompany him, as with the other singers, but after a duet between them of a couple of lines, Wully woefully requested him "to stop that thing, he wasn't used to it." Mr Smith sang a sentimental song, in which, however, the bizarre effect of Greenbag's accompaniment on the seventh chord was so pronounced they parted company too. Captain Joss of the cutter Lizzie favoured us with a Maori song, the last line of each verse of which seemed to the untutored mind to end with Julya Auguster Septemba Hough, the final word being given as a sort of violent sneeze. George, who seemed to be in request, gave a song in a manly style suited to his appearance and carriage, and Greenbag finished with an operetta locally adapted, that fairly convulsed the main hatchway. Mr Dickey, one of the stewards, then favoured us with a ventriloquial treat, aided by his fingers, that could not well be excelled. Speeches were then made on all sides, thanking each other for everything imaginable, and the pleasant evening terminated in the orthodox manner by the singing of the National Anthem.

Our visitors left by boatloads for their tented homes, cheers, songs, and laughter being wafted on the water, till at last we retired to our place of repose, which, by the way, was in the spacious hold, chaff bags being arranged in the form of two length beds, one on either side of a pathway down the centre. Each one wrapped himself in his blanket or rug, presenting to the eye of the spectator the appearance of so many bodies, such as are seen often in the pages of illustrated papers, laid out after some mine accident. We did not all sleep, however, there being some whose nasal organs brought forth such bass-like tones, that we had to rouse them up every five minutes so as not to wake ourselves.

The next morning we steamed into the other arm of Pegasus, where a visit was made to the celebrated Johnson's Cave, fishing and shooting were also indulged in, and a party started to see the Captain Cross falls, but following a certain "young Dunedinite" who didn't know the way, went up the wrong creek and got wet through for nothing. From there we steamed to Lord's River, the beauties of which, as the steamer made its way up the calm waters, were quite in keeping with other parts of the island. The boats were manned and exploring, fishing, shooting and bathing became the order of the day. It was noticed that one of the sportsmen had a very good bag of something, which I have since heard was cribbed before he got ashore; this was altogether too bad, seeing the risk he ran of being fined for shooting shags and things. We then steamed round to Half-Moon Bay, getting a good view of Black Rock, White Rock and other curious portions of scenery on the way, the whole of the township of Half-Moon being on their little wharf to welcome us. Mr Todd informed them as we drew alongside of our intention to give them a concert on board that evening, inviting them all to come. They came in goodly numbers, and we entertained them. In addition to the singers of previous eveninar, Mr Clare contributed "Thy face," and Mr Brown, addressing those present, complimented the Islanders on the beauties of their home. Greenbag gave a comical lecture on drawing, finishing up with a sketch map of Stewart Island shewing the bays and promontories, with the site of the tin mines. Speeches were made thanking Captain Sandstrom and the officers, Mr A. B. Campbell and his brother owners for their kindness to us all, after which we took on board two lady passengers for Invercargill and left the island about 11 o'clock p.m., arrived in the estuary off the Mokomoko early next morning. As the tide was low and the steamer was aground the majority of the passengers landed here to catch the morning train from the Bluff, the only drawback being that they had to land in about six inches of mud, through which those who remained on board were amused to see them wading like so many mudlarks.

While the Captain now took a little well earned repose, the mate, Mr Hansen, got the vessel in trim so as to float off at half tide to enable the steamer to go to Invercargill and back that day. After lunch we steamed off, and arriving at the jetty under all bunting available finished a trip which if not as pleasant as number one was only so owing to the absence of Moffett and several others of our friends who could not find it convenient to accompany us this time.  -Press, 23/2/1889.



He's back — our Professor, I mean — yes, back from Stewart's Island, Pegasus and the tin mines, and it's all right, nay, more than right, Just think of it, after waiting all these years, and to get on the the right track at last, yes, we're in it, everybody says so. Even Mr Ashcroft, the Official Assignee in Bankruptcy, who has been over there for more than a week, says it's a wonderful place, lots of tin, whole mountains of it, no more bankruptcies, sure to be retrenched, look out for the tin, however. Summing the whole thing up the news is this, that the lode has been opened out and looks uncommonly promising so far, it shows about two feet with tin all through. As regards the stream tin it continues as from the first satisfactory, but washing on a large scale cannot go on until water has been brought in, but by damming up the creeks. Here and there prospectors have been able to wash sufficient quantities to fairly test the ground and so far the result has been satisfactory. Professor Black leaves by the Rotomahana on Monday, and it is stated takes a quantity of the stuff with him, which will be dealt with in the usual way at the tin mines there; while waiting he will visit Mount Bischoff, examine the tin bearing country and see for himself the various methods adopted for the reduction of the ores. As regards the future; if this tin business is to he worked successfully there will have to be an amalgamation of claims for it is impossible for a score or two of parties to work either the rock or the alluvial, with any chance of a profit, even if they had the means, which they haven't; tracks are being cut, and a general store established, and there now comes a proposal that there should be a grog shop. It is, perhaps, not generally known that there are no licensed houses on the Island, and it is not considered advisable that there should be; of course it has been a very handy place for landing grog or anything else, and to open a grog shop there would be to destroy our sanatorium. Where are we to go to recruit then? The next thing that will be wanted will be a cable across the Straits, and then the sanctity of the place will be destroyed altogether — suppose the tin will compensate us for all our misfortunes, still it is hard to have a lot of people coming and taking possession of our quiet little Island — had it to ourselves so long, you know; just our luck; hope they won't eat all the oysters; never mind, shares are up: selling for cash, down on the nail, no mistake about that; heard of one prospector who sold out his little claim for £1000, so you see there's money changing hands: but of course it's all right while we have got plenty of tin.   -Press, 5/3/1889.

Not so Bad as Represented.

Editor, Witness,— Sir; I have just been reading your article on the Stewart Island tin discoveries in this week's Witness, and notice that in it your reporter does an injustice to Mr Rodgers, who, with his characteristic enterprise, has opened a store at Port Pegasus. Someone informed the reporter that charge for drinks is 9d. This is not true; indeed, more than one poor, hard-up prospector has had a nip for the asking of it. I saw several dishes of the stream tin washed. Enclosed you will find a sample containing about 50 per cent, of tin taken from Swain and party's No. 1 claim.

There is considerable excitement in Invercargill, shares being sold at very fancy figures.— Yours, &c, Pegasus, March 5. Rambler.  -Otago Witness, 7/3/1889.


Dear Dot, — We are having very bad weather here now. I was very much pleased with the name that you gave me for my kitten. We had a grand night here on board the Invercargill on the 1st of February. We had Mr G. Dicky, ventriloquist, with his four dolls, and there was a grand concert as well. I hear that the Invercargill had a fine trip to Port Pegasus before she came here, and I believe that a good number of her passengers went up to Mount Remarkable to see the tin mine, which I believe is a great place for views. I have seen some of the tin stone, and it is curious looking stuff. My father came home on Saturday night after being three days walking from Pegasus to here. Mr Spence and Mr Robertson came overland with father. It must be a very rough road, for father had his hands all scratched and his clothes all torn and looked very tired. I hear that the new steamer is coming over to the island on Saturday with a lot of people to go to the tin mine. There are about 140 men down there now.

— Yours truly, Mary S. Kirkland. Half-moon Bay, February 25.   -Otago Witness, 7/3/1889.


(From Our Own Correspondent.)

Half-moon Bay, March 2. The Enterprise (Captain Scollay) arrived here from Port Pegasus, with about 20 passengers, on the 22nd ult. From all I can gather the prospects of the various claims are looking up. The lode is improving, and both miners and visitors have kept the professor's "Wully" very busy making tin buttons about the size of five shilling pieces. These buttons are made from the stream tin and tin stone from the various outcrops of the lode. Roberston and party are reported to have found good stream tin and gold, and have shown many good samples.

George Connelly, K. Reynolds, W. Trail, and Joseph Brown, employed by a Dunedin syndicate, have just finished scouring the country from Price's lookout to the camp. I have heard on good authority that they have done well. The syndicate is well represented by Messrs Reynolds and Traill. The former has business and colonial experience, and the latter is a good seaman and is well acquainted with the coast, and a good deal of the interior of Stewart's Island. He it was who cruised Mr Pearson round the island, also Professor Kirk, the noted naturalist. Mr Joseph Brown is a Cornish tin miner, and speaks highly of the ground. I expect to hear shortly that the party have found tin in some other locality. They all have a good knowledge of minerals, and Messrs Reynolds and Traill have some knowledge of chemistry and testing. 

I hear all the best ground in the Pegasus district is pegged off, but no doubt some new and important finds will be made ere many weeks are over. From what I can gather there is every reason to think that the discovery of tin on the island will give a fresh impetus to mining in the colony. 

Mr McKay, the Government geologist, has been on the field, and Mr Spence, the chief surveyor of Southland, who walked overland and arrived here on the 23rd inst.

The s.s. Invercargill arrived here this morning from Pegasus. She has been down on another excursion trip, and had on board some 20 passengers, a few of whom stayed behind to peg out claims, or, I should rather say, to prospect for claims to peg off. I am told by a man who came back in the steamer to-day that they are finding fresh alluvial ground of good quality, and that the general opinion is that there exists a rich quartz reef in the neighbourhood of the tin.  -Otago Daily Times, 12/4/1889.

Port Pegasus Tin. — Professor Black arrived in town yesterday evening, having been a passenger from Hobart by the s.s. Mararoa. He says he has travelled throughout Tasmania and inspected every bit of tin bearing country in that island, and what he has seen only confirms his confidence in the Stewart Island discoveries. With the exception of Mount Bischoff, he says, they have nothing over there equal to what has been found at Pegasus. The professor brings back with him four experienced Tasmanian tin miners whose practical knowledge will probably be of good service in ascertaining the precise value of the Port Pegasus deposits.  -Southland Times, 26/3/1889.


(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.) Invercargill, March 27. 

"TinTinTin!" is all the talk now, but things are not what they seem. The Stewart Island tin has, I can almost say to a certainty, turned out a duffer. Professor Black, who has been away in Tasmania, returned by the last boat from Melbourne. He is going to Pegasus to have another try at the tin.   -Lake Wakatip Mail, 27/3/1889.


The preliminary report of Mr A. McKay, assistant geologist, on the tin deposits of Stewart Island, has just reached the Minister of Mines. Mr McKay states that in the lower part of the valley gold was formerly found, but not in payable quantity and it proved particularly difficult to save, owing to the presence of what was called black sand, but which is now known to be “stream” tin. The “wash” in the face of the old gold washings was only 12in or 14in, and Mr McKay was told that a dishful of this only washed 1/2oz of tin, so that unless the stuff could be rapidly turned over and disposed of, this ground would not pay for washing. Higher up on the eastern side of the middle basin the wash everywhere appears too thin to pay unless it is much richer in tin than is reported to be the case. On the western side the wash is thicker, and on the Tasmanian claim it is said to be fully 6ft thick, yielding good prospects of tin. In some parts of the flat the wash is alleged to be 13ft thick, but this is not yet proved. The east branch of Pegasus Creek shows fairly good wash, 2ft to 4ft, yielding freely. Stream tin was also found at the survey camp to the southwest of the southern end of the “tin range,” at an elevation of 570 feet above sea level. The tin here is not associated with gravel sand. It is coarse in grain, and a clean sample; the wash, hower, is only a foot thick, and the prospects seldom exceed half an ounce of tin per dish. Stream tin is widely distributed on the low ground and table land near Pegasus and South Creeks, but Mr McKay fears that it is too thin to pay for working. The deposits of lode tin are confined to a small area at the south end of the tin range, but he thinks that others may yet be found. As to the paying prospects, Mr McKay says that more must be done before he can pronounce decidedly, but he is confident that tin ore will continue to he found both to the dip and along the eastern side of the range from the southern quarry to the northern outcrop of Black’s lease, and he sees no reason to think that tin is absent from the middle and north tin range, or from the lower part of Pegasus creek on Todd and Harvey’s freehold. From the considerable abundance, though perhaps not in paying quantities, and the wide distribution of stream tin along Pegasus creek and the coast of the main watershed of the island, Mr McKay infers that other and much richer deposits may yet be found in situ.  -Temuka Leader, 2/4/1889.


TO THE EDITOR. Sir,—l see in your paper of the 30th ultimo that Professor Black has returned from Tasmania. After inspecting the tin mines in that place he says that with the exception of Mount Bischoff that there is nothing there to equal the Pegasus discovery. If the learned Profeseor is correct in his statement then indeed the Pegasus discovery is of great value. Having been engaged in the tin mining industry in New South Wales and Queensland for eight or nine years, I can safely say that the tin mines did more for the districts in which they were located than many of their best goldfields, giving profitable employment to a very great number of men and hundreds of horses. If the deposits of stream tin in the Pegasus district equal the Australian mines, and if there is much extent of country under tin, the discovery must be of the greatest importance to the colony. From the description of the country that I have seen, it appears to correspond a good deal with the Australian tinfields, and the ore appears to be of very good quality, at least a good deal of it. I see that there is a considerable quantity of wolfram, or, as we used to call it in Australia, black jack, there being a difficulty in separating it from the ore. At, the price of tin in the London market at the present time, tin mining should pay well if the ground is easily worked. Of course the market fluctuates a good deal. I have seen the price as low as £25 per ton for the best samples of ore, but that was only a temporary lull, owing to very large supplies arriving from the Straits. At that time the Straits tin commanded a better price in the London market than the Australian, but I see now the latter receives the pride of place. Hoping that Professor Black's most sanguine expectations may be more than realised.

—I am, &c., An Old Tin Miner, Thames, April 2.  -NZ Herald, 4/4/1889.

The Orepuki correspondent of the Western Star tells the following amusing yarn: — The tin fever is still with us. A townsman of yours was shown a claim in the Longwood, about six miles from here. On going into the tunnel the quartz was shining with pyrites. When he saw it he naturally asked what it was. When the digger informed him that he believed it was tin, "Tin!" says he, "why there is a fortune here." He asked them would he be allowed to take a little to test it. They filled every pocket he had. Now, this six miles of walking every step you take is up to the knees, so you can judge what a time he had of it with about 501b or 601b of quartz stuffed in his pockets. He has had that quartz tried, and he informs the digger by letter that there is nothing in it, and the tin fever after that walk has entirely left him.  -Otago Witness, 11/4/1889.


Mr James Thomson, of Half-moon Bay, Stewart's Island, one of the original prospectors of the Pegasus tin field, while engaged cutting the Government track from Half-moon Bay to Pegasus, found at Paterson's Inlet, about eight, miles from the mouth, an outcrop of quartz containing galena. Mr Thomson took out some small specimens which he forwarded to Mr McAdam, assayer for the Bank of New Zealand at Dunedin, who tested them and found they contained silver at the rate of 4 1/4oz per ton. This prospect is barely payable, but further development of the ore may prove it to be of richer quality. Nine claims have been taken up along the line of the supposed reef, and steps are being taken to further test the discovery. Mr Thomson considers there is not sufficient grounds at present for a positive opinion to be formed as to the value of the discovery. In regard to the tin discoveries, Mr Thomson has been familiar from the first with the prospectors' claim, and speaks in terms of great confidence as to its future development and value. He says that the prospectors' stream tin claim will be much more easily developed than the lode claim, although the latter will probably be taken in hand very shortly by a separate company. Mr Thomson states the wash in certain terraces in the prospectors' claim has been proved to a depth of 20ft to 24ft, and that gold is present with the tin. It is estimated that about £300 will put the prospectors' stream tin claim in thorough order for working.  -Otago Daily Times, 12/4/1889.

Getting to Work. — The shareholders in a prospectors' claim at Port Pegasus met on Tuesday night in the Exchange Mart, Esk street, Mr W. Todd presiding, and resolved to proceed with the development of their property. To this end a limited liability company will be formed, to be known as the Stewart Island Tin and Goldmining Company with a capital of L20,000, which was fixed as the nominal value of the claim of 100 acres. The shares (of L1 each) are to be considered as fully paid up with the exception of 5s on 5000 contributing shares, or L1250, which will be the working capital of the company. A mining manager will be engaged, and work will be commenced forthwith. No shares will be offered to the public by the company of which Mr W Smith is business manager and Messrs J. Murdoch, W. Todd, G. Hardie, James Thomson, and T. Mullay are directors.  -Southland Times, 19/4/1889.


(From Our Own Correspondent.) Half-moon Bay, April 15. The s.s. Despatch returned from Pegasus to-day. She brings little fresh in the shape of news. It seems that hitherto the true lode has not been found, but now it is stated that Mr Ruha has at last struck it. There are, however, so many reports flying down about here just now that it is hard to know what to give credit to. Swain, Longuet, and party are reported to be in Invercargill trying to negotiate with the Welman dredger people to work out one of the beaches near "Smoky," on the north coast of this island, for gold. 

Great excitement was caused here lately by the discovery of silver in Patterson's Inlet, but it is now generally supposed that the stone is not rich enough to work. Be that as it may, a considerable quantity of ground has been pegged off and applied for. The prospectors are of opinion that when they get deep into the reef that it will yield payable silver. This discovery, like the tin, was made by Mr James Thomson, who, for the past four years, has spent a great deal of time and money prospecting on Stewart's Island. 

There is no difficulty now in getting to and from Pegasus. The s.s. Despatch runs once a fortnight, calling at Half-moon Bay on her way. The track is so far completed that a man can walk from Half-moon Bay to Pegasus in two days, and not hurt himself or lose his way, and there is a good store at Pegasus and an accommodation house in course of erection.  -Otago Daily Times, 19/4/1889.

Revenue From the Tin Fields.

(Br Telegraph.)


At the Police Court to-day Louis Rodgers was fined £l0 on each of two charges of sly grog selling at Pegasus Bay, Stewart Island, with costs £ll l4s. A similar charge against Elizabeth Goodall of Half Moon Bay, Stewart Island, was dismissed.  -South Canterbury Times, 23/4/1889.

Police Court

Tuesday, 23rd April. (Before H. McCulloch, Esq., R.M.) 


Louis Rodgers was charged with having on the 30th March unlawfully sold intoxicating liquors at Port Pegasus, he being an unlicensed person under the Act. — Inspector Moore conducted the prosecution and Mr Harvey appeared for the defendant, who pleaded "Not Guilty." — Constable Wake deposed that on the 30th ult., at Pegasus, he went, in company with Messrs W. F. Brown and C. Steans, to the defendant's establishment. It was about seven o'clock in the evening, and when witness entered the building, a two roomed wooden one, he saw about twenty bottles on the shelf, a barrel of beer on the counter, and another covered over with some bags. There were also four jars under the counter, two of them to his knowledge containing whisky. The bottles on the shelf were filled from these jars, witness having assisted defendant to refill several of them. He called for two whiskies and a beer, and put down a pound note out of which defendant kept 2s 6d. Witness remarked that the charge was rather much to which he replied that as they were mixed drinks they were dearer. For drinks they had subsequently been charged sixpence only. During the evening witness saw a number of persons in the room being served with whisky and beer by Rodgers who stood behind the counter. He noticed one of the number the worse of liquor. He slept all night in the adjoining room. — Cross-examined: The house was not a licensed one but there was no attempt at concealment. He did not inform Rodgers that he was a constable. — W. Foster Brown at present residing in Christchurch and Charles Steans gave corroborative evidence. — Mr Harvey said there was no doubt the defendant had been quite open in his actions and that through a misapprehension. Letters could be produced to show that endeavours had been made to get a license which a petition from the inhabitants of the district would show was quite necessary seeing there was no other accommodation house in the place. He would ask that the offence be treated as a nominal one. — His Worship said he did not think there were any mitigating circumstances in the case at all. A man with the business knowledge of defendant was only setting the law at defiance by carrying on an unlicensed business openly. The reply he had received to his letter applying for a license distinctly told him it could not be granted. From the evidence there were twenty people in a room drinking, and he did not know how long that sort of thing had been going on. Defendant would be fined L10; costs, Lll 14s lOd. A second charge against the defendant of a similar offence on the same day was withdrawn by the police. Louis Rodgers pleaded "Guilty" to supplying intoxicating liquor on the 31st March at Port Pegasus. — Inspector Moore stated that several complaints had been made of drunkenness at Port Pegasus, and there was no police protection there. — Defendant was fined LlO on this charge, with costs, 7s. A second charge for a similar offence on 31st was withdrawn. 

Elizabeth Goodall was charged with disposing of intoxicating liquor at Half Moon Bay without having a license to do so. — Constable Wake stated that on Sunday, 31st March, about mid-day, he, accompanied by W. F. Brown and Captain Anglem, went to defendant's house at Half Moon Bay. He asked for drinks and she said she did not supply them. Witness then left, Captain Anglem remaining at the door speaking to defendant. A few minutes afterwards they all returned again and each had a drink, a bottle, containing whisky, and glasses having been placed on the table by defendant. She charged 1s 6d for the drinks, which witness paid. At first when asked defendant said she did not sell drink as she was frightened of being caught. - Cross-examined: Witness believed it was six o'clock when he visited the house not noon. She refused to give him some whisky in a bottle when asked. Witness did not mention that the captain was ill in order to get the drink. W. F. Brown also gave evidence.— Wm. Anglem deposed that on the date in question the constable, whose calling he did not know at the time, asked him to go with him and have a drink of whisky at defendant's house. Witness was the last to leave the house after they had been refused, and defendant called him back and seeing he had a bad knee said she would give him a drink if he wanted it. He called back the others and they all had a drink. He saw no money pass at all. He had never seen defendant before that and did not know drink could be got there. — Mr Finn said the defendant had never sold any drink either gthen or before. — Inspector Moore pointed out that the constable would not have gone there if he had not received information regarding the house. — The defendant stated that she kept a boarding house at Half-Moon Bay and had given each of the three gentlemen, who were strangers to her, a glass of whisky, not expecting anything for it. After they had gone some time she found 1s 6d on the table, but thinking it had been left by one of the passengers who were at tea as payment she took no particular notice of it. — Wm. Harrison was the only other witness for the defence. His Worship said he did not think the evidence was strong enough for a conviction and he would dismiss the case with a caution.  -Southland Times, 24/4/1889.



The S.S. DISPATCH, Capt. Anglem. (carrying H.M.s Mails), will leave Bluff on arrival of first train from Invercargill on Saturday morning, 27th inst., for Port Pegasus Tin Mines, calling at Half-Moon Bay (either way if required). She will leave Port Pegasus for the Bluff on Monday morning. 




Is the safest and strongest Explosive in the world for Blasting purposes. L. RODGERS & SONS are ever watchful for the interest of their numerous Customers, and have much pleasure to intimate that they are Agents for the above, and have a Large Stock on the ground, the first trial of which took place yesterday by the oldest and most energetic Miner on the ground, with the best results. This is the Explosive which will soon unfold the hidden treasures in the Remarkables at Port Pegasus, Stewart Island. 

Gentle reader, we can supply you with all you require, FROM A NEEDLE TO AN ANCHOR. 

L. RODGERS & SONS, GENERAL MERCHANTS, PORT PEGASUS.   -Southland Times, 26/4/1889.


(From Our Own Correspondent.) Half-moon Bay, April 23.

The despatch steamer arrived here yesterday from Pegasus. Among the passengers was Mr Rusha, who informs me that things are looking much better on the tinfields. The Port Pegasus Tin Mining Company is about to start operations in the shape of driving, and good results are expected. Professor Slack is still on the ground and pegging off all the available land. There has been too much pegging off done at Pegasus lately. What I mean is that some have been pegging off valueless land, and getting it taken up in Invercargill and trading on it. The thing is simple enough. A man goes to Pegasus and pegs off a few sections as close to claims that are supposed to be good as possible. Possibly his sections have no good specimens on them, but that does not matter; he can show good specimens all the same, so he goes to town gets the land taken up, and gets an interest in the concern for his trouble. Having done this he sells out his interest for what it will fetch. There has, it seems, been a lot of this done lately, and it has naturally made people a little shy.

There is still a good deal of excitement about the silver reef at Paterson's Inlet, but the whole thing has been kept very dark. So little is known by the public generally; anyhow it is supposed that the thing is good. I hear this morning that a fresh lode of tin has been struck at Pegasus — said to be equal to the Bischoff.

Swain, Longuet, and party are now waiting for fine weather to start on a prospecting expedition. There are, I believe, five in the party, they mean to do the thing properly, and are well fitted out in every respect. The weather here is very bad at present.  -Otago Daily Times, 26/4/1889.


(From Our Own Correspondent.)

Halfmoon Bay, May 13. The s.s. Despatch left here for Kopec (Kapeka River) and Port Pegasus last Saturday and returned today. Some few of the claim holders at Pegasus are at work opening up the lode. Captain Scollay, I believe, is sending specimens of lode and stream tin to the Paris Exhibition. Pegasus seems to be prospected clean out so far as tin is concerned, and those who hold claims and shares in claims can't sell if they want to. In fact people seem to be just waiting to see what the result will be of the opening out work that is going on there now.

From what can be learned from Kopec the place is turning out well in gold and tin. The Paterson Inlet Mining Company are pegging away at their silver reef, and are now into it about 10ft. The stone is improving, and great hopes are entertained of its turning out a success.  -Evening Star, 11/5/1889.


This Company held a meeting at Mr Smith's office in Don street yesterday evening, at which they resolved to proceed at once with the construction of a tramway from Port Pegasus through the various stream tin claims to the foot of the lode claims on the Remarkables.  -Southland Times, 23/5/1889.


A Mr Spence, who accompanied the Minister of Mines to "Tintown," Stewart's Island, and who has some experience in tin mining, says he was not favourably impressed with the workings. "I was thoroughly disappointed with what I saw and from what I know of tin — and I have had experience at Inverell and other places — and from what I saw of the Port Pegasus affair, I am strongly of opinion that the public ought to have their eyes opened as to the true state of affairs. To that end they ought to send down a thoroughly qualified man, a man who has experimental acquaintance with tin and the working of it, to report on what the prospects are, and I feel satisfied that if such a report were furnished it would be of such an unfavourable character that the whole thing would shut up. It would be better that this should happen than that the general mining interests of the country should suffer by allowing foreign capitalists to lose money in a concern that will not stand investigation. The expense of sending such a man to Pegasus would probably be covered by a contribution of £50." Mr Spence added that the Minister of Mines promised to purchase a hundredweight of tin for the Paris Exhibition, and that arrangements to that end were made with Captain Scollay and Professor Black, who said they thought it would take about a week to procure the necessary quantity. Professor Black seems as confident as ever in the ultimate success of the field, but few others down there seem to have the same enthusiasm in the matter.   -Timaru Herald, 27/5/1889.

Stewart Island Tin.


[Per Press Association.] INVERCARGILL, May 28. Conliffe, mining expert from Tasmania, reporting on the Pegasus tin-field, says there is every indication that a powerful lode runs through three or six- acre leads. He sent over one hundredweight of stream tin obtained in two hours from Tucker's claim, and experienced miners say it is a very rich sample. Conliffe says in all his experience he never saw more promising wash. He undertakes to form a Company to work Tucker's claim, and expresses an opinion that it will be a mine when the present owners are no more.  -Star, 28/5/1889.

Port Pegasus.

Mr L. Rodgers arrived in town from Pegasus yesterday evening, bringing with him a number of samples from the tinfields. Among these is a small sack forwarded by Mr Conliffe to Messrs Birch, Tucker and others, from whose claim the stuff has been taken. It is the result of two hours' washing in a rough sluice box and weighs 107lb. As to the quality of the sample the public will be able to judge for themselves, it being intended to exhibit it, together with a number of trinkets made from tin smelted on the spot, in the shop of Messrs L. Rodgers and Co. — Mr R. Rusha, who also returned yesterday, reports that for some weeks past the weather on the island has been extremely bad, and even the prospectors, equipped with oilskins and gum-boots, have been unable to do much. Mr Rusha has in his possession a finger ring, a Masonic scarf ring, and a pendant made from Stewart Island tin smelted and engraved by an expert on the field. The general aspect of affairs is reported to be very good, and Mr Rusha says that when work can be done it will be prosecuted on a proper system. There are about fifty men on the field.   -Southland Times, 28/5/1889.

Regarding the Stewart's Island tin mines a letter was received in Dunedin on Wednesday from Pegasus, dated May 26th, in which the following passage occurs. — "One hole that I have opened we have gone 14ft - 3ft of stripping and 11ft of washdirt — and not on the bottom yet, with fine tin showing all through it and getting coarser towards the bottom. Here I propose putting in a sluice box and getting some tin. If it turns out as well as I expect we could find employment for 50 men for 10 years at least. The washing test gives me from loz to 2oz of tin per dish, which is at present, I consider, very good, and I expect it to get richer as we go down. Besides this one hole we have opened eight others, six of them shewing tin; in the other two we came upon very large boulders of reef. Seeing that we had no tools for this kind of work we had to stop. In another place a landslip has exposed fully 30ft of washdirt. Tried three dishes at various depths, all of which gave good tin."  -Clutha Leader, 31/5/1889.

The local papers have been full of correspondence re tin, but I don't see much in it, of course I mean the correspondence not the tin, as of that we are still hopeful. Once at the Island, or rather at the principal settlement thereof, viz, half-Moon Bay, during the next few days whiskey will be the main topic of conversation. The licensing committee is about to meet, and as several persons wanting licenses for Pegasus, some curiosity exists on the matter. The people are pretty strong in the blue ribbon line, so it is quite possible the applications may not be granted, which will be a great misfortune because it is stated with great confidence, and some authority that tin mining in Stewart's Island cannot be successfully pursued without whiskey. This seems feasible, because it rains there occasionally (nearly always), and if you are wet outside you require to be wet inside, anyhow if we can not have the tin without whiskey why we must just pocket our prejudices and take the whiskey quietly, for all are agreed that tin we must have.   -Press, 11/6/1889.



Half-moon Bay, June 17. At last we are having a beautiful spell of fine, frosty weather. Some few nights ago ice was formed an inch and a half thick between sunset and sunrise. Mr J. Thomson, the Pegasus track manager, came down from Table Hill yesterday morning, and reported that good skating was to be had in that vicinity, and that the head of the south-west arm of Paterson's Inlet was coated with a skin of ice one quarter of an inch thick. As this is salt water, it will give a good idea of the hardness of the frost. The oldest inhabitants say they remember nothing like it. The contract for putting in a drive on the Cornwall Tin Company's claim, Pegasus, has been secured by an Invercargill man. The drive is to be 160 ft. 

A tramway is to be taken to the top of the Remarkables by the members of the original prospectors' claim. It will be done, I believe, as a speculation. 

There is nothing fresh to hand from Kopaka, but there must be something good there, as nobody is coming back yet. I mentioned in a letter some few weeks ago that the Bluff Fish and Oyster Company were going to send their steamer Despatch to the island every day in the week except Saturday and Sunday for fish, but it appears now they are not going to do anything of the sort, and nobody over here seems to know what they intend doing. There is a good opening for anyone who can cure fish to come here and put up a smoke house and "start in." He could get all the boats on the island to fish for him. We had a smoker from Port Chalmers down here last year taking a look at things, aad he spoke of coming down this winter. He should come now.  -Otago Witness, 13/6/1889.


STEWART'S ISLAND. (From Our Own Correspondent.) Half-moon Bay, June 10. 

Pegasus seems now to be on a firm footing, and all are sanguine of its turning out a rich field, but matters will no doubt be quiet until the spring comes as very little can be done these short days. The ground, I am told has only lately been thoroughly prospected, and some of the claims that were pronounced duffers are now turning out good things. 

Kopaka is still drawing a good crowd, but I am informed that the tin is not up to much there and that gold is the chief attraction. It is said to be a good "poor man's diggings." 

The Licensing Committee met to-day. There were two applicants for hotel licenses at Port Pegasus and one for Half-moon Bay. Mr Prior, of Invercargill, was granted a license for Port Pegasus, on the condition that he put up a suitable building. Mr Goodall's application for a license in Half-moon Bay was refused. 

Things do not look so well for the fishermen here this winter as they did. The fish are here and the men are here, but there is no market, at least no regular market. The s.s. Despatch arrived to-day from Kopaka, but nothing fresh is reported. The Port Pegasus track is just about completed. Mr Thomson, the Government superintendent of the track, returned from Pegasus a few days ago, where he had been to settle upon the best way to take the track down to the harbour. Swain and party intend returning shortly to Yankee river. They have taken up a considerable quantity of land there under the Gold Mining Act. 

(From a Correspondent.) Invercargill, June 12. The tin excitement continues, although Mr Conliffe, the Tasmanian expert, reports that 20 claims out of 25 prospected by him are of no value for stream tin. Holders, however, hope to strike the lode by tunnels. Tenders were invited to-day by the Cornwall and Pegasus Companies for putting drives into their respective claims. The stream tin is widely distributed, and reports have been received of a good find by Gundry and party on two sections by the sea situated some miles from the nearest claims. Mr Baker has arrived in Invercargill with sapphires found at Pegasus. A company is in contemplation, with a capital of £125,000, to work six sections. A 140th share in Tucker's claim lately sold for £30. There are no dealings in Hall's. 

In another column will be found the prospectus of the Victoria Quartz Mining Company, Nenthorn. The capital is £27,500, in 55,000 shares, of which 22,000 are offered to the public, the original shareholders retaining the rest. The property comprises two licensed holdings of 30 acres each and two water races. A sample of ore weighing, over two tons, sent to the Ballarat School of Mines, yielded very nearly 3oz of gold to the ton. Messrs Grose and Hamilton are the Dunedin brokers.   -Otago Witness, 13/6/1889.


Halfmoon Bay, July 9.

The s.s. Despatch returned from Pegasus and Kopaka yesterday. She brought back 18 passengers from the former and three from the latter place. Among the passengers from Pegasus was Mr George Swain, who says that things are looking much better, and the general opinion is that the the lode must be in the Remarkables. Large pieces of pure tin ore are being picked up on the sides of the ranges; in fact, all the results of the late prospecting and driving go to prove that the lode is not far distant. Murdoch and party are still up the inlet prospecting, but no news is to hand of their doings. 

The Bluff Company have opened the smoke houses in this place, and work is going on briskly. It is understood a curer from Port Chalmers is going to have charge here.    -Otago Witness, 18/7/1889.


(From Our Own Correspondent.) Pegasus, July 28. 

Tucker's Claim.— Mr Conliffe returned to Pegasus by the s.s. Despatch yesterday to lay off and take levels of water race. 

Hall and Lewis' Claim.— Mr Dwyer (formerly under Mr Lonliffe) has been appointed mining manager, and starts operations. 

Neilson's Claim.— Mr Neilson, who has gone on with a third tunnel into the Remarkables, has struck stone giving extremely good indications. 

Black and Smith's Claim. —This tunnel has been driven in about 40ft last week, making about 60ft from start of drive. 

Henderson's Claim.— Notwithstanding very hard stone being met with, this tunnel is in about 50ft altogether, including 10ft of drive. 

Smith and Hunter's Claim.— Good alluvial tin has been found on this claim 

Track. The newly cut track is now on a par with the old one as regards mud, so that travellers are falling back to the latter which seems to be the shorter. 

August 3. The tunnelling into the Remarkables is progressing very well, Black and Smith being in 128 ft, Henderson's 66ft, and Neilson's 10ft. This latter, though the least in length, has been the first to give indications of tin associates such as wolfram, &c. 

Tucker's large water race is being laid off by Mr Conliffe, ample water having been found available as the result of his flying survey. 

Hall and Lewis' claim has started operations, Mr John Dwyer being mining manager, prospecting is still going on in various directions, but there is nothing special to report excepting that two parties have struck out for Doughboy Bay, an entirely new direction.


(From Our Own Correspondent.) Half-Moon Bay, August 1. 

The Despatch returned from Pegasus on Tuesday last, calling at Kopaka on her way up. Accounts from both places are still of an encouraging nature. It is said that the lode at Pegasus has at last been struck by an old man named Nelson. He has a share in a claim on the Remarkables, and has been patiently putting in a drive for the past few months. 

Mr George Swain returned from Pegasus with a badly sprained ankle; the rest of his party have gone over to Dough Boys to prospect. They expect to find good gold. 

There is one thing, to be said about Pegasus, and that is that the prospects brought up are better and better. Some time ago a man thought he had a good prospect when he could show a handful of stuff resembling small rubies — no bigger than number 3 shot — but now you may see fine samples of stream tin as big as dried pease, and very heavy. In fact it makes excellent shot for duck shooting. 

With regard to the accommodation for travellers at Pegasus, all I can say is that a lad went down from here by the steamer last Sunday, stayed there two nights, and came back alive and apparently in good health. 

The fishing industry is at last starting to go ahead here, and a large number of smoked and fresh fish are sent to the Bluff every week. 

The weather has been very fine for the most part of the winter, and has every appearance of keeping so.  -Otago Witness, 8/8/1889.



By E. M. M. 

It was the dullest season of that apathetic town Invercargill when the news of the tin discovery at Stewart's Island reached us. Tin fever at once broke out. Everyone talked "tin," everyone dreamt "tin," and kerosene tins, instead of adorning the gardens or finding a last resting in the Puni creek, were hoarded as relics. The banker asked his clerk, who had come to demand his daughter, how many shares he had at Pegasus, and on receiving the tremulous answer "None, please, sir," summarily kicked the pretentious youth down two flights of stairs. 

One of our most prominent drapers was seen gliding down a back street with a Gladstone in his hand and a gum boot under each arm, and next morn was missing from his 'customed pub. The lawyer put up "Back in 10 minutes," and took train for the Bluff. It was stated that a well-known hotelkeeper spent an entire Sunday in rapt contemplation of a zinc tank — he wanted to know tin when he saw it. This, however, may be only a yarn. Specimens of tin sold at a high rate; but an enterprising merchant, when on the eve of starting a country agency, was found one night in a quarry filling his cart and chuckling to himself as he piled on the "lode." This spoilt his trade.

The fever was catching, and soon I had an attack in its worst form, locating the "true lode" so accurately in my delirium, and drawing such pathetic pictures of oysters in my convalescence, that a chum who was shepherding me proposed that we, too, should go to that glorious land. He had said it! His blood was on his own head! He further added that he could "spot mica schist, and make damper with any man." These being the two things needful, we made up our swags, and one summer evening when the sleet held high holiday in Dee street, joined the grand procession to the station. 

At the Bluff there seems to be an unholy emulation among the settlers to see who can perch his house on the most inaccessible crag. It is said that the family who hold the championship at present have a ladder for their front path, and a lift to raise their provisions from the garden below! There is a bit of bluff somewhere in this assertion. 

We left for Half-moon Bay by the Despatch, the Pegasus mail boat. She was rather larger than the Roslyn "dummy," but there was plenty of room for the mail bag. She lay behind a schooner, and to get on board we had to cross the larger vessel — when the captain wasn't looking — and slide down the other side. Another incident that lent interest to the onlookers was the erratic movement of a playful jet of steam that spouted up the side at odd and unexpected intervals. Every able-bodied man in the Bluff came to see us off, and as many women as there was room for. There were some babies present who wept bitterly without any apparent reason. Hearing them reconciled us to the parting. When all was ready the geyser played, knocking several jovial tars into coils of rope, and with three convulsive yells to drown their expostulations we spluttered out to the ocean. 

The way our engineer tugged at a lever — a pump handle, the passengers thought — led them to believe that the vessel had sprung a leak, and they rushed up to tender advice re stuffing it with a rag. The rush caused her to heel over, and the captain's voice rang through the mist beseeching us to separate or say our prayers. This being the alternative we separated, and left the engineer to shift for himself. Suddenly a dark object broke through the mist ahead. Some thought we had run into Mount Anglem, but their ignorance was exposed as the Mararoa sailed past. She gave us a wide berth, her officers thinking, as, I afterwards heard, that the Despatch was a torpedo boat! She was steaming up the harbour, guided by the soft music that yet stole over the water, some on board doubting if such music could be mortal, and fearing it was the song of the Syren luring them to destruction! She glided on, and was lost in the mist. 

We were a mixed company. There was the old gentleman with an umbrella, who represented a syndicate; the masher, down on his luck, but dreaming still of the rink, going to Pegasus; the inane tourist in flannels and Cookhams; and one — only one, as the boat was small — Tasmanian expert. This gentleman led us to understand that he was a man of weight in his own country, so we got him to sit in the centre to balance the boat. He appeared to represent universal knowledge, and discoursed on asphaltum, Dgypsum, the Chinese question, de Lesseps, and conchology. Then he took an interval of five minutes to ruminate at the side. He came back and discussed zoophytes, the height of the Bluff Hill, and pre-historic man. Then he retired to the stern, and gazed on the green waters with an awe approaching to adoration. 

Half-moon Bay must have been picturesque before the settler arrived to burn the bush and erect his barb wire fences. Even now it is pretty in the distance, but as we draw near we are struck by the patchy appearance of the hills; in place of the bush that was the beauty of the bay, are charred stumps and cows. It is said to be lovely at sunrise. Jack said it would be at its best about two hours before; but the inhabitants couldn't grasp that idea in all its intensity. They even construed it as a compliment, and brought out visitors' books for him to perpetuate his opinion! The township consists of four boarding houses, a bathing house, a mill settlement, a school, some fishermen's huts, and a smoke house. There is also a church and a gaol standing side by side. The latter has been seldom used, but they think it will be handy about the Exhibition time. The villagers lead a sleepy hollow existence. Only when the Bluff boat comes in do they wake and "sit round" on logs, watching events with a feeble interest, too inert to move, and with not sufficient vim to throw a brick at a passing cur. A stranger is immediately noticed, the word is passed and the natives assemble. They watch him as long as he remains in sight. Then they get telescopes. 

We determined not to go to Pegasus, but to prospect Paterson's Inlet, so we hired a boat to take us to the Nor-west Arm. Rounding Harold's Point the Neck is the first point of interest. There is a Maori settlement numbering nearly 80 persons. Out in the ocean lies Ruapuke where King "Toby" lives, and other islands, where the mutton birds hold sole possession until the beginning of April, when the Natives come in quest of the young ones. These they preserve for winter use in kelp bags rendered air-tight by melted fat being poured in. 

Far south lies the Antartic. One boatman, with a humour essentially islandic, made some tourists believe that the mast of an oyster boat appearing above the distant horizon was the South Pole! One immediately seized his sketch book, and the others lay in the boat gazing on it in speechless rapture. But the other mast hove in sight, and they turned to him inquiring why was this thus. "Oh, that," he said, with an earnestness that carried conviction, "is the South Magnetic!" 

The inlet stretches about 12 miles inland and has several minor bays branching off — Big Glory, Little Glory, Abraham's Bay, and the Sou-west Arm on the south side, Nor'-west Arm, Kaipippi, and Golden Bay on the north. At the head stands Rakeahua, a massive and picturesque mountain, from which the loveliest and most comprehensive view of the island can be obtained. We entered at the Passage — a feat of daring, as there is hardly room to swing the Great Eastern. But there are hidden rocks or a latent maelstrom somewhere, judging by the sudden importance our boatman assumed, his antics in hauling down sails, and his language when fixing the jib. Hidden dangers are most feared, so we kept a careful watch, I with two ropes in each hand, the boatman grasping the tiller with both hands, and Jack supporting the boom. I thought of Herve Riel as I watched our noble waterman, and my faith revived. He was undismayed by the glassy appearance of the water, and the dead calm that would have made any other man quail had no such effect on him. In his eye were despair, resignation, hope, and sorrow — sorrow, as he said, that our young lives should be thus sacrificed in their glorious springtime! There were other sentiments too, but I couldn't wait to analyse them. After five minutes of anxious watching he told us proudly that the danger was averted. Then he waited for us to bless our deliverer or return thanks. And he is yet waiting. 

Up the inlet the sun was shining, and the hills, wooded to the water's edge, gleamed with crimson rata. No sound broke the stillness save the ripple at the bow and the flap of the sail. Up the inlet the sun was sinking, and the Rugged Mountains in the far distance outlined boldly against the crimson sky, orangetinted where the sun touched, and with the crevices deep in shadow. As we watched the darker clouds gathered closer, the orange faded in purple, a transient glory gleamed from the setting sun, flashing its former tints into nothingness by its gorgeous splendour, and then it sank. The clouds banked closer, the colours deepened, and a chill fell over the water. One star came out — the only watcher in the wilderness. 

We landed at a deserted saw mill, and had to climb a 10ft slimy pile with the aid of a rotten rope. The likeness to the Invercargill wharf was brought forcibly before me when the boards I was standing on collapsed,and I sank to my arms, showing the astonished boatman a vision of boots. Poor Jack got quite homesick on the strength of it. Herve showed us a ventilated hut, and when he had told us of miasmata and of the fevers and agues that had been bred there, he thanked goodness that he hadn't to stay, wished us luck, and disappeared into the darkness. That night the first plague appeared — mosquitoes. 

"But we fought the battle bravely, and ere the night was gone 

Full many a corse lay ghastly pale to wait the rising sun."

While the wounded were resting we took up our beds and retreated to a hut that they knew not. This was a change for the better, as it was furnished with a couple of chairs and a table. Soon our fittings were displayed round the room, German sausage and "Juno" adorning the mantlepiece along with Liebeg's extract. Outside was a scene of desolation. On every hill stood huts — doorless, windowless, and with their chimneys moss grown. In the gully were stables, huts, and the old mill. Tins and horse collars lay about overgrown with rank grass, and the trolly wheels were rusted to the rails. One hut bore the inscription "Fiddler's Hall," with a sketch of the rustic Orpheus in charcoal, and a standing programme: 

Duet — "2 lovely black eyes" — fiddle and accordion 

"2 lovely black eyes" — fiddle, with accordion obligato 

Song (sentimental) —"2 lovely bl...." 

There seems to be a lack of variety in those items, but they were severely classical. How impressive and grand must those duets have sounded in that dark, sombre gully. The majestic strains of the accordion pealing and thundering through the forest, with an exquisite minor in the roar of the torrent and the anthem of the pines. It was surely the lost chord of Nature. They are gone now, and only the weka holds her solemn orgies in that lone valley. (To be continued.)  -Otago Witness, 22/8/1889.



By E. M. M.

The gloom was intense; the bush was dark and soaking; nothing stirred save the omnipresent sandfly, and everything was deathly still except the wash of the tide and now and then the cry of a distant gull. That night the mosquitoes came again. At 12.45 a.m. we heard a drum-like sound, and knew it was a skirmisher come to spy the land. It sat on Jack's nose, and was collecting facts for a report on commissariat when I led out with my left. Jack didn't display the gratitude I had expected, but held his nose carefully with both hands. Soon the main detachment arrived, and held a wake. Next morning my bump of locality was developed. I had a relief map of Paterson district on my forehead so accurate that we would lay the compass on it to take bearings when we had lost our way!

We washed creeks and sunk shafts, and found grand indications of mica and dead branches. Gold is in "pockets." Sinking wasn't easy in the bush. First we had to cut branches to get standing room, and there was certain to be some unpretentious lawyer branch overlooked. Two feet down the water would ooze in, and the roots form an intricate tracery charming to an artist, but rather out of place in a "shaft." When I was fixed in the mud the sandflies would commence their innocent gambols, the wekas would "sit round" and sing, the kakas overhead would shriek with all the power of their leather-coated lungs, the lawyer branch would catch my neck and refuse to let go, and then as a grand finale an undermined fern tree would fall on me, rasp my face, smother me in its loathsome fronds, and then hold me down till it had poured its life collection of dust and sticks down my back! Shooting was a relief. Sometimes I would take the gun, and prevail on Jack to prospect. In this way we got many a kaka. The rain started. After a week it got monotonous. We sat and listened to the wekas warbling their plaintive lays in the scrub, and wondered why Nature made them so tough and how long the Liebig would last. When in this frame of mind we found a piece of an old Witness, and it was touching to see with what interest we discussed an item re "Ruching relieved with cardinal chenille." Another piece with Cockle's pills we kept for Sunday. Another week passed, but the rain got weaker and weaker; it seemed to be losing heart. One day it stopped to rest — "to recuperate," as the islanders say — so we made up our swags and set out for Half-moon Bay.

We had been told that there was a track from the mill, distance 12 miles. We expected to be there at 2 o'clock; it seemed just over the road. Up the tram we went, slipping off the rails, crashing through the rotten sleepers, jumping chasms and creeks. At the first junction we propped our swags against trees, and rested. Half-moon must be only 10 miles off, we thought, and it was no use getting there too soon. This was in the morning. The tram stopped at a second mill, but gave us a choice of seven other lines. The first landed us in a pine stump, the second in a swamp, the third in a lawyer bush, and the others in profanity — landed Jack, I mean. No more trams to explore, we felt relieved, and swung the billy on the strength of it. After dinner we took bearings, and struck up hills and down gullies in the direction of Half-moon. Through the glimmering branches of the pines we caught a glimpse of the far away sea. The sky and water were grey, the breakers tossed and flashed, and one sail gleamed against a distant island, seeming to tell that we were not alone, and sending a handshake over the reach.

We slid down a precipice and stuck in the fern at the foot. It was 4ft deep, mouldy, and dark, but there was a creek beneath to wash our boots. A pine that lay there offered a comparatively solid footing, and as we stood knee-deep in decayed vegetation Jack waved his shovel, and was shouting "I see..." when he sank through pine and all, the swag keeping him above the surface while he kicked. He didn't finish the sentence, but launched out into extraneous matter. When I had hauled him out he pointed out a tram about 300 yds away. He seemed a very Tasman as he stood on our "dish," which he used as a snow-shoe, inquiring if the fern was nearly out of his eyes. In about an hour the line was reached, and as all seemed plain sailing we camped. This was the evening of the first day. At dusk Jack went out with the last cigar and the billy, to knock over something for breakfast, and as he stood on the tram wondering if I had the bed ready a belated bird sat on his "tammy," held his bill pensively over the cigar, and settled to roost. Angry at being mistaken for a stump, Jack caught it by the tail, telling it it would never sing again, when, with one dig at his hand and a shriek like that of a lost soul, it flapped into the night. The cry seemed familiar to me, but the memory recalled was a football match in which our side had potted without giving due notice, and the other side had wanted to know the reason why; or, as Watt has it:

'Twas the voice of the barracker, I heard him complain — "That ball, it was dead. Fathead, scrum it again!"

What wonder that I had nightmare? At 1.15 the mosquitoes arrived. They had tracked us. We knew them to be our old acquaintances by the broken wing of their general. It gave him a new lease of life, for you can sometimes reckon where an ordinary mosquito will land, but him never! We had a reunion. They seemed a tie to past memories, so we entertained them royally while they danced a haka in their delirious joy. At 2.45 Jack sneaked out of bed, spread out some newspapers, and then uncorked a bottle of corn solvent. This done, he sniggered feebly and crept back to bed. For hours we heard the patter as they succumbed — martyrs to their unholy hankering after their pound of flesh! At 5.15 Jack rose once more and tied up the bundle with string, saying they would make first-rate bait for the wekas.

The following morning we started full of hope: only eight miles — a mere mosquito bite! After following the tram for an hour the scenery seemed to grow familiar, especially as my initials adorned a pine in front. This was too much. We put down our swags and stared at it. A heel-plate that Jack had lost when climbing after a kaka that said "Yah!" at him lay before us. We had struck the first line at the nearest junction to the mill settlement! In other words, we were within two miles of our first camp. Our opinions as to whose fault it was not trying that side line at first were totally different, and the fact of its being the only one in the district that we had not explored was no comfort. A weka came up to see what the matter was — fatal curiosity; but it died game. Distance now 10 miles. We retraced our steps to our last camp, and followed the tram past it till it ended at a finger-post pointing up a hill and into a swamp. It seemed most likely that the track would go through the swamp, being Stewart's Island; so we threw in a stick to see if it would bear, but as it sank at once we decided to try the hill first. Up the hill a track was found, and we followed it that we might have nothing to reproach ourselves with. It was a broad track, but it ended in a pine stump.

We sat down to consider the situation. Jack said we weren't lost, for Half-moon was "Over there!" I asked what distance he made it. He replied gloomily, "It must be nearly 12 miles again!" I proposed that I should watch the swags, and keep whistling so he might radiate round me as a centre, and find some place where a sheep could crawl through. He said he would find some opening if there was only room for a sandfly, and sallied forth with a look of determination in his eye and the cleaver in his hand. So I whistled "The heart bowed down" to cheer him, and he radiated, making tracks that will puzzle any future explorer who may spend his holidays walking from the Nor'-west Arm to Half-moon Bay. By and bye a shout came faintly through the scrub — "I've got it!" "Likely," I thought. "Eighteen inches mud," came the distant refrain. Then hope revived, and I whistled till he found me. We followed his "blazing" till we struck it. It was the track: we didn't care to say so till we were sure, but as it first struck for Anglem, then Kaipippi, and then Pegasus, the conviction grew on us that we were right at last. It was well cut, and had room for four to walk abreast. Here and there was silent testimony that long before us man had been on the scene, mementoes of civilisation in the form of rusty salmon tins.

In the evening we reached the saw mill in operation; distance two miles. The following day we found a botanist, an expert apparently, talking "fern" at "Slabby," who was evidently profoundly impressed by his umbrella and portfolio. He tried me with "Pulcherrimums" (the plural is his), but while I was recovering he was stumped by Jack with a rare species — "Pre-antediluviastic-crustacea." After that the botanist talked English. As the trolly was about to start for the bay we waited for it, and went round suggesting various improvements. While I was engaged "sizing" the horsepower of the engine, "Slabby" came up. I thought he had come to show me the notice, "Strangers are requested not to touch any logs," but I was wrong; he had come to inquire if "he," pointing over his shoulder, "was off his chump?" It was evident that Jack was enjoying himself! On going to warn him I found him springing that old, old query: "If a hen and a-half lays an egg and a-half in a day and a-half, how many eggs will six hens lay in seven days?" When we left the hands were feverishly figuring on logs and rails in a state bordering on lunacy. Only two miles to go. Surely we might arrive that day! We did — a triumph of perseverance. 

The bush is thick at first, but near the bay it gets clearer and clearer until the mill settlement is reached. The scene here was characteristic. At every door stood a woman en dishabille. One had a baby in her arms; others had two apiece. The gateposts were utilised by a shawl slung hammock wise between them, with a baby or twins somewhere in the folds. It is thought a neighbourly act to pick up and slap any who may have fallen out. One woman dressed in a faded silk was washing dishes. She was evidently a superior woman. A hundred yards farther on the trolly stopped, and the driver informed us that the township lay behind the stable. In going round we found that such was the case. To our surprise we found that we had broken the record, no one before doing the distance in less than six days.  -Otago Witness, 29/8/1889.


No. 3. — ON THE TIN TACK. By E. M. M.

We had intended to go back to the Bluff by the first boat, but hearing that silver had been discovered at the Sou-west Arm, Jack proposed that we should write to our sorrowing relatives saying we were lost in the bush, and then do a mizzle down the inlet. This advice seemed sound, so we engaged a boat, and while the waterman was laying in a month's provisions we went round to study the natives. They told us that Herve had gone to Glory. The certainty as to his destination made us slightly envious, but concealing our feelings we asked in hushed voices — "How did he die?" The mariners laughed in an unmeaning sort of way, and said we could ask him when he came home that night. It turned out to be Glory Bay that he had gone to, and the joke was musty — being in fact the oldest used in the settlement.

Before school the children take boats and go flounder spearing. If there is a stranger about they take him in. One sculls, and another leans over the side with a spear watching for flounders lying on the sand. When one is seen the youngster drops his spear till it is within four inches of its head, and when satisfied that his aim is certain digs the spear into the fish, holds it down till it has stopped kicking, and then hoists it into the boat. The guileless stranger then gets his spear, and the youngsters signal to the houses that the fun is going to commence. We were the guileless strangers in this case.

It is difficult to find a fish, even if there are some about, as they appear transparent in the water. At last I saw a tail, and following up came to a head. Judging that the part between those points must be flounder, I struck. As it was two feet beyond my depth, I followed up my blow, and made a wild dive after my spear. The fish, in scathing contempt for my method, wagged its tail, but when Jack and the youngsters arrived from the overturned boat, "like one who for delay seeks a vain excuse," it swam out to sea. Then we all struck out for the shore. The boys, on leaving, told us not to bother about them; their mother always got dry clothes ready when she saw them taking out a tourist!

Next morning we started for the silver reef. After rowing from 9 till 4, our boatman, seized with a sudden inspiration, put in at Golden Bay, tied up the boat, and led the way over the hill to Half-moon. We got there in 10 minutes. We had been rowing round a peninsula, and while fondly thinking we were "nearly there" were only drawing abreast of Half-moon township, though on the other side of the hill. The following evening we arrived at the reef. We landed at a desolate beach, on which the rotting seaweed lay, caught in the driftwood. The stagnant water oozed out at every step, the slimy tangled grass grew along the beach, and even the bones of a whale that lay there were not bleaching, but were covered with a dank green mould. On parting our boatman voluntarily knocked sixpence off the fare, explaining with emotion that we were the first he had ever taken out who had not asked what that island — pointing at Ulva — was called, and if that hill — pointing to the Rugged Mountains — wasn't the Knob? Then he borrowed a plug of Juno and sailed away, smiling with a glad surprise at this realisation of a long-cherished dream.

We found two parties on the field, some of the claimholders "shepherding," and a band of Invercargillites headed by an elder. This gentleman came over to our tent at nights, and told us touching little stories about his Christianity and how he stood up for it — how he was once tempted to drink some ginger ale, but seeing the serpent lurking in it stood out for a fortnight, unheeding the shameless protestations of the tempter that it was non-alcoholic, and in the end how he almost persuaded that individual to join the Rechabites. We felt elevated morally and intellectually by this noble heroism, and told him it were well if there were more like him — more endued with such principles of unwavering consistency. When he had furtively noted this sentence in a pass-book, for Sunday school use, he bade us "Good night," and went for the dictionary.

The reef crops out at the water's edge. It is a vein of quartz ranging from 5in to 10in in thickness. The yield was said to be 5oz to the ton, and as silver was then 3s 6d an ounce, it was a grand prospect! Every day we went round to the reef and knocked off specimens. I could see the claimholder didn't like the reckless way in which we handled the precious quartz. There was a pathos in the joy of the elder when he found a piece of wolfram nearly as large as the head of a pin. There were nine claims applied for, and a large stretch of surrounding country was pegged off by an enterprising mill hand. If there had been any mineral in the district — not in the nine-claim block — he must have struck it somewhere. One corner he omitted — why no one knows.

One day a boat-load landed at our camp, causing the elder to shoot through the bush and peg off the vacant lot. In the evening he came in wet and hungry, but with a look of triumph in his eye. The boat had gone on. Its occupants had been inoffensive trackcutters, who were too wise to leave 8s a day for the visionary glories of a silver mine. The rain started again, and kept on with such application and "oneness of aim" that even the shovel seemed to have sprouted during the night.

Sunday broke calmly. We rose with the weka. Our first joy was seeing one of those interesting birds decamp with our soap. It simply stuck its bill in it "up to the hilt," and made a bee line for the scrub. A boot and a fryingpan followed it, but it only ran the faster. Our first solace was that the soap would disagree with it, but when the elder told us afterwards that weka soup had a strong aroma of old Brown Windsor we forgave the bird, and even strewed candle ends round the tent to further the cause of science.

All the morning the elder's party cut down trees — "for to-morrow," they told us. The elder had a penchant for fern trees; he wanted to secure the aggregate prize.

After that they boiled a lot of fish and brushed their boots — still for "to-morrow" — and in the afternoon borrowed our pick and shovel and started for the reef, the elder making the hills echo with his declaration that "he'd lay him doon and dee!" Then a wave caught him, and his agility and language seemed to intimate that he "passed" at wet feet. But he was not daunted. Bearing down on a grindstone that lay on the beach, he dealt it some terrific blows. He was hunting for the quartz.

At this time in a church over the sea a congregation was singing praises. Many missed the elder, but doubted not that he was preaching to the natives or holding Sunday school in that far-away island. When they returned, laden with the quartz and rock oysters, Jack asked if they were going down to Ulva the following day. The elder expanded visibly as conscious virtue asserted itself, and fixing his eye on Jack said with an inexpressible dignity: "I hope I have more enduring consistency than to break up camp on a Sunday!" (His memory was weak, but "enduring consistency" was a master touch.) "This is Sunday," said Jack; but the elder scouted the idea, and told Jack with withering scorn to go and consult the almanac. This startling evidence didn't convince Jack, so they sat on boulders and argued till the sun set. When the moon rose the elder's face assumed a greenish tinge; his great brain was at work. "Tuesday we came and had damper." "Yes," his chums said, thinking there was more to follow. "Wednesday we had weka." "True," they said. "Thursday and Friday we had damper; last night we had none — it must be Sunday." Thus by damper he was saved from missing the Bluff boat at Ulva — a triumphant vindication of vegetarianism. That night he came 11 times by actual count to impress on us that he thought it was Saturday, and even woke up at 5 a.m. to implore us to keep it dark.

Next morning we ran down under the jib to Ulva. Mr Trail is the solitary inhabitant of this island, but he keeps a post-office and store for the use of natives at the Neck. He kindly let us camp in one of his houses, warning us, however, that as he expected a visitor we might have to shift during the night. This hint was not lost on us. On retiring we locked the door and put the table against it. In the moonlight I went out to explore the garden. I stood at the head of the cliff and looked over the sea. Afar off it melted into mist, and the islands were enshrouded in a soft haze till they seemed in that weird, dreamy light to be lifted apart into the cloud world. The moon played through the flickering fern, the wind rustled through the tall grass, the pines moaned in the breeze with an inexpressible yearning, and the sea beneath, smiling in the moonbeams, seemed to be ever calling — calling to the weary to come and be at rest.

In the morning we put off to the Awarua, the mail steamer. A weka that lay in the boat reminded us that we were going back to civilisation and game laws; so we put it gently in the water, and it floated out to the steamer, as though even in death it bore witness against us. The sailors looked at the dreary spectacle of a dead bird floating out to sea, and said we'd be lucky if we ever saw the Bluff again. The fact of its legs being tied only added to its mysterious import.

That night saw us once more in the pale of the Invercargill Gasworks. As we took a parting bumper at the Crescent a passing memory seemed to convulse the elder, for as he turned to us, pressing our hands in the last farewell, he besought us to "Keep it dark!"  -Otago Witness, 5/9/1889.

Settled at Last. — Mr L. Rodgers has, we are informed, now secured a transfer of the license for the accommodation house at Pegasus originally granted to Mr George Prior. The house has been named The Pioneer Hotel, and will be conducted by Mr Rodgers personally.   -Southland Times, 15/10/1889.

By the Way

Little is heard now of the tin discoveries in Stewart's Island; and noting this, an Invercargill paper says;— instead of the sound of the pick and axe being heard in the leafy shades of Pegasus there is a silence almost unbroken save by the silvery notes of bell birds and the raucous cries of ka-kas.   -Mataura Ensign, 22/2/1890.

SOUTHLAND.  (excerpt)


So far as the tin mines at Stewart Island are concerned, maiters are again quiescent. A few weeks ago a little enthusiasm was manifested on the receipt from Tasmania of several strips of tin smelted from samples sent from Pegasus. One of our local auctioneers was wielding one of these strips in his box, and waxing eloquent on the brilliant future that was in store when this remote region was compelled to yield up its treasure. But as Professor Black has returned to his duties at the Otago University, the leading and guiding spirit in the affair is wanting, and nothing presumably will be done for some months to come.   -NZ Times, 22/5/1890.


A meeting of the New Zealand Chamber of Alines was held in the Chamber of Commerce last evening, and was attended by Messrs W. L. Simpson (chairman), J. Ashcroft, J. L. Gillies B. L. Stanford, H. M. Davey, G. M. Barr, E Clarke (secretary), J. Mouat, R. Paulin, H. D. Mackenzie, J. Welman, H. D. Corbett, C. Ford, and Captain Andrew. 

A DONATION. Mr Gillies presented the chamber with four photographs of the Ross United Company's workings. The Chairman acknowledged the donation, on behalf of the chamber. 

TIN AND GOLD DEPOSITS AT PEGASUS. Mr Ashcroft then addressed the chamber upon "The Tin and Gold Deposits at Pegasus." He said that so far as his experience of the external workings of mining concerns in the colony went, there were three stages through which they passed. First of all there was a feeling of great excitement, and everyone expressed themselves as sanguine of the result; then difficulties arose, and there was a corresponding period of depression and undue despair; and this was followed by a more or less successful prosecution of the enterprise. The first two of these stages had been reached in connection with the Pegasus mines, and he thought he would be able to show that though the field might not justify the most sanguine expectations, it was certainly not a "duffer." After describing the topographical features of the field, he said the present position of things was this: that a very large number of claims had been taken up, and a great many of these had been prospected. He thought he might say generally that the area over which tin had been found extended for something like six miles round the mountain, and was two miles across, or about 12 square miles. He did not say that every part of that area had been prospected in so many places that he might say that it was a tin-bearing area. The discovery first made was of garnet tin sand, found at the north-west of the mountain. That led Professor Black to search for the lode, and if he did not find a lode he at least found nodules of stone of very rich character. Eventually that led to the opening of what was not strictly a lode, though it had been called a lode, 40ft long by 40ft wide, in which some rich and very fair average stone was found. Another claim had been tunnelled into and a good deal of stone had been got out of that. There were two classes of mining that might be carried on there. The streaming of tin, which was a comparatively simple process, could be carried on with a small expenditure of capital on a small scale, and as it had clearly been established that a good deal of gold was combined with the tin it would no doubt pay a party of men good wages to work that way, if they obtained a sufficient area; but if the field was to be developed to the fullest extent machinery, water power, and hydraulic force would have to be utilised and special means of saving the tin adopted. One reason why no large quantity of tin ore had been got to the market was that a powerful stream of water which would save gold simply washed away the tin, and that was what had been done. The same thing had happened in Tasmania, where it was discovered that without the use of certain machinery they could not save the tin. With regard to another cause of the field not going ahead, the fact was that some of the claimholders went a little mad on the subject and opened their mouths tremendously wide. It was, however, only 18 months since the field was started, and a great deal had been done. What they knew as a positive fact to-day was that they had on the mountain itself a considerable quantity of stone which had assayed from 3 to 7 1/2, 10, and 18 per cent. of tin. Three hundredweight was sent to Mount Bischoff to Mr Keser, a well-known authority, and this had been concentrated. The concentrates were sent to Messrs Anderson and Morrison, and they smelted nine bars of tin. Mr Keser's report was that very favourable indications of what ought to be a very fair field were shown. Mr Keser made a statement which to the speaker was an astounding one —viz, that the average of the Mount Bischoff yield was only 3/4 per cent. He did not think that any stone from Pegasus that he had yet tried had yielded less than 2 1/2 to 3 per cent., and with these facts before them they had quite enough to show that they had here a field that was very well worth further prospecting. The speaker then quoted extracts from the report prepared by Mr G. M. Barr, who, representing certain owners, had visited an area of 500 acres on the east side of the mountain, and, continuing, said that if the most sanguine estimates of the field were realised, he thought this would prove to be one of the most valuable mining properties New Zealand had yet known; if moderate estimates were realised it would afford employment for many men for a good many years to come; but whatever view they took of it he thought enough had been shown to excite some interest in the matter and to justify those who had taken a great deal of pains and spent a good deal of money to bring the field before the public. He thought there was a very fair prospect of the field being now floated in London. He believed that £10,000 or £12,000 would fairly open up the district, and with that amount expended judiciously in a thorough mining of the field, a large supply of capital would be forthcoming if the prospects were anything like what he believed they were. In conclusion he paid a high tribute of praise to Professor Black for the energy and enthusiasm he had shown in taking the matter up. 

Mr Barr said that the general description that Mr Ashcroft had given of the field was a very accuarate one. So far as the field had yet been explored and worked, he thought he might say that the richest deposit of tin was on the east side. There were some also on the southern side where a party of men were working when he was last there. These men at that time were perfectly satisfied with the indications and yields they were getting. They were getting both tin and gold, but so far as he recollected the tin was more valuable at that particular part. Some parts were rich in gold, which was easily got. With regard to water supply he pointed out that the rainfall was pretty constant in Stewart's Island, and the creeks were so numerous there was no difficulty aboat getting water in any part of the field. The first thing that was required was a tramway. It would not be a costly undertaking to lay a tramway from Pegasus harbour through the principal part of the field, even to the extreme end, but the question was, who was going to do it? He thought that if the Government would just do their duty in the matter — the cost of making a tramway would not be over £2000 — they would give remarkably good prospects for prospecting. There were some parts of the field very rich he had no doubt about that, for the thing had been demonstrated over and over again. 

Mr Paulin also briefly addressed the chamber, confirming the remarks of the previous speakers. 

Captain Andrew sincerely hoped that those who were interested in the Pegasus tinfields would see that only qualified and honest men were sent down to report. His reason for saying that was that in November last he went over to Melbourne in company with a Sydney expert who had not a very favourable opinion of New Zealand. He found that this expert had had the audacity, though he was only 24 hours in the field, to cable over to Sydney and say that he had thoroughly prospected about 800 acres of bush land. — (Laughter.) The consequence was that an impression got abroad in Sydney at that time that the field was a "duffer." He believed, however, that the field offered a good and a legitimate opening for capital. In connection with the saving of stream tin, he urged the advisability of utilising a now type of concentrators which he had seen in operation at Melbourne, and expressed the opinion that there would not be a great deal of difficulty in the construction of a tramway. 

Mr Ford, referring to a remark of the previous speaker, said that more harm was done by sending incompetent men to look after these mining fields than the introduction of any amount of capital would remove. As to the construction of a tramway, he said that the men did not appear to have much confidence in the place if they waited so long for the Government to undertake the work.

Mr Ashcroft explained that there were conflicting interests between the companies through whose claims the tramway would have to pass. The Chairman said that, as a listener, it struck him that the first mistake that had been made was that the field was over-rushed. He could hardly think that the field was yet developed to such an extent as to enable a value to put on any one claim, and he thought a good deal of prospecting would have to be done before any capitalist ventured £2000 upon the tramway. He thought it was to be regretted that a scientific man like Dr Black should have created so much excitement in the first place. The Invercargill people evidently believed a great deal in the field, but even they had not yet induced their capitalists to take it up.

A vote of thanks was accorded to Mr Ashcroft on the motion of the Chairman.  -Otago Daily Times, 13/8/1890.

This hopeful report was the death-knell of the Pegasus tin boom.

Stewart Island  (excerpt)

Messrs Jas. Thomson and Fraser have gone down to Pegasus to prospect for gold and tin, taking with them about three months' provisions. That place is now about deserted, most of the claims being left to look after themselves.   -Southland Times, 31/1/1891.

Stewart Island.  (excerpt)


The mutton-birders have returned from the islands. They, too, have been losers by the bad weather. Their harvest has been a poor one, the birds being scarce and not in good condition, and they were almost ready to fly before the parties got there. 

The prospecting fever has apparently not quite died out. Last week a party consisting of four residents left for Smoky in search of the precious metal. They intend to thoroughly prospect that part of the coast. Although the mining population of Pegasus has dwindled down to two, many are confident that that locality will yet turn out a great field. It only wants to be developed to prove this, they declare, but alas the coined "tin" necessary is not plentiful either in or about Stewart Island.  -Soyuthland Times, 28/5/1891.


(per press association.)

Invercargill, June 18. A meeting of those interested In the Pegasus tin field was held to night. The tenor of the discussion was that the twelve companies, holding 25 claims, should amalgamate, with the object of putting on the London market a company with £100,000 capital. The matter was referred to a committee, who met afterwards and drew up resolutions on the lines advocated at the meeting.  -NZ Mail, 26/6/1891.



From the Bluff we tried hard to get to Port Pegasus, Stewart's Island. It was a hard try, but we managed it, and jolly glad we were to get there for more reasons than one. Port Pegasus is a magnificent harbour, and where we anchored at the lower end of the harbour we had a glorious view of Fraser's Peaks, a series of unusually bold and curiously outlined granite hills, which couldn't help being picturesque in any weather, but as we saw them first on a squally, windy, light and shady day they were impressive to a degree. We expected to find some tin at Port Pepasus — some of us wanted it very badly. We went ashore to where they used to find it — or used to expect to find it; but all we succeeded in coming into contact with was a post office and hotel, closed up for ever so long, with the inevitable deserted seal severely set upon them. As a tinfield Port Pegasus is a failure, but as a beauty spot it is a pronounced success. There is a peculiar fascination about Gog and Magog — two of the most prominent crags of the Fraser Peaks. And then there is the Eagle rock, looking like a young egret with the pip, hunched about the shoulders and drooping as to the back; grey granite these peaks are, and whether wild and bleak against a driving grey sky, or in misty blue relief against a golden sunset field they are striking to a degree. We had a man on board who was feverishly desirous of ascertaining the origin of the names Gog and Magog. He eventually discovered, after assiduous inquiry, that they were taken from Scripture, and failing to find anyone on board who conld refer him to the exact passage, he devoted a whole Sunday to reading the Bible through from beginning to end to find it. He got as far as where it says "Thou shalt do no murder," and then he concluded to let it drop, as he had fully made up his mind to "do for" for the man who told him he would find it in the second chapter of Genesis.

There are some white cranes at Port Pegasus — another instance of the rara avis which will not bear out the original quotation. It was decided to go out in a boat and shoot one. We went out in a boat and had a very jolly afternoon, but we didn't shoot one. We saw three, but the unfortunate part of the performance was that they saw us, and the result of our guns was a kaka, a penguin, and two terns. One of the boys shot a tern, and its mate came along to see what was the matter. An impromptu funny man suggested that one good "tern" deserved another, so we shot the other one and went home happy. Port Pegasus called us its own till Sunday evening, when the captain made up his mind, "weather" or no, to make a start for the Snares islands. We shook in our shoes, but we found when we got outside that even a big sea may not be so bad as it is painted, and at the expense of a good deal of physical misery we "made" the Snares very early on Monday morning. We had always expected to find the Snares a bleak, inhospitable lump of rock sticking up forbiddingly from the sea, instead of which we got up to find a conple of islands which might not inaptly be called emerald — picturesque of outline and pleasant of detail.   -Otago Daily Times, 25/11/1891.


On last Saturday Professor Black returned to Dunedin from Stewart Island, where he has been inspecting operations on the tinfields. These tinfields were discovered some two or three years ago at Pegasus, in the southern end of Stewart Island, but nothing has since been done in developing them. For some time past, however, two men have been working away at the eastern claim, and have taken from about an acre of ground 3 tons of stream tin, and 80ozs of gold, without having to go to a greater depth than from two to five feet. The tin is worth £60 per ton, and the gold is worth £3 18s per oz, being considered of first-class quality, so it will be seen at once that the discovery is a valuable one. The tin was washed by the usual tail-race process, and the gold separated from it by various hand processes, and then the two men carried the 3 tons weight over precipitous bush country on their backs to the sea, after which they had to take it 4 miles in an open boat to Pegasus Bay, where it was put on board a cutter which brought it to the Bluff. Professor Black went to Stewart Island in his private capacity to examine the results of these men's labor, but as he is personally interested in the discovery he declined to offer any opinion as regards the richness of the field. He leaves everyone to judge by the results above stated. The lodes from which the tin came, and which are of a segregated character, have been discovered in the southern point of the Remarkables, 1600 feet above the sea level, but their extent and richness cannot be ascertained until they are properly tested. A good deal of capital will be required for this, as a tram-line will have to be made for a distance of eight miles, which will cost about £2000, and machinery to the value of about £4000 will also be required. Want of capital has caused the field to lie dormant since its discovery, but there is an expert on his way from Queensland at the present time who has been commissioned by an English syndicate to report on these lodes, and consequently we may expect work to go on vigorously before long. This information was given to us by Professor Black, who will be associated with the Queensland expert. The discovery is apparently a very important one and it is to be hoped that the field will soon be developed.  -Temuka Leader, 6/12/1892.

So, by all indications, the potential is there - but investment is needed to achieve the economy of scale to make the field a truly lucrative one.  A mere few thousand pounds would be the key with which to unlock the potential of the place.


Mr Hooker, the English expert, returned from Stewart Island the other day. He is naturally very reticent about his examination of the tin deposits at Pegasus, inasmuch as it is his first duty to report to those who employed him in Lodon.  -Bruce Herald, 9/5/1893.


NEWS, GOSSIP, AND ADS.  (excerpt)

The Gazette contains a notification that 55 tin mining leases at Pegasus, Stewart Island, have been cancelled.   -Otago Witness, 7/12/1893.

The tin boom was well and truly of the past.  But the metal was still there, and Mr Thomson was on it.


(From a Correspondent.) Mr Scollay left the Bluff on Saturday morning with some stout iron grapnels, with which he hoped to raise his lost fishing craft. She lies in 15 fathoms of water, but, being brand new, Mr Scollay anticipates but little difficulty in recovering her. 

The Stewart Islanders have enjoyed a prosperous season. There was an unusual influx of visitors, who expressed themselves as delighted with the scenery. 

It is stated that the proceeds of the two and a-half tons of stream tin sent home to Swansea by Mr Thomson, of Half-Moon Bay, as the result of some two years' sluicing for gold and tin at Pegasus, Stewart Island, was no less than £53 per ton. The same energetic miner was during the same period rewarded with 90oz of gold of such excellent quality as to bring £3 17s 6d per oz. The total gross proceeds therefore — from the work of two men — amounted to over £480. Mr Thomson is still working at Pegasus.  -Otago Daily Times, 16/3/1894.

At today's values, L480 equates to $96,164.  That figure works out to be $24,041 per man per year.  Not a lot of money for hard manual labour, tented accomodation, near-constant rain, very basic food and constantly wet clothing. 

The following year, 1895, a visit was made to the almost abandoned Port Pegasus.

A TRIP TO PORT PEGASUS.   (abridged)

If anyone wants to enjoy the pleasure of a warm fire and comfortable surroundings the best way to do so is to go without them for a while, and that is what a party of adventurous spirits decided to do when they made up their mind to go for a trip to Port Pegasus in the middle of winter — namely, on Wednesday, the 24th July, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety-five.

There were five of us, and the good steamer Awarua was to take us across to look at that place which up to date has figured in New Zealand history only as the site of an abortive tin rush. As a mining centre Port Pegasus so far has only proved itself to be a ghastly failure. Perhaps, like the Coromandel Peninsula for many a long day, it only lies under a cloud, and may yet blossom out as a New Zealand Cornwall. We have no records, but it is quite possible that the Cornish miners in the days of the Phcenicians got up a good many mining companies in which the shareholders dropped their money and came out second best, whilst the promoters lined their pookets. It is as likely as not, but history is unfortunately silent on the subject. Cornwall, however, lived it down; perhaps Port Pegasus will. 

Tha ground was snow-white with hoar frost as we started in the 7 o'clock train from the Bluff, and half an hour afterwards were under weigh in the Awarua bound for Half-moon Bay first, then on to Port Pegasus.

That ill-omened prophet, Mr Wragge, prophesied all sorts of weather on its way from Australia. We could only hope that the storm centre would not travel so far south, but would strike these islands somewhere about Welliugton, and if it blew the Parliamentary Buildings with all the politicians into the sea — well, we would try and bear the loss with Christian fortitude.

At half-past 4, four hours and a-half from Half-moon Bay (38 miles), we enter Port Pegasus, and in five minutes we are in a landlocked harbour of great extent and natural beauty, with hardly a breath of wind stirring on its calm waters, whatever gales may blow outside will scarcely ruffle the waters of Port Pegasus. They blow over the tops of the hills, and down at the sea level in the open harbour half a gale is a slight air, whilst in the many arms and sheltered coves the surface of the water is as calm as a mirror.

The harbour of Port Pegasus is about eight miles long as the crow flies measured on the chart, but owing to its many indentations probably has a water frontage of 50 miles. Two islands of considerable size lie right in the mouth of the harbour. The northernmost entrance is not a quarter of a mile wide, and up it we sped, glad enough to get out of the rough sea and the rolling, and brought up for the night in a beautifully-sheltered little bay called Oyster Cove, where we lay at anchor in water unrippled by the winds that were tearing over the sea, and with no more knowledge of the weather than could be gained from the sleet and snow that fell during the night, which very fairly indicated what was going on in less favoured spots. 

Still, it was cold enough; but a stove in the little cabin and a good cup of hot coffee made our position quite bearable. 

In the morning we could see well up the harbour for several miles, it is surrounded by steep, wooded hills, with not an open patch visible but a little clearing where the hotel stands, the ground there being white with snow. Two cutters came alongside and put their catch of fish on board — from a ton and a-half to two tons of fine blue cod, with here and there a trumpeter and a good few groper. They had all been caught in the harbour within 24 hours of our arrival.

It was dead low water when we took boat in the morning to look at the waterfall named, we understand, Belltopper Falls. Surely some name less redolent of cockney life might be found for the best waterfall on the East Coast of New Zealand. We have not the hardihood to suggest any other, but as for the name Belltopper as applied to a waterfall, let it be in a mild way anathema maranatha.

The fall is 27ft high, the sheer fall perhaps about 17ft, the width of the ledge over which the water falls about 50ft; for the remainder of the 27ft the descent is over rocky boulders and ledges into the sea, the distance from the sea being about 30 yards. So here you have a valuable water power close to the water's edge, which is a condition that we do not know that exists in any other place on the East Coast of New Zealand. 

The volume of water of course varies with the weather. From a rough calculation it was estimated that it gave about 3000 cubic feet per minute in the state in which it was when we were there, and as the rainfall is pretty regular on the islands all the year round that should give a fair estimate of the average power it will develop.

We went to the deserted hotel and found in it a good many cases of tin ore which a party of men, who are still working in the tin grounds, had gathered. They were away at their work several miles away, or we should have liked to have asked them how they were doing, and whether there was room for any more men on the ground; — that we must reserve for our next visit. Rock oysters of good size and fine flavour abound on the rocks all around the bay. Mussels, too, are very plentiful, and when roasted are very good eating, so no one need starve at Port Pegasus. The requisites of life are there — fuel, water, and food in plenty — the conveniences of civilisation are conspicuous by their absence. There are no collections of salmon tins and empty bottles such as everywhere mark the track of civilised man. Nature is here in unspotted beauty; it remains for man first of all to mar then to add to her charms. That is what he is here for, only he does not know it. 

A truce to philosophising, we must be off again. We found a heavy sea outside, and the Awarua rolled her very best till we got round a point, when we got the sea behind us and made a fair wind of it for Half-moon Bay, where we took on board another couple of tons of fish, and started for the Bluff again at 4 p.m., arriving there, chilled to the bone, at 7 o'clock on Thursday night.

Mr Wragge's gale arrived at the Bluff on Tuesday night. We heard it rattling against the windows whilst we were between the blankets; but Mr Wragge and his gales can go to

Port Pegasus.  -Otago Daily Times, 29/8/1895.

Local and General

Freezing works have been established at Port Pegasus, Stewart Island, and the first shipment of fish from that quarter reached the Bluff a few days ago.  -Wairarapa Daily Times, 23/6/1898.

News of the Day

The "Southland News" says: — "The rapid advance in the price of tin is having the effect of directing attention to the almost deserted Pegasus tinfields. We learn from Mr C. W. Brown, who has been in correspondence in reference to the matter for some time past, that an expert is now on his way out to inspect the field and report to an English syndicate, and, judging from the tone of recent correspondence, there appears to be every prospect of business being done, if the report proves satisfactory."   -Press, 10/4/1899.

The Pegasus Tin Field


A strong syndicate, composed of men of good substance and considerable experience, has been formed to make a thorough test of the Pegasus tin fields, and it is probable that within a month work will be begun. A short time ago two experts, Messrs Dennis and Clark, came over from central Australia to inspect the field. They had been looking at tin properties in Queensland on behalf of some Melbourne business men, and in consequence of some information sent to them by a friend they made enquiries about Stewart Island, with the result that they left for N.Z. Some remarks made by Mr Thomson of Seaview house, Stewart Island, at the banquet to his Excellency the Governor at Half Moon Bay then came under their notice and brought them south from Auckland. On their arrival they were joined by Professor Black of Dunedin and a well-known Canterbury squatter, and Mr Thomson took the party down to Pegasus. After examining the lode, the experts expressed themselves as satisfied that there seemed to be great possibilities before the field, and it was resolved to immediately expend £1000 in experiments to ascertain whether the lode goes down sufficiently far to warrant them in embarking a large sum in the enterprise of opening up the field. It may be mentioned that the lode outcrops on the top of a ridge from 1600 to 2000 feet high, and Mr Thomson, who discovered the field some l5 years ago, has clear evidence that it goes down at least 500 or 600 feet, for it is exposed in watercourses to that depth, but there is no reason why it should not go down below sea level, and to ascertain its real extent a cross-cut will be made by the syndicate. The presence of other lodes than those that have already been discovered has been betrayed by tin bearing stone washed down from the ridge, and it is surmised that the outcrop is covered by peat and vegetation. The extent of the field will be further ascertained by search for other traces. 

Mr Thomson, the discoverer of the field, spent about five years in alluvial gold digging and did very well. His mate, Mr H. Fraser, has been working on Pegasus all the time, but Mr Thomson abandoned the search for gold in order to attempt the opening up of the tin fields in which he has great faith. He has spent a considerable time in these efforts, and all the work done has convinced him that the tin is there in plenty, and now that a syndicate with considerable financial resources has been formed, he is satisfied that the field will soon be worked. 

Some idea of the labour employed on tin mines may be gained from the fact that at Bischoff, Tasmania, about 300 men are in constant work, and a mine in Cornwall with an equal output would employ from 950 to 1000 hands, the increased number being due to the fact that in England boys and girls are largely employed in some branches of the industry. It is believed that the Pegasus field could be worked easily so far as power is concerned, as near at hand on the Pegasus creek there are falls 40 or 50 feet in height, from which ample electrical power could easily be generated. While the party was on the field attention was also given to this matter. Mr Thomson is conlident that if the enterprise should be sufficiently opened up it would lead at once to great developments in Stewart Island. It would probably take 100 people there, and lead to an improvement in the communications between the Island and the mainland. It remains to be seen, however, what developments will take place. In the meantime the syndicate is prepared to expend a considerable sum in testing the field, and it will depend upon the results whether a Company to take up the industry on a large scale will be floated.  -Southland Times, 26/2/1904.

Local and General

The company to work the tin deposits at Pegasus, Stewart Island, has been successfully floated.  -Western Star, 26/4/1904.


Operations are being actively carried on hs the Stewart Island Proprietary Tin Mines' Syndicate under the management of Mr J. H. Dennis, on the properties acquired by the syndicate at Port Pegasus. The tunnel at the south end of the leases started about 12 years ago, has been cleaned out and securely timbered, and driving the same is being continued to cut the lode at a depth. Good prospects of tin have been obtained along the cap of the lode, which, on the surface, varies from 60ft to 100 ft wide; and if the values continue at a depth it should prove a source of wealth to the shareholders, and give a decided impetus to mining on the island, where, for many years, several men have been sluicing the stream tin with beneficial results.   -Otago Witness, 13/6/1904.

Local and General

The Stewart Island tin mining syndicate has abandoned the enterprise. More “tin” has been lost trying to find tin in Pegasus than many a gold mine.  -Western Star, 9/8/1904.

After the demise of the mining syndicate, Port Pegasus was left to the fishing and freezing industry - the freezing achieved by water power from above Belltopper Falls, put through a race to a pelton wheel to drive a compressor.

But there had always been the belief, as with so many mining areas, that all that was needed was enough investment.


Of the



Divided into 11,000 shares of 20s each, of which 3000 fully paid-up shares are to be allotted to the Vendors of the Mining rights, Mining leases, Water Rights, Tramway and Dam Sites, Wharf and Building Sites.


8000 Shares are offered for Subscription on the following terms:— 2s per Share on application, 2s per Share on allotment, and the balance in calls not exceeding 1s per Share at intervals of not less than one month. 

The Vendors' 3000 fully paid-up Shares cannot be sold or transferred until the Company has declared a Dividend. 


ALEXANDER BLACK, Messrs Cossons and Black, Dunedin, Ironmaster. 

WILLIAM ISAAC BOLAM, N.Z. Insurance Co. (Ltd.), Dunedin, Insurance Manager. 

WILLIAM GREY, Milburn. Farmer.

HENRY ISAACS, Moray place, Dunedin, Importer.

None of the above-named Directors is interested as a Vendor of the Properties to be acquired.

INTERIM SECRETARIES: STATHAM & CO., 26 Dowling street, Dunedin.

BROKERS: QUICK & SMITH, Water street, Dunedin; FENWICK BROS. Stock Exchange Buildings, Dunedin. 

This Company is being formed to acquire an alluvial area of 220 acres and a lode area of 224 acres situated at Pegasus, Stewart Island, together with the water rights, etc., held by the Vendors. 

The minerals contained in these properties comprise Gold, Tin, and Wolfram in considerable quantities. 

The market value of Tin (see cable, Saturday's Times) is £222 15s per ton. Wolfram is worth £103 5s for 70 per cent. ore. 

Professor Walters, A.O.S.M.. the well-known mining engineer, who has recently inspected the properties, says in his report: "The field is a virgin field, and difficulty of access has been in the past the main drawback, but this can be overcome. The value of the Alluvial portion is practically assured, whilst the lode presents very good and great possibilities. Mining operations can be carried on cheaply, since water power is available and timber for mining and building purposes can be obtained along the tramline. There is every convenience for making low-grade ore pay. Port Pegasus is distant about four hours' steaming from Bluff Harbour, so that the field is an accessible one. In my opinion in this field, which contains tin oxide, wolfram, and gold, there exists every chance of opening up one of the best mining fields in New Zealand, and it is one in which a great future lies. I can without hesitation recommend it to mining investors." Copies of the Prospectus, with full report by Professor Waters, may be obtained on application at the Offices of the Brokers or the Interim Secretary, where specimens of the ore and alluvial tin can also be seen.  -Otago Daily Times, 16/9/1912.




The Maori name for Port Pegasus, in Stewart Island, was Piki-ati (a plume). It was named Port Pegasus by Captain Chase, of the ship Pegasus, who discovered the harbour on August 7, 1809. Tin was discovered there so long ago as 1888. The Dunedin Star has been permitted to use the following interesting letter addressed from this lonely outpost to a Dunedin citizen: — 

I was landed on the shores of Pegasus with about 10 or 12 tons of stores, including timber and other house-building material, at the end of an old survey line, cut more than 20 years ago, and so overgrown as to be denser than the native bush itself. Luckily I got into a hut with a fisherman, and lived there until I got some ground cleared and my house built. This is now done, and it is very comfortable, with a spare bedroom and two beds in it for the use of visitors, so whenever you feel inclined to live for a fortnight the simple life you will be very welcome. The one drawback, so far as I am concerned, is that it is rather lonely. My nearest neighbour is a mile away by water — perhaps not more than threequarters of a mile away through the bush. The men come to work in boats, and when they leave at 5 p.m. I am alone until next morning, and all day on Sundays. The one distinguishing feature about my house is that, except for a few Patagonian and Terra del Fuegan residences, it is the most southerly in the world. My next-door neighbour to the south is Mawson, frozen up in the Antarctic. It's a funny world, for whilst Mawson gets letters of sympathy from Queen Alexandra and the Governor-General of Australia and other notabilities, my existence is not even suspected. One advantage I have over him is that I have a fireplace 6ft wide and 3ft deep, and a fire every night big enough to roast a sheep, which I would not exchange for his seal blubber burning stove and all his letters of sympathy thrown in. I'll confess to one weakness. Instead of using a bedstead I've built a bunk on castors, which I wheel into the bedroom during the daytime, but bring out to the side of the fire at night when it's time for by-by. The nights are not absolutely quiet, for there are plenty of Maori hens, kakas and mopokes around, and they are seldom silent for long. The weather is unmentionable: sometimes it leaves off raining — generally when it wants to snow or hail. Fish are plentiful, and one can go out and catch as many as one wants when the weather is fine — that is, about once a month. I am busy building a tram line up to the tin field and a wharf in the bay at the terminus. The tram line will lie 2 1/2 miles long, and be subsidised by the Government. I haven’t been up to the claims, yet, nor do I expect to go until the tram line is completed. There are about 16 people all told in Pegasus — a man and his wife, three sons and three daughters, the manager of the fishing station (very nice people indeed), about seven fishermen, and your humble servant. The fishermen work for me when they can't go fishing. It has only been calm enough for fishing about seven days since I came down, so there is not much lost time on the works. The fish are frozen after they are packed, and sent to the Bluff once every six weeks in one of the fishing craft, and transhipped there into the Sydney steamer. The boat also takes the mail, and returns with six weeks’ stores and the return mail, so my correspondence is not a serious matter. I have not loaded the camera since I came down, and don't think it would he much good doing so before the spring comes. It is dark here at 3.30 p.m. already, with six weeks to go to the shortest day. I weigh 1871b, or 5lb more than I did when I left Dunedin, so you can tell friends not to worry over my health.  -Evening Star, 20/5/1913.


A P.A. message states that the Waihi Company, for the period ended the 10th inst., crushed and treated 14,752 tons of ore for a return of bullion valued at £25,439. 

An Auckland message states that Waihi shares were sold today at 35s 6d and 36s, and Talisman at 39s 3d and 38s 9d. 

A report just received by the directors of the Stewart Island Tin and Wolfram Lodes, Ltd., from their manager at Pegasus shows that good progress is being made with the formation of the three mile tramway which is to connect the claims with Pegasus Harbor. Between 60 and 70 chains of the formation have been completed, and the bridges and culverts have been built for a distance of nearly half a mile further ahead. The approach to the proposed jetty is also under way, and it is expected that the jetty itself will finished in time to allow the steamer Kotare to land the rails, which are due to arrive next month, right on to the works. A manager’s cottage, store, and smithy have also been built on a 20-acre leasehold on the water front, recently acquired from the Government.  -Evening Star, 23/5/1913.



The secretary reports that the 70 tons of rails for the tramline at Pegasus arrived by the s.s. Kent and were transhipped at the Bluff direct into the s.s. Kotara. On the latter vessel's arrival at Pegasus it was found that she could come alongside the company's new wharf quite comfortably, and the rails were discharged without delay on to the siding prepared for them. Professor Waters, the company's engineer, was well satisfied with the progress that had been made with the tramline, and the completion of the wharf will now allow the men lately employed in it construction to be transferred to the tramline. A further gang of six men was sent down from Dunedin by the Kotare, and with the advent of fine weather and longer days the work should proceed much faster than it has done during the exceptionally bad winter experienced at Pegasus. Movable quarters are being built for the men, and these can be taken along as the work progresses. The plans of the tramway have been sent to the Inspector of Mines for his approval, as the Government grant of £550 will be claimed as soon as the line is completed. Application is being made to the Postmaster General, through Sir Joseph Ward, member for Awarua, for a regular postal service to Pegasus, as there are now about 20 men in the company's employ resident there, besides those engaged in the fishing industry.  -Evening Star, 16/8/1913.

Earnest attention is now being given to the development of the alluvial tin deposits at Port Pegasus, Stewart Island. The dam just constructed is 1,230 ft above sea level, probably the highest dam in New Zealand.   -Evening Star, 5/1/1914.


The construction of a tramway at Port Pegasus to give access to the alluvial ground of this company has occupied a much longer time than was ever anticipated by the consulting engineer or directors. This has been due to several causes, notably unsettled climatic conditions, the shortness of labour, or inability of the manager to employ more than a limited number of men on work in a confined track. The first work of the company after selecting a site on the shores of Port Pegasus was to build a camp and a jetty, afterwards to construct a tramway through uphill bush country to the ground upon which hydraulic sluicing for minerals is to be commenced. The length of tramway originally proposed was three miles 33 chains, towards the cost of which a Government subsidy of £800 was promised. This part of the tramway has recently been inspected and passed by the Government inspector, and the company has been notified that the subsidy will be available in a few days. The directors found it necessary to continue the tramway a further distance of 24 chains, so as to get up material for construction of flume and dam. This tramway extension is finished, and of the 95 chains of benching required for the flume only 23 chains remain to be cut. The permanent camp for men, adjacent to the company's claims, is nearing completion, but it must necessarily be a few months yet before hydraulic sluicing can be commenced.  -Otago Daily Times, 15/12/1914.



(Contributed). A party of Invercargillites — Messrs G. Munro, O. King, G. McGaw, C. Hazlett, Jules Tapper, A. Ferguson and F. McGrath — returned yesterday from a yachting tour around Stewart Island. The yacht chartered for the occasion was that good sea boat the Rakiura, commanded by Mr W. Thomson with Mr Vic. Thomson as engineer. The party visited many out of the way nooks and corners of the Island not generally seen by the ordinary visitor. This was made possible by the assistance of an Evinrude detachable marine motor which could be attached to an ordinary rowing boat or dinghy in a couple of minutes. The party visited many unfrequented spots and speak highly of the motor's capabilities. The party spent several days in and around Pegasus. The township is now deserted and wears a desolate appearance. The many and substantial and well-built houses are all empty, save for one hut, which is inhabited by an old man. He has a kaka which has picked up a few words. One of the party on viewing the bird remarked that they made good stew. The kaka without a blink calmly remarked: "Go to h—l.” to the amusement of all present. The Pegasus fishfreezing building, a large and spacious erection which contains valuable machinery with electric light, has been untenanted for some considerable time. Not far away, riding at anchor, is the old one-time crack Bluff fishing cutter, the "Dolly Varden,” and by present appearances she looks as if it will be her final anchorage. Another cutter, "the Hover,” appears to be in a sinking condition. Both vessels are equipped with new and valuable machinery, and it seems a great pity that this fishing company cannot again start operations. The visitors also inspected the Pegasus Tin Mining Company’s works. This company at present is employing a dozen men in laying a tramway to the summit of Mount Remarkable, which has an altitude of 1400 feet, and is expected to be completed by June. About five miles of the tramway is already completed. On the return journey the trolleys were placed at the disposal of the more daring of the visitors, and those who undertook the ride will never forget the sensation — some declaring that they had "looped the loop.” The company has also made a start at clearing a site for the erection of a large concrete dam, the water from which is to be used for sluicing purposes. The Pegasus Tin Mining Company is comprised of Dunedinites, the late Professor Black being the original promoter. They have gone in for a large outlay of capital and it is to be hoped when they start operations that they will he liberally smiled upon by Dame Fortune in their plucky venture. The visitors also anchored in Broad Bay, which is to the south of Pegasus. Here also is another deserted township with a large building for freezing fish, and is fast falling into decay.   -Southland Times, 15/3/1915.


WANTED (For claim at Pegasus, Stewart Island), 


Wages, £5 per week. 

Apply by 23rd DECEMBER to SECRETARY, 

Stewart Island Tin and Wolfram Lodes (Ltd.). 26 Dowling street.  -Otago Daily Times, 17/12/1915.

A Cruise Around Stewart Island  (excerpt)

The Pegasus Tin Mining Company's property on Mount Remarkable was visited. Work is proceeding at erecting a concrete dam to store water for sluicing purposes. Its further work in connection with the tin lode on the summit of the hill has been gone on with since our last visit last year. There has been a large amount of money spent in connection with works by this company, and it is hoped that the plucky shareholders will soon reap a return in the shape of dividends.   -Southland Times, 29/3/1916.

The company seems to have sunk with barely a trace in 1918 - an application for more mining ground was approved early in the year but perhaps the end of the Great War, and a drop in tin prices, sealed its fate.

It is reported (states the Pegasus correspondent of the "Bluff Press") that negotiations are in progress by a Tasmanian syndicate for the purchase of the Pegasus Tin Mining Company's property. It would be greatly to the advantage of Bluff and the whole of Southland should the deal eventuate. In connection with this mining venture several thousands of good money have been invested, and which up to date have given no return to the investors. This place at the present time has no one in charge, and Dame Nature is slowly but surely getting back her own, for in many places the tramway track with its iron rails is becoming obliterated and covered with vegetation.  -Ashburton Guardian 19/7/1918.

News of the Day

The work of dismantling the tin mining plant at Port Pegasus (Stewart Island) has been delayed owing to bad weather. This plant was to have been shipped by the Kotare last week for Dunedin, but as the material was not ready, the vessel went to Kapipi and loaded a cargo of timber, which is now being discharged here. It will be about the third week in May before the Kotare will again call at Port Pegasus to load the plant, which should then be ready for shipment.  -NZ Times, 8/5/1919.

Mr D. Scurr, of the well-known local wheelwright firm, has returned to Dunedin after spending three months' at Port Pegasus, where he was engaged with two others, in dismantling the plant of the defunct Stewart Island Tin and Wolfram Lodes Co., reports the O.D. Times. The plant, etc., was brought up to Dunedin by the Kotare. Mr Scurr says the country in the locality is very rough, and great difficulty was experienced in bringing the material to the wharf along the six miles of tram line, which at the last was also pulled up. Bird life abounds, tuis and woodhens being very plentiful. Pure blackbirds, between the size of a pigeon and a farmyard fowl, were often seen, the birds having a kind of hood over the eyes, but Mr Scurr says he had never previously seen any of a similar species, and he did not know their name. Traces of deer were noticeable, but no sight of the animals was gained. Neither rabbits nor ferrets were seen, and apparently they have not yet gained a footing in this locality. Fish were abundant, blue cod and groper of a large size being easily caught. A freezer situated in an adjacent bay is, however, not working, the lack of labour, it is understood, being the cause. There is plenty of timber growing round the bay, and Mr Scurr says that in the future a big sawmilling industry will without doubt grow up in this part of Stewart Island.  -Southland Times, 14/6/1919.

And so the tin mines of Port Pegasus closed again, this time for good.  There was prospecting in the early 1930s, during the Great Depression, but nothing came of it.  The loss of Malayan tin mines to Japanese occupation during the Second World War also inspired prospecting of the Port Pegasus area but nothing came of that.  In the area these days - a Category 1 historic site - can be seen the dam, reached by the cleared line of the tramway.  Pipes and valves for sluicing can also be found, though whether they ever directed water is questionable. At least one mine adit on the mountainside can be found.  All was abandoned after the removal of saleable metal.

There was, however, one living survivor to be found of the workforce of the Stewart Island Tin and Wolfram Lodes Co. - living quietly by herself on the mountainside.





(By E. E. Muir.)

Are not the mountains, waves, and skies, a part 

Of me and of my soul, as I of them? — Byron. 

Jab! What on earth was that? It was the thrust of a weka at the writer's foot, which, fortunately, was well under the blankets, so no harm was done. But its effect was instantaneous, better than that of any alarm clock, for there could be no more slumber after that with a pair of wekas and their half-grown family investigating everything in the hut and with the bed on dry manuka only six inches above the floor! The hour was 5 a.m., soon after dawn, and the hut we were in was the tumbledown structure situated 1500 ft up on Table Hill in the centre of Stewart Island. We were destined for Port Pegasus by the route over the mountains from Paterson Inlet, having left Halfmoon Bay the day before. 

LONELIEST HORSE IN THE WORLD. But what was this? An old black mare had come to meet us. She has a touching history. One of a pair which had been landed before the Great War in connection with the working of the old tin mine (further down and about a mile distant) she, with her companion, had been left to roam the range when the tin-mine venture came to an early end. Her companion died after a few years, and this poor creature has pursued her existence in solitude on the range ever since. Perhaps the loneliest creature in the world, certainly the loneliest horse, she was in good condition, but the soil being light and marshy her hooves, for want of wearing surface, had spread, growing outwards and upwards — not a pleasant sight. Poor thing, she had been there for over twenty years. Seldom seeing even a human being, her only associates are the birds. What will be her fate?   -Evening Post, 8/1/1936.



For many years the few visitors who ventured on the overland walk to Pegasus Harbour on Stewart Island were accustomed to see an old draught horse on the mountains near Pegasus. The horse has a remarkable history, and was described by a Wellington journalist who visited there as “the world’s loneliest horse." In 1915 (writes a correspondent of the Southland News) this horse was taken up the mountain by track and bridges. At that time the Government had granted a liberal sum of money towards the project of locating the lode presumed to be near the mountain top from whence the stream then had its source. Stream tin was obtained by the prospectors together with gold on the adjacent lower levels. The money vested by the Government proved inadequate to finish the construction of the road, and when a further grant was refused the project languished, bridges collapsed, and the horse was marooned. 

Eight years old when placed there, it had a fairly pleasant existence owing to the profuse native grass on the mountain sides, and for its sleeping quarters a wide cavern, dry and well sheltered, kept it comfortable. As the years went by its hooves became so long that they curled up in front giving the animal a most grotesque appearance. The advent of passing travellers evoked great interest in its equine mind, when it would come whinnying up to be stroked and petted. 

Its death at the age of 30 years proved that the conditions under which it lived were not unduly hard, but it surely must take pride of place as the world’s hermit horse.  -Otago Daily Times, 22/2/1939.