Home-Discovering Edgecumbe

What was Edgecumbe like when your Grandparents (or Great Grandparents) were young?

Edgecumbe was a busy little town then the earthquake happened and it is not as busy now. Edgecumbe is a farming community and is still one today.

*Edgecumbe once had a timber mill known as Syme's Mill. Mr George Syme owned the Matahina bush and he began to build a timber mill in 1930 and finished in 1931. Mr Syme built a tramline from the Matahina bush to the new timber mill in Edgecumbe. The Syme's Mill had a boric acid treatment plant (this is where they used to dry the timber wood for building). The mill got bigger and then it was sold to the Kauri Timber Company (KTC) in 1945. In 1957 or 1958, the KTC Mill was sold to the Fletcher Timber Company. In 1970 the company was sold to Tunnicliffes but the company closed down in 1976. This photo shows the Old water tower and boric plant.

*In 1946, the Tunnicliffe company owned a site where you could buy the timber from. It was opposite the KTC mill! The Tunnicliffe site is where the Pepper's Building Supplies site is today. Lots of dads and mums go to Pepper's Building Supplies to buy building stuff for their homes.

*In 1935, Edgecumbe had a theatre or cinema building! It was known as the Green Parrot Theatre but it burned down in 1942. They built another theatre in 1951. It was the very first theatre in the Bay of Plenty to use a scope screen and a projector (we are not really sure what a 'screen scope' is but we think it is just how the movie is watched and how the screen might be set up...maybe).

*In 1922, Edgecumbe (still known as Riversleigh at this time) had a railway bridge for the train and a main bridge so people could travel over the Rangitaiki River to go to Whakatane and not have to go all the way to Awakeri through Te Teko. Edgecumbe also had a store, a primary school, a Post Office and some people lived in town.

*St David's Church hall was built some time in the 1930's.

*We discussed very, very briefly about the Great Depression from the 1920's to the 1930's and how these times affected New Zealand. We are not sure how Edgecumbe families coped at this time but we think they might have struggled too.

*The other church in town is the All Saint's Anglican Church.

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