The history of Lawrence, Otago, New Zealand, from earliest times to 1921, including a review of its future prospects
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
In order to enable the reader to see in his mind's eye the history of Lawrence unfolding itself before him, he must first become acquainted with the history of the district in which the future town is to arise. As the history of the district is an organic part of that of the province in which it is situated, it will be necessary to sketch in outline the history of the province and to describe the various conditions that prevailed as well as the events that took place in so far as they influenced and affected the development of the interior. Otago is now the southernmost province of the South Island of New Zealand. The Otago land district lies between the forty-fourth and the forty-seventh parallels of South latitude, and extends from one hundred and sixty seven degrees twenty one minutes to one hundred and seventy one degrees ten minutes of East longitude. Its capital, Dunedin, has been built at the head of Otago Harbour and is only 12 miles distant by mail from Port Chalmers, which is accessible to large sea-going vessels. For the purposes of local government the province is divided into counties and the counties into ridings. Lawrence is in Tuapeka County, which occupies a south easterly portion of the province and is hounded on the north by the Vincent and Maniototo Counties; on the east by that of the Taieri; on the south by those of Bruce and Clutha, and on the west by that of Southland. Its area is one thousand three hundred and sixty five square miles. No portion of the Tuapeka County touches the coast. Although Lawrence is frequently spoken of as being in Central Otago, the statement is not exactly true as the town is only sixty miles south east from Dunedin by rail and distant from the sea coast “as the crow flies” about thirty miles, whereas the width of the province from east to west is from one hundred and sixty to two hundred miles. The County is drained by the Tuapeka and Waitahuna rivers, both of which flow from the north east to south west into the Molyneux River; by the Waipori in the north and the Tokomairiro on the south eastern side. On the northerly fringe of the Tuapeka district are the Lammerly Moutains of an average altitude of three thousand feet. The general slope of the country is from the north east to the southwest and is more of nature of gently undulating downs than of hilly country. Looking to the south and southeast from Lawrence an extremely steep slope is noticeable. This is known as the Waitahuna Heights and rises rapidly to about one thousand feet. The climate is intermediate between the damp and cloudy coastal climate and the dry and sunny, but frosty climate of Central Otago proper. Further geographical features will be described as the course of historical events renders a reference to them necessary.