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Te Aroha in the 1890s

During the 1890s the town slowly increased in size and became economically stronger despite mining, for most of this decade, no longer flourishing. Other occupations became more important, with farming and tending to the needs of tourists being pre-eminent. Residents continued to grumble over the need for improvements, the cost of housing, high rents, and a poor system of tenure, but the establishment of a borough meant that some more improvements could be provided. As the town developed the poor-quality buildings hastily erected in its early days were seen as disfiguring it, and gradually the streets and footpaths were improved. As previously, storms and fires were notable experiences, the latter revealing the need for a water supply and fire fighting equipment. And also as previously, there were many ways to enliven small town life in mostly respectable ways, notably the library, clubs, sports, horse racing, the Volunteers, and entertainments of all kinds, details of which illustrate the texture of social life. Despite disparaging remarks by outsiders, living at Te Aroha need not be as dull as was claimed.
Working Paper
Type of thesis
Te Aroha Mining District Working Papers
Hart, P. (2016). Te Aroha in the 1890s. (Te Aroha Mining District Working papers, No. 115). Hamilton, New Zealand: University of Waikato, Historical Research Unit.
Historical Research Unit, University of Waikato
© 2016 Philip Hart