The Climo's of Taranaki - Marlborough
When James, Jane & their family settled in Pelorus Sounds in August 1860, they found themselves in the company of the Honourable C.H Mills, on that gentleman's first visit to the area. Upon landing, they found the site of Havelock covered in snow. James quickly went to work for David Wells across the bay. At the same time, Mr William Wells was keeping an accommodation house in Havelock while Mr. John Wilson had one in Canvastown.
There was no road in those days between Blenheim and Havelock, only a bridle track. James and a friend went out to the Kaituna and using a pit-saw, cut the first timber for Messers Bashford and Wylie. In December 1860, James and his friend left Picton where James had to pay 10 shillings per week for a room that was about 12 ft x 10 ft ; through the walls of which he could push his fingers and where the men could not rest at night due to the mosquitoes. But James soon got work in the district, being one of the first to work for Captain Dalton at his mill in Mt.Pleasant, Koromiko, four miles out of Picton.
In August 1862, James undertook another of his walking adventures, heading south to Lyttleton, in the search for suitable employment. This time he was accompanied by his son John, who was now a young man of 16 years old. They stopped at a place known as Giggerego, situated between Flaxbourne and the Clarence. James and young John sawed timber for an accommodation house and a school for a Mr. Tittley before continuing on to Lyttleton, where they took a ship back to Wellington and eventually returned to Piction. In 1863 the family moved to Pelorus Sound, living at Kaiuma, where James worked for Messers Cornfoot,Robertson and Parker's Mill and the children resumed their schooling. James had now made sawmilling his life's work and in time moved to Mahakipawa and then to Hoods Bay, to where rafts of logs were towed from surrounding areas to Dive's Mill. It was customary for mill owners and the workers to get together in the erection of a school building for which the Education Board would supply a teacher. This was common practice at most of the sawmill settlements, the classes only going as far as the 5th standard; but all the children and grandchildren were well-schooled at these establishments.
While at Hoods Bay, the Climo children grew into adulthood. Elizabeth Catherine and her husband, George Pope had initially settled in the Wakamarina with the rest of the Climo family until they eventually made their permanent home in Havelock , establishing a centre for the family's life. Emily was next of James and Jane's children to marry, in 1867, followed by Richard in 1871, both John and Jane in 1872, and George in 1875. Elizabeth Catherine, Emily and eventually Jane each married a Pope and each went on to have a large family. Life for the women would have been anything but rosy – living in hastily built mill cottages with dirt floors, camp ovens for cooking, supplies arriving at infrequent intervals, no domestic help except that of equally burdened relatives, hard-working men to feed as well as small children to tend, sew and mend for. The men, dependant on water transport to a doctor or a shop or Post Office, with a tide of up to 11 ft in the Sounds, learnt to build their own sturdy craft and carefully “read the weather” before making a trip to Havelock. That there were so few tragedies is nothing short of miraculous.
For the next decade or so, the Climo's and Pope's lived and worked in the Pelorus area, mostly as a family, until their names were to be found throughout the Sounds and as far as Canvastown and the Rai Valley. In 1865, James received a Crown grant of 107 acres – sections 43 and 44 in Kaiuma Bay. He held this for ten years but, upon failing to untilise this asset, probably from lack of capital and from growing competition from other well-established millers, the land was conveyed by a Supreme Court order to the mill owner, W.R Brownlee, who promptly built a sawmill on the property. It was partly through this injustice that James broke his ties with the Pelorus and moved his family to “foreign parts” - to Ormond in Poverty Bay, on the East Coast of the North Island.
on 2010-05-15 08:47:14
I have been researching my family tree for over a year now & have a lot of information regarding the Climo's. So I am hoping to connect with any descendants of James and Jane as well as descendants of my 3rd-great-grandfather's family, the Popes. His name was George Whiting Pope. And lastly, I am trying to find information on my 2nd-great-grandmother's family, the Cotton's, who lived in Nelson. I have found some information which I am happy to share here and am ever hopeful that I may connect with descendants of this family also.