Story: Scandinavians

Charlie Pedersen’s sawmill, Mangawharo

Charlie Pedersen’s sawmill, Mangawharo

Dannevirke settler Charlie Pedersen is pictured in the back row just behind his father, Peder Pedersen, who sports a white beard. Initially the immigrants lived in tents and rough wooden huts with oiled calico windows and earth floors. These offered basic shelter while the men felled trees and set up pit-sawing operations. Flax was trialled as roof thatching, but it would roll up and shrink in the sun. Wooden shingles were soon found to be the best roofing material. Eventually sawmills such as this one were established, and axe and saw, combined with fire, began to reduce the extent of the Seventy Mile Bush. Sawmills provided better quality timber and new houses sprang up.

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Private collection, Ray Dean

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How to cite this page:

Carl Walrond, 'Scandinavians - 1870s: assisted migration', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/132/charlie-pedersens-sawmill-mangawharo (accessed 1 May 2017)

Story by Carl Walrond, published 8 Feb 2005, updated 25 Mar 2015