Monday, February 26, 2024

Piece of fencing history dug up on station

Neal Wallace
Fencers unearth whopper of a steel strainer post weighing in at 30kg.
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A piece of farming history was recently unearthed by fencers working in the hills between Central Otago and North Otago.

A solid steel post with a square profile and steel plates cold-riveted to its base – which were buried in the ground –  was recovered from Upper Dunstan Creek when a new fence was built on Dunstan Downs Station as part of a tenure review agreement.

Oamaru fencer Mark Ewing said the post was part of a fence adjacent to some mustering huts, and the plates were buried in the ground to hold the strainer in place.

Fencers unearth whopper of a steel strainer post weighing in at 30kg.

He said the 1.5m long strainer post is about 50mm by 50 mm thick and weighs about 30kg.

Dunstan Downs was initially part of Omarama Station, which was settled in 1858 but became its own entity in 1915 when Omarama Station was split into one pastoral and 12 grazing properties.

Jack McNair was Dunstan Downs’ first lessee.

Ewing said the fence is 15km off the Lindis Road and while a track now provides access by truck over the 1400m Dunstan Range, the original fencers relied on pack horses to cart materials.

Ewing intends cleaning the post and keeping it as a souvenir.

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