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This is WOODVILLE’s history

When, in 1874, John Monteith and Thomas Fountaine arrived at a site that was to become Woodville, they found the log hut that Tom and Alf Grammer had erected some time earlier. New settlers had referred to this sight as the planned “village in the woods” which would be to the south of Norsewood and Dannevirke, being the third of the Scandinavian Road Labourers Villages  proposed by the Hawkes Bay Provincial Council in 1871. This plan for Woodville did not proceed.

The Napier Lands office on November 16th 1874 advertised for sale, the “Woodville Town suburban and rural sections.” The first of these town lots took place in Napier on the 5th January 1875. The first of the rural sections were also sold by ballot in 1875, the first of which were taken up by workers who had been employed on the construction of the Hawkes Bay Railway which had reached Takapau by this time. This first ballot led to the formation of the Woodville Small Farms Association and was in an area north of the main road, from the vicinity of the Mangamania stream to the west, through to the proximity of the Mangatua stream to the East. Sales of land were to continue over the next two years.

By 1880 the new farm settlers had taken up their land, there were eleven houses in the town, a hotel and stables had been built four years before. A clothing store, butchery, bakery and boarding house and a boot-maker were all in business. A school building had been erected and served for many community group meetings. In 1885 the Town Board under the chairmanship of Joseph Sowry was formed and in 1887 Woodville was constituted as a Borough with Joseph Sowry elected as the first mayor.