When even the waterfalls froze

Replenishing supplies to Macetown, circa 1890. Photo from Lakes District Museum Collection, Ref: EL49.
Replenishing supplies to Macetown, circa 1890. Photo from Lakes District Museum Collection, Ref: EL49.
If you think the winter of 2009 is a particularly cold one, look at today's historic image from the Lakes District Museum collection.

It shows miners carrying winter supplies back to the gold-mining town of Macetown about 1890.

They are treading carefully around a frozen waterfall beside the Arrow River.

Macetown was established about 1862 after the discovery of gold in the river, and was named after three Mace brothers, John, Charles and Harry, who mined there.

The town had a population of about 300 in 1863, but had slipped to 113 in the 1901 census, and by the 1930s was deserted.

According to the Department of Conservation website, Macetown attracts about 7500 visitors a year.

They come by foot, mountainbike or 4WD, and make their way along a 16km road from Arrowtown,which crosses the Arrow River 22 times.

Macetown is one of the most intact and accessible historic goldfield towns managed by Doc in Otago.

Henry or Harry

Yes, my father was known as Harry to my mother's family, but that was because of my mother's not liking Henry VIII, but always as Henry to his mother and his siblings


Correction to previous comment

The brothers were a generation older than I guessed.

Charles is my great grandfather.

The Maces of Macetown booklet has Charles and his brothers staying in New Zealand. Charles was married to Jessie Miller. Their daughter, Mary Ann, married John Valentine Seebeck 24-5-1897 in the Wesley Church at Broad Arrow West Australia. To the best of my knowledge the brothers operated a gold mine in this area called in maori  (YE?) and Henry lost a lot of money backing racehoses in Perth.

Unfortunately all of my previous generation are no longer with us.


Henry and/or Harry

It's not so long ago that boys named Henry as well as Harold were almost automatically called Harry.  There was no Thomas, only Tom.  James was Jim or Jimmy.  John was Jack as often as not. 

A boy who was actually called by his real name, Thomas or Harold, probably had a mother who made him wear little woollen shorts with a crease pressed into them, and a cap,  and a jacket like a wee bank manager, and pull his socks up high and never go bare-footed like the other kids.  He always had a clean handkerchief.  She didn't make it easy for him to make friends.


The third brother mentioned was Henry not Harry Mace.

The brothers were my father's uncles. He was Henry Mace Seebeck and I got the Henry as my middle name. My elder brother is Roger Mace Seebeck.

Peter Henry Seebeck