Original Filename: Waiorongomai_045-46.jpg ( not available for download )







Situated south of Featherston on the Western Lake Rd. between the road and the ranges. The block was first taken up by Charles Matthews when he came around the coast from Wellington to settle the coastal areas of the Wairarapa, first at Wharepapa in 1844 then Waiorongomai in 1855. The block reached 34,000 acres of mainly 10 shilling land, before it was to be split among family members. A magnificent two storey homestead was built and in 1917/8 additions and alterations were made bringing it up to 27 rooms. In the sub-division Raymond retaining the homestead block which was lived in until 1921. As a youngster it was Raymond's job to go around the house every night and make sure that the fires in all the fireplaces were completely out, hence he developed a real fear of fire. In later years when he had taken over much of the reduced property, with smaller families, less staff, an aging building and fear of fire and many other factors it was decided to demolish the old homestead in 1927 and use the material to build a new smaller homestead called Ratanui. The Waiorongomai property is now being farmed by the sixth generation of Matthews'.


NOTE: The information contained here is a result of Des De Stefano's own research and was current at the time he was working on the project.