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Commercial Hotel, 

S19-212b Laverty’s Commercial Hotel, Hyde,

Hocken Collections - Uare Taoka o Hākena, University of Otago

A Town in Motion

After the Hogburn (now Naseby) and Hamilton gold rushes, gold was discovered at Hyde and the township came into being. 


The local pub was the community centre of Hyde, for many years, even holding court cases until the Hyde Court house was built in 1877. At the height of the gold rush, it was thought that Hyde had up to 16 pubs of varying standards. Connelly’s Hyde Hotel even hosted a famous visitor - the Earl of Onslow, who stayed in Hyde in 1890. He was on a sporting holiday hunting the wild goats, which had been introduced by the early miners.

The opening of the railway gave rise to industry in Hyde. Hundreds of workers were employed to build the railway and lived in the local area. Businesses grew to supply the new residents needs. Wagons increased to get goods from surrounding areas to Hyde and the railway station and the roads were very busy.

Photo below:

4 Jan 1968, Rm55 at Hyde as Passenger #413

G.W.Emerson Collection

Railway Workers,

Subject Photograph collection 47, Number 59/1, 

Toitu Otago Settlers Museum


Photo above:

4 Jan 1968, Ab782 with Goods #352 from Ranfurly, sits in Hyde loop while Goods #439 with pair DH passes.

G.W.Emerson Collection

There were butchers, bakers, and storekeepers providing produce. Building material for bridges, culverts and buildings were carried in by wagons, carts and drays. Sheep and cattle were transported in to the saleyards in Middlemarch and Hyde and passenger coaches carried people and mail.

The opening of the railway line also provided momentum for the local agriculture to flourish. In the 1890s and 1900s, the railway yards were crowded during the autumn months with teams unloading outward cargoes of chaff and oats, which were in high demand. 

Photo on left:

Plan of the old town of Hyde / (surveyed by) George McKenzie, October, 1864.

Mckenzie, George, (Surveyor). Plan of the town of Hyde [cartographic material] / [surveyed by] George McKenzie, Octr, 1864, Ref: 834.51bje 1864. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/21216880

Photo below

Yards at Hyde, Otago Witness, 4/6/1902, p.41, S19-219e

Hocken Collections - Uare Taoka o Hākena, 

University of Otago

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