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Index of first names

William Reid Douglas, sawmill owner

 

 

About 1860, William Reid Douglas,  one of the old pioneer settlers of Otago, set up a small sawmill at the confluence of the Leith and School Creek. Its wheel was driven by water from the Pine Hill Creek, picked up at the site of the present bridge over the creek. This business ran under various names and conditions until 1870. The first steam ship built in Dunedin was turned out by Kincaid McQueen for Douglas' Woodhaugh sawmill. Built in 1862, it was launched on 16th June of that year by Douglas' sister, who named it Betsy Douglas, after the owner's wife. The same foundry built another steamer, Lady of the Lake, for Douglas, who had acquired these vessels for his timber trade.

However, by 1867 timber production had dropped and the business was known as Douglas' bone crushing mill. Bones of whales and animals were being carted here to be made into bonedust, which sold in town at a per ton. A proposal to start a flockmill fell through and latterly the business became the Woodhaugh Bone and Flaxmill Company. On 12th December, 1870, W. R. Douglas, Wm. Taylor, Jas. Souness, Jnr., and Edward Campbell signed a dissolution of partnership agreement and a liquidator was appointed to wind up the company.

His son, also William Reid Douglas, was a shipping engineer.


 

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Last modified: Saturday, 18 March 2017