Spring Grove School
Spring Grove School and the TeeTotal Goats
In 1845, when Brightwater was still part of Spring Grove, there were a growing number of pākehā families settling on Section 34, or the ‘TeeTotal’ section as it was known. One of these settlers was William Andrews. He owned about 18 goats that he put to use on his farm in the same way other pākehā settlers used oxen or horses. The goats were harnessed as a team for pulling plows, dragging up flax stumps, carrying loads, and other heavy farm work.1
In May 1845 an unused school building in Bridge Street, Nelson, was given to the Nelson School Society. The decision was made to use it to open a school for the Waimea South children. Matthew Campbell on behalf of the Nelson School Society asked Mr Andrews to use his team of goats to transport the building almost 14 miles from Nelson to Spring Grove for a new school. The building was taken down, pulled by the team of goats to Main Street South (now Lord Rutherford Road) and rebuilt by volunteers and donated materials. At that time there were about 100 children living in the area, but no schools.2,3
On the 18th of May 1845 Spring Grove School officially opened with 60 pupils, but only as a Sunday school to start with. Subjects taught included scripture, arithmetic and history.4
Story from the Brightwater Heritage Boards 2020
Updated August 16, 2022.
Sources used in this story
- Brightwater School. (2013). 125th Reunion of Brightwater School 1888-2013: Brightwater History & District Schools. Brightwater School.p.55
- Harris, Jill (2009 edition). A place to live: the Tasman District...a community profile. Tasman District Council. p. 70-71.
- Dakin, J. (1982, November). The Elementary Schools of Early Nelson 1842-1856: A Case of Community Development. Journal of the Nelson and Marlborough Historical Societies, 1 (2). Pp.11-25.
- Harris, Jill (2002). A place to live: the Tasman District...a community profile. Tasman District Council and Dry Crust. p. 62-63, 70-71.
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Further sources - Spring Grove School
- 1845-1945: Centenary of the Spring Grove School : historical record : Spring Grove, Nelson, Saturday, May 19th, 1945. (1945).Centennial Committee.
- Batchelor, B., & J. Marris. (1979). Centennial history, Brightwater and district schools: Waimea West, Brightwater Girls, Garden Valley, River Terrace, Brightwater Boys, Wairoa Gorge, Totara Bush Household. Centennial Organising Committee.
- Batt, R., & Waimea South Historical Society. (2018). Schools in the valleys: Educating our ancestors in Waimea South 1843-2003. Waimea South Historical Society.
- Brightwater School. (2013). 125th Reunion of Brightwater School 1888-2013: Brightwater History & District Schools. Brightwater School.
- Harris, Jill (2009 edition). A place to live: the Tasman District...a community profile. Tasman District Council.
- Stringer, M. J., & Wakefield School. (1993). 150 years of Wakefield schooldays, 1843-1993: Includes Eighty-Eight Valley, Pigeon Valley, Spring Grove, Totara Bush, Te Arowhenua, Wai-Iti. Wakefield School 150th Anniversary Committee.
- Dakin, J. (1982, November). The Elementary Schools of Early Nelson 1842-1856: A Case of Community Development. Journal of the Nelson and Marlborough Historical Societies, 1 (2). p.11-25.
New School in the Waimea. (1845, May 17). Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle. p.42.