The Otago Witness, 28 Nov 1857
The promising little settlement of Invercargill is progressing satisfactorily. Twelve months ago it could only boast of two houses, besides a few tents; but after the 20th March last, on which day the first sale of Town Lands took place, it began to show itself, and now we have a village of some fourteen houses, with a population of between 80 and 40 souls, which is increased by frequent visitors. There are two decent inns and three stores. The firm of Messrs. Young & Co. has just opened a house here, under the able management of Mr. White, and has two roomy storehouses. The Town is built on-a pleasant flat on the eastern bank of a tidal estuary of the New River. It is bounded on the north and south by bush, which affords excellent timber for building purposes and firing. On the east side, which is the Punny Plain, are laid out the rural sections, and through the centre of the Plain runs the high road to Dunedin, which is about 155 miles distant. The first five miles of this road is at present in a disgraceful condition, but we hope, as it is now declared a road district, that something will be done, otherwise we shall lose most of our best customers, the stockowners. Within Block I. there are seven residents, which add about twenty persons to the population. Beyond this block there are eight families, amounting to about twenty-five souls. The country, which at a distance has the appearance of a plain, is undulating, drained by innumerable boggy creeks, generally impassable, leading either to the Punny or Waiopai streams, both of which meander through a fine alluvial country, and are confined within deep and well-defined banks, on which grow the most luxuriant flax. Both these streams flow into the estuary, the former through the town, and may be made very serviceable for boating. People coming from Dunedin' are generally "agreeably disappointed" with the appearance of the country, which is very picturesque, being studded with clumps of bush. The soil, too, is pleasing to the eye of the agriculturist, though when first turned up it proves too sour for white crops without a winter's fallow; but potatoes answer well the first season. -- Communicated. Invercargill, 4th November, 1857. Transcribed by Corey Woodw@rd