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The largest town of the West Coast of the South Island, Greymouth today has a population of approximately 20,000 people, a KFC (the only KFC on the Coast) and The Warehouse.

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Greymouth was one of the later towns to be settled, and Captain Henry Jacobsen was the skipper to first take settlers to the Grey. In March 1862 Mr and Mrs Mackley chartered Captain Henry's boat the Jane, and together with Mr J. C. Richmond (later prime minister of NZ), Mr Heyward and Mr Lang they set out for the mouth of the Grey.

The conditions at the mouth of the Grey were rough, so Captain Henry sailed 50 miles south, and anchored while Mr Richmond painted Mount Cook as seen from the Tasman Sea.

Back to the mouth of the Grey, this time Captain Henry was able to sail into the lagoon at the south side of the entrance. There were a few Maori settled there, who had cleared several acres of bush. Mr Mackley settled at Waipuna, some miles inland from Greymouth.

Looking at Greymouth from Cobden

MacKay Street, from the Band Rotunda, showing the Town Hall

In 1865 Captain Henry had taken charge of a sheepstation owned by Major Newcombe, and he invited his wife of 8 years to join him. The only means of reaching the station were by canoe up the Grey River. At this time, the river was in flood, but Jane hired a crew to paddle her up to the station regardless. It was a 25 mile journey and it took them 8 days. It continued to rain almost incessantly, and the canoe almost capsized on a number of occasions. Jane was determined to reach Henry, and would not allow the crew to turn back.

At her destination, Jane found a hut built of mud, with a roof of manuka bark. They lived there for six months before giving up and Captain Henry went into the gold-fossicking business.

Looking along the quay

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